I started running in Altra shoes about a three years ago. Continuing my week of Altra, I will review one of the newest shoes in the Altra lineup, the Escalante. This light weight shoe just received the “Editor’s Choice” award from Runner’s World in their Summer Shoe Guide. I have written reviews for several Altra shoes in the past. Click the links to read my past reviews:
The Escalante goes in a different direction than some of Altra other shoes. They decided to go with a new midsole material called Altra EGO. This midsole compound is extremely light weight, but is responsive and provides even more of an energetic rebound than the A-Bound™ midsole in their other shoes. If you’ve heard of Adidas’ Boost midsole, this return of energy is what Adidas was trying to accomplish. I feel that Altra new EGO compound was able to accomplish this return of energy unlike any other brand out there. The ride is so comfortable mile-after-mile.
Altra also redid the upper material with a new engineered knit material that provides a sock like fit. It is extremely comfortable and fits well. My one complaint is that it can be difficult to completely lock your foot in. That means that if you are trying to cut sharp turns, your foot will slide a little. Not a deal breaker by any means, but it’s an area of improvement.
The shoe sits on a Metatarsal Mapping Performance Last (PFS Last), utilizing Altra FootPod Technology. It also has blown rubber on the entire outsole. This allows for a very flexible and responsive outsole that is designed to move the way your foot was intended to move and will be more durable. Like the Instinct 4.0, the Escalante has a decoupled heel, but it’s unstructured, so it just conforms to your foot. I absolutely love the heel in this shoe!
Similar to all Altra shoes, the FootShape™ toebox allows your toes to spread out and will eliminate issues of compressing your feet/toes like many shoes out there. The Escalante also is a zero drop shoe, meaning that the heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground. This promotes proper form, provides better propulsion, aligns your feet, back, and body, and is not weighted more heavily in the heel (like most shoes) which promotes heel striking. They are super light weight as well at only 8.2 ounces.
I went out and bought the Escalante because I read so many good reviews. My favorite is the review by the GingerRunner who puts out awesome reviews. I had to give it a try and report back to everyone. I got the Escalante mainly because it would be an awesome daily shoe. Unlike many of Altra early shoes, the Escalante looks very sharp and could easily go with a pair of jeans. I tried them out on a 10 mile run and was simply amazed from the start. I knew I had found Altra best shoe to date. They felt so comfortable that I wanted to keep running. I love everything from the cushion to the knit upper and everything in between. The fact that I couldn’t lock down my foot wasn’t that much of an issue. I just needed to remain aware that I couldn’t make sharp turns as easily. After 50 miles in the Escalante, they have held up wonderfully and I love them more now than I ever have.
Very comfortable knit upper
Zero heel drop
Wide toe box.
EGO midsole provides energetic rebound
Plenty of cushion
Lightweight at 8.2 ounces
Good price ($130 on sale at Altra.com)
Not as easy to lock your foot in
Altra’s Social Media Links:
The Escalante is not only Altra best shoe (in my opinion), but my favorite running shoes ever!!! It really is only a few tweaks away from being perfect. Altra hit it out of the park with this shoe and I can’t wait to see how they build upon the Escalante. I hope they use the EGO midsole in some of their other shoes in the future. You can get the Escalante for $130 on the Altra website. Be sure to read my review of The Instinct Everyday tomorrow as I finish out the “Week of Altra.”
Note: I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.