One of the most popular shoes from Altra has become the Altra Escalante. If you are looking to try Altra and don’t know where to start, the Escalante is usually a good first step.
Altra is well known for their zero drop shoes as well as a footshape toe box. Altra wants you to bend and move naturally when you run. I wrote about zero drop in the newsletter a few weeks ago. Zero drop isn’t for everyone but can allow for better foot positioning.
The Altra Escalante 1.5 has a very breathable upper. Altra is well known for a footshape toe box, and there is plenty of space if you have bunions or a wider forefront. Altra mentions their shoes are “foot shaped,” but they aren’t wide. I met the founder, Golden, at the Runners World Festival a few years ago, and Altra is adamant about their shoes being “foot shaped” and not wide.
One thing to make note is while any Altra shoe has a wider toe box, many brands come in wide, and other brands create a wider shoe. So yes, the regular width of Altra is relatively wide, it’s not the widest thing out there (and doesn’t come in wide). I wear anywhere from 10-11 wide and found the men’s size 9 to be the best fit for my feet. Hopefully that makes sense: basically, Altra has a wider toe box than many brands, but it isn’t the widest shoe out there.
The upper is entirely knit and completely seamless, and as such, it feels more like a thick sock than a shoe. The knitted upper is breathable and there isn’t much structure to the shoe.
If you like to feel the ground when you run, the Altra Escalante is a great option. It’s light, but responsive. The Altra Escalante is designed as a high performance running shoe. For me, it has a place as a workout or “faster” shoe. I wouldn’t personally do higher mileage or easy runs in it.
If you’ve never run in an Altra shoe, it will take time to adjust to. With a zero drop, you’ll have the same amount of cushion in the front and back. This means the forefront is the same distance from the ground as the heel. There is “zero drop” from the heel and forefoot. Like transitioning into racing flats, your calves might be sore.
Altra Escalante 1.5 Conclusion:
I like the Altra Escalante 1.5 for shorter and speed workouts. It’s too lightweight for me to get away for training. I like how seamless the knit upper is and the amount of extra room my foot has. In all, I will keep using the shoe for workouts and speed work. If you are looking to try a zero drop shoe and don’t know where to start the Altra Escalante 1.5 is a good option.
Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2
Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Floatride
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Questions for you:
Have you ever tried a zero drop shoe?
What is your current favorite shoe?