Altra Superior Product Review

Short Take

The Altra Superior makes for an excellent trail shoe for runners seeking a natural running experience with a bit of on-trail protection.

Big Features

  • Zero Drop: Stack heights of 12mm in both forefoot and heel encourage a natural stride.
  • Wide Forefoot: A roomy toebox allows plenty of space for toe splay or wider feet.
  • Removal Stone Guard: A removable rock plate allows for either increased underfoot protection or more ground feel.

Trail Test

The Superior is Altra’s stab at a nimble, performance trail shoe. Lower to the ground than its bigger brother, the Lone Peak, the Superior offers a closer to the ground feel and a more responsive ride, though both share the characteristics of zero drop and a wide forefoot that will please runners seeking a more natural experience on the trails.

Among the more unique features of the Superior is it’s removable rock plate, consisting of a thin and flexible full-length plastic insert that slips in underneath the sockliner. Though it may not seem like much, our testers credited the rock plate to provide plenty of protection from sharp rocks and other hazards on the trail. Removing the plate results in increased ground feel for those who want to get in touch with the trail, and is best for clean and less hazardous terrain.

The Superior sports checkerboard-like lugs offering multidirectional traction for grip while climbing and descending. This outsole isn’t the most aggressive we’ve seen, and leaves a bit to be desired on the most technical trails, however our testers reported ample traction on the majority of trail surfaces.

Runners Say

Tera

“With the wide forefoot and increased surface area underfoot, the Superior didn’t feel as nimble as I would’ve liked for more technical trails.”

Erik

“With a narrower foot, I really had to yank hard on the laces, but once I did I was able to achieve a nice and secure fit.”

Matt

“My forefoot was swimming in the roomy toebox of the Superior. Not my thing, but those seeking more toe splay will appreciate the extra space.”