Altra Instinct 1.5 – 50 Mile Review

Altra Instinct 1.5 side view
Altra Instinct 1.5 side view


Finally, I have 50 miles on my Altra Instinct 1.5’s!

Wait a minute you got them back in October as a free media sample (disclosure) for being a blogger at the Runner’s World Half Festival.

Why on earth did it take you so long to get 50 miles on a pair of running shoes?

It was a good problem – too many shoes to run in. I had 5 pair of shoes that I was running in regularly, in addition to my Altra’s.

I was also suffering through hamstring issues and wanted to make sure that the Altra’s were part of not part of the problem. They were not, because I continued to have issues with my hamstrings, even after I stopped running in my Altra’s (one of those good news/bad news things).

Altra Instinct 1.5
Altra Instinct 1.5


When I started to run in my Altra Instinct 1.5’s again a few weeks ago, they just felt right. It was like I immediately returned to running the way I had been last summer, when I was running my best.

I don’t care what the “experts” might say, I don’t have perfect running form and eventually revert to landing on my heels in more traditional 10MM or higher drop shoes – it is just how it works in my world. So I strongly believe that running shoes can be part of the solution for those of us, who want to move to a more mid/forefoot style of running, move away from landing on my heels and running like an inverted V.

The Altra Instinct 1.5’s do this for me.

Lets get to the Instinct 1.5 review


The Instinct 1.5’s felt and look a little bigger than the original Instincts, but when I measured them, they were the same length, so it might be a bit of an optical illusion due to the change in the design of the uppers.

Two Instincts 1.5 and 1.0
Two Instincts 1.5 and 1.0


A couple of things that I noticed was that on the right foot, there was some extra material where the tongue was connected to the shoe, which somehow bunched up and took some skin off the top of my toes. This was easily taken care of with a pair of scissors and I have not had that issue since I performed minor surgery.

The other thing is that on the left foot there is a crease in the forefoot, which causes the tongue to slightly touch the top of my foot, when flexed when standing or walking, however, this crease has not bothered me when I am running.

Instinct 1.5 forefoot crease
Instinct 1.5 forefoot crease


Otherwise there were no issues with construction of the shoes and these were very minor things that were quickly corrected with a few snips or don’t bother when I am running.


Altra Instinct 1.5 rear view

The style changes from the 1.0 to the 1.5’s were a big improvement in looks department. Many people talked about how ugly the original Instinct’s looked – personally I liked them, they are distinctive.

The fit and feel of my 1.5’s after a few snips with the scissors is typical of all Altra shoes with the wide toe box and narrower heel = comfortable for me.

Instinct 1.5.5

I did change the laces to a Lock Laces shoestring system, which I love and this system allows the shoe to mold to my feet more comfortably, because of the stretch built into the laces, which the original laces do not have (like most running shoes). I will be using the Lock Laces’ system on all of my running shoes in the future, that is how impressed I am with it.


It is the same sole that the original Instinct’s have and are great on the dry roads, wet roads, dirt roads and non-technical trails. However, it doesn’t have the grip that is needed on more technical trails, mud, snow or slush, while you can use them – you will slip and slide a little though.

As you can see there is very little wear on the soles after 60 plus miles of running and probably another 50-60 miles of walking.

Instinct 1.5 sole view
Instinct 1.5 sole view



I am loving running in the Instinct 1.5’s so far. I have noticed I am running with a much more of a forefoot/midfoot running style again. In the Instinct 1.5’s when my form begins to deteriorate and I begin landing on my heels, they have a distinct slapping of my forefoot, which reminds me that I need to get back up on my midfoot/forefoot.

Which is a good thing and how I want to run.

Two Instincts 1.5 and 1.0
Two Instincts 1.5 and 1.0


The Altra Instinct 1.5’s are the primary running shoes in my two shoe rotation of Altra running shoes. I foresee me replacing them with either another pair of 1.5’s or the next edition.

I also need a new pair of trail running shoes and because of my experience with the 1.5’s I will be buying a pair of Altra trail running shoes fairly soon, to run trails and in the sloppy road conditions.

I can’t say anything more than that about a pair of shoes – I want another pair.

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