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If you’re looking for a sturdy and comfortable minimalist running shoe, 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 (Atlas refers to this as ZeroDrop design), which helps improve stability. This difference in height between the heel and forefoot is known as the heel-toe offset.

However, while they’re designed with the same intent, not all Altra shoes are exactly 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, if you’re looking for a solid, reliable shoe, you may need to spend a bit more. 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. All of the shoes on this list have mostly positive customer reviews.

From roads and treadmills to tracks and trails, here are the 6 best Altra running shoes of 2022.

Best for trail running

Altra Lone Peak 5

Altra Lone Peak 5
  • Price: $$
  • Cushioning: moderate
  • Pros: comfy cushioning, breathable, lightweight, and good grip
  • Cons: may have to replace more often, soft midsole reduces stability, and fit issues, including heel slippage

Looking for a solid trail running shoe? Look no further than the Altra Lone Peak 5.

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

As a result, you can feel confident that the Lone Peak 5 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.

The main complaint of the Lone Peak 5s relates to the heel design, which some say lacks adequate support and causes slippage, rubbing, and blisters. Other reviews report that the shoes wear out quickly.

Best for road running

Altra Escalante Racer

Altra Escalante Racer
  • Price: $$$
  • Cushioning: low
  • Pros: responsive, perfectly cushioned, and light and fast for race day
  • Cons: narrow design, outsole wears quickly, and limited color options

The Altra Escalante Racer is the perfect shoe 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 Racers point out that the mesh uppers are not ideal 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.

Best for treadmill runs

Altra Escalante 2.5

Altra Escalante 2.5
  • Price: $$
  • Cushioning: moderate
  • Pros: versatile, comfortable, supportive, and responsive
  • Cons: may not be as durable as previous versions, uppers are too stretchy, and fit is too loose

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 2.5.

These shoes offer plenty of flexibility and support, and they’re breathable, so you’ll stay comfortable when doing sprints or interval training.

Several reviewers mention that the updated design of the Escalante 2.5 shoes offers less durability, quality, and responsiveness than previous models. Other customers report that the shoes don’t have enough structure or support, which causes a loose fit and heel slippage.

Best for long trail runs

Altra Olympus 4

Altra Olympus 4
  • Price: $$$
  • Cushioning: max
  • Pros: ultra cushioned, reduces pain, and ideal for long distances
  • Cons: sizing issues, heel slippage, and uncomfortable tongue

The Olympus 4s are extremely comfortable, which suits long hikes or trail runs. The cushioned trail running shoes offer support, stability, and traction across various terrains and weather conditions.

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

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

Many of the negative Olympus 4 reviews bring up the loose heel fit, which causes heel movement and slipping. Several customers say the tongue is thin and stiff and needs additional padding.

Best for stability

Altra Provision 5

Altra Provision 5
  • Price: $$
  • Cushioning: moderate
  • Pros: comfortable, and supportive
  • Cons: tongue movement, heel slippage, and laces are too short

If stability is what you’re after, the Altra Provision 5 is your best bet, as it features GuideRail technology, which provides extra support for your ankle and foot.

The shoe’s arch is also specially designed to encourage proper, natural foot placement.

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

Several unfavorable reviews of the Provision 5 shoes mention fit issues, such as the narrow sole, sliding tongue, and moving heel. A few people report that they got blisters after wearing the shoes.

Best cushioned

Altra Paradigm 6

Altra Paradigm 6
  • Price: $$$
  • Cushioning: maximum
  • Pros: versatile, comfortable, prevents pain, cushioning supports long runs, and fresh color options
  • Cons: tongue movement, sizing issues, and could be more responsive

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.

As some customers wish that the upper mesh fabric of the Paradigm 6 shoes could offer more ventilation, the shoe may not be ideal for running in the heat.

Here’s a quick comparison of our top picks:

Lone Peak 5Escalante RacerEscalante 2.5Olympus 4Provision 5Paradigm 6
Price (MSRP)$130$140$130$170$130$160
Cushioningmoderatelowmoderatemaxmoderatemax
Ideal running surfacetrail roadroadtrailroadroad
Special features
• drainage holes
• gaiter attachments
• canted lugs
• quick-dry air mesh upper
• lightweight design
• breathable mesh upper
• designed to correct and improve form
responsive cushioning• gaiter attachments
• durable mesh upper
• cloud-like cushioning
design encourages natural movement• reflective fabric
• encourage proper form and posture
• airy mesh upper

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, as well as what you’ll be using them for, 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 have found 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.

Altra running shoes are known for their ZeroDrop design and 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 perfect Altra running shoe for you.