If you’re looking for a sturdy and cushioned running shoe that still lets your feet move naturally, look no further than Altra.

A young upstart in the world of running shoes, Altra’s mission is to help people run consistently and instinctively.

Altra running shoes are designed to encourage a natural gait and stride. Specifically, they include three key features:

  • A wide toe box. This helps your toes relax and allows your big toe to remain straightened for maximum stability and support.
  • Proprietary Fit4Her technology. The shoes are designed with a narrower heel and midfoot to better fit women’s feet.
  • Balanced cushioning. The cushioning is designed so that the heel and forefoot are at an equal distance from the ground (Altra refers to this as ZeroDrop design), which helps improve stability and promotes natural foot movement. This difference in height between the heel and forefoot is known as the heel-toe offset.

What’s heel-toe offset?

The difference in height between the heel and forefoot of a shoe is known as the heel-to-toe drop, or offset. Many running shoes have a heel-to-toe drop of 6 millimeters (mm) or more, so your heel sits up about a quarter of an inch higher than your toes.

A higher heel-to-toe drop means that your heel is more likely to hit the ground first when you run or walk. A lower heel-to-toe drop can help you achieve more of a midfoot or forefoot strike, which may help reduce the impact on your knees (1).

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While they’re designed with the same intent, not all Altra shoes are the same.

To help you find a pair that best fits your running style, we considered the following factors:

  • Value. While lower cost running shoes may initially save you money, you may need to spend a bit more if you’re looking for a solid, reliable shoe. The shoes on this list provide the best value for the money.
  • Quality. We looked for Altra shoes that are well designed and made from high quality materials.
  • Customer reviews. The shoes on this list have mostly positive customer reviews.
  • Vetting. The products on this list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

From roads and treadmills to tracks and trails, here are the 7 best Altra running shoes in 2022.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is considered rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $110–$170, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $170
  • $$ = over $170
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We use “men’s” and “women’s” in this article to align with how products are sold on retail sites, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to one or the other. Choose the product with the fit, style, and features that work best for you.

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Best for trail running

Altra Lone Peak 6

  • Price: $
  • Cushioning: moderate
  • Weight: 8.7 ounces (oz.) (W), 10.6 oz. (M)

Looking for a solid, spacious trail running shoe? Look no further than the Altra Lone Peak 6.

This shoe features Altra’s MaxTrac outsole, designed to help your foot connect with smooth, slick, and rugged surfaces.

As a result, you can feel confident that the Lone Peak 6 will give you plenty of traction and stability for running on uneven mountain terrain.

The shoe also gets high reviews from customers for its versatility, reliability, and support. It’s also incredibly lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.

A few customers complain that the Lone Peak 6 doesn’t provide enough cushioning for rocky terrain. Others say the toe box is too wide and the soles wear out quickly.


  • compatible with gaiters
  • more breathable and lightweight than other kinds of trail shoes
  • good grip


  • may have to replace more often
  • too wide for some
  • slippery laces
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Best for road running

Altra Escalante Racer

  • Price: $
  • Cushioning: low
  • Weight: 5.7 oz. (W), 6.8 oz. (M)

The Altra Escalante Racer is a great option for road runners who want a high performance shoe that encourages a natural, barefoot-style run.

Yet, despite its minimalistic design, this shoe still has a soft, comfortable fit.

A few reviews of the Altra Escalante Racer point out that the mesh uppers are not good for wet, rainy, or cold temperatures, plus they collect dirt.

Several customers mention that the lightweight mesh fabric lacks stability and may irritate bare feet.


  • responsive
  • very lightweight


  • narrower design than other Altra shoes
  • limited color options
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Best for treadmill runs

Altra Escalante 3

  • Price: $
  • Cushioning: moderate
  • Weight: 7.7 oz. (W), 9.3 oz. (M)

While it may seem strange to purchase running shoes based on your running surface, many runners know that some kicks are better for treadmill running than others.

If you log most of your miles on a machine, you’ll want to try the Altra Escalante 3.

The Escalante 3 features a soft sock-like upper and added elasticity for flexibility while still providing structure and support. Plus, the shoe is breathable, so you’ll stay comfortable during sprints or interval training.

However, some customers say the Escalante 3 is too narrow and that the padded tongue creates bulk and heat.


  • stretchy sock-like upper
  • breathable


  • too narrow for some
  • padded tongue is bulky
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Best for long trail runs

Altra Olympus 4

  • Price: $$
  • Cushioning: max
  • Weight: 9.6 oz. (W), 11.6 oz. (M)

The Olympus 4 is extremely comfortable, which suits long hikes or trail runs. The cushioned trail running shoe offers support, stability, and traction across various terrains and weather conditions.

You can also wear the Olympus 4 for road runs, to work, or as an everyday shoe.

Many people wear the Olympus 4 to prevent general aches and pains. The shoe may also help alleviate discomfort from conditions like arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and neuroma.

Negative reviews of the Olympus 4 mention a loose heel fit, which causes heel movement and slipping. Several customers say the tongue is thin and stiff and needs additional padding.


  • ultra cushioned
  • compatible with gaiters
  • Vibram rubber sole for improved grip


  • heel slippage
  • uncomfortable tongue
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Best for stability

Altra Provision 6

  • Price: $
  • Cushioning: high
  • Weight: 8.3 oz. (W), 10.1 oz. (M)

If stability is what you’re after, the Altra Provision 6 is your best bet, as it features GuideRail technology, which provides extra support for your ankle and foot.

