There are dozens of favorite name-brand sneakers to choose from when purchasing running shoes. And, with the top industry names holding a majority of the market share, consumers stick with those names. Altra shoes are a leader in the industry. Not only in the development of their shoes, but also in the specific styles for men and women athletes. Every runner has something different in mind when choosing a running shoe. You might want comfort, a soft internal midsole, and fresh color design. The next runner is looking for a shoe that conforms to their feet and is lightweight.

Comparison Table About Altra Shoes

No matter what you look for as a runner, Altra shoes have specific product lines for men and women. That means every runner will find a great fit, comfort, and a shoe for their foot's anatomical profile. Stop overspending on running shoes that look the same, and don't provide the quality detail you deserve. Reassess your desires and needs, and consider a company that focuses on designs which are specific to you.

About Altra Shoes

Altra shoes began in 2009 under Pulse Labs by founders Jeremy Howlett, Golden Harper, Brian Beckstead. In 2011, the company was bought by ICON Health and Fitness. Throughout its tenure, Altra shoes were in the top 10 running shoes. It also had a rank as high as number four in trail running shoes. The company sold to VF Corporation early in 2018. The company also owns Ugg, Vans, Wrangler, and the North Face, among other brands. As a leader in specialty running shoes, Altra is a categorical leader runner can rely upon when choosing runners. Quality, design, and excellent material finishes are also some of the benefits of owning these running shoes.

Altra Shoe Design

The design of Altra shoes focuses on three main categories. A gender-specific fit, the zero drop design, and toe box shape. Unlike other brands, the company believes running shoes should conform to the runner's feet. That is the approach the manufacturers take in designing running shoes.

Zero drop

Every running shoe Altra shoes sell has the zero drop platform. This design means the shoe is flat from the forefoot to the heel. The distance from the ground to the feet is consistent throughout the length of the shoe. The design aligns the back, body, and feet, to a natural balance, resulting in the minimal joint impact. Some benefits of this design include:

  • Reduces the initial impact of the forefoot when it hits the ground
  • All areas of the feet hit the ground at the same time, reducing wear and tear on the joints
  • A 1-to-1 ratio aligning the body naturally
  • Weight balance throughout

Additionally, it enhances the running technique. By balancing the weight loads, runners take even strides and create a smoother landing with each step.

Foot shape toe box

Traditional running shoes have a pointy toe shape squeezing the toes out of their natural position. Bunions, hammertoe, and plantar fasciitis are a few conditions which occur because of this. Altra shoes create a toe box design in the same shape as the foot. Toes and feet relax, and runners can freely mobilize their toes. Some benefits of the model include:

  • The big toe remains straight in the toe box
  • The straight landing of the feet creates greater stability than other runners
  • The foot relaxes and stabilizes naturally in the shoe
  • Toes can rest and spread uniformly in the shoe.

Gender-specific Altra shoes

Women and men have anatomically different feet, which most manufacturers don't account for in shoe designs. Altra shoes develop a women-specific shoe design. A higher instep, longer arch, and narrow heel and midfoot, mimic the anatomy of women's feet. Some benefits of the specific design include:

  • Higher levels of comfort for female runners
  • An even, natural landing position for the feet
  • A shoe which is identical to the design and shape of women's feet
  • A cushion EVA midsole, keeping women comfortable for the duration of their run.

How We Reviewed Altra Shoes

We reviewed Altra shoes considering various factors to help consumers find the best pair available. Additionally, we evaluated the different models for men and women. We also considered design, comfort, and the running the runners would use the shoes for on or off-trail. In our review, we also discussed the pricing. The price range also helps customers find the best shoe, within the budget they've set for the purchase. Finally, we considered the ratings actual owners of the shoes give them. This information provides a first-hand account of the quality and design of the different Altra shoes available.

Top Altra Shoes Available for Men and Women

With several styles and products for men and women, it's essential to compare different Altra shoes before purchasing. No matter what kind of running or trails runners plan on wearing them on, these are the top models.

