Each year, I go to the Runners World festival, I get the opportunity to learn more about the brand and company. Altra also gives bloggers a pair of shoes (of their choice).Altra also gives bloggers a pair of shoes (of their choice). This year I knew the most about the Altra Escalante because we carry it at work and requested that model. I was lucky that Altra was extremely receptive and sent me the Escalante.As most people know, Altra is known for a wider toe box. As the founder Golden has said, it’s not a “wide” shoe but it’s foot shaped.
As most people know, Altra is known for a wider toe box. As the founder Golden has said, it’s not a “wide” shoe but it’s foot shaped. Well my foot is wide. Altra is actually more narrow through the arch and heel which makes it a better fit for most people’s feet.
The other component Altra is known for is their “zero drop” shoe format. This means the heel and the forefront are at the same level and flat. It doesn’t mean it’s a minimalist shoe, but it is flat.
I do believe the Altra Escalante is one of the better fitting running shoes right now. I usually wear between 10-11 wide in my shoes, and in the Escalante, I wear a comfortable size 10.
The upper is made from a stretchy knit which means there are no seams to rub on feet. It’s accommodating and with minimal seams, there aren’t pressure points. This is especially important for someone who might deal with bunions or a wide forefront. The heel counter hugs the heel, so while the toe box is roomy, there isn’t any heel slippage.
As described above, something important to note, if you have never tried Altra before they are a “zero drop” shoe.
What does this mean?
The forefront and heel are at the same height. If you currently run in a higher stacked or higher drop shoe, your calves might be more sore as you integrate a flatter shoe into your rotation. To prevent injury, you should slowly work the shoe into your rotation versus starting to run in it every day.
I’ve run in a few Altra shoes including the Altra Paradigm 1.5. I prefer more cushion and don’t have a need for a trail shoe.
The Altra Escalante is the most minimal design I have chosen and I’ve used for several runs from workouts too easy runs. When I ran my first tempo run, I felt the ground, less ground than a racing flat but more than a high cushioned shoe. I liked how responsive it was.
When I ran a few easy runs, I could the softness and cushion that Altra has integrated into their shoes. In total I’ve run between 50-75 miles in the shoe and haven’t had any issues. I’ve never run in it back to back days but don’t typically do that with any of my shoes.
While all of my runs were successful in the shoe, personally I love the feeling of running tempos in the shoe. I feel like I’m giving my body more cushion than a racing flat but getting my turnover up with a flatter shoe.
So far I’ve liked using the Escalante for workouts and as a “faster” paced shoe. I might experiment with it as a half marathon shoe but for now, it will be my staple workout shoe.
Thank you Altra for sending me the Escalante as well as the Runners World Festival for bringing me back as a blogger. While I was given this shoe, I wasn’t paid for the review and all opinions are my own.
My running rotation:
Brooks Ghost 10
Brooks Glycerin 15
Hoka Clifton 4 (Review to Come)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (racing)
Questions for you:
Have you tried Altra before?
Do you prefer more or less cushion in your shoes?
I have not tried the Escalante before, but did experiment with the Altra Paradigm. I generally liked the shoe, but I am a terrible heel striker and I found that after running in them for not much more than 100 miles, I had significantly worn down the heel. The wide toe box is a terrific feature that I really did appreciate.
I haven’t tried the Escalante’s, but they look comfortable. I have ran in the Torins and enjoy them…so I prefer a bit more cushion. I don’t run in them everyday either, but definitely like to keep them in my rotation because they just make my feet feel good.
My tri club friend Richard swears by this shoe. Personally, I have only tried on Altras at pub runs/wear tests and have never run in a zero drop shoe. The lowest I’ve done are 4mm Saucony Kinvara’s. But Altra felt really comfortable for just trying on and walking around, and I feel like they would be great shoes for lifting weights/squats. I hope you have fun at the RW festival and races too!
I like the Escalante shoe! It’s one of my favorites. But, my heel does slip some. I have an unusually slender heel and high arch. So that may be if. Altra is all I run in anyway. The One 2.5 is my faaaaaaavorite.
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