A few weeks ago I was given a pair of Altra Paradigm at the Runners World Festival. We sell Altra’s at work, but I hadn’t gotten around to purchasing a pair for myself. To be honest out of every brand we carry, I am the least familiar with Altras. Luckily the rest of the bloggers and myself received a first-hand lesson about Altras from the founder, Golden. It was great to learn this information for myself but also for work.
Back in July, I sent an email with my mileage and the current shoe models I liked. The founder concluded the Altra Paradigm 1.5 would be the best fit for me. I might be biased, but it’s awesome to have someone else fitting you for shoes. It takes the hard work out of choosing a shoe.
Before the shoe review, we learned how Altra was created and a lot of history and brand facts. Altra has separate shoe styles for men and women. Women cannot just order a men’s shoe in the appropriate size…Commonly called “shrink and pink it method” which means shrink the shoe size and make it more narrow. (Believe me I’ve ordered men’s shoes plenty of times).
While I did receive the shoe for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own. In return for the shoe, Altra did not ask I post a review.
The Altra Paradigm 1.5 is a max cushion and zero drop shoe.
Altras are a new feel to me. They have zero drop in all of their models which means the cushioning is the same in the front as the back. There is no built up heel like most other brands. The zero drop is something I can appreciate because with my running I need a shoe with more cushion towards the front. I run like an Ostrich on their tippy toes so the front of my shoes always wear faster.
Altras are known for having a wider toe box and lacing that is a little further up the shoe for even more room! The top of the Altra Paradigm 1.5 is a little bit less giving than I expected. In my opinion, this model runs smaller than many other brands. I generally wear a size 9.5 wide or 10, but I felt the 10 were a little bit too small! I ultimately decided 10.5 was the size I needed. Going up or down a size in shoes doesn’t matter to me because…who really cares as long as it fits.
We did receive the Altras at the Runners World event, but I did not run or race in them until later. I took them out the week after the races and have run about 100 miles now. I did a few easier miles in them to get a good base. Since then I’ve run a few 10-12 miles in them as well. I don’t notice the difference in the heel to toe drop and I like the high cushion in the shoe. For the amount of cushion, they aren’t heavy.
- Max cushion in both the forefront and the back
- Wider toe box
- $130 for a max cushioned shoe versus similar brands being $150 for a max cushioning shoe.
- Runs small
- It takes time to work into the shoe because of the 0 mm drop. You cannot purchase a pair and run 10 miles in them immediately. You will probably injure your calves.
In conclusion, I do think they are a good shoe for me. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I do like them! I will keep them in my rotation of shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you ever tried Altras?
What is your favorite running shoe?