Altra Escalante Road Shoes

ALTRA Men's Escalante Running Shoe
  • Ideal uses: running, racing, training
  • Designed to improve: Running Form, Toe Splay, Stability, Push-off, Comfort, Traction
  • Zero drop platform, stack height: 25mm

The Altra shoes have a moderate insole cushion and aren't overly bulky. The responsive insole bounces back quickly to mimic the runner's feet with each stride. The knit upper is breathable, helping runners remain cool in different heat and weather conditions. Neutral interior support and lightweight design, make these shoes great for daily trail runs. The shoe features the wide toe box design. This feature allows runners to mobilize the toes and remain comfortable at all times. The alter ego midsole is responsive and bounces back to its original shape quickly. Some reviewers indicate quality is a concern. They note that after several miles run, the tread is completely flat. Therefore the shoes might not be durable for long distance runners.

Altra Torin 3.0 Shoes

ALTRA AFM1737F Men's Torin 3.0 Running Shoe, Blue - 8.5 D(M) US
  • Weight: 8.4 oz. / 238g
  • Designed To Improve: Natural Foot Positioning, Toe Splay, Comfort
  • Platform: Fully Cushioned Zero Drop platform and FootShape toe box

A soft, responsive feel and lightweight design are perfect features for a running shoe. A 28mm stack height also provides the ideal level of cushioning in the midsole. The shoe features a quick-drying upper mesh that is breathable and keeps runners cool.

The EVA midsole naturally springs back to position with each stride keeping runners safe on trails. A 0mm forefoot to heel, zero balance design, ensures even landing with each stride. Some runners complain the shoes are a little tighter than the average size wearers purchase. Some reviews suggest buying sizes in half or even one whole size larger than average.

Altra Torin Knit 3.5

ALTRA AFM1837K Men's Torin Knit 3.5 Running Shoe, Gray - 11 D(M) US
  • Flashy engineered knit
  • A-strap arch support
  • Sock-like feel

The shoe features a knit, sockliner upper design. This design mimics the feel of socks, helping runners keep their feet steady in the shoe. The shoes have a reinforced strap design on the interior of the shoe. This reinforcement further helps to stabilize the feet, to ensure high levels of comfort. The shoes have an APMA Seal of Acceptance,

and expansive foot toe box shape ensures high levels of comfort. The flat heel to forefoot design keeps runners feet flat, creating an even running stride. Some reviewers indicate the outsole is not as durable as with other manufacturer brands. This flaw means the shoes might prematurely wear out, reducing durability levels.

Altra Timp Trail Shoes

ALTRA Men's TIMP Trail Running Shoe
  • Ideal Uses: Ultrarunning, Long Distance, Fast Packing
  • Designed To Improve: Natural Foot Positioning, Toe Splay, Comfort
  • Platform: Fully Cushioned Zero Drop platform and FootShape toe box

The shoe is perfect for long distance trail runs. A moderate cushion and the zero drop design keep runners' feet in place for the duration of their run. A mesh upper keep feet fresh and comfortable on warmer days.

The EVA midsole also naturally springs back into position, to help stabilize runners on the trail. Runners indicate the feel and comfort of the shoes are excellent. The main issues they note with the shoe is the concerns of premature wear because of the thin outsole.

Altra Women Paradigm 3

Altra Women's Paradigm 3
  • DESIGNED TO IMPROVE: Natural Foot Positioning, Walking Form, Toe Splay, Comfort
  • PLATFORM: Fully cushioned Zero Drop platform with FootShape toe box. CUSHIONING: High. STACK HEIGHT: 32mm. LAST: SD5-W.
  • MIDSOLE: Dual layer EVA with A-Bound. OUTSOLE: FootPod outsole. INSOLE: 5mm Sculpted Footbed. UPPER: Quick-Dry Air Mesh.

The shoe's design naturally helps improve step and stride while running. It has a mesh upper to increase breathability and comfort levels on long trails. The zero drop technology and foot toe box-shape design, provide higher levels of comfort for women. A higher cushion design, also recoils to its natural shape quickly, to improve each running stride. Issues with sizing are a primary concern. Runners indicate that the shoes are smaller than their average size and suggest buying a larger size than average.

