6 Best Altra Trail Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
6 Best Altra Trail Running Shoes in 2024
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From your local trails to rugged technical terrains, if you need a truly reliable and comfortable trail partner, you can’t go wrong with Altra. It’s easily one of our best picks when it comes to running the great outdoors.

Known by hardcore trail runners for their ergonomic, zero-drop trail shoes like the Lone Peak and Altra Timp series, Altra trail running shoes are gaining more traction and popularity among regular off-road enthusiasts and long-distance trail runners.

To help you search for the right model to suit your needs, we’ve handpicked, tested, and reviewed Altra trail running shoes. We discussed everything that we encountered while using the shoes and cracking them open inside our lab for you to fully grasp them. Take a quick look at our top picks in different categories.

How we test trail running shoes

Working with our team of wear-testers and editors here at RunRepeat, we thoroughly tested and analysed every model on this list. In addition to our own research, we’ve also collected more useful information from other trail experts in the running shoe business, as well as extensive feedback from regular runners.

To give you an idea of how we make our final recommendations, the approach involves:

  • Buying all the Altra trail shoes we test using our own funds to ensure a 100% BS-free review.
  • Performing a gamut of mechanical tests inside the RunRepeat lab, which involves cutting each model into pieces and measuring 30+ parameters, from the outsole traction and durability to waterproofing and breathability, among others.
  • Wear-testing each pair by logging 30-40 miles running in rugged terrains and muddy paths.

Best Altra trail running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

The Lone Peak 8 seamlessly transitions between leisurely hikes and high-speed intervals in rugged terrain. Its flexible midsole and balanced, close-to-the-ground platform amplify a runner's control, a vital aspect of trail running. It’s a no-brainer that the LP8 emerges as our top pick from our lab-tested Altra trail roster.

The midsole and outsole complement each other in terms of comfort and support. It’s flexible enough to maneuver on uneven land, while its 3.0-mm lugs are grippy enough to keep our strides controlled on dry surfaces. Our bend test backs up our observation, as LP8 emerges 27.1% more bendable than average, boosting our nimbleness in the wild.

Lone Peak 8 represents Altra’s zero-drop feature well with its minimal 1.4-mm drop compared to the 8.0 mm average. The cushion feels protective enough despite remaining close to the ground, with only 22.7 mm of foam separating our heels from the surface. With this, we have higher ground feedback and a more balanced stance, especially with the firm 29.3 HA foam that won’t compress unevenly.

The shoe offers exceptional airflow which feels great for the summer. However, we advise wearing thicker socks during winter since the ventilated upper will expose the feet to icy air, as confirmed by our lab’s 4/5 breathability score.


  • Responsive midsole
  • Natural barefoot feeling ride
  • Low to the ground and stable
  • Doubles as a reliable hiking shoe
  • Breathable and durable ripstop upper mesh
  • Secure midfoot lockdown
  • Accommodating toebox
  • Generously padded and comfy
  • Dries quickly
  • Gaiter attachment ready


  • Not so grippy in wet conditions
  • Subpar outsole durability
Full review of Altra Lone Peak 8

Altra trail running shoes with the best cushioning

Altra Olympus 5

What makes it the best?

Altra bucks the cliche of minimalist zero-drop running shoes with the Olympus 5. It’s about as maximal as it gets, with a midsole that’s easy on the foot even over the harshest terrain, making the Olympus 5 our #1 pick for the best cushioned Altra trail runner. 

Measuring the softness of the midsole with our durometer, we got a reading of 23 HA, which is 16% softer than average. This translates to a forgiving and comfortable ride that is still responsive and lively, making it easier for us to go the extra mile during our test runs. 

With a forefoot stack of 31 mm, the Olympus 5 towers over the current average of 24.2 mm. The higher a shoe’s stack, the more we can perceive and savor the midsole cushioning. This means the forefoot strikers will enjoy the same amount of protection as their heel-striking counterparts (a given with zero drop shoes), with impact dampening that remains effective over any distance. 

The Olympus 5 isn’t a shoe for all seasons, as our freezer test demonstrates. The midsole becomes 36.3% more firm while the shoe stiffens up by 52.2%. Compared to the respective averages of 31.9% and 44.2%, the Olympus 5 displays an inconsistent performance based on weather, thus making it a less-than-ideal choice for runners in cold climates.


  • Grippy on wet and dry trails
  • Protective muscles
  • Comfort is a 10/10
  • Toe box welcomes wide feet
  • Gives out energy
  • Breathable
  • Stable ride
  • Heel lockdown is terrific!
  • Easy on and off


  • Durability couldn't be worse
  • Annoying lace bites
  • It's a splurge
Full review of Altra Olympus 5

Best road-to-trail Altra running shoes

Altra Outroad 2

What makes it the best?

Out of all the Altra trail running shoes we wore and lab-tested, Outroad 2 is the best hybrid shoe as it gives the most seamless road-to-trail experience. It has a maneuverable midsole and a zero drop that keeps the feel natural. We find that it doesn’t sacrifice comfort for grip and stability on light trails and roads.

Outroad 2 boasts of a MaxTrac outsole lined with 2.2 mm lugs. We find this depth ideal for a hybrid shoe since it’s grippy enough for easy trails and not too chunky on the streets. Our durometer reads an average 86.5 HC outsole, achieving a balance between traction and longevity.

The zero drop is emphasized upon wearing the shoe and our caliper shows a minimal and easy-to-ignore 1.4 mm heel drop. This allows for our natural strides, delivering a barefoot feeling. Enhancing our comfort and agility is the unresisting midsole, which our bend test proves is 16.8% more flexible than average.

