I hate Altras

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Hobbes
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I hate Altras

Post by Hobbes » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:07 am

I thought this entertaining gear review written by an Altra hater would be enjoyed by others as much as I liked reading it. For the record, I am personally a fervent and devout Altra lover, and credit these wonderful shoes - starting with the very first version - with my ability to both hike & run without injury.

For anyone curious about what Altras are, how they came about, why they are so awesome, and why it's almost requisite to have a pair on the PCT, here's a good interview with the inventor & developer:

http://runningnw.com/2015/05/08/an-inte ... a-running/

And now for the show.
-------

These trail runners were not made for walking, but that's just what I tried to do with Altra's Lone Peak 3.0, 3.5, Lone Peak Mid's, Lone Peak Neoshell's, and brand-new-for-2017 Timps. This is my story of foot pain, ankle misery, and shin splint torment on the Pacific Crest Trail. If you can withstand the unrelenting torment that this shoe wreaks upon the human frame, you must be a glutton for pain, or you are not human.

I did it to myself. I had convinced myself that Altra's were the shoe for m


https://matthewsluiter.com/2017/11/20/h ... ype-train/

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Harlen
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Re: I hate Altras

Post by Harlen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:49 pm

What a write-up! Thanks for the good read Karl. Are you still are an advocate for these shoes?!

It seems to me that there are two basic kinds of human feet- those that hurt and blister easily, and those that don't. Perhaps you are one of the latter type? I have several times faced fervent advice to NEVER buy used boots! I am known for buying used everything in life, and boots and shoes of all kinds have been de rigueur for me. I've had blow-outs more than once, but even then managed to tape and tie things back together and carry on without harm.

Once a guy was telling me not to strap my crampons onto my lightweight summer boots, complete with dire warnings about ruining my arch forever, and on and on. My response was to tell him about a young Danish adventurer I had met, who strapped crampons over the Tai Chi shoes to make the crossing over Cho La high in Nepal. He had worn Tai Chi shoes all the way to Everest base camp, over Cho La, across the glacier, and down to Gokyo! He said it worked fine because he used 2 pair of woolen socks, as if that explained it. Obviously, he was one of the "feet never hurt" types. Your Altra critiquing guy was the other sort. Do you have any used Altras Hobbes? :nod:

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Hobbes
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Re: I hate Altras

Post by Hobbes » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:44 pm

Altras are perfect under two general conditions: (a) you have wide feet - especially the front splay area; and (b) you are used to flat shoes. They work for me because I have wide, troglodytic feet, especially under the balls of my feet (flattened & callused from a life time of surfing). In addition, I've worn Topsiders and flip-flops for decades, so my feet/achilles/legs were already conditioned for flat, no-rise heels.

To the author's credit, he does admit that the front of his feet moved around inside of the Altras, indicating they weren't wide enough to fit comfortably. But more importantly, he kept referring to the point that he grew up with high wedge runners, some with drops of 8-10mm, so his legs were never conditioned to walk in a barefoot manner ie zero drop.

Both Andy and Jim are big Altra advocates, so if they are around and see this thread, maybe they will chime in.

I have a used pair of size 12.5 3.0s, but I think Jim is slated for that pair (we have identically sized/shaped feet). If the size fits you and he's ok with passing on them, then I'd be happy to send them along.

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Re: I hate Altras

Post by Hobbes » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:02 pm

Here's a photo of my Czech buddy Andy & I met last year on this trip: http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... =1&t=14472

Image

This pic was taken mid-Sept of this year up Pine creek. He's wearing the Altra 2.5, while you can see my 3.0 inside the vestibule of my tent. It's sort of funny, because if you read through the thread posted above, you may notice he was wearing La Sportiva boots.

Impressed by the gear Andy & I were using, he spent the winter researching and acquiring UL gear over in Europe. He got to test his stuff out in Corsica on the G20 trail (http://corsica.forhikers.com/gr20) before he returned to the states.

