ALTRA OLYMPUS SHOE REVIEW

featured image March 26, 2014

The Altra Olympus is another entrant into the 2014 “maximal” shoes, that is, lots of cushioning with a minimal offset (for Altra shoes, it is a zero offset).  Altra trail running shoes are categorized by Maximum cushioning (Olympus); Moderate cushioning (Lone Peak 1.5); and Light cushioning (The Superior 1.5).  All are zero drop.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Altra suggests to go up half a size from your normal running shoe size.  For me, the 9.5 size worked perfectly. There is plenty of room in the toebox. The Olympus came in at 11.70 oz (332 g) (Size 9.5). For comparison, the Hoka Stinson Evo comes in at 11.25 oz (319 g) (Size 9).  Some additional comparisons to the Hoka:

Altra Olympus (Men’s Size 9.5)

  • Stack Height: 36 mm
  • Offset: 0 mm
  • Heel Width: 94 mm
  • Midfoot Width: 120 mm
  • MSRP: $130
  • Gender Specific
Hoka Stinson Evo (Men’s Size 9)

  • Midfoot: 26 mm & Heel: 32 mm
  • Offset: 6 mm
  • Heel Width: 108 mm
  • Midfoot Width: 120 mm
  • MSRP: $160

The feeling on the foot is very cushioned compared to the Hoka (which is slightly stiffer).

I like how the tongue does not have any extra material near the top.

view tongue

The upper is well constructed and durable.

view 3

You will also notice the gaiter trap on the heel (Velcro connection) to keep any shoe gaiter in place (nice touch).

view heel

Altra recommends a unique lacing system to avoid “lace creep”.  The lacing up top is similar to how I laced my wrestling shoes and my running shoes when I need them to be secure.

lacing

See additional pictures of the Olympus below.

view 1

 

view 2

 

view toe view outsole

TRAIL TESTING

No worries about any rocks or obstacles.  The cushioned midsole eats them up without compromising stability.  The Olympus felt more stable (less ankle rolling) versus the Hoka.  They performed okay when wet (there is a lot of material in the upper).  The traction is sufficient on most terrain except in the muddiest conditions.  They held up to downhills, uphills, rocky terrain, scree, and roads.  Performance wise (and cushioning), I am impressed with the Olympus.

After 40 miles, I did notice on the midsole “paint” coming off, that is, sections of the midsole are painted versus having the midsole EVA molded to the color.  Although cosmetic, this could be improved by not painting the midsole. The flaking paint makes the shoe appear “cheap”.

paint flakes

Weight Table

weight table

Tech Specs

  • Stack: 36 mm
  • Offset: 0 mm
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Neutral  Shoe
  • No Rock Plate (well cushioned)
  • Midsole – EVA
  • Upper – Synthetic
  • Made In – China
  • Women’ Version  

CONCLUSION

The Altra Olympus is a maximal cushioned shoe without sacrificing a minimal drop (zero to be exact). It eats up obstacles on the trails with plenty of room in the toe box in a very comfortable package.  Watch out Hoka!  One thing I would change (although cosmetic) is to not paint the midsole.