Altra Superior 5 Review

Lou Brenner
April 15, 2021
Gear Rating
7/10

The Good

Wide toe box and relaxed fit upper. The optional rock plate works well and adds versatility.This model has added padding to the tongue and heel collar increasing the comfort of the upper.

The Bad

The burrito tongue doesn't seem to quite work correctly and tends to bunch.Traction is somewhat too tame for anything other than gentle terrainShoe laces are a bit short. No forefoot gaiter hook in this model.

Overview

The 5th edition of the Altra Superior stays true to its roots, a neutral zero drop lightweight trail shoe, with just a bit more shoe than a true minimal barefoot option.  This model has slight changes to the upper, with a more padded tongue and heel collar, and shorter shoe laces (that are unfortunately a bit too short).  The midsole is just a bit more thick than previous model but remains the same Quantic material. Outsole is a bit on the minimal side, great for dry and tame, but a bit lacking on steeps and mud. Overall its pretty hard to tell the difference between the Superior 5 and the Lone Peak 5,   both are good comfortable shoes that are durable and useful, the only true difference being color schemes and overlays. 

Fit

The sizing of Altra appears to finally have entered the normal range for good. These are a roomy wide toe boxed shoe, but the length is spot on in this model. Midfoot and heel are slimmed down to create a good secure fit. There is minimal  heel counter, the shoe has a great slipper like feel in the heel. Depending on taste, these may feel too slopy for some, but I say they are very comfortable for most midrange easy training days. Outfitted with a burrito tongue once again, with thicker padding, which provides some more protection from lace tightening, but a bit off in that it doesn't quite lay correctly and tends to bunch. 

 

Ride

The ride of the Superior 5 is soft and flexible without much response. Definetly a shoe that makes the foot of the runner do all the work. It is light weight and low to the ground, so it does feel nimble and quick, but doesn't carry a high tempo without constant effort. What it lacks in response however it makes up for in comfort. The upper is mostly one piece seemless mesh in the forefoot with a minimal tpu toe bumper.  The material of the heel and midfoot is abrasion resistant yet flexible. There is minimal structure to the shoe, slightly more so however than the previous model.  I enjoy the comfortable forgiveness of the ride on causual runs, but is lacking in structure for aggressive running on technical objectives. 

Traction/Proteciton

The lugs are not aggressive and spaced quite far appart. The width of the shoe creates some lateral traction, but the shoe really lacks any bite for mud and steep terrain options. Protection is optional, meaning the rock plate can be removed. When rock plate is present the protection is moderate and the ride is not greatly effected, if anything, I like the ride more with the rock plate. With the rock plate removed the protection is minimal and the shoe is too squishy and flexible. 

WHERE TO BUY
MSRP $150.00