Altra Superior 5

Review Score
78%
πŸ… Highly Rated
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Sam RitchieTyler McCandlessKyle PietariJeff Browning
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Altra Superior 5: Review

β€œA versatile trail running shoe with a zero-drop design.”

Overview


The Altra Superior 5 is a trail running shoe designed to offer a natural running experience. This model is part of the Altra Superior family, known for its zero-drop design (where the heel and forefoot are at the same height) and lightweight construction.

Key Features:

  • Zero Drop: The heel and forefoot are at the same height, promoting a natural stride.
  • MaxTrac Outsole: Provides excellent grip and traction on various terrains.
  • Quantic Midsole: Offers a balance of cushioning and responsiveness.
  • Removable StoneGuard: Allows for customizable protection on rocky trails.

The Altra Superior 5 is an ideal choice for trail runners who prioritize a natural running experience and need a shoe that offers both comfort and versatility. Its zero-drop design and MaxTrac outsole make it suitable for a variety of trail conditions.

With an average review score of 78%, it's in the lowest rated 30% of similar running shoes. Based on our monitoring of prices across the internet, it's currently just below the median price of running shoes today.

Verdict

The consensus on the Altra Superior 5


The Altra Superior 5 is a versatile trail running shoe that excels in providing a natural running experience. Its zero-drop design and 21 mm stack height make it ideal for runners who prefer a close-to-the-ground feel. The MaxTrac outsole offers reliable traction on various terrains, although it may struggle in extremely muddy conditions. The Quantic midsole provides a good balance of cushioning and responsiveness, making it suitable for both short and long runs. However, the shoe's durability is a concern, especially for those who run on rocky or technical trails. The removable StoneGuard adds a layer of protection, but some runners may find it unnecessary. Overall, the Altra Superior 5 is a solid choice for trail runners looking for a lightweight, zero-drop shoe with a wide toe box. Its combination of comfort, stability, and natural feel makes it a valuable addition to any trail runner's lineup.

Updates to Altra Superior 5


The Altra Superior 5 has several updates compared to its predecessor, the Altra Superior 4.5. The upper has been redesigned with a less porous mesh, making it more resistant to silt and fine particulates. The MaxTrac outsole now features a more aggressive multi-directional lug design for improved traction. Additionally, the drainage holes have been removed, and the shoe no longer includes a gaiter loop attachment. The fit has also been updated, with a wider base for better stability, although some runners have noted that it feels less glove-like than previous versions.

Comparable Shoes


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The Altra Lone Peak 7 is a good alternative for runners seeking additional protection and comfort. While it maintains the zero-drop design and wide toe box that Altra fans love, it offers more cushioning and a more durable construction. The Lone Peak 7 is better suited for long-distance runs and extremely rocky or technical trails, making it a more versatile option for those who need extra underfoot protection.

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The Hoka Torrent 3 is a great choice for runners who prefer a more cushioned ride. With a 5 mm drop and a more substantial midsole, the Torrent 3 offers better underfoot protection and comfort for long-distance runs. It also features a more aggressive lug pattern, making it suitable for a wider range of trail conditions. However, it may not provide the same natural running experience as the Altra Superior 5.

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The Salomon Sense Ride 5 is another excellent option for trail runners seeking a more cushioned and protective shoe. With a higher stack height and a more robust midsole, the Sense Ride 5 offers better underfoot protection and comfort for long-distance runs. It also features a more aggressive outsole, making it suitable for a variety of trail conditions. However, it may not offer the same natural feel and flexibility as the Altra Superior 5.

10 Altra Superior 5 Pros & Cons


5 Pros

Lightweight and breathable design.
Wide toe box for natural toe splay.
Zero-drop design promotes a natural stride.
Removable StoneGuard for customizable protection.
Excellent traction on various terrains.

5 Cons

Durability issues, especially on rocky terrain.
Lack of drainage holes for wet conditions.
Sewn-in half tongue can cause irritation.
Runs a bit large, may need to size down.
Less glove-like fit compared to previous versions.

In Depth


Upper

The upper of the Altra Superior 5 is made from a tight-knit mesh, which offers excellent breathability and durability. The design is less porous than previous versions, making it more resistant to silt and fine particulates. However, the lack of drainage holes can be a drawback for runners who frequently encounter wet conditions. The upper also features a burrito-style closure system, which helps lock the foot in place, providing a secure fit. Despite these improvements, some runners have reported irritation from the sewn-in half tongue.

Midsole

The midsole of the Altra Superior 5 features Quantic foam, which offers a balanced combination of cushioning and responsiveness. This material is designed to provide a comfortable ride while maintaining a natural feel. The zero-drop design, meaning the heel and forefoot are at the same height, encourages a fore/midfoot strike (landing on the front or middle of the foot), which can be beneficial for runners looking to improve their running form. The midsole's low profile and firm platform make the shoe feel agile and snappy, ideal for technical trails.

