Altra Timp 1.5 Review | Zero Drop Trail Shoes | Northern Runner
Altra Timp 1.5 Review
Improvements to the Versatile Trail/R2T Running Shoe
The Altra Timp 1.5 is a highly cushioned Zero Drop off-road running shoe. Designed for Ultra marathons or long distance runs, it sits just below the maximally cushioned Olympus and above the more agile Lone Peak in Altra’s trail shoe range.
The first thing you notice when you slip your foot into the Timp 1.5 is that your foot relaxes! The shape of the shoe is designed this way, to fit more naturally than lots of other running shoes and gives the Timp 1.5 a slipper like comfort. Altra’s trademark FootShape rounded, broader toe box allows your toes to spread out. The slightly off centre lacing pulls the shoes in around the midfoot and the heel and you feel ready to go. This was true also in the original Timp, so the question was; what improvements have been made in the latest incarnation of this popular distance running shoe?
Firstly the Timp 1.5 is lighter than the original version. The cushioning is softer too, great for comfortable ride lovers and generous when the mileage cranks up. It also offers more energy return. So coupled with a bit more flexibility in the midfoot the Timp 1.5 a smoother ride than its predecessor. For those looking for a road to trail shoe this is important, as a lot of trail shoes don’t feel nice on the road. They are made to give more ground feel and be nimble on broken trail. The Altra Timp 1.5 is made for firmer trails but is equally usable on the tarmac to your favourite off-road spots.
The grip of the outsole has also been improved. The tread pattern is the same as the previous Timp but the tread is now made of a solid rubber called Dura Tread, which is stickier than the previous outsole. This is great because a lugged outsole in a highly cushioned shoe always feels a bit slippy due to the low surface area that is in contact with a firm surface. I have had no problems with the Timp 1.5 on wet roads and moss covered tarmac that I find on many of the back roads I have run on. Forestry fire roads and disused railway lines are also no problem. I expected to slip and slide on muddy farmer’s fields but was pleasantly surprised that the lugging was deep enough to give me enough traction. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t a cross country racing shoe but they are versatile enough to train over lots of different surfaces.
The Alta Timp 1.5 is not a ‘super-fast’, highly responsive, give you the urge to push on kind of running shoe. They are ideal for those newer to off-road running looking for comfort no matter the miles and would be great for more experience runners doing everyday training runs when you just want to run a long route in comfort and recover from your faster sessions. There is enough cushioning in the shoes to reduce the stress on your legs.
Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle
Shoes to compare to:
Altra Lone Peak 4: If your trail is less hard packed then the slightly less cushioned Lone Peak 4 would be an option. It is still well cushioned but, has more ground feel and a bit more flexible than the Timp 1.5. It doesn’t feel as nice on the road but, is better on more broken trail.
Topo Ultraventure: Topo like Altra have a broad rounded toe box. They are a snugger fit around the heel and the midfoot than most Altra’s and have a firmer cushioning. The Ultraventures cushioning is softer than most Topo shoes but, not as soft as the Timp 1.5. So, they do feel a bit more responsive. The grip of the outsole is similar. The Topo Ultraventures are 5mm from heel to forefoot.
On Cloudventure: The New Cloudventure is similarly versatile to the Timp. Although it is stiffer and so it doesn’t ride as ell on more broken, stony paths. The lugs give similar good grip and there is good cushioned for harder trails. The fit is much narrower as it is in all the On shoes.
Inov-8 Terraventure G260: The Inov-8 Terraventure much more of an out and out trail shoe. The cushioning is firmer and responsive. For those that like soft cushioned shoes this isn’t the shoe for you. However, if you like to get more of a feel for the ground and get more propulsion from your shoes then these are worth a go. They are grippier in terms of lug depth and stickiness than the shoes mentioned above. They are Zero Drop with a similar rounded toe box to Topo and Altra.