Comments: Update: After 250 miles, the mesh is ripping near the ball of my foot. I slathered on shoe-goo, we'll see how that holds up. They are still my favorite trail shoes, but even with the stone guard, they don't offer much stone-protection. May have to go to Lone Peak for more grip and more protection, although I'm kind of holding out for a waterproof version.
From: Gil, NH
Comments: I've put some good trail runs under this shoe. Muddy and rocky in the snow on single track, drenched XC run on grass, single track through the pines and hardwoods that was very "rooty", and on some nice dry runs on single track and grassy xc courses. It is not a shoe for cushion, and I find that the rock plate protection is sub par. Traction is very poor on wet, muddy, or loose surfaces. This is my go to shoe for a well groomed XC run on dry grass or dry single track for some good calf muscle building. I normally wear a 10 in all my running shoes, but I wear an 11 in this shoe. It does drain well.
From: Baker, Covington, TN, USA
Comments: The good: Very comfortable, wide trail shoe that would do fine on dirt and road. You probably do need to go 1/2 or a full size up. The bad: Durability issues...with less than 100 miles on my pair, the fabric was already coming apart on the medial side of my left shoe. My Lone Peaks have held up much, much better.
From: Rob, AR
Comments: There is a lot to like about this shoe. It's flexible and responsive without compromising protection - exactly what you'd want in a trail racer. It's simply not exactly what I want, simply because the fit is off for me. I have a pretty narrow foot, so Altra's roomy forefoot feels awkward and gaping to me, like I'm slapping the ground. And while the arch is described as "low", it's still prominent enough to give me some pain on longer runs. Still, this is a great shoe for a higher volume foot than what I've got.
From: Alex, Lawrence, KS, USA
Comments: Everything I love about the Instinct, with grippy tread and a rock plate for trails. This is my favorite trail shoe ever. Maybe for 2013 they'll simplify the lacing holes/loops and make the tread a bit more aggressive, but I'd still buy them again as is!
From: Gil, NH
Comments: Awesome shoes. I went up a 1/2 size when removing the footed liner and rock plate. If you plan to keep both of these in there you'll probably want a full size up. lots of room in the toes but not so much that you feel like you've got clown shoes on (like lone peak). I like these far more than the NB MT110's.
From: Jason, Fort Collins, Colorado
Comments: One full size up still has a length slightly shorter than an average shoe. I went up to a 10 from a 9 and I'd need a 10 1/2 for Ultra distance. Feels very comfortable with wiggle room. Low to the ground and well connected, I really like the zero drop with a bit of cushioning. Removing the rock plate saves a significant amount of weight. Nice shoes!
From: Alan, Marin, CA
Comments: Love this shoe! This is my 4th pair of Altras and this completes the arsenal. They are less shoe than the lone peak (you can feel the reduction in cushion and material), they remind me a lot of how the Instinct runs, but with the trail tread. They are light & nimble. When the Lone Peak is a little too much shoe and you want something lighter on the trails, this is a fantastic shoe. I leave the thin rock guard in there....paired with a nice pair of smartwool socks, they are ideal. They run well on the roads as well....very flexible and nimble.
From: Zack, Ohio, USA