Outsole

The MaxTrac outsole of the Altra Superior 5 is designed to provide excellent grip and traction on various terrains. The multi-directional lug pattern enhances control and stability, making it suitable for both smooth and technical trails. However, the lugs are not very aggressive, which means the shoe may struggle in extremely muddy conditions. The outsole is made from a rubber composite that offers a good balance of durability and stickiness, although some runners have reported that it wears out faster than expected.

Size/fit

The Altra Superior 5 features a wide toe box, allowing for natural toe splay and increased comfort. This design is particularly beneficial for runners with wider feet or those who experience toe discomfort in narrower shoes. However, some runners have noted that the shoe runs a bit large, so it may be necessary to size down. The burrito-style closure system helps to lock the foot in place, providing a secure fit, but the overall fit is less glove-like compared to previous versions.

Comfort

Comfort is a strong point for the Altra Superior 5. The shoe is designed to be comfortable right out of the box, with a flexible construction that adapts to the foot's natural shape. The Quantic midsole provides a cushioned yet responsive ride, making it suitable for both short and long runs. The wide toe box allows for natural toe splay, reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort. However, the sewn-in half tongue has been reported to cause slight irritation for some runners.

Cushioning

The Altra Superior 5 offers moderate cushioning with its 21 mm stack height. The Quantic midsole provides a good balance of comfort and responsiveness, making it suitable for a variety of paces and distances. While the shoe is not as cushioned as some other trail running models, it offers enough protection for most trail conditions. The removable StoneGuard allows runners to customize the level of underfoot protection, adding an extra layer of cushioning when needed.

Breathability

The tight-knit mesh upper of the Altra Superior 5 offers excellent breathability, keeping the foot cool and dry during runs. This design is particularly beneficial for runners who frequently run in hot or humid conditions. However, the lack of drainage holes can be a drawback for those who encounter wet conditions, as the shoe does not dry out as quickly as some other models. Overall, the breathability of the Superior 5 is one of its standout features.

Stability

Stability is a key feature of the Altra Superior 5. The wide forefoot and low-to-the-ground design provide a stable platform, reducing the risk of rolling events. The burrito-style closure system helps to lock the foot in place, further enhancing stability. The shoe's sidewall slopes outwards, making it less steep than previous iterations, which contributes to a more stable ride. However, the shoe's stability may decrease over longer distances as the runner's form deteriorates.

Durability

Durability is a mixed bag for the Altra Superior 5. While the MaxTrac outsole offers good durability on smooth and technical trails, some runners have reported that it wears out faster than expected, especially on rocky terrain. The tight-knit mesh upper is more durable than previous versions, but the lack of drainage holes can be a drawback for those who frequently encounter wet conditions. Overall, the shoe's durability is adequate for most trail conditions, but it may not be the best choice for extremely rugged terrain.

Grip

The MaxTrac outsole of the Altra Superior 5 provides reliable grip on a variety of surfaces. The multi-directional lug pattern enhances traction and control, making it suitable for both smooth and technical trails. However, the lugs are not very aggressive, which means the shoe may struggle in extremely muddy conditions. The rubber composite used in the outsole offers a good balance of stickiness and durability, although some runners have reported that it wears out faster than expected.

Flex

The Altra Superior 5 offers excellent flexibility, thanks to its low-profile design and flexible construction. The shoe's thin midsole and zero-drop design allow for a natural range of motion, making it feel agile and responsive on the trail. The removable StoneGuard adds a layer of protection without compromising flexibility, allowing runners to customize their level of underfoot protection. Overall, the Superior 5's flexibility is one of its standout features, making it a great choice for technical trails.

Who should buy the Altra Superior 5?


The Altra Superior 5 is ideal for trail runners who prioritize a natural running experience and need a shoe that offers both comfort and versatility. Its zero-drop design and wide toe box make it suitable for runners with a fore/midfoot strike and those who prefer a more connected-to-the-ground feel. The shoe's lightweight construction and breathable upper are perfect for runners who frequently run in hot or humid conditions. Additionally, the removable StoneGuard allows for customizable protection, making it a great choice for those who run on a variety of trail surfaces.

Who should not buy the Altra Superior 5?


The Altra Superior 5 may not be the best choice for runners who need a lot of cushioning or those who frequently run on extremely rocky or technical trails. The shoe's moderate cushioning and low-profile design may not provide enough underfoot protection for long-distance runners or those who prefer a softer ride. Additionally, the lack of drainage holes and the sewn-in half tongue may be drawbacks for runners who encounter wet conditions or have sensitive feet. For those seeking a more cushioned trail shoe, the Hoka Torrent 3 or the Salomon Sense Ride 5 may be better options.

Altra Superior 5: What's it good for?


