This is a review of the Altra Escalante running shoe. Personally, this is my favorite running shoe on the market and I have tried many different shoes over the years. Before running in Altra’s I used Merrell barefoot shoes but one day I was running in them and I got a sharp pain stepping on a rock during the run. At this point I missed the padding from standard shoes. I knew I couldn’t run in barefoot shoes again but I was in the market for a shoe that has padding with a barefoot feel. I came across the Altra one shoe and this solved my barefoot issue.
The first day I started running in Altras I feel in love with the shoe. My foot had plenty of room and the drop felt very natural. My gait was like the Merrell barefoot shoe but I didn’t have the fear of stepping on a rock and suffering an injury. I became a believer in this brand and I am still one to this day.
After running in the Altra one shoe for over a year I ran into the Altra Escalante while doing my weekly runners boot camp at the Pacers running store in Fairfax VA. When doing the boot camp in the store I saw the shoe on the wall every week and kept thinking that I wanted to try the shoe. As many runners know it is hard to switch to a different shoe when you have one that works for you. I eventually tried the shoe and I liked it better than any other shoe that I’ve run in.
Here are some reasons I recommend and wouldn’t recommend the Altra Escalante.
Wide toe box
One the things I love the most about the Altra Escalante is the wide toe box. I wouldn’t say I have a wide foot but the extra space makes every run more comfortable. Some runners may not like the wide toe box because at first it feels like you’re sliding around in the shoe. After running in the Altra Escalante I find when I go back to standard shoes It feels like the shoe is squeezing my toes together. With the wide toe box, I don’t get any blisters or have any issues with rubbing on the shoe.
The idea behind running barefoot is to run with a natural gait and the Altra Escalante does just that. The shoe had padding on the shoe but the foot strike is almost the same as running in a barefoot shoe without the risk of injury. When I run in minimal shoes it keeps my knees and hips feeling healthy because my heel isn’t raised up in the back causing an unnatural gait. The only down side is that the Achilles tendon can become tight if you run high mileage on hills.
Side note: When my Achilles tendon feels tight I swap in a pair of brooks ghost with a high heel to give my Achilles tendon a rest. Once my Achilles feels better I swap my Altra Escalante back into the mix. If your runs are mostly flat this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Altra Escalante is a light fast shoe compared to other shoes I’ve used in the past. The shoe feels like a racing shoe and the only shoe that is faster is the that I’ve tried is the Nike zoom fly flyknit. I’ve just ordered the Altra Escalante for my marathon in the spring and am confident running in it.
The Altra Escalante isn’t a cheap shoe but it is worth the price. The cost is $100-$140 depending on where you’re buying the shoe. Compared to other running shoes this isn’t that bad. If you’re new to running you might want to get a cheaper shoe.
Who is this shoe for?
The Altra Escalante is a tricky shoe because it puts a lot of stress on the body because of the zero drop. If you’re new to running you might want to use this shoe sparingly because it takes a lot of strength to run in something without a high heel. If you’re used to running in a standard running shoe with a heel the Altra Escalante may put a lot of pressure on the heels because they will be weak from running in a raised shoe. Make sure to start slow with the Altra Escalante. This shoe is best suited for someone that has been running for a little while. If you’re new to running it may cause injury.
The biggest problem I have with Altras is durability. Some parts of the shoe tend to fall apart after running for a little bit. Superglue has become my friend with Altras and I wish they would make more durable shoes. This is the number one drawback when running in the shoe.
The Altra Escalante is hands down my personal favorite shoe I love everything about it. I think as The Altra grows as a company the design will get even better. The fact that Altra has broken into the running market is mind blowing and it shows that there is something to the brand that other companies aren’t doing. The running shoe market is very hard to get into but they did it because of the new design that people enjoy. I would recommend giving the Altra Escalante a try.
You can find the Altra Escaslante at https://www.altrarunning.com.
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