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First Impressions and Run in Altra Superior – 3/1/13

I got my Altra Superiors this afternoon after ordering them from Optimal Run on Wednesday – I don’t know why it took so long (yes that is sarcasm, this was faster than I thought it would be).

Optimal Run Thank You.2

Honestly, I am super impressed with the way Patton and the staff do things and recommend them highly to buy running shoes online.

I have really wanted the Superiors since they came out and came really close to getting a pair when I was at #RWHalf back in October. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and money, so I didn’t get them then. The more I have researched and read other reviews of the Superiors, it only confirmed that I wanted them for my trail shoes this year.

Appearance

The Superior is a great looking shoe and I imagine when the next generation comes out that there will be more colors to choose from. Personally, I tend to like the brighter colors, but I do like the way the Superior looks with its Green, gray and black.

Altra Superior Long Laces.2

Looking closely at the shoes, they had a few Irish Pennants (that old military in me), which I took care of with scissors and a lighter. Otherwise the construction was excellent, no noticeable stitching problems and the sole to shoe was secure. The shoe laces were a LOT too long, this really doesn’t matter to me, since I put Lock Laces on all of my shoes now, but it would have bugged me if I had kept them in.

I am not going to get into the removable rock plate – a lot of others have written about it. I think it is a great idea and I will put it back in, if I am going to do any gnarly trails. For around here, I have a feeling that I will be fine without it and without it the shoes are a little lighter and flexible.

Superiors and Rock Plate

The shoe’s tongue is different and initially I was wondering how comfortable it would be. After wearing the shoe for a while, it didn’t bother at all. You just have to ensure that it is smooth before you start.

Let’s get down to brass tacks, while looks and construction are important, what matters to me is how the shoe fits and how it feels to run in.

Fit

I LOVE the Superior’s fit. I am one of those unlucky guys who is an in-between size, my foot is too big for most 7.5 and a little too small for many 8.0’s, so it is hard for me to get a good fit. The Superior’s fit my feet better than all of the shoes I have worn over the past year. I think they run a little small, according to everything I have read, so the 8.0’s I got, fit my hard to fit feet perfectly.

Feel

My right quad has been bugging me a little since Monday, so I didn’t want to go run outside today on snow-covered icy slush, that is just asking for problems, especially in shoes I have never run in before.

Road Conditions 3-1-13

So I did something that I have never done, even though the Superior’s are a trail shoe, I decided that my first run in them would be a treadmill run. I thought it would be a good test of how comfortable they are and I would be able to compare more easily to my present Altra Instinct’s.

Remember this is the first time I have run in these shoes. Here is my workout today:

  • 3.0 miles @ 6.7 mph
  • 4.0 miles @ 7.0 mph
  • 3.0 miles @ 7.3 mph

That’s right I ran 10.0 miles in new trail shoes on a treadmill and didn’t have ANY issues or problems with the Superiors. I don’t recommend that others run this far in new shoes, especially new zero drop running shoes – especially, if you haven’t ever run in them before. This was more Harold being Harold, than someone being smart about running in new shoes, but that is a different story :-).

Treadmill 3-1-13

I have never run 10.0 miles as my first run in any running shoe (maybe my second run, but not my first), so this run totally impressed me! That it was on a treadmill and I could stop, if problems developed probably helped, but still, I have not run that far on the first run in a pair of new running shoes for my first run.

My Superiors were very, very comfortable, no hot spots and the tread didn’t bother the soles of my feet, which really surprised me. I thought that the more aggressive tread would become an issue on the treadmill.

Altra Superior Tread

I figured that I would probably get in 6.0 miles max, before the Superiors would start to bother me or my quad would act up – neither happened. Actually, I could have gone further than 10.0 miles, without any problem with my new shoes!

Now to get them outdoors and see how the Superior’s feel outside!

If the Superior’s live up the expectations they have made on this first run, I have a feeling that I will be putting a LOT of miles on them and it won’t just be trail miles. I have not had too many pairs of running shoes, that I felt this positive about, the first time I have run in them. It will be interesting to see how I feel at 50 and 300 miles.

Overall, my first impressions of the Altra Superior’s are this – WOW!!!

On a side note – I found the perfect fuel for me before double-digit runs — Yellow Bunny PEEPS and you have to bite their heads off before eating the rest ;-).

Bennie and the Peeps

He was a good boy and didn’t touch them!

RunLog 3-1-13

 

4 Comments »

  1. Don’t you just love Altra shoes?
    I’ve been splitting my miles between 2 pair of shoes and one of my favorite is the Altra Provision. I got them when the model was first introduced, I took awhile to transition into them because of the Zero Drop.
    Since the transition I’ve been alternating runs with a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 9’s. For me it’s proven to be a great combination, giving my legs a little different feel every other day.
    I love the fit and feel of both shoes, but the Provisions are so butt ugly! But they feel soooo very good!! I’ll take fit over appearance every time. Provison 1.5 is due out in May and it’s far more attractive than the 1.0, I already have my sights set on getting a pair.

    • Thanks Gordon and yes I do, I have 3 pair and plan to get the Torin’s and their new race shoe The One over the course of the next few months. I got my first pair of Instinct’s last July when I lost one of my bags with all my running stuff while visiting Minnesota.

      I have a pair of Mizuno Elixir 7’s which just began to have ache in my knees after a run (that is how I tell it is time to replace a shoe, but still have some life left in them and my Ronin 4 race shoes, that I could add into my rotation. The only thing is that I find with the higher heel height of the Elixir and Ronin that I land with a much more pronounced heel first style of running, which I am working hard to move away from. Maybe after I get my form dialed in more, I will start doing that.

      I said the same thing about the Instinct’s as far as being ugly when I first got them, but fit and function won out and now I kind of like the looks, they are distinctive ;-).

      The new Provisions do look good and I think Altra is purposely improving their shoe’s appearance, at least they have in my opinion. 🙂

    • Thanks Jill, I only have one run in them, but they fit me better than the Instinct which I have really gotten to like a LOT. I was impressed.

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