This shoe has more arch support than other Altra models, but it isn’t stiff and still allows your foot to move naturally.

These features combined with Altra’s patented wide toe box result in a comfortable, supportive, and stable shoe.

Unfavorable reviews of the Provision 6 say the shoe is too narrow, and the tread collects debris and small pebbles.


  • molded heel cup provides extra support
  • extra cushioning


  • too narrow for some
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Best cushioned

Altra Paradigm 6

  • Price: $$
  • Cushioning: max
  • Weight: 9.3 oz. (W), 10.8 oz. (M)

Altra worked with two-time Olympian Kara Goucher to develop the Paradigm 6 stability shoes. The slim design offers support, durability, and a bit of bounce.

Plus, the kicks are stylish enough to wear casually and when standing for long periods.

The improved construction offers thick tread soles and arch support that enhances natural foot movements. It also helps reduce impact, improve form, and promote alignment.

Some customers wish that the upper mesh fabric of the Paradigm 6 offered more ventilation, so the shoe may not be good for running in the heat.


  • versatile
  • cushioning supports long runs
  • variety of color options


  • tongue movement
  • could be more responsive
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Best for cross-training

Altra Solstice XT 2

  • Price: $
  • Cushioning: low
  • Weight: 8.3 oz. (W), 10 oz. (M)

Suitable for gym floors, court games, and road runs, the Altra Solstice XT 2 is a great go-to shoe for cross-training routines.

The lightweight shoe features a protective toe cover and a firm caged upper that provides stability during lateral movements. The shoe is also supportive and comfortable enough to wear to work if you’re on your feet all day.

Unfavorable customer reviews complain that the shoe is too narrow and a little stiff and that it wears out quickly. Some people find the laces are too short, so they may come untied more easily.


  • lightweight
  • can handle running and weight training


  • may wear out quickly
  • short laces untie easily
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Here’s a quick comparison of our top picks:

PriceCushioningBest running surfaceSpecial features
Lone Peak 6$moderate trail • gaiter attachments
• canted lugs for grip
• quick-dry air mesh upper
Escalante Racer$low road • lightweight design
• breathable mesh upper
• fast and responsive
• designed for race day
Escalante 3$moderate road and treadmill• responsive cushioning
• stretchy sock-like upper
Olympus 4$$maxtrail • gaiter attachments
• durable mesh upper
• canted lugs for grip
• Vibram rubber sole
Provision 6$high road • breathable mesh upper
• responsive cushioning
• molded heel cup
Paradigm 6$$maxroad• reflective fabric
• encourages proper form and posture
• breathable mesh upper
Solstice XT 2$lowroad and indoor floor• breathable mesh upper
• protective toe reinforcement

If you’re looking to buy a pair of Altra running shoes, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Functionality. When choosing a running shoe, first consider your running terrain and how you would like to using it, e.g., training for a marathon or a 3-mile run a couple of times a week, as this may dictate how much cushioning you’ll want.
  • Fit. Altra shoes are considered natural running shoes, meaning the ZeroDrop design allows for a natural foot strike. However, they each fit a little differently. When possible, try on a few models in person.
  • Durability. While all Altra shoes are durable, customers find that some styles are more resilient than others.
  • Customer reviews. Whether this is your first pair of Altra running shoes or your fifth, you’ll want to read customer reviews for insight into whether the shoe is true to size and has any potential drawbacks.

There are other running shoe brands to consider if you’re in the market for zero-drop shoes, including Topo, Lems, and Xero. Here’s a quick look at what these brands have to offer.


Topo makes road, trail, and recovery shoes with minimal or zero drop that support natural, comfortable movement. They have a roomy toe box and fit snugly in the midfoot and heel.

Popular Topo models include the Trailventure, Ultrafly, and Spector. Aside from the Rekovr, all shoes are vegan. Each pair costs between $110 and $180.


Lems strives to create sustainable, minimal footwear featuring flexible, lightweight designs based on the natural shape of your foot. The company uses vegan and recycled materials as often as possible.

Popular Lems models include the Trailhead, Nine2five, and Primal. The shoes range in price from around $110 to $190.


Xero manufactures footwear with flexible soles and a wide toe box to encourage proper posture, balance, and alignment. The soles are generally thinner, which helps mimic the feeling of being barefoot. Xero uses renewable materials when possible and offers a 5,000 mile sole warranty.

Popular Xero models include the HFS, Prio, and Terraflex. The shoes cost between $40 and $160.

Do Altra running shoes have good arch support?

Most Altra running shoes have a more neutral arch that allows your foot to move naturally while still being supported. The zero heel-to-toe drop keeps your forefoot and heel at the same height, which promotes better form and alignment.

If you’re looking for Altra shoes with more arch support, the Provision 6 and Paradigm 6 models are specifically designed with that in mind.

Are Altra running shoes good for trail running?

Some Altra running shoes like the Olympus, Lone Peak, and Superior are good for trail running because they have the cushioning, support, and stability you need for rugged terrain. These shoes also have increased grip and a hook and loop tab to attach trail gaiters.

Are Altra shoes good for working out?

Yes, Altra shoes are good for a variety of workouts, including walking, hiking, and running. You can also wear Altra shoes for cross-training, elliptical workouts, and weightlifting.

Altra makes a variety of shoes suited for different surfaces, including roads, trails, and hard floors.

Altra running shoes are known for their ZeroDrop design and for providing plenty of stability and support.

By considering your style of running and using the list above, we’re certain that you’ll find the right Altra running shoe for you.