Altra VIA Olympus

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Altra VIA Olympus: Review

β€œA zero-drop shoe that marries natural foot positioning with maximalist cushioning.”

Overview


The Altra VIA Olympus is a running shoe that combines the zero-drop philosophy of Altra with maximalist cushioning for the road. This model is designed for runners who seek a natural foot position during their runs, thanks to its zero drop from heel to toe, while also benefiting from a high level of underfoot protection.

Key Features:

  • Zero Drop: Promotes a natural foot strike and alignment.
  • Maximalist Cushioning: Features a 33 mm stack height for ample cushioning.
  • Original FootShape Fit: Offers a roomy toe box for a natural toe splay.
  • Ego Max Midsole: Provides a firm yet smooth ride.

The Altra VIA Olympus is an ideal choice for runners who prioritize a natural running experience and require extra space for their feet. Its cushioning offers a stable platform, making it suitable for long distances and daily training.

According to our analysis of prices across the internet, at current rates it's just above the median price of running shoes.

Verdict

The consensus on the Altra VIA Olympus


The Altra VIA Olympus stands out as a unique offering in the zero-drop category, providing a blend of natural foot mechanics and substantial cushioning. While the shoe's Ego Max midsole delivers a firmer ride than some might expect from a maximalist cushioned shoe, it compensates with a comfortable and breathable upper, and a stable, wide platform that many runners appreciate. The shoe's rocker geometry aids in a smooth transition from heel to toe, although it may slightly diminish the zero-drop feel. The VIA Olympus is a bit on the heavier side, which might not appeal to those seeking a lightweight trainer. However, for runners looking for a shoe that can handle long distances at a relaxed pace, the VIA Olympus is a solid choice. Its roomy toe box and secure fit cater to a wide range of foot shapes, making it a versatile option in the Altra lineup. Despite its higher price point, the VIA Olympus offers a distinctive experience that could justify the investment for the right runner.

Comparable Shoes


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The Altra Paradigm 6.0 is often compared to the VIA Olympus due to its similar brand and cushioning philosophy. However, the Paradigm 6.0 offers a softer, bouncier ride with stability features like guide rails, making it a better option for those who prefer a plush feel and additional support.

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The Hoka Bondi 8 is another max-cushioned shoe that runners might consider alongside the VIA Olympus. The Bondi 8 is known for its softer cushioning and is slightly less expensive, appealing to those who prioritize a plush ride.

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The Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 is a competitor that offers a snappy, responsive ride with ample cushioning. It's a viable alternative for runners who want a cushioned shoe with a bit more responsiveness for up-tempo efforts.

6 Altra VIA Olympus Pros & Cons


3 Pros

The Altra VIA Olympus features a comfortable and premium-feeling upper that is also breathable, making it suitable for long runs.
Its roomy toe box is appreciated by runners who need extra space for their feet, adhering to Altra's Original FootShape Fit.
The shoe offers a stable ride thanks to its wide base and firm cushioning, which is beneficial for daily training.

3 Cons

Some runners find the cushioning on the firmer side, which may not align with expectations for a max-cushioned shoe.
The VIA Olympus is on the heavier side compared to other road running shoes, which might not be ideal for speed-focused runners.
The shoe's grip on wet surfaces can be less reliable, potentially affecting stability in rainy conditions.

In Depth


Upper

The Altra VIA Olympus features an upper that has garnered praise for its comfort and premium feel. The engineered mesh provides a well-ventilated environment, particularly around the toe area, while the plush padding ensures a snug and secure fit. This combination of breathability and comfort makes the upper a standout aspect of the shoe.

Midsole

The midsole of the Altra VIA Olympus, composed of Ego Max foam, offers a firm yet cushioned ride. While some runners expect a softer feel, the midsole's firmness contributes to the shoe's stability. The presence of a rocker geometry aids in a smooth heel-to-toe transition, although it may alter the expected zero-drop sensation.

Outsole

The outsole of the VIA Olympus provides reliable traction on dry surfaces, but caution is advised on wet terrain. The rubber outsole, combined with the shoe's wide base, contributes to the overall stability, making it a dependable choice for daily runs.

Size/fit

The Altra VIA Olympus is true to size, offering a fit that accommodates a wide range of foot shapes. The roomy toe box is a signature feature of Altra's Original FootShape Fit, allowing for natural toe splay. The shoe's design ensures a secure lockdown, even for those with narrow feet.

