The New Altra Paradigm 5

In our opinion, Altra hit a homerun with the Paradigm. This is a shoe that has so many different features that will benefit a number of runners. The Paradigm has a zero-drop platform with an arch built-in and a rounded foot-shaped toe box. It makes sense to have our foot in a foot-shaped shoe. These features are synonymous with Altra. That’s why these types of shoes are great for people who struggle with balance, have poor circulation, or bunions. It’s not for everybody; the zero-drop platform can be challenging for some people and can put a strain on the achilles.
The Paradigm is Altra’s biggest max-cushion stability shoe. I would recommend the Paradigm for anything longer than half an hour of activity.

Altra Paradigm 5 Review

Where does the Paradigm lay in the Altra Hierarchy?

The Escalante is Altra’s minimal, bouncy, fun shoe. Next in line is the Torin; finally, the Paradigm is at the top of the list for stability and max cushion.

What makes the Paradigm such a great running shoe?

When the Paradigm first came out, it was quite revolutionary and like we said before, it is a shoe that can benefit a lot of different runners. It has the cushion of a Torin Plush but also retains some of the bounciness we see with the Escalante, which is very interesting for a max-cushion stability shoe.

It was one of the first shoes to feature guide rails, which we now see a lot of other brands copy. Guide rails are changing the game for stability shoes. Old stability shoes only had support on the medial side of the shoe. This can be an issue for a number of reasons as it can over correct when it isn’t needed. Guide rails are great because it can fix one foot without over correcting the other. They work like the bumpers in bowling. If you are running smooth and neutral, they can help keep you there, but if you severely under-pronate have ITB issues, or overpronate and have plantar fasciitis guide rails can help “guide” you back into place.

Updates to the Paradigm

I would say that the Paradigm 5 has an even better comfortable feeling than the Torin Plush. It has the same Ego Blend Midsole as the Escalante, which is interesting because most cushion shoes allow the runner to sink into the shoe, but with this midsole, you can enjoy the cushion but get the spring and bounce of the Escalante.

altra paradigm 5 shoe review run moore

Those who were worried about the width of recent altra shoes genuinely feel like a nice, wide shoe and fits true to size, which is an improvement from previous generations.

The upper has also changed, people had before that the previous models were almost too breathable -especially if you lived in cold climates! Altra has now changed it to be a bit more like that Torin, that has stretchy breathable material, and it does hug your foot a lot better. The heel cup is plusher as well, and the shoe sounds softer as well. The stability pods almost stuck out too much in the last model, with the five I doubt anyone will even notice that they are there.

Why does my PT recommend Altra?

If you are coming off a really serious injury, we really recommend this shoe. For example, if you have one foot in a walking boot, you don’t want to be off-balance. With a zero drop stability shoe like the Paradigm, you don’t have to be pushed one way or another like you might be with other stability shoes. The guide rails will help you stabilize and get back to form as you need it, and as your health returns, you won’t be so reliant on them. You can get back to get you back to getting better. With so much cushion, it will give you a great amount of support for all-day activities.

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See you around town,


Customer Reviews of the Altra Paradigm 5

Paradigm 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Posted by Earl on Dec 8th 2020

In 2016 I tried the first paradigm I think it was the three and my pinky toe was rubbing on the edge so I returned them I ended up with Escalante because of the soft materials. And then Escalante 1.5 (I have two). Paradigm 4.5 plush was my favorite but still a little tight on that small toe I’m thinking about going up another half size. (The solution is actually just to make it wider at the pinky toe). Paradigm 5 is the most fitting shoe I’ve ever tried on the market!! If it’s excellent. It’s not as cushiony as a torin, but if I land on my heel it rolls really nice. if I had to buy another shoe right now I would buy these but now I see they’re coming out with wide shoes in the future so I’m holding out for more shoes next year. Hoping the word “wide” doesn’t mean the whole foot but mainly that pinky toe area. They’ll definitely need that in the RSM (all weather). That’s what I’m looking at for next for rainy days! Paradigm 5 is the best! 2021 going to be awesome with the new wide! Hopefully more colors too! Timp 3 wide etc. I hope! Altra is my shoe.

Paradigm 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Posted by TA on Oct 23rd 2020

I’ve only logged a few miles in them but loving these shoes so far. They are a cushy shoe with plenty of room in the toe box unlike recent iterations of other Altras. The sizing seems to be the same as my Timp 1.5’s (size 8’s in both fit great).

Paradigm 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Posted by Marc M on Sep 28th 2020

These shoes fit great. They are comfortable and so far seem like they will hold up. I have noticed a change in stability while walking so we will see how that pans out.

Very comfortable ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Posted by Gabrielle R on Nov 24th 2020

I got these shoes for running since I’ve been dealing with some overuse injuries in my L foot the past 9 months or so (capsulitis, bunion and possibly Freiburg infraction). I had been running in brooks and ASICS training for a marathon when the pain began. Since I found out what was going on I switched to Altras (Grafton for waking, lone peak for hiking/trail running and now these for long walks, shorter runs). I love the support and that my toes can move freely. I think I was wearing too small shoes for way too long. I prefer my Hoka arahis for longer runs (I can’t run more than 6 miles anymore because of the injury so when I say long I mean 4-6). These altras are very comfortable and almost feel too supportive for running sometimes, the hokas feel like they respond better but I go back and forth. I love to wear these out and about such as a day of walking around DC. Would definitely get another pair.

Women’s Paradigm 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Posted by Lorenzina C on Nov 21st 2020

exceed my expectations. I will order a second pair. Super comfortable shoe. Very relaxed feeling on my feet 12 hours swift/job at a hospital. Thank, thank you Runmoore

Paradigm 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Posted by Rebecca on Nov 3rd 2020

This shoe has the great cushion that I need. It’s as good as the 4.5 I just replaced. I like the “rails” system since I run on gravel surfaces it works great.