Altra Superior 5
Hello there thank you so much for coming in and checking out our review. My name is Steve Moore, and I am the owner of Run Moore, this brick-and-mortar running shop located in Westminster, Maryland. Today we are going to be talking about the Altra Superior 5. This comes out in June of 2021 but is available for Pre-order now!
WEIGHT: Men’s is 8.8oz | Ladies is 7.5oz
STACK HEIGHT: 21mm – Zero Drop
PURPOSE: Trail Running – Maybe not for a weekend warrior but moderate distances are fine.
The Grippy Trail Hugger
The Superior is Altra’s most low-profile shoe that they make in a road trail category. It is a nice light, low cushion, low profile trail shoe. Altra calls this shoe the grippy trail hugger, and I mean, I suppose…I agree with that. It is much more flexible than some of the other trail shoes out there from Altra or just some of the other ones on the wall. This is a nice bendy shoe if you are looking for one. I always use the word nimble when I describe this shoe.
Changes over the years
The original Superior was my first real Altra trail shoe, and I was very excited about it. At the time, I was just sort of getting into trails. I have always liked running trails but started focusing on my daily training on trails. I had many Superiors, the 2s, all that good stuff, and over the years, I have really liked this shoe. We have seen the shoe get less and less bulky throughout the years. It has always been, again, Altra’s most low-profile low-stack height shoe. Still, it did just have a lot going on in their early iterations. It had the little extender on the back designed to give you a little more balance if you are coming downhill. Over the years, they have trimmed the shoe down and made some nice modifications.
The Superior alone looks pretty nice and streamline to me, especially compared to other trail shoes. If you look at some stuff like the Lone Peak, the Superior looks it could almost pass as just an everyday road shoe.
The stack height on the Altra Superior five has not changed since the last version. It is just 21 millimeters tall, and if you are looking at another road shoe than it, the Escalante comes in higher at 24mm. This shoe is noticeably lower, and I think that people looking for that low minimal profile shoe will use this as every day just walking shoe. We have many customers who come in a pair of Superiors as their comfortable, everyday walking shoes.
I think there’s a couple of reasons why. It is very light, very nice, and wide again; it is low profile and has a lower arch profile.
If you are looking for the most minimal shoe that we carry, the superior is a great option. Maybe you don’t want to go down all the way to a Vibram or a Zero shoe; there are a lot of great zero-drop profile shoes out there. But the Superior is a safe bet. I would make sure that I would probably try something like an Escalante because that is also nice and flexible. Still, I certainly would have no problem pulling a trail shoe for everyday use.
Stability Trail Shoes
Not many brands have a specific stability trail shoe, and there really is no need for one if you are out on the trail. If you are out on uneven terrain, you are not running in the same repetitive motion as you would on the road. Really, when somebody comes in and says I am wearing a very stable shoe, and I want to transition into the trail, would do you think this shoe is okay? I do not have a problem putting anybody with any type of arch profile into a trail shoe.
You can always add an insole to your favorite trail shoe
If you are really concerned about needing extra support, I would say go two weeks with nothing in your trail shoe. If you are still missing that feeling of support, you can always add a Super Feet or Atrex insole. You can add something with a bit of arch support to it without feeling you need to go all the way to a higher, firmer stability shoe that has a trail wrapper.
Let us get into a couple of little things that have changed from previous versions. The one nice thing with the Superior compared to some of the other Altra shoes, for example, the Timp, is that the shoe runs a little bit narrow on some people. But for the Superior, it runs nice and wide, it is also kind of flexible.
When I first saw the upper on this shoe, I foolishly at first was, oh, it must be the same upper on the new Escalante. That upper is stretchy and soft, so much so that you can put your finger in it, and it stretches easily. While it does look like a similar upper, it’s not. It is softer compared to the previous generation. It is also lighter and feels thinner than the Torin Plush 4.5 upper. Altra says this upper will be more durable and more rugged.
It would not make sense to have the stretchy upper that you have in Escalante because there is a good chance it could snag on a branch. This is a softer, nicer upper that does not have the same overlays. It will not give you the same stretch, but It still feels nice and loose, so your foot won’t feel constricted.
Keep the Mud Out!
The new upper is just a little bit better fit, not any little bunching here, just a little bit more opportunity for it to sort of fit and feel good around your shoe around your foot.
This shoe comes with a full stitch on one side on your medial side, and then it is gusseted on the lateral side there. It will try to keep out more muckity muck, as I call it, out of your shoe, by design without needing a gaiter trap in it. It is designed to kind of keep things out of your shoe a little bit more.
New Top Eye Hole
It still has the same sort of lacing pattern, but we did add that top eye hole. We will now be able to do the marathon loop and such on the five.
Update for the Gaiter Trap
The other thing you might notice is that we have removed the small clip for the front of the gaiter trap. If you wanted to put on the little turtleneck for your ankle, you now clip it to the front, and the velcro still goes on the back. It is supposed to just give you a little more preference as to where you might put the gaiter trap. It might provide a little bit better fit on the shoe as well, and that’s sort of one of the things they were hoping for on this new update.
Removable Stone Guard
This is the only Altra shoe that comes with a removable stone guard. Going back to before is talking about having this shoe as an everyday shoe. If you were using it every day, the stone guard comes outside of the shoe but inside the box. It is up to you if you want to add it or not.
This was the stone guard that had been in previous Superiors. This would come outside, and you can put it underneath the insole and give yourself a little more protection. This has been the same one throughout the years. They have now updated it. You can see it has different density levels like it is thicker on certain spots where you might be putting more pressure where it might need a little bit more. It has targeted protection in the stone bar.
Why take the Stone Guard out?
Just a little bit of update there I want to draw attention to again. It does not weigh anything. It will not hinder your run at all if you decide to put it in for your trail stuff. Quite honestly, I do not know why you would just not put it on all the time, but that is just me.
I would slip the stone guard in because it will not make your shoe feel like a big soft squishy shoe compared to a stable shoe by having that in.
Outsole & Midsole
The nice max track on the outside is great. It is grippy, and it is an improvement over the last set. It is designed to have those grippy lugs. If you are stepping on something, the shoe will bend with you a little bit, give you the grip, give you the protection you will not fall on your face. You will have a happy run, and it will provide you with protection. It is plenty of cushion to do almost all your everyday stuff -just maybe not your long weekend stuff.
I believe that the midsole still is the same as the last one. This is probably, I guess, one of the previous versions that Altra will have the quantic midsole. In fact, it does not even really say anywhere on the shoe what kind of midsole it is. Still, I am just going to guess that it is a quantic midsole. That is what it feels like. That is sort of the way that it kind of performs. It would not shock me if we saw it in a year that this will be replaced with an ego midsole we see in the Lone Peak. Altra is perfecting and adding it to more shoes -but do not hold me to that; it is just my vibe.
Price & Use
The price point did j pup a couple of bucks. The old Superior $110 Altra bumped this up to $120, but really, for what it is, it is an awesome trail shoe. I would have no problem running in this shoe for 90 minutes or some other type of serious trail running.
The Altra Superior 5 is available on our site. It is available in June. It is $120 bucks.
If you go ahead and get it through our shop, use promo code RunMoore, you will save ten percent. We will ship it out for free in the United States.
Torin 5 Contest
If you pop over to check out our review on the Torin 5 that also comes out in June, we are doing a little contest. Go over there, drop your favorite Altra shoe in the comments. We will send somebody some free goodies from Altra, just some schwag, and we will even throw in some Run Moore stuff in there.
Thank you so much for the support, and if you have any questions, please leave them down below or reach out to us. Thanks a lot; happy running hope to see you on the trail!