The Superior 2.0 is the latest Altra trail shoe that gets its name from a mountain in the Wasatch Mountain range of Utah. This shoe incorporates quite a few innovations that, according to reviewers at Borntorun.com, make this model, “…just what the name states – Superior to all the competition in this category.”
A key element to this shoe is the foot-shaped toebox, allowing for a much more relaxed fit through the forefoot than almost all other brands on the market. Rather than coming to a tapered point, this wide build allows for greater natural stability and shock absorption. As with all of Altra’s shoes, the Superior is built on a Zero Drop platform, which means that the heel and forefoot sit on a level plane, opposed to the thicker heel we have come to expect from running shoes. This encourages you to spend more time on the ball of the foot, so transitioning to a zero drop can cause a bit of extra pressure on the calf and Achilles. Though they sit level, this does not mean that these are barefoot shoes because there is still a fair amount of underfoot cushion. The benefit to this level construction is that it helps promote natural, low impact running and a more powerful push off.
The Superior is currently the only shoe on the market with a removable stone guard! Having the option to leave in or take out this protective layer allows for more versatility in the ride. If you are looking for more ground feel, take out the rock plate for a more flexible ride. This feel could be good if you are going to run some snowy winter roads and want the extra traction. If you’re planning to explore more wooded, rough-trail environments, leave the rock plate in for a smoother feel on unstable surfaces.
The upper on this shoe is built with an incredibly thin, debris-free material that does a good job of molding to the shape of the foot. Some have found that the extra padding on the heel collar needs a little time to break in to the foot before it felt totally secure. Without the addition of an extra eyelet around the collar, we have seen some people get creative with the lacing to try to cinch the heel down, but the classic lacing works just fine for most feet.
The outsole is designed with an aggressive lug pattern great for both climbing and descending. Recessed portions of the outsole are designed to help increase flexibility and eliminate the chance of mud buildup common in shoes with deep lug patterns. This will be great for the very hilly, very muddy, or even very smooth surfaces.
We have found that the sizing can be a bit funny on the Superior, and is one thing that Altra plans to change in future editions. We have had many people go up even a FULL size from their typical running shoe size. Also, whether you are going to use the shoe with or without the rock plate can sometimes also affect which sizes you’ll feel best in. Our recommendation is to try a few to find which is most comfortable.
The Superior also boasts a few neat features like the protective toe bumper along with the Velcro gaiter trap on the heel to secure the gaiter to the shoe.
The Altra Superior 2.0 makes an *ahem* Superior shoe for someone that likes a lightweight build with moderate cushion. The opened up forefoot allows you to relax in stride and dig into all sorts of varying surfaces. This will also make for a terrific winter running shoe for someone looking to be nimble and run efficiently.
#zerodrop #zerolimits #embracethespace
Comparable shoes: Brooks PureGrit, Inov-8 RocLite 295, Nike Zoom Terra Kiger.