Altra Escalante 2 Review | Part 1: Introduction
Introducing the Altra Escalante 2
The Altra Escalante has been one of Altra’s most successful shoes since it’s launch. So, the launch of the up dated Escalante 2 is eagerly anticipated by all those runners who love these shoes.
Despite being such a popular shoe there where a few issues with the Escalante. The main one being that the super soft and stretchy knitted upper didn’t hold the foot onto the shoe when cornering at speed. For some runners this isn’t an issue but, for other is was a bit of an irritation. So, the Escalante 2 has a softer but, more structured knitted upper to give an improved fit. The upper also doesn’t stretch so it will hold the foot onto the shoe even when cornering at speed. The material is similar to that used on the upper of the Altra Escalante Racer. Although the upper has less of an open weave at the toe. The new upper material will also breath and dry faster.
The insole is made of a more durable polyurethane to give a better fit and increase durability. So, the shoe will maintain the out of the box plush feel for longer.
The midsole has more internal grooves to make it more flexible so that the shoe flexes with the foot to give an even more natural ride that the current model. This added flexibility will give the shoe a smoother overall ride.
The Escalante 2 is an ideal everyday training shoe for those runners who think less is more when it comes to cushioning. The Escalante has a moderate amount of cushioning which will make it an ideal everyday trainer for some and a speed trainer or racing shoe for others.
The mid sole isn’t as firm as the Escalante Racer so for those who prefer a light, firm responsive ride then the Escalante Racer maybe a better option.
As with all Altra shoes the Escalante 2 is zero drop and has a broad rounded toe box. This is to encourage your foot to function as nature intended inside the shoe and allow you to run with a more natural mid foot landing. If this isn’t something that you currently do but, are looking to improve this aspect of your running then transitioning to a zero drop, footshaped shoe like Altra would be a good option. It’s better to transition in shoes which are well cushioned/greater stack height like the Altra Torin or Paradigm. However, you could transition into an Escalante you would just have to increase the time you spend running in the shoe more slowly.
Here is a link to some advice on transitioning to Altra:
Most runners find that once they have got used to their feet having the room to function inside the shoes they don’t got back to pointy shoes. In fact all the shoes you love to run in now are likely to feel restrictive and narrow.
Altra Women’s shoes are all a slightly different shape to the Men’s shoes to accommodate the difference in foot shape.
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle