Review & Testing: Altra Superior 3.0

My Beloved Superior 2.0

It is always daunting when a shoe you enjoy running in has been updated. Every runner knows that the ‘improvements’ that have been made to the shoe aren’t necessarily good for them personally.  The Altra Superior 2.0 is the shoe I enjoy running in most. I don’t really feel the shoe on my feet or my feet hitting the ground, which isn’t because of the huge level of cushioning but, because they allow my feet to function and do the job nature intended them to do. Although these are a trail shoe and feel a bit slippy on the road, due to the lugs protruding from the outsole and reducing the surface area in contact with the road, I love the shoe so much I have been using them more and more for my road running. So, it is with great trepidation that I am reviewing the replacement for these great shoes!

The New Superior 3.0

When I put the shoe on for the first time it felt much snugger–it is a closer fit around the heel and midfoot than the Superior 2.0. Which, interestingly, is a change that Northern Runner customers wanted–Altra must be listening to feedback. Despite in my opinion, the appearance of a narrower shoe, there’s  plenty of volume in the toe area of the Superior 3.0 like the earlier version (the very effective FootShape Toe Box).

Under foot the Superior 3.0 feels slightly firmer with a fast, responsive feel. This may well be due to an upgraded grippy rubber compound on the outole to improve traction on wet rock, wood and more.

The Superior 3.0 also has a removable rock plate. This is essentially an additional insole that sits under the existing one to give added protection from sharp rocks or tree roots. The insole is made of a very flexible plastic, but may give an overall stiffer feel to the shoe when installed. It’s optional and serves a very useful purpose when running on rocky trails.

Verdict and Ideal Use

Having ran in the Altra Superior 3.0 quite a bit now I think that they are great. You have all the unique technology from form improving Zero Drop to a FootShape Toe Box and the fit is snugger, which has gone down well with many customers. Pick up a pair of these for more mixed terrain runs rather than more extreme muddy fells. The lugs aren’t deep enough for that. I have used them over the mixed terrain of the moors and some fells in drier conditions and they have been fantastic.

Charlie @ Northern Runner

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