I was excited when the new Altra Escalante 3 came out. I like how light, simple, and fun the Escalante is. While I can’t run in it every day, I do try to get a run or two in a week in them. As much as I like them, they are too low profile for me to get away with every day. My body needs more cushion and more shoe for recovery and easy runs. The Escalante has continued to be one of my favorite shoes from Alra since its debut.
Altra Escalante 3 Quick Facts:
Weight: 8 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 0 mm
Altra Escalante 3 Introduction:
The Altra Escalante 3 is the contuineation of the ever popular Escalante. Altra has been on a roll lately with the Vanish Carbon and signing several athletes. In fact, I originally wanted the “Fierce” color of the Altra Escalante 3, but it was back-ordered, so I went with the white. Impatience got to me, I guess. But they are very different from other brands. If you’ve never tried Altra shoes before, they are a zero-drop brand. What I mean by that is that the front has the same cushion as the back. Altra shoes are all “foot” shaped and designed to allow your toes to splay. They are not the widest running shoe out there, and most brands that make wides are wider, but for their standard width, they are one of the more accommodating shoes.
Finally, if you’re new to Altra running shoes, it’s important to work into the shoes slowly, even if you “feel good.” Zero drop shoes work your calves and feet more, so you might be sorer. This can lead to more stress on the feet and calves, and no one wants a stress fracture or calf strain.
Altra Escalante 3 Fit:
Like all Altra running shoes, the Altra Escalante 3 is “foot-shaped” and allows your toes to splay. If you have bunions or wider feet, you’ll have more space. They aren’t overly wide, and even if your feet are narrow, you aren’t going to slide around. The upper of the Escalante 3 features a sock-like upper that is lightweight and breathable.
The Altra Escalante 3 uses a sock-like engineered mesh that breathes and fits well. The addition of a wide base allows the Escalante to fit more feet. Plus, running in the desert this summer, the Escalante can breathe well, and I don’t feel like my feet are cooking in an oven.
Putting on the Altra Escalante 3, my first thought was: wow, this shoe got wider. I don’t mind because my feet are fairly broad, but the Altra Escalante 3 is definitely the widest Escalante to date. As Altra says, they use FootShape comfort, which gives your feet more space to sit naturally in the shoe.
In running shoes, I wear between a size 10-11 wide, and in the Altra Escalante 3, the size 10.5 fits well.
Altra Escalante 3 Ride:
The Escalante is probably Altra’s most popular shoe. The Escalante 3 has a new midsole that allows you to feel closer to the ground. Does it feel too similar to the Escalante Racer? Truthfully, I don’t know. The EGO Midsole enables the Escalante to have enough cushion to do longer runs, but it isn’t overwhelming, so you can pick up the pace if you want.
The Innerflex provides grid-like grooves in the midsole designed to provide flexibility and movement. You feel like the shoe is moving with you and not causing you to run a certain way.
Traction and Durability: Altra has always done well with traction and durability. It’s probably a product of the shoes not having a lot there, so there isn’t much to wear out. I usually get between 300-400 miles in the Escalante, and I expect this version of the Escalante to last the same amount. I’ve done several runs in the Escalante on sandy trails, and they perform well (sometimes even better than trail shoes). With the simple and breathable upper, they are fine for inclement weather or low traction areas.
I’ve used the Altra Escalante 3 for several runs, including easy runs, long runs, and faster workouts. I’ve found it’s best for easier runs that I want to pick up the pace or faster runs. I prefer a shoe with less cushion for track work, but more cushion for easy or recovery runs. I would love to run in it every day, but I think I would have a foot injury because my body needs more cushion. Many people use it as an everyday trainer; it depends on how well your body responds to minimal cushion.
Altra Escalante 3 Conclusion:
I think the Escalante 3 is the best version of the shoe yet. As mentioned, if my body could handle running in it every day, I probably would. It’s a great option if you are looking for a faster daily trainer. If you’re familiar with the Escalante or have run in previous versions, you’ll notice the wider toe box and more responsive ride. In all, I’m a fan of this version.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? My ebook talks 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 Escalante 3?
What is your favorite running shoe?