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Friday, April 12, 2013

New Running Shoes - Altra

In recent years with the boom in running world wide, many new brand of running shoes have came out against the traditional brands such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance and Asics. With the evolution from traditional heel strike to mid foot and barefoot running, shoes manufacturers have all rush in to come out with their own versions. Following the wildly successful Vibrams Five Fingers, many non-running shoes peep like Skechers have also come out with their own running shoes. Runners are now spoil for choice with shoes from the traditional brands, the secondary brands such as Zoot, Newton, Merrell and the minimalist movement like VFF and Vivobarefoot. And then there are the new player like Inov8; Hoka, Cloud and Altra.

For us runners in Singapore, we now have access to almost every brand of shoes that are available in the international market. The latest entrant is Altra Running with their range of minimalist shoes.

I went to their "open house" and unfortunately couldn't get anything suitable in my size. Not to be deterred, I still ended up with a pair of Altra Provision for the kid.

This is a pair of zero drop shoes. Something not entirely new to the kid who wears a pair of racer for running.

From its website:

Modeled after The Instinct™ platform, The Provision™ adds a firmer midsole and a removable varus stability wedge to assist men with fallen arches, excessive overpronation and knock knees. Built for moderate and high overpronation, the Zero Drop™ platform, foot-shaped design and stability wedge combine to provide a high level of stability without the excessive bulk and weight of traditional stability shoes. Simply remove the stability wedge to convert this shoe to work for neutral and mild overpronation.

The included Stability Wedge™ provides a moderate to high level of stability and is optional. It is designed to provide additional support to those with excessive pronation or flat feet. It addresses the four main challenges with stability in running shoes.

The stability Wedge is the grey color insole like object at the bottom of the picture. The blue color piece is the insole. Both are removable and washable.

Here are the technical stuff (also from its website):
  • Zero Drop™ Platform, Foot-Shaped Design, NRS – Natural Ride System™.
  • Weight: Provision with the wedge weighed in at 9.9 oz. (9.1 oz. without the wedge)
  • Midsole: Two-Layer EVA / A-Bound™
  • Outsole: Blown Rubber FootPod™
  • 2 included insoles: Molded Support, Stability Wedge
  • Upper: Quick-Dry Mesh with Minimal Seams
  • Liner: Sockless-Friendly Premium Liner
  • Asymmetrical Lacing
  • Stack height = The total thickness of the shoe/the distance between the foot and the ground.
  • With Support Footbed: 20mm(Heel)/20mm (Forefoot) 
  • With Stability Wedge & Support Footbed: 25mm (Medial Heel)/25mm(Medial Forefoot) 
  • Strengthen Configuration (No Footbed): 15mm(Heel)/15mm (Forefoot)
So how does the shoes fare on runs? Unfortunately since I am not the one wearing it, I can't give a comment right now. So far the kid has done 1 short run with it and said he is pretty satisfied with it although his calves are now killing him. I gonna let him do a few more runs and then he shall ghost write the review for me here.

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