Altra Escalante

Altra Escalante

Product Review – Altra Escalante

The Altra Escalante is the first Altra using the new Altra Ego™ midsole cushioning material which claims to offer outstanding rebound, light weight, and superior comfort.  It is also the first Altra with a knit upper.  After being disappointed with the Altra Torin 2.5, and lacking a good medium-cushioned road shoe since my previous favorite pair had too many miles on them, the Altra Torin 2.0, I was really excited to try out the new Altra Escalante.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you make purchases after clicking on any links. These shoes were provided to me by Altra for the purposes of this review.  All opinions and written content are my own (unless otherwise noted).

Escalante Specs

From altrarunning.com

  • Ideal Uses: Running, Racing, Training
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Stack Height: 25 mm
  • Weight: 8.2 oz. / 232 g
  • Designed To Improve: Natural Foot Positioning, Walking Form, Toe Splay, Comfort
  • Platform: Fully-Cushioned Zero Drop™ platform and FootShape™ toe box
  • Last: PFS2-M / PFS-W
  • Midsole: Altra EGO™ with InnerFlex™
  • Insole: 6 mm Contour Footbed
  • Upper: Engineered Knit
  • Outsole: FootPod™ Technology
  • Other Features: New Altra EGO™ Midsole Compound; Engineered Knit Upper; Sock-like Upper Fit; Metatarsal Mapping, Performance Last for Fast Training and Racing

Initial Thoughts

The Escalante represents a number of firsts for Altra.  Namely a new midsole cushioning material, dubbed EGO™ and an engineered knit upper.  Both of which haven’t been seen on an Altra before, although the Altra King MT also has the same EGO™ midsole cushioning material.  Upon unboxing the Escalante, I was immediately impressed with the stunning good looks which run contrary to many previous Altra shoes, and the exceptionally light weight.  The Escalante slides on like a comfortable slipper thanks to the foot shaped toebox, standard with every Altra, and knit upper.  This is probably the most comfortable pair of Altras I’ve ever had on my feet, and that’s before even taking a step in them!

Weight

The Escalante are listed as weighing 8.2oz/232g each.  My shoes (size 10.5) weighed 8.4oz/238g each.  I didn’t notice any difference in weight between left and right shoes and these weighed reasonably close to the advertised weight.

Altra Escalante Weight

Altra Escalante Weight

Fit

Altra has recently changed the fit of many of their shoes which comes with an equal amount of cheers and complaints from loyal Altra fans.  Those changes generally resulted in a more narrow (or more secure depending on your perspective) heel cup and midfoot, while retaining the same toebox. The Escalante is no different in that regard.  What is different is that the entire upper is a knit material, which means it’s a lot more forgiving and flexible than many other Altras so instead of feeling too tight, it feels like a perfectly fitting glove, but on your foot!  The Escalante is also available on a women’s specific fit, called Fit4Her, which is built on a different last with softer cushioning.  The women’s shoes aren’t just the men’s shoes in a different color, they are actually a different shoe.

As with all shoes, make sure you try them on for yourself and see how they fit.  This is a great reason to visit your local running store or take advantage of the 30-day guarantee offered by Altra when you buy online.

Colors

I wouldn’t normally dedicate a section to colors, but historically Altra walked a fine line between daring and hideous with their colorways and styles, and I’m happy to say all of the Escalante color options are attractive, and I wouldn’t mind putting any of them on.  I was actually expecting the Grey/Black color, which was my first choice, but I was pleasantly surprised when the Blue ones arrived. In addition to three unique colors for Men and Women, a special edition Boston Blue/Yellow is available for both men and women. The available colors:

Men

  • Grey/Black
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Boston Blue/Yellow
Women

  • Light Grey
  • Light Blue
  • Magenta
  • Boston Blue/Yellow

Summary

There’s a lot of good things I could say about the Escalante, but in short, these are my favorite pair of road running shoes I’ve ever worn.  The Escalante is the perfect combination of fit, comfort, weight, and good looks whether running, walking, or sitting on an international flight across the Atlantic!  The Torin 2.0 used to be my favorite road Altra, but the Escalante has surpassed them in every possible way.  If you are trying to decide between the Torin 2.5 or the Escalante, you’d be a fool not to go with the Escalante.  This is the shoe the Torin 2.5 should have been in my opinion.

Pros

  • Zero Drop
  • Wide, foot-shaped toe box
  • Great color choices
  • Knit upper
  • Altra EGO™ midsole
  • Free Shipping and 30-day, no questions asked return policy

Cons

  • Price – Most expensive road shoe in the line-up (except for the Torin IQ)
  • Shoelaces a little on the short side

Suggestions for Altra

  • Experiment more with the EGO™ midsole and engineered knit upper in other shoes in the line up.

Do you run in Altra shoes?  Have you tired out the new Escalante?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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