|Women's Altra Superior 1.5 ZeroDrop Trail Running Shoe|
The Altra Superior 1.5 is a 8.2oz (women's, men's is 11.1oz) trail shoe with a heel toe drop of, you guessed it, 0mm. The stack height is 15mm and of course, it has Altra's signature FootShape toe box. It was released last year with a MSRP of $105, you can now find it on Amazon for around $70 (men's here). The Superior 1.5 features a removable StoneGuard (Altra's name for their rock plate), a GaiterTrap to hold your gaiters in place, and the multi-directional outsole has a flexible Trail Rudder that sticks out from the heel to provide better traction on tricky descents.
The Down and Dirty Dirty Dirty
|Altra Superior 1.5 outsole|
Also like the Torin, the Superior has way too much upper. In the case of the Superior, the collar of the shoe is very heavily padded. The padding is comfortable but unnecessary, increasing drying time and occasionally causing my narrow heel to slip out of the shoe. I'd rather have a more streamlined shoe that weighed a little less. Speaking of weight, 8.2oz is good for a trail shoe but I would expect a ZeroDrop shoe to weigh a little less since the heel stack is often what makes up a lot of the weight in a shoe. For example, the Salomon Sense Pro has stack heights of 22mm heel and 17mm in the forefoot and weighs 8.5oz in a women's size 8. (Edit: I've notice that the update to Altra's Superior, the 2.0 weights 7.5oz so they have improved the weight).
|Thin, flexible rock plate from the Altra Superior 1.5|
|Altra Superior 1.5 GaiterTrap|
|Altra Superior 1.5 Trail Rudder|
The Altra Superior 1.5 has proved to be a versatile trail shoe that performs well on most types of trails with the exception of gravel where its excellent ground feel turns into a negative. The Superior is responsive and flexible, with ample room for toe splay given Altra's FootShape toebox. It's nimble with a ZeroDrop heel to toe ratio, and ground feel that surpasses many other trail shoes. This is a great trail shoe for beginners to the trails as well as more experienced, technical trail runners. However, don't buy the Superior thinking you'll use it for road as well as trails, your feet will not be happy with the lack of underfoot cushioning on pavement. If you're just running a half mile from your house to the trail, it would make an okay road to trail shoe in that sense, but this is a true trail shoe. As far as improvements, Altra could cut back on the generous padding in the upper of the Superior and improve the traction through mud and I would be ready to call it my perfect trail shoe.
|Altra Superior 1.5 on my feet|
Have you ran any good trails lately? What's your favorite trail shoe?