|Altra Instinct...a uniquely logical solution|
The Altra Instinct is one unusual shoe in that it defies traditional running shoe design in favor of logic. Think about it….if shoes were never invented, and all the historical baggage of shoe styles and fashions over the past few millennia were not incorporated into today’s footwear…what would a shoe designed for running on modern surfaces look like? For instance, elevated heels in dress shoes and boots may have served a purpose if you were stepping into a horse saddle stirrup, but they serve next to no purpose for walking or running. Mostly, elevated heels have evolved as a fashion, not for function. Or take the way we design toeboxes…pointed toes on a dress shoe are there for aesthetic purposes, not function (whose foot is shaped like a torpedo, anyway?)
|What a zero-drop shoe looks like|
|You can see the Altra insole poking out...|
much wider in the forefoot
The Altra Instinct (I bought these retail at Elite Feet in Brighton earlier this summer) are a cushioned, flat (zero-drop) trainer that I have been using as a long-run road shoe most of this season. They are very rounded and open in the toe box, employ unique materials, and feel very comfortable and secure on the foot. The Instinct was the first Altra shoe to hit the market, but a trail version known as the Lone Peak is on its way, and a more minimal, laceless shoe known as the Adam is also available. There are also women’s versions, which do not adopt the “shrink it and pink it” philosophy of many modern women’s shoes. Instead, the women’s versions of these shoes (known as the Intuition and Eve) actually employ a unique female last with female-specific features.
|Full rubber outsole|
|Arch curves in the Brooks Pure insole vs |
the Altra support insole
|Top view..wide toebox|
The only other thing I would change a bit about my pair of Altras is a few things about the looks. Not to say they have not grown on me, and honestly they are so functional and logical they were bound to look a little unusual. I find their looks endearing…they are unique and simple and very straightforward. I usually gravitate towards brighter colorways, though...I like flashy kicks. The Altras wear their hearts on their sleeve. I have seen a few photos floating around on the internet of new black colorways that are coming out and that makes a huge difference in the looks department. They sort of go from the NASA look of mine to what I referred to as “Darth Vader’s Running Shoe” when I first saw the black design. All I am trying to say is that if you see them in person and their looks throw you a bit…just remember, those looks mean they are a unique shoe.
|Very breathable simple upper design|