I haven’t run in Altra running shoes in a year or two. I’ve heard good things about the Altra Rivera, so I was excited to try them. The Rivera is a new shoe with a cushioning level between the Torin and Escalante. It has less cushion than the Torin but more than the Escalante. It’s a sweet spot for a shoe that Altra hasn’t had until recently. Compared to other brands, it rivals a shoe like the Brooks Launch, Saucony Kinvara, or New Balance Tempo.
Altra Rivera Intro:
Recently, the Altra Torin has continued to get more cushion while the Escalante has gotten less. Altra has lacked something in the middle, which is why they created the Altra Rivera. You don’t feel like your foot is sinking into the cushion abyss but have more cushion, so you don’t feel the ground too much.
Altra Rivera Quick Facts:
Weight: 7 oz
Heel to toe drop: 0 mm
Altra Rivera Fit:
When I opened the box, I was pleasantly surprised with the Altra Rivera. I really didn’t know what they looked like, but as far as Altra running shoes go, they look great. Altra running shoes have come a long way in the last few days, and they look a lot better.
I always appreciate how simple Altra running shoe uppers are. They use an engineered mesh that is flexible and breathable. It’s not fancy, but it doesn’t rub on your feet either.
If you’ve never used an Altra Running shoe before, something to note is that they are “foot shape.” This does not mean they are wide, which does not mean they are the widest shoe option out there. Say that again: Altra is not the widest shoe option out there. Most brands that come in wide are wider.
As far as the actual Altra Rivera model, it’s one of the more spacious shoes Altra offers. The midfoot of the shoe is wider than several of their models. I appreciate the extra space but have heard a few people say their foot slides around a little too much.
If you have a wider toe box, they are a good option. I usually wear between a women size 10-11 wide. I find the Altra Rivera in size 10.5 fit well.
Altra Rivera Ride:
If you’ve never run in Altra Running shoes, they are known to be a zero drop brand. This means the forefoot and the heel are the same height from the ground. Even with the zero drop, many models have more or less cushion to change the ride of the shoe. The drop in a shoe doesn’t mean it has more or less cushion. Think about those platform flip-flops from the 90s. They are zero drops but with a lot of cushion.
The Altra Rivera uses a new foam compound, Altra EGO, as the entire midsole. This foam is responsive and more bouncy.
Durability and Traction: The Rivera has strategically placed rubber in high tread areas, including the forefoot and heel. This makes the Altra Rivera durable, but it also protects your feet. This also makes the Rivera have a good amount of grip. I haven’t taken them out on a rainy day, but I have taken them out on the sand, and they respond well.
I’ve run several different types of workouts in the Altra Rivera, including long runs, easy runs, and longer workouts. If you’ve never run in a zero drop brand, it’s imperative you start running in them slowly. You shouldn’t just run 5-10 miles in them but slowly work into them. Your calves will be more sore. For me, they work best as a daily run shoe. I like something with a little more cushion for recovery and something with a little less cushion for faster run shoes. (basically exactly what the shoe what created for).
Altra Rivera Conclusion:
I really like the Altra Rivera, and I’m glad I decided to add them to their rotation. If you’ve wanted to try Altra running shoes and don’t know where to start, the Altra Rivera is a great option. It still uses their foot shape philosophy and has a zero drop, but has more cushion than several of their other models. I’ve really enjoyed running in them.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Altra Rivera or Altra running shoes?
What is your current favorite running shoe?