Great shoe that fills a niche

By Michael K7 (New York, NY) on (Jul 20, 2013)

Rating: 
Average Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
 4.5 / 5.0
 

Comments: I already own and love the original Instincts and the original Lone Peaks, so much of my review will be in reference those two shoes. I had originally hoped that this shoe would be Altra's lightweight trail running shoe, but they're nowhere near as light as i'd hoped. The fit: i wear a 13 in the Instincts which is a little snug, but fine, also a 13 in the Lone Peaks, which is a little roomy (i may go with 12.5 when i get a pain of the LP 1.5), but the 13 i originally ordered in the Superior were way too small. I had to wait a few months for the 14's to be available, and while they work, even they are a bit small. If there were a 14.5 available, i would go with that for my next pair. The shoes feel more "cushioned" than either the Instincts or LP's, and the toe box seems even wider, which i love. The area around the ankle doesn't feel so secure while walking in them, but when running it is not an issue at all. I originally thought the lacing system was too complicated, but it works fine now that i've used the shoes on a few runs. The upper fits well, but is pretty thick, and doesn't seem very breathable. Your feet will SWEAT while running in this shoe. The tread is adequate at best, and i wouldn't use it on wet terrain. To be fair, i've yet to find a shoe from any company that i feel gives good traction on wet rocks. What i do like about the tread is that it feels equally comfortable on paved surfaces as well as trails. Because of this, i have decided that these shoes will be my primary running shoes in winter, when it gets dark too early for me to hit the trails during the week, and i have to run on streets/sidewalks around the neighborhood. The thicker upper will also come in handy during the colder weather. The rock plate seems to work well, but not as well as the LP's, Now, the best news- where this shoe absolutely SHINES for me is running on crushed gravel surfaces like the carriage roads and woods roads that are part of the parks i usually run in. These shoes are more comfortable on those surfaces than any other shoes i have tried. I used to avoid running on those types of surfaces, but now with the Superior i will be taking them on with no worries. The shoe has opened up endless new route options for me in the places i do a lot of my runs. They seem well-built, but I know some people have had durability issues with them, If i experience any issues, i will come back and post an update. So in short: great multi-purpose shoe that excels on dry moderately technical trails, crushed gravel surfaces like carriage roads, and pavement. Best toebox on the market, good all-around fit, comfortable cushioned ride. Not recommended for trail running in wet conditions, or for extremely technical trails. I'll stick with the Lone Peaks for those.

Superior™

The product image

Run any trail with The Superior™, our newest lightweight performance off road shoe. The foot-shaped design provides for maximum foot relaxation and speed, while the Zero Drop™ platform gives you stabilization and better form. Get rugged protection from a lightweight shoe with removable StoneGuard™ rock protection system. The Superior™ also features a CheckerTrail outsole for maximum grip and a two-layer midsole with A-Bound for maximum energy return. Take on the terrain with an inspired trail running shoe.