I have gone through a LOT of shoes in my short running “career.” Over 40 different models of shoes have graced these feet for at least a try-on run, and I’ve used at least 20 different models in my running training.
Since 2014, approximately 75% of my mileage has been in Altra running shoes, but I often chose a few select models from other brands for specific terrain, specific purposes, or to attempt to stave off an injury. I kept returning to Altra however, as that was what kept my feet and legs the happiest for the longest. That’s why I was so incredibly happy to be accepted as an Ambassador for this year, as it’s a shoe I already wear, love and believe in.
Here’s a brief rundown of the shoes I consider myself to be “currently” wearing.
Altra Torin 2.0 This is a fantastic shoe for me. It’s very well-cushioned, but not super “pillowy” like you will find with many max-cushion shoes. It’s also VERY stable. It retains a lot of flexibility through the slices in the midsole, and it is a fairly lightweight shoe. I usually rotate through three different copies of this shoe, and I am currently up to pair number seven. Yes, I number all my shoes with a sharpie… judge me. I use this shoe for daily easy runs, long runs, occasionally recovery runs and even workouts if I am going in a bit sore! It’s been my default “do-everything” road shoe since the model 2.0 came out. I look forward to trying the new 2.5!
Altra Escalante THIS SHOE! This shoe may yet turn out to be my grail shoe. It’s incredibly light, fits like a sock with the knit upper, and the new Ego cushioning is thin but VERY plush, yet responsive! This is a shoe that will make you want to run fast, even on days you shouldn’t. I personally will reserve it for workout days, targeted long run days, and it will definitely be my marathon race shoe. It is very flexible and a bit lower to the ground despite the incredible plush-ness, so my feet are still getting used to it, but so far, so GREAT!
Altra Superior 2.0 This is my go-to shoe for trails. I wore this at the 2016 Pineland Trails 50k, and I could see myself doing even more miles than that in them, as I finished with zero foot soreness. If Altra does as I hope, and make this shoe with the new Ego cushioning like the Escalante and King MT, I wouldn’t be surprised if I used the Superior for a 50mi race someday. I am on pair number 6 of the Superior. The tread tends to last me about 350 miles on rocks, but still has plenty of grip for dirt long after that. The cushioning is so resilient that I have started using it as a road shoe once the tread lugs wear down too much for trails. Very comfortable, well cushioned, but fairly thin shoe.
Altra King MT I’m really excited about this shoe, even after only one run. I’m quite sure there will be a full review coming on this one! This will almost certainly replace my Superior 2.0 for technical mountain traverses such as the Pemi Loop and Presi Traverse. It will definitely replace the Inov-8 X-Talon for muddy, grassy and wet mountain races. It drains incredibly well. The grip is plenty sufficient for mud and loose terrain, with the added benefit of being quite sticky. It seems to do very well on rocks, even when wet, so I’m excited to put it through its paces very soon!
Hoka Challenger ATR I use this shoe when my calves are exceptionally sore! Its too cushioned for me, and makes my feet get sore from the excess cushion, so I keep things under an hour when running with this shoe. For people that really like the high cushion, you may like this shoe! A zero-drop alternative would be the Altra Olympus.
I have run in a few other shoes in the last 8 months that I’d like to reintroduce into my routine, but I need to make sure that they aren’t what caused my most recent injury!
I highly recommend going into your local running store to try on these shoes, and supporting a local business! If your local store doesn’t have the models you’re interested in available, my preferred online retailer is Running Warehouse. If you have any questions about Altras, feel free to give me a shout!