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December 21, 2015 Comments (1) Featured, Gear Reviews, Uncategorized

Altra Olympus 2.0 & Altra Superior 2.0 Trail Shoe Review

Altra Olympus Love

Altra Olympus 2.0 – $150

Are you considering a last minute holiday purchase of some MAX CUSHION shoes, but have heard some mixed feedback on the Altra Olympus 1.0 and 1.5? WELL STOP RIGHT THERE in your literal tracks! The newly revamped version of Altra Running’s popular Olympus model is an excellent choice and has some much needed upgrades. You’ll definitley want to check these out on your next trail run.

The Vibram outsole of Olympus have been completely redesigned with the serious, long distance trail runner or hiker in mind. The lugs of the Olympus 2.0 are well-spaced and provides an excellent, sticky, and less slippery ride on both trail and road. Each of our testers ran at least 100-150 miles in the shoes and most noted that the tread lasts much longer than that of the previous version.

Outsole Comments – 4.5 rating out of 5 from testers

Altra finally got the outsole right. In fact, the outsole on the Olympus is better than any other shoe they make. Not only is the tread placement and shape good, but partner with Vibram was a stroke of brilliance. That needs to carry over to the Lonepeak and Superior, for sure.

The traction on the Altra Olympus 2.0 is the best that I have seen yet from Altra and is far superior to the first two models. I was very impressed with the Vibram sole and didn’t have any problems with traction. It also didn’t seem to wear as fast as other Altra shoes that I have worn. I think they hit a homerun with the outsole.

Altra Olympus outsole

Altra’s improvement on fabric upper of the shoe has also been rethought—it is sturdier than that of the two previous versions. In fact, our testers noted that the shoe’s overall durability has been greatly improved. The upper remains very breathable, so breathable in fact, that these shoes almost always must be worn with gaiters (Altra specific) so that one is not transporting an entire gardening plot during a long run or a race.  A stitching issue did arise in one pair of shoes that will surely be worked out throughout the shoe’s tenure and the tendency for the collar on the inside of the ankle to rub out (although this does not affect the performance of the shoe.) One tester said that her overall instance of ankle rolling had been reduced significantly, since the upper of the new shoe is thicker and not as “wickedly flimsy” as the previous version’s.

Upper comments – 3.9 rating out of 5 from testers

I really liked the new upper on this shoe vs. what existed in the previous version. Instead of being thick and inflexible, the new upper seems dramatically thinner, extremely light and much more flexible. This also improves the appearance of the shoe. I feel that the materials used in the new upper are even more breathable and i’ve had no issues with it thus far.

Appearance comments – 4 rating out of 5 from testers

These shoes are much better looking than previous versions and other shoes on the market. I really dig the way they look and with several color options, there is something from basic to flashy.

The Olympus has a beautifully stacked midsole and is much more aesthetically pleasing, with the availability of a wider range of colors it is much improved.

Altra Olympus upper

Fortunately, the fit of the new Olympus 2.0 is true to size, especially for those with big feet who struggle to find shoes that aren’t too wide and/or too short. With Altra’s signature Footshape toebox, our testers noted that they were less prone to blisters, since their toes were able to move about freely. There is also ample space for the normal foot-swelling that occurs during very long runs.

Midsole/cushion comments – 3.8 rating out of 5 from testers

If you like max cushion shoes you are going to love this shoe. Considering the stack height, it is a soft and yet responsive shoe. 

Altra has made both responsive and bouncy ride in the Olympus 2.0. I feel that I can put in big miles and save my feet despite running on heavily rocky/technical terrain.

TAUR testers found this shoe to be a vast improvement over the last two versions and are looking forward to continued improvement of what will surely be a trail staple in the near future. While most of our testers believed this shoe does not necessarily belong on super-technical mountain trails, it definitely has many merits on less technical, more groomed trails.

  • Altra Olympus love
    Altra Olympus love
  • Altra Olympus in Action
    Altra Olympus in Action
  • Altra Olympus
    Altra Olympus
  • Altra Olympus
    Altra Olympus
  • Altra Olympus Outsole
    Altra Olympus Outsole
  • Altra Olympus
    Altra Olympus
  • Altra Olympus
    Altra Olympus
  • Altra Olympus
    Altra Olympus
  • Floating in the Altra Olympus
    Floating in the Altra Olympus
  • Altra Olympus on Mt. Olympus
    Altra Olympus on Mt. Olympus
  • Mirna in Olympus
    Mirna in Olympus
  • Scott in Altra Olympus
    Scott in Altra Olympus
  • Altra Olympus
    Altra Olympus

Performance comments – 3.1 rating out of 5 from testers

I love running long distance and steep downhill in the Olympus and feel that this new shoe has only gotten better.

Olympus 2 performs great. It is not superlight, but it is very responsive. That being said, it is not a shoe for everyone. On very technical terrain, one can feel a bit unstable if not used to the high stack. For the lovers of previous Olympus editions, this shoe will feel like a big improvement.

Durability comments – 3.6 rating out of 5 from testers

So far I have not had any issues with this shoe. It has been the most durable Altra shoe that I have worn.