This Altra’s overall ride feels very stable and secure. Underfoot is a firm Ego foam, which our durometer shows is a balanced 25.5 HA. Together with the support of pronounced sidewalls, we remain steady by avoiding excessive foot motions. 

Given Outroad’s limited lug depth, we don’t recommend this pair for difficult trails. Dedicated trail shoes can handle challenging terrains better.


  • Perfectly versatile for both road running and easy trails
  • Spacious upper featuring Altra's FootShape design
  • Not as overly wide as some other Altra models
  • Attractively priced at £130
  • Excellent grip on fire roads and smooth trails
  • Natural, zero-drop running experience
  • Exceptional outsole durability
  • Comfortable enough for all-day wear


  • Could benefit from being lighter
  • Insufficient cushioning for heel strikers
  • Not suitable for moderate to difficult trails
Full review of Altra Outroad 2

Best Altra trail shoes for daily running

Altra Timp 5

What makes it the best?

The Timp 5 boasts a high level of versatility, performing well both in the lab and on actual trail runs. With its light and loose build, stable ride, and world-class Vibram Megagrip outsole, it is undoubtedly our top daily trainer among Altra trail running shoes.

Running in the Timp 5 feels like having the grip of trail shoes with the agility of road-running shoes. Weighing just 9.5 oz (269g) compared to the 10.4 oz (294g) average trail shoe, it's remarkably lightweight. The fluid midsole adapts seamlessly to our strides, confirmed by our lab tests showing it's slightly more flexible (28.1N) than the average (29.0N), requiring less force to bend to 90 degrees.

The midsole has ample cushioning for comfort and support. Our durometer shows a well-balanced 24.5 HA reading, enhancing stability together with the shoe’s zero drop. Our precise measurements reveal a negligible -0.1 mm drop, proving Timp 5 features Altra’s distinct trademark.

Underfoot is the standout Vibram Megagrip outsole, known for its exceptional traction which we had the privilege of experiencing in our runs. It has 3.0 mm lugs that grip very well on mixed terrains, instilling confidence in our trail explorations. Its depth even allows for some occasional road running as well.

Unfortunately, the shoe feels quite rigid and stacked. Those who prefer a stronger ground connection should try other options.


  • Vibram Megagrip outsole!
  • Massive weight improvement
  • Exceptionally stable
  • True zero drop
  • Ample cushioning
  • Secure fit
  • Wide, foot-shaped toebox
  • Versatile


  • Firmer midsole
  • Not for heel strikers
Full review of Altra Timp 5

Best Altra trail running shoes for racing

What makes it the best?

Backed by both real-world trials and lab assessments, the already speedy Mont Blanc now boasts an exciting enhancement: a revolutionary carbon plate that feels both fast and comfortable. This innovation propelled us to new heights, aided by its lightweight design and exceptional Vibram Megagrip outsole, undeniably making it our top Altra trail racer.

 MBC feels exceptionally light on foot while cruising through the trails, and our scales confirm it’s 14.3% lighter than the average trail shoe at 8.9 oz (251g). In true Altra fashion, it delivers an authentic zero-drop experience with its unnoticeable 0.3 mm heel drop, enhancing agility on diverse terrains.

Remarkably a standout, its Monoflex carbon plate allows us to bend and move our feet naturally. Unlike the usual stiff and curved shape plates, MBC’s is flat to prioritize stability over top speed, crucial for trail running. Validated by our flex test, it’s 19.9% more flexible than average, including non-plated shoes!

As we run swiftly through unpredictable grounds, the Vibram Megagrip outsole instills confidence in our strides. Our durometer reveals its protective nature with a tough 88.3 HC measurement, while its 3.5 mm lugs enhance our grip and control over soft and slippery trails.

However, we don’t recommend this pair to heel strikers and runners with lower leg issues as the zero drop may feel too harsh on the calves and Achilles areas.


  • True Altra DNA!
  • Responsive and fast
  • Superior Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • Excellent durability
  • Remarkably lightweight
  • Authentic zero-drop experience
  • Rounded, anatomic toe cap
  • Adaptable across various paces


  • Limited energy return
  • Priced high
Full review of Altra Mont Blanc Carbon

Best lightweight Altra trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

The Superior 6 boasts its airy build, stability, and agility in our intensive runs and extensive lab tests. In true Altra nature, it offers a barefoot feel with its non-existent drop. It made us feel really nimble and connected to the trails—making it our best lightweight Altra trail runner. 

Lifting our feet and picking up the pace feels effortless with its superior lightness. Our scales reveal a mere 9.6 oz (272g), 7.2% below the average. This is attributed to its grounded 22.1/22.0 mm cushion, which has 31.6% less foam in the heel than average. Its almost-zero drop delivers surface feedback that allows us to adapt to various terrains.

The ride feels stable all the way. Other than its low profile, the firm cushion helps. Our durometer reveals 29.1 HA, 11.5% denser than average. Because of its inherent stability, it doesn’t need rigid features to keep us steady. Superior 6 increases its flexibility to boost comfort and agility on uneven terrains. 

Underfoot lies a very protective and durable MaxTrac rubber. Our durometer reveals a solid 91.0 HC, 6.9% harder than average. To ensure grip, it has 3.6 mm lugs that cling to loose gravel and moderate trails.

Unfortunately, due to the shoe’s lightweight and minimal nature, it does not have enough cushioning for longer trail runs.


  • Exceptional ground feel for a more connected run
  • Nimble and quick
  • Excellent breathability
  • Upper and tongue designed for maximum comfort
  • Durable outsole with reliable grip
  • Remarkable stability
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Reasonably priced


  • Lacks a rock plate
  • Not ideal for long distances
  • The upper could be more durable
Full review of Altra Superior 6
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.