Comfort

Comfort is a key strength of the Altra VIA Olympus, with its plush upper and ample padding. The shoe's design prioritizes a comfortable fit, making it suitable for long-distance runs and everyday training.

Cushioning

Despite being a maximalist cushioned shoe, the Altra VIA Olympus has a midsole that leans towards the firmer side. This provides a stable ride but may not offer the pillowy softness some runners seek in a cushioned trainer.

Breathability

The VIA Olympus features a breathable mesh upper that keeps the feet cool during runs. This is especially noticeable in the toe box area, where the mesh is thinner, allowing for better airflow.

Stability

The shoe's wide base and firm midsole contribute to its inherent stability, making it a solid choice for runners who value a stable platform without the need for traditional stability features like guide rails.

Durability

The Altra VIA Olympus is built with durability in mind, featuring a robust construction that can withstand the demands of daily running. The materials used in the upper and outsole are designed to last, providing runners with a reliable shoe over time.

Grip

The grip of the VIA Olympus is adequate on dry surfaces, but it may fall short in wet conditions. Runners should exercise caution when running on slick terrain to avoid instability.

Who should buy the Altra VIA Olympus?


The Altra VIA Olympus is well-suited for runners who are looking for a zero-drop shoe with significant cushioning. It's ideal for those who have a preference for a natural foot position and require a roomy toe box. The shoe's firm cushioning and stable platform make it a good match for long-distance runners who prioritize comfort over speed.

Who should not buy the Altra VIA Olympus?


Runners seeking a soft, plush ride might not find the Altra VIA Olympus to their liking due to its firmer midsole. Those who prefer a lightweight, responsive shoe for faster paces or racing may want to consider alternatives like the Altra Rivera or the Altra Paradigm 6.0.

Altra VIA Olympus: What's it good for?


The Altra VIA Olympus is good for long-distance runs, recovery days, and daily training. Its maximalist cushioning and zero-drop design make it suitable for runners who want a natural running experience with ample underfoot protection. The shoe's firm cushioning and wide base provide a stable ride, making it a reliable choice for everyday running.

4 Altra VIA Olympus FAQs


Is the Altra VIA Olympus suitable for runners with wide feet?

Yes, the Altra VIA Olympus is designed with Altra's Original FootShape Fit, providing a roomy and extra wide toe box that accommodates wide feet comfortably.

Can the Altra VIA Olympus be used for marathon training?

The Altra VIA Olympus, with its stable platform and cushioning, is suitable for marathon training, especially for runners who prefer a zero-drop shoe and a natural foot position.

How does the Altra VIA Olympus perform on wet surfaces?

The Altra VIA Olympus offers good traction on dry surfaces, but its grip may be compromised on wet terrain, so caution is advised in such conditions.

What is the weight of the Altra VIA Olympus?

The men's version of the Altra VIA Olympus weighs approximately 312 grams, while the women's version weighs about 255 grams.

Altra VIA Olympus alternatives

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Weight
Weight
M: 312 g
W: 255 g
M: 329 g
W: 289 g
Forefoot
Forefoot
33 mm
31 mm
Heel to toe drop
Heel to toe drop
12 mm
8 mm
4 mm
Heel
Heel
33 mm
34 mm
M: 39 mm
W: 38 mm
35 mm
29 mm
Terrain
Terrain
MudRoadSnow/ice
MudRoadSnow/iceMudRoadSnow/iceMudRoadSnow/iceMudSnow/iceTrailMudSnow/iceTrail
Brand
Brand
Altra
adidasBrooksASICSHokaAltra
Breathable
Breathable
Techs
Techs
ASICS GelOrthoLiteVibramVibram
Environmental Characteristics
Environmental Characteristics
SustainableSustainable
Sustainable
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Altra VIA Olympus: what the experts say (5 reviews)

Altra VIA Olympus: 10 Expert video reviews

Altra VIA Olympus: 1 Manufacturer video

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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
May 15, 2024 at 9:55 AM
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πŸ“Š Stats | Powered by geerly.com πŸ‘Ÿ πŸ•’ Official time: 00:22:45 | Course PB 🚨 🏁 Overall position: 35/549 🚹 Gender position: 21/299 🎯 Age grade: 61%