Shoe Review: Altra Duo

Altra's new featherweight maximally cushioned trainer/racer pushes the boundaries of what's possible

Altra Duo

Price: $130

Specs: 0mm heel-toe offset; 31mm (heel), 31mm (forefoot)

Weight: 7.9 oz. (men’s size 9), 5.3 oz. (women’s size 7)

The Scoop: Wow, what a shoe! That is our collective reaction about this new lightweight, maximally cushioned trainer/racer Altra is unveiling this spring. Like all Altra shoes, it’s built on a zero-drop (or level) platform and a foot-shaped design. What makes this shoe special is that it has a cushion-to-weight ratio that can’t be beat. There’s a whopping 31mm of cushioning and outsole under the foot, yet the shoe is still super light. The midsole foam, minimal rubber and foam in the outsole and light, durable upper with minimalist TPU overlays all contribute to the airy feeling of this shoe. Can it be very durable if it’s that light? Yes, we think it will be based on our wear-testing. The selective use of rubber and TPU overlays show there was a lot of thought put into how this shoe will last over hundreds of miles.

Who It’s Best For: Strangely, this shoe could serve a lot of purposes—long training runs, slow recovery runs, tempo runs and racing from 5K to ultramarathons. Is it versatile enough to be the only shoe in your quiver? Yes, it probably is.

Plus: It has an easy-flexing demeanor, a minimalist (but comfortable) tongue and effective lacing system that cinches down the foot to the footbed.

Minus: If you’re not used to the Altra foot-shaped designs or zero-drop platform, it might take time to adjust to this shoe.

Brian Metzler
Brian Metzler is the Content Director of MotivRunning.com. He was the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, a senior editor for Running Times and the editor in chief of Competitor. He's wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of running shoes, raced every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, has finished three Ironman triathlons and enjoys the quirky sport of pack burro racing.