The Altra Superior 5 is great for trail running on a variety of surfaces, from smooth singletrack to technical trails. Its zero-drop design and wide toe box make it ideal for runners with a fore/midfoot strike and those who prefer a natural running experience. The shoe's lightweight construction and breathable upper are perfect for hot or humid conditions. Additionally, the removable StoneGuard allows for customizable protection, making it suitable for runners who encounter rocky or uneven terrain.

5 Altra Superior 5 FAQs


Is the Altra Superior 5 suitable for long-distance runs?

The Altra Superior 5 is best suited for shorter to medium-distance runs. Its moderate cushioning and low-profile design may not provide enough underfoot protection for long-distance runs, especially on rocky or technical trails.

Does the Altra Superior 5 have a removable insole?

Yes, the Altra Superior 5 features a removable insole, allowing runners to customize their level of underfoot protection with the included StoneGuard or their own orthotic insoles.

How does the Altra Superior 5 perform in wet conditions?

The Altra Superior 5 performs well in dry conditions, but its lack of drainage holes can be a drawback in wet conditions. The shoe does dry out quickly, but it is not water-resistant, making it less ideal for river crossings or extremely muddy trails.

Is the Altra Superior 5 true to size?

The Altra Superior 5 tends to run a bit large, so some runners may need to size down for a better fit. The wide toe box provides ample room for natural toe splay, but the overall fit is less glove-like compared to previous versions.

What type of runner is the Altra Superior 5 best suited for?

The Altra Superior 5 is ideal for trail runners who prioritize a natural running experience and need a shoe that offers both comfort and versatility. Its zero-drop design and wide toe box make it suitable for runners with a fore/midfoot strike and those who prefer a more connected-to-the-ground feel.

Altra Superior 5 alternatives

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productAthletes
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Kyle PietariJeff Browning
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Weight
Weight
249 g
326 g
M: 247 g
W: 207 g
289 g
M: 179 g
W: 150 g
M: 241 g
W: 213 g
Forefoot
Forefoot
21 mm
19 mm
23 mm
12 mm
18 mm
Heel to toe drop
Heel to toe drop
4 mm
4 mm
6 mm
Heel
Heel
21 mm
19 mm
27 mm
16 mm
24 mm
Terrain
Terrain
Trail
TrailTrailSnow/iceTrailTrailTrail
Brand
Brand
Altra
New BalanceAltraSauconyLa SportivaMerrell
Support Type
Support Type
Neutral
NeutralNeutralNeutralStabilityNeutralNeutral
Strike Type
Strike Type
Fore/Midfoot strike
Fore/Midfoot strikeHeel strikeFore/Midfoot strikeFore/Midfoot strikeFore/Midfoot strikeFore/Midfoot strikeHeel strike
Shoe Type
Shoe Type
Low dropZero drop
LightweightLow dropZero dropLow dropLightweightLow dropLightweight
Orthotic friendly
Orthotic friendly
Removable insole
Removable insole
Rock plate
Rock plate
Breathable
Breathable
Techs
Techs
Vibram
BOA
Environmental Characteristics
Environmental Characteristics
Sustainable
0

Altra Superior 5: what the experts say (2 reviews)

Altra Superior 5 characteristics and specifications

Characteristics
SportsRunning (+1988)
TerrainTrail (+518)
BrandAltra (+64)
Support TypeNeutral (+1555)
Pronation TypeNeutral pronation (+1534)
Strike TypeFore/Midfoot strike (+1078)
Arch TypeHigh arch (+1482)
Shoe TypeLow drop (+274)Zero drop (+95)
FitWide toe box (+263)
FeaturesOrthotic friendly (+416)Removable insole (+399)Rock plate (+124)
MaterialsMesh (+904)
ColorwaysBlack, Black / Grey, Black / White, Blue / Orange, Dark Clay, Dark Purple, Deep Teal, Dusty Olive, Dusty Pink, Grey
Specificationsvs Average
Model
5
Released
Jun 2021
Measurements
Weight
249 g
Heel to toe drop
Heel
21 mm
Forefoot
21 mm

4 pro athletes who've used Altra Superior 5

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AuthorTom Green
Tom is the founder of geerly. Based in West London, he found his passion for running in his mid-30s. He’s best at longer distances, and is a regular at the London Marathon, where he's edging closer to sub-2.40. He started geerly because he found it frustrating when shopping for running shoes spending ages trying to find the best deal in his size, and wading through verbose, waffling reviews clearly designed to appeal to search engines rather than be helpful to users. For geerly he's passionate about writing reviews that get straight to the point, and helping runners find the right gear at the best price.
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Tom Green
June 20, 2024 at 9:55 AM
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πŸ“Š Stats by geerly.com πŸ‘Ÿ πŸ•’ Official time: 00:22:45 | Course PB 🚨 🏁 Overall position: 35/549 🚹 Gender position: 21/299 🎯 Age grade: 61%