The Altra Paradigm is a zero-drop, natural daily trainer with max cushioning, designed for a neutral or supinated foot motion.



Experience a natural, yet cushioned ride with the Altra Paradigm. Featuring a padded midsole for high mileage protection, this neutral shoe is built with a zero-drop design to promote a natural footstrike. A wide, foot-shaped upper provides plenty of space for your toes to splay, and a seamless construction keeps you running in lasting comfort. 

Model Number:

Weight: 9.9 oz (size 9)

Stack Height: 25mm (Heel), 25mm (Forefoot)

Available Widths: D=Medium

How It Fits (based on width D)

  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium
  • Midfoot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Wide
  • Toebox Height: Medium to low
  • Arch Structure: Medium
  • Shoe Shape: Semi-Straight


  • A-Bound is a recycled, environmentally friendly midsole compound for resilient underfoot protection.
  • Two-Layer EVA midsole foam for durable cushioning.
  • Natural Ride System (NRS) design includes a more natural, foot-shaped last, zero millimeter heel to toe drop, and metatarsal-specific shapes in the outsole to assist in proper foot mechanics and allow for more natural foot movement.
  • Natural Foot Design follows the natural shape of the foot for ultimate comfort.


  • FootPod Outsole follows the natural construction of the human foot for maximum flexibility and a responsive ride.


  • Quick Dry Air Mesh wicks water away from your foot while remaining light and breathable.
  • Asymmetrical Lacing Design follows the shape of the foot for improved fit and feel.
  • Contour Footbeds are 5mm-thick removable insoles designed for runners needing more traditional support and a molded arch.
  • Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full length fabric for a comfortable underfoot feel.

Footwear Performance Characteristics

Pronation Control: What's This?

  • Neutral
    • Min
    • Mod
  • Support
    • Min
    • Mod
    • Max
  • Motion Control
    • Mod
    • Max

Heel-Toe Offset (mm): What's This?

  • 0
  • 1-2
  • 3-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-8
  • 9-10
  • 11+

Stack Height:

  • Barefoot
  • Minimal
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Maximal


  • Road
  • Road-Trail
  • Hard Trail
  • Varied Trail
  • Soft Trail

Shoe Type:

  • Premium
  • Standard
  • Performance
  • Racing

Customer Reviews

Comments: I really wanted to like the Altra Paradigm, despite being a minimalist shoe guy. I read countless testimonies from runners swearing their allegience to the zero-drop, maximalist phenomena, so I bought a pair. I tested this shoe in two different environments: treadmill and street. I dedicated the first two weeks running on a treadmill for five miles per run. The large toe box and cushion made the run very comfortable and effortless. I was very satisfied after the first two weeks. I dedicated the next two weeks to running in the street. My first day with running outside with this shoe was one of the worst running experience I have ever had. The outside part of my left foot was throbbing with pain. Thinking the Paradigm must be new and it takes some time to get used to it, I took two days off from running to recover. I tried it again and the pain came back. I took three days off to recover this time. The following week, I ran again and the pain came back. After taking a few days off, I tried it again and the pain never subsided. I resorted to using the Paradigm as my casual Friday work shoe shoe. Even walking in them was a painful experience. I just do not understand why my feet feel perfectly fine walking in dress shoes or other shoes, but not the Paradigm. Maybe it was never meant to be...
From: THU, Minneapolis, MN, USA. May 16th 2015

Comments: I would like to say that I am a fan of altra, I have put many miles on the Torin, instinct and Lone peaks. Recently I have been recovering from a broken leg and was looking for something with more cushion and soft ride for my recovery training. Now with several runs in the paradigm I have a grasp of their performance. I must compare them to HOKA bondi as I have also run in that shoe in the past. The Paradigm is a much firmer shoe with a good forward rocker, I have always felt the HOKA was a bit soft with some loss in forward motion due to the softer ride on the Bondi, not so with the paradigm this is not a soft ride, I do not feel that I am loosing any forward motion but also feel that the road impact is less absorbed over the miles. The Paradigm also fits a bit wider and larger then other models in the lineup. So, if you want a firm ride with zero drop and ample protection and preservation of performance the ALTRA is the way to go, if you are looking for a soft cush ion with ample give and road "buoyancy" perhaps the HOKA is a better choice. There is a classic comparison between these two Maximalist shoes but honestly its apples and oranges, having used both they are two completely different shoe styles
From: Gil, WA, USA. April 18th 2015

Comments: WTH Altra? I love the performance of this shoe, and it made my feet very happy; BUT... with less than 50 miles of wear, several pieces of the outsole started just falling off. I have a pair of Altra Olympus for the trail which are fantastic. The Paradigm was a huge let down just because they fell apart when they were practically new.
From: Andrew, Katy, TX, USA. March 30th 2015