These shoes have been extremely durable. While wearing them on multiple trail surfaces for 200+ miles I have had minimal issues.  I’ve experienced some minor cosmetic issues in both the left and right shoe with a stitching problem. After only putting 25-50 miles on these shoes, the thread/seam started coming out of the shoes, but never caused any real problems. Nothing ever came apart, rather only the appearance of the shoe suffered.


Weight: 11.0 ounces

Cushioning: Max

Stack height: 36mm

Midsole: Dual Layer EVA with A-Bound™ Top Layer

Outsole: More agressive Vibram

Insole: 5mm Contour Footbed

Upper: Quick-Dry Trail Mesh

Other Features: Natural Ride System, GaiterTrap™ Technology, Zero Drop™ Platform, FootShape™ Toe Box


Altra Superior 2.0  – $110

Altra Superior 2.0

The Altra 2.0 took a major deviation from its predecessor, the 1.5. The shoe is lighter, has a better fit, improved traction and added 3mm of EVA foam to the midsole making the 2.0 a more comfortable as well. Even with the added cushion the shoe still has a minimalist feel. The new designed upper is seamless and features a dual density mesh that is very durable considering how light it is and it is designed to keep out dirt and sand.

The shoe also comes with a removable rock plate that sits beneath the midsole which provides excellent protection from rocks underfoot and doesn’t affect the flexibility. The new 2.0 has an updated outsole with an improved more aggressive tread. Overall, the new 2.0 is less clunky than the 1.5 and has a far better ride and feel.

The updated 2.0 to be released soon, DOES NOT change from this last success from Altra. The only changes are minor, sizing is true to fit, the insole is much better and some different bold colors schemes. Some times the best thing a shoe company can do is the same thing over again. Altra has dialed it in. Based on TAUR Tester scores, this is a coveted shoe.

Altra Superior new insole

Superior Outsole

Upper comments 4.4 rating out of 5 from testers

YES! The upper has been corrected. No issues with the updated 2.0’s.

The upper is definitely an improvement over the 1.5. It is a lot more comfortable and lightweight than the 1.5 as well as the original. The upper material did an excellent job keeping dirt and sand out. The upper also dries very quickly after getting wet.

New and Newer Superiors

Midsole/cushion comments – 4 rating out of 5 from testers

For as minimal as the Altra Superior 2.0 is, I was very impressed with how comfortable they were. The EVA foam works great and these shoes are probably the most comfortable trail shoes I have ever had on my feet. Even though the cushion is comfortable they are still very responsive and handle incredibly well.

The midsole on these things was great. Older superior models weren’t as cushiony to me and this model felt like it had more spring to it. In terms of impact, I couldn’t even feel rocks under my feet as I traversed along trail and even on road segments, these shoes held up to the test.

Altra Superior Midsole

Outsole Comments – 3 rating out of 5 from testers

The Altra outsole is an improvement over the fist two models, but is does have some limitations. On wet rock it did not have as much grip as I would have liked and I noticed that the lugs were wearing pretty quickly. That said in most conditions and terrain the traction was adequate.

The outsole of this version felt more rigid and inflexible than the previous model, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I felt the shoe was sturdier and able to deflect hazards on the road easier like rocks/stones. The lug system on these things was very impressive and kept me moving in all sorts of conditions with minimal slippage.

Altra Superior outsole

Fit comments – 4.6 rating out of 5 from testers

The updated Superior’s have finally got it right. The old version was a guessing game and sizing ran a full size or more short. Big kudos to Altra for correcting the sizing error of the men’s shoes.

I think this is the best fitting Altra shoe. That said I found that the sizing was about a half size too small. Once I found the right fit I was very impressed with how the shoe fit. My feet did not slide around like they have in other Altra shoes and it really helped the performance in steeper terrain.

Altra Superior Trail Shoe

Appearance comments – 3.8 rating out of 5 from testers

These shoes are still good looking. I was a big fan of the color schemes of the previous model and wasn’t extremely thrilled with the brown/red color of the trial pair.

This is one of the better looking Altra shoes.

Ladies Superior

Performance comments – 4.4 rating out of 5 from testers

These shoes tore up my normal trail spots. I’d describe them as light and fast and built with performance specifically in mind.

My favorite performing shoe Altra has made. It’s nimble and fast yet comfortable on ultra distances.

Altra Superior moving

Durability Comments – 4 rating out of 5 from testers

I wore two pair for well over 200 miles each and had zero problems. They got a lot of mountain time and saw some seriously poor conditions.

This shoe has been great in terms of durability. However, the outsole did break down prematurely, I have 210 miles on the shoes, but I can see the outsole loosing its grip and the rubber peels very easy.

Superior Durability


Weight- 8.7 ounces

Cushioning: Light

Stack height- 21mm

Outsole: Sticky Rubber TrailClaw™

Midsole: Dual Layer EVA with A-Bound™ Top Layer

Insole: 5mm Contour Footbed with Removable StoneGuard™ Rock Protection

Upper: Quick-Dry Trail Mesh

Other Features: Natural Ride System, GaiterTrap™ Technology, Zero Drop™ Platform, FootShape™ Toe Box


One Response to Altra Olympus 2.0 & Altra Superior 2.0 Trail Shoe Review

  1. Anton Franchi says:

    Hi. Awesome review of my 2 favourite Altra favourites shoes. Question – If I was a UK8 in the v1 , would you recommend keeping a UK8 in V2 ?

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