As you probably already know, I am a huge fan of Altra and have been for over a year now. I love the zero drop, wide toe box and cushy ride. I remember when I first saw that Altra was coming out with a maximal cushion shoe (Paradigm); I immediately told myself that I needed a pair. Flash forward to last week.
I received a pair of the Altra Paradigms to review and couldn’t wait to put them on. While they do have a lot of cushion, 31mm stack height, it didn’t seem like I was too high off the ground like with some other max cushion shoes. These shoes are incredibly light was well, weighing in at only 9.1 ounces. This neutral training shoe is so light that I could see using it in a race or speed workout.
What I like about this shoe the most is that you get all the cushioning that you need on longer training runs, but you still feel that connection to the ground. I could not say the same thing about the Hoka One One Rapa Nui Tarmac. It was also a max cushion shoe, but was heavier and you couldn’t feel the ground. It felt more like you were running on cotton balls. While that might appeal to some people, I want to have the connection with the ground, otherwise I tend to not pay attention to my form and my IT Band starts to hurt. The Paradigm is superior in that aspect.
The Paradigm utilizes Altras flexible outsole design that maps your bones and tendons so your foot can flex the way it naturally should. This adds up to faster, more stable runs. Altra even claims that these shoes help keep your foot in alignment when you get tired because of the cushioning wrapping around the medial side of the shoe, acting as a guide.
Zero heel drop
Tons of cushion
Great price (As low as $90 on Amazon)
Not as flexible as Altra Instinct 2
I have to be completely honest. I love these shoes. They are not as flexible as my Altra Instinct 2’s which, are still probably my favorite shoes, but these are a close second. The shoe is designed with a bit of a roll in the front to make up for the lack of flexibility. They are very light and will be my longer distance training shoe.
As with all of the Altra and other low or zero drop shoes, it might take alittle while to get used to. Altra has suggestions on how to make the transition on its website. The zero drop design can help with shin splints and other ailments. Give some Altra shoes a try and let me know what you think. They are not for everyone, but most people I recommend Altra’s to love them.
Note: I received this product in exchange for a review. The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it. I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.