Altra Superior (First Impressions)
I recently had to retire my Merrell Trail Gloves from serious wear on the trails. The lack of tread was proving to be a bit, um, dangerous. So, what to replace them with? Well, Altra has been my go to shoe for tough, durable, zero-drop and minimal-like trail foot wear. I saved some money and picked up a pair of Altra Superiors. These are a more minimal shoe than their big brother, the Lone Peaks. Whereas the Lone Peaks can feel tank-like the Superiors carry more minimal armor, while being just durable (at least so far).
- The Superiors are lighter. I don’t know the exact weight difference, but they certainly feel a good deal lighter than the Lone Peaks. (I will get the exact difference when I write a more detailed review.)
- There is more proprioception and good ground-feel. You can really feel the earth below you, which helps keep you in tune with the trail and allows you to maintain good form.
- The protection seems good, even on rocky and techinical terrain. My initial run was through a virtual minefield of rocks and boulders and I never once felt I needed to watch my step.
- The inside of the shoe is really smooth and soft. When I slid them on it felt great on my feet. And, after my run, I trotted back to the car from the lake with no socks on…no blisters! I might give a naked foot run some day just to see how they do.
- The tread is not overally aggressive, especially compared with the Lone Peaks, but it does offer decent grip on uphills and downhills. On wet/slick roots and rocks the shoes slid a bit, but I will have to wait for wetter conditions ro really test them out.
There were only two major issues that I can speak of at this point, and they both can make a significant difference:
- The shoe runs small. So if you are going to buy it make sure to buy it a 1/2 size larger.
- If you have really narrow feet, like I do, you might have a bit of a time keeping the shoes tight. I had to really tighten the laces, espcialyl near the top of my foot. (Once I did that they were fine.)
Well, that is it so far. Even after one run I really love these shose. I will probably run next weekends 0SPF Trail 1/2 Marathon in them. Afterwards I will give a more detailed review.