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. I wrote about zero drop in the newsletter a few weeks ago.
The Altra Escalante 1.5 has a very breathable upper. Altra is well known for a wide 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. There isn’t much structure to the shoe.
If you like to feel the ground when you run, the Escalante is a great option. It’s light, but responsive. For me, it has a place as a workout or “faster” shoe. I wouldn’t personally do higher mileage or easy runs in it.
With a zero drop, you’ll have the same amount of cushion in the front and back. It will take some time to get used too. Like transitioning into racing flats, your calves might be sore.
I like the Altra Escalante for shorter and speed workouts. It’s too lightweight for me to get away for training. I like how seamless the 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 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?