Altra Superior 4 | Our Introduction | Review to Follow at Northern Runner

Introducing the Altra Superior 4

For Altra fans, the new Superior 4 will be an exciting introduction to Altra’s range of Zero Drop trail shoes. Altra’s most popular road shoe in its latest version is the Altra Escalante 1.5 and the new Superior 4 is in effect the trail version of that shoe, kind of the ‘escalante for the trail’.

Altra have taken an already light, fast and comfortable trail shoe and made it lighter, added a bit more bounce and flexibility to the midsole and a grippier rubber to the outsole. The new upper is designed to wrap around the foot in a similar way to the Torin 3.5 mesh or the Lone Peak 4. All these changes will make an already popular trail shoe even better in our opinion.


All Altra running shoes are Zero Drop and have a broad, rounded toe box–their trademark FootShape. The 0mm heel to forefoot drop means these shoes are designed to work with the body to encourage a more natural posture, midfoot strike and a quicker cadence.

The midsole material isn’t the same as the one used in the Escalante 1.5 and instead is a new material called Quantic. This is more flexible and lighter than the Evo used on the Escalante but gives a similar bouncy, responsive feel.

As with previous Superiors, the 2019 Superior 4 has a removable rock plate in the form of a thin plastic insole, that you can use to give a bit more protection from sharp rocks and avoid bruising. If you’re heading out over softer ground, you can leave it out to maximum flexibility. Some customers don’t like the extra stiffness regardless of terrain, it’s a personal thing you can experiment with.

The Altra Superior 4 also have the gaiter trap on the back of the shoes so you can easily attach Altra’s 4 Point Gaiters to stop any debri from getting in the shoes if this is a problem on the trail you are running on.

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