Altra Paradigm 2.0 – Tested & Compared to It’s Younger Siblings

Testing

Day 1:  The important wear in! Worn indoors for two hours.  

Day 2: House test (b) as before, but for four hours.  

Day 4: A short 2.5 mile road/path run, followed by 8 hours indoors at the Northern Runner store and the 2.5 miles back.  Total time almost 9 hours of wearing them.  It has a great, wide foot shaped toe box like the two iterations before (and most Altra shoes).  Zero drop doesn’t mean uncomfortable–these are very well cushioned. They are really encouraging me to run more mid foot and (I felt like) I was “flying” with these on! This shoe ‘sizes up‘ in my opinion like the other Altras I have worn, so being a UK9.5 I took a roomy UK10 in these.  With the looped lace technique using the “spare” lace hole at the top of the shoe, they feel snug enough to really go for it.

They are really encouraging me to run more mid foot and (I felt like) I was “flying” with these on!

Day 6: Time for 6 miles on road/concrete paths and I was striding quickly and effectively in these new Paradigms.  I adapted to the mid-to-front foot strike quite quickly, so there was little slapping of the foot down (I’m a real heel striker normally).  The Paradigm series are definitely designed for people who want to transition into Zero Drop and a more efficient foot strike without reducing the cushioning.

“The Paradigm series are definitely designed for people who want to transition into Zero Drop…”

Day 10: I ran 4 miles of efforts at Ashington Hirst Running Club, where it’s my turn to listen to our coaches.  It included a warm up, ‘session’ (12 x 400m relays) on our cycle track, a cool down and a good stretch.  Again I’m impressed with my more seemingly efficient running stride and a big fan of the Paradigm 2.0.

Day 12: Longer run time.. 12 miles including 3 miles at TMP (Target Marathon Pace).  They are feeling very comfortable, I feel as if I’m striding quicker and certainly more upright in posture and again my foot strike is better than it used to be.  I continue to practice landing each stride on my mid-front foot.  An enjoyable, comfortable run.

Day 13: Another day at Northern Runner Newcastle (my usual 2.5 mile run, day at the store and run home). I am very pleased to say I have no blisters or rubbing to report, which means the decision of taking a half size bigger than my normal running has paid off.

“I am very pleased to say I have no blisters or rubbing to report…”

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Overview

I regularly ran in the original Paradigm and newer 1.5, so was really interested to see how the Paradigm 2.0 would compare.  I had always liked the comfy cushioning, roomy toe box for people like me with a broader front foot and how it was surprisingly approachable for those brand new to Zero Drop.

This new version is undoubtedly a very well cushioned Altra running shoe with a very large toe box, ideal for wider feet and bunions. Remember, whether your feet are wide or not, the extra width is designed to allow your feet and toes to spread out properly on impact.  To go from a heel strike (which many do) to any zero drop shoe needs careful thought and thankfully for newcomers, this shoe makes that process easier.  

I do think my posture is better still in the newer Paradigm 2.0 compared with the older versions, which is no mean feat. That means I feel as if I’m running quicker and ‘taller’, which I’m very confident is much more efficient. The sole of this newer version appears to be firmer and harder wearing than the older versions, which makes sense as I came to the conclusion quite quickly that this new version is more responsive. By that I mean I was striking the ground and then pushing off quicker.. maybe there is less of a rocker to encourage you onto the fore-foot.  

I have been a long term ‘heel striker’. If Altra can get me running taller and more efficient, then the can undoubtedly do the same for you. The Paradigm 2.0 is perfect for those new to Altra’s flagship & trademarked Zero Drop, Foot Shape Toe Boxes and other fantastic running tech.

Iain Singer
Northern Runner
UKA qualified coach and runner of the marathon distance over 70 times.

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