So, he came back with Altras, a cuben tent/tarp and lightweight rucksack (backpack). After we returned from French canyon, I dropped him off @ Kearsarge so that he could finish his JMT hike. Afterward, he spent the next 3 weeks hiking sections of the SHR and generally wandering around Rogue style.

Since he was flying back home out of LAX, he stayed at our home again before taking off. (He also stayed here when he arrived, so we drove up together for Pine creek.)

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Re: I hate Altras

Post by sirthunderfluff » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:22 pm

So, I wrote that blog post ;)

I hope you all enjoyed reading my hyperbolic rant as much as I did writing it.

I have to say that I met lots of people on trail that wore Lone Peaks without any issues whatsoever and that's great. My blog post was basically a polemic against following the crowd. Yes, Altra's are all the rage right now in the thru-hiking community, but you shouldn't wear them because everyone says so. That's a great way to get yourself into trouble.

Anyway, thanks for the link Hobbes. Anything else you want to read about?

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Re: I hate Altras

Post by Gazelle » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:29 pm

Personally altras do not work for me, I do not like zero drop for hiking long distance, I do not like to wear them on snow traction not as good as lots of other shoes, IMO. I wear La Sportiva wildcats not wildcat 2 or 3 the basic wildcat that they still sell and from what I can tell have not changed in the 4 plus years of buying them always a good sign again IMO. I will say my slippers and just walk around shoes I do wear altra Tokalos and some lone peaks and love them again I don’t do them for long distance, any REAL scrambling or walking on snow. Everyone’s feet are different, and I will tell you I have tried ALOT of different shoes and always come back to my wildcats, right now I have 2 brand new pair just waiting for the next pair to wear out! To each there own and always a fun topic
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein

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Hobbes
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Re: I hate Altras

Post by Hobbes » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:34 am

sirthunderfluff wrote:So, I wrote that blog post ;)
Hey Matthew, welcome aboard! How did you find HST - track backs from your blog? Congratulations on your '17 PCT hike and good luck next year on the AT. I know of two PCT alums who have attended the annual HST meet-ups and post now & then: Flamingo (PCT '06 & CDT '13) and Ghost (PCT '09).

I completely agree with your assessment of the bandwagon effect; everyone has to find what's right for them. However, I almost worry a bit if I was one of the original Altra instigators. When I was first getting back into running, I had been an anti-runner due to the number of injuries that continued to plague the sport. When this book came out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_to_R ... Never_Seen

It immediately struck a chord - it just seemed so right. Perhaps it's because I'm naturally a minimalist, or also a person who typically looks for evolutionary evidence of conditioning, behavior, etc. Regardless, I was already running in flat/limited cushion shoes before the Altras showed up - when they appeared, I jumped on V1 and never looked back.

When Jim & I sectioned hike section A a few years back (http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... =1&t=12632), I don't recall anyone else in Altras. If you look at some of the photos, you can see Jim was hiking in his Tevas since he also has a very wide foot problem (he's now wearing Altras). So, maybe in some ways I was one of the original culprits getting the bandwagon started.

I'm curious about the Hookas - it's the other shoe I frequently hear/seen referenced. Are you going to wear those on the AT?

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Re: I hate Altras

Post by sirthunderfluff » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:24 pm

As much as I liked my Hoka's on the PCT, I'm still a little torn about taking them to the AT. The Hoka Stinson's, like the Altra Olympus, has quite a bit of cushion between me and the ground. The cushion height is comfortable, but it also can turn a minor ankle roll into a major one.

Long story short, I might go with Hoka Speed Goat's instead, one size larger than normal.

Hoka Stinson
Hoka Speed Goat

I found this place from my site's analytics. I'm wondering: How did you find my teeny tiny blog in the vast ocean of Internet?

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Re: I hate Altras

Post by Tom_H » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:51 pm

There are more bones in the foot than any other part of the body and everyone's feet are unique. A hiking shoe/boot might be great for one person and terrible for another. It is like choosing a spouse, you have to find one that's just right for your own self. What's a perfect match for others has nothing to do with what might work for you.

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Re: I hate Altras

Post by sirthunderfluff » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:31 pm

Amen!

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