Altra Women's Torin 3

ALTRA Torin 3.0 Women's Road Running Shoe, Blue/Coral, 6 B US
  • DESIGNED TO IMPROVE: Natural Foot Positioning, Walking Form, Toe Splay, Comfort
  • PLATFORM: Fully cushioned Zero Drop platform with FootShape toe box. CUSHIONING: Medium. STACK HEIGHT: 28mm. LAST:...
  • MIDSOLE: EVA with A-Bound top layer and InnerFlex. OUTSOLE: FootPod outsole. INSOLE: 6mm Contour Footbed. UPPER:...

The design of the shoe will naturally improve foot positioning and stride. With the anatomical design for women's feet, it also helps enhance comfort levels. Women will appreciate the narrow heel and midsole design, which isn't present in men's shoes. The EVA midsole has an a-bind top layer.

This design helps enhance cushioning levels, providing a softer landing spot for runners. The shoe has a foot pod outsole. This design maps the tendons and bones of the human foot. It helps prevent injuries on rough trails. Concerns about quality and durability are some issues runners indicate in their reviews. A thin outsole wears out quickly, meaning shoes need replacements rapidly.

Altra Women's One V3

ALTRA Women's One V3 Running Shoe, Purple/Orange, 8.5 B US
  • DESIGNED TO IMPROVE: Natural Foot Positioning, Walking Form, Toe Splay, Comfort
  • PLATFORM: Fully cushioned Zero Drop platform with FootShape toe box. CUSHIONING: Light. STACK HEIGHT: 23mm. LAST: PFS-W.
  • MIDSOLE: InnerFlex with EVA. OUTSOLE: Blow Rubber FootPod outsole. INSOLE: 5mm Contour Footbed. UPPER: Lightweight...

The mesh synthetic upper design helps enhance comfort and breathability. The shoes also feature the zero drop technology, keeping feet properly in place with each stride. The foot shape toe box is specific to women's feet, enhancing comfort levels for runners also. The upper has a TPU overlay.

This design style also helps keep the feet in place and also helps enhance runners' comfort levels when taking long strides. Runners indicate the shoes don't have the best material finishes. They also suggest the overall design is lacking, requiring adjustments to enhance comfort and wearability.

Altra Women's IQ Running Shoe

ALTRA Women's iq, Black/Sugar Coral, 9.5 M US
  • Ideal uses include road running, walking, light trail running, cross training, speed work
  • Footpod outsole with stabilipod technology
  • Ultralight ethylene vinyl acetatewith a-bound top layer, stabilipod technology

This pair of Altra shoes has a mesh upper to help increase breathability. The shoe also features a strike-zone tracker. It keeps the foot's alignment in balance, so runners don't deviate from their usual stride. The shoe features BLE wireless communication. This design allows runners to track performance and save it online, via the IQ technologies.

For runners who like gadgets, this is a great shoe. The IQ technology keeps track of running information. The cadence, stride, distance, and impact force. A sensor below the insole keeps track of this information.

Runners can retrieve it later, to keep track and improve their performance over time. One complaint about the shoe is the battery that comes with it. Runners indicate they must change the original battery before utilizing the IQ technology feature.

The Best Shoe for Men and Best Option for Women

Both men and women can find the perfect pair of running shoes by Altra shoes. It is important to compare a few models to find the perfect fit. Regardless of running style, or if distances run, there's a pair of Altra shoes for you. Taking the time to compare user reviews and specifications, is a good starting point to find the right pair.

Altra shoes come in many varieties, for both men and women. For men looking for the best option, the Torin Knit is the shoe with the top ratings. Comfort, design, and breathability, are also some of the features that set them apart. The shoes also feature a synthetic and breathable upper, keeping men cool in warm conditions. The outsole is also a little thicker than the other Altra shoes on the list. So, the issue of quickly wearing out isn't as big a concern as with the other pairs. Runners indicate the shoes fit comfortably, and the zero balance design helps improve overall stride.

For women, the Altra IQ is the shoe with the top ratings. The quick-dry air mesh upper keeps runners cool. The anatomical design for women's' feet, also enhance the strides taken while running. A narrower midsole and heel design, also conform to women's' feet naturally. Runners also appreciate the strike-zone tracking. This feature helps keep the feet in proper alignment and improves stride depth when running long distances. The IQ technology also allows women to save vital stats. Stride, cadence, length, and other essential metrics. They can map this out to improve runs, and improve overall performance as they continue to build up miles.

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