Comments: Be careful of the wear on this shoe. Big ticket item for quick tread wear. Not cool!! Go direct to the Altra website and there are just too many recent negatives on poor tread wear. Reminds me of when Hoka first came out. Killer shoe, great principles but way way way too much money for the rapid degradation. When Dekkers took over the brand and redeveloped the quality of the shoe amazing things happened for the brand. I wear Hoka Clifton, Road, Mafate for trail and these shoes will go 500 miles. TRUE STORY. Paradigms, be lucky to get half that. its an $80 shoe.
From: Jeff, Murrieta, CA, USA. March 12th 2015

Comments: I ran IMLP in the Hoka and the instability and tightness in the toe box really had my feet aching. I switched to the Altra Paradigm and I am running pain free and happy again. Great cushioning, better stability and the toe box are far superior to the Hoka.
From: Jeff, Portland, OR, USA. February 27th 2015

Comments: I wasn't so sure about maximum cushion shoe, but after trying the Olympus, I knew I had to try the Paradigm too. This shoes has been my long run/ultra marathon dream shoe. Super light and cushy you feel like you are floating on air. Would highly recommend.
From: Emir, Flourtown, PA, USA. January 4th 2015

Comments: Switch from Asics Nimbus to the Paradigm. It took about 3 weeks for my feet to comfortable running in these shoes. I felt pain in my arches the first few runs but became less and less with each run. I'm a heal striker trying to convert to forefoot and this shoe makes it a lot easier. I have really grown to love these shoes. They are great on trail runs - very stable footing. Perfect for forefoot runners. I'm 6'1" 195, 20 to 40 miles a week runner. I wear the same size as I did in the Asics Nimbus shoes.
From: Terry, Phoenix, AZ, USA.  October 28th 2014

Comments: I've put about 300 miles into these shoes so far. I'm 6'0" 150 lbs and I've really enjoyed this shoe so far. The shoe feels very soft underfoot without sapping too much of your momentum on footstrike. It's definitely nice having all the soreness in your muscles instead of your joints after a 20+ mile run. They're also surprisingly light for their size. The zero drop helps to keep my form and cadence from getting sloppy, and the toebox is great for wide-footed individuals like myself. My only concern is that the upper doesn't fit very snugly over the foot, even after cinching down all the laces. Still it hasn't interfered much with my runs--still injury free! I'm strongly considering running my next marathon in these.
From: Jon, Arlington, VA, USA. August 20th 2014

Comments: Just bought these shoes locally. Went out for 5 miles this morning, fastest run I've had in a while. Outer soles are a stiffer than the Olympus but it is a road shoe. The biggest surprise was the fit....I have a 9-1/2 Olympus pair and they fit well, had to go down a 1/2 size to a 9 with Paradigm because toebox was SO BIG!! Try on in a store first if you can to get correct sizing, not sure why these are so much bigger than the Olympus.
From: Todd, Lexington, KY, USA. August 5th 2014

Comments: If you're a high mileage, mid or forefoot striker, you need to try these. I wore a hole through a pair of Hoka Bondi 2s last Summer, and having now fully migrated to zero drop (but NOT minimalist), I think the Altras fill the gap well for those of us who want zero drop but still cushioned shoes. Here's how the Paradigm shoes are better than Hoka Bondi: * better outsole with actual rubber; * better upper - more flexible, feels more breathable * lighter weight * much less heel cushioning, which sticks way out on the Hokas and inhibits forefoot striking * EVA cushion is more firm and boucey, not mushy and pillow-like; easy to run fast in the Altras * wide forefoot shape * consistent size fits across shoes (9.5 in Paradigm is same 9.5 in Instincts) Overall, I'm very happy with these, providing a perfect shoe for your long distance runs and recovery runs. I rotate these these with Altra Instinct 2.0. I'm 5'11 150 and run 40-50 mpw.
From: RJ, Washington DC, USA. July 10th 2014

Comments: I have just under 100 miles in these and I'm impressed. I turn 40 this year and the Paradigm's cushioning really feels good on my daily runs. I'm 6' 1" 160 lbs. and this shoe's cushioning is something I have never felt before. I went through two pairs of Torins, and although I liked them, they didn't have the same floating on clouds feel of the Paradigm. The stack height doesn't feel weird or bulky. I've been running in 90+ degree heat and I haven't noticed my feet getting hot, so they obviously breathe well.
From: Andy, SC, USA. June 20th 2014

Comments: Really enjoyed this shoe. Took it out on a 7.5 mile run on dirt roads, trails and paved roads. Love the wide toe box, it really is like nothing else out there. They have a lot of cushioning, but are by no means soft shoes. They do not have the Hoka pillowy feel to them, but definitely have a good amount of material underfoot. The zero drop is awesome, if you're used to it. I really enjoyed running in these shoes, as they feel lighter than the Hoka's and I didn't feel like I was losing energy due to too much cushioning. Definitely would recommend them.
From: Brian, New Jersey, USA. June 3rd 2014