Altra Olympus Shoe Review
The Altra Olympus is another entrant into the “Maximal” shoe trend, that is, lots of cushioning while attempting to remain light. On this point, the Olympus trail shoe does not disappoint. The outsole consists of a beefy 36mm of A-Bound cushioning.
Compared to other Maximal-style shoes, the A-Bound foam is softer and provides a more relaxed feel. Additionally, as is consistent with all Altra shoes, the heel-to-toe offset is zero, which means there is no difference between the heel height and the toe height. For those who have experimented with this lower drop style of shoe, you will have no problem with the transition.
However, for those who have been wearing a more traditional style shoe (i.e. 10-12 mm heel-to-toe offset), make sure you take the time to properly transition. In saying this, the Olympus has an aggressive forefoot rocker that encourages a smooth transition from strike to toe-off. This seems to minimize the sensation that the shoe is zero-drop. In fact, after a couple runs, I had completely forgotten.
Keeping with the patented Altra style, the Olympus has a wide toe-box to allow for ample forefoot activation. At the same time, the upper is extremely well constructed and provides a surprisingly snug hold through the midfoot. This made the shoe feel extremely nimble on more technical trails and tight corners.
- 36mm of A-Bound cushioning
- the heel-to-toe offset is zero
- aggressive forefoot rocker
- wide toe-box
Although a trail shoe, the Olympus is designed as a cross-over shoe in that it can be worn on both trail and road. To this end, the traction is not overly aggressive and there are no deep lugs. However, I still found the shoe to perform well on many different trail conditions, including hard-pack dirt, single-track, and technical roots/rocks. The only area where I found some difficulty was on wet terrain.
Overall, the Altra Olympus is the ideal shoe for a runner looking for a more cushioned shoe that still provides a nimble and light feel. Although predominately designed for the trails, the shoe can be worn on the roads and therefore, is perfect for those who run a mix of both trail and road.
Kintec Race Team