Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Altra Instinct 3 Review

Altra is one of the innovators of the wide toe box and utilizing zero heel drop in their shoes.  I love Altra from the shoes they put out to the company’s belief that its shoes can help people run better and help them realize that there are zero limits to what they can accomplish. 


I received a pair of the Altra Instinct 3 to review and couldn’t wait to put them on.  I have been running in the Instinct 2 for quite a while and love them (click here for my Instinct 2 review).  My one complaint after all this time with the Instinct 2 is that while they are extremely comfortable, I feel that they are a little squishy and could rob you of power.  That being said, they are perfect for training, just not ideal for speed workouts or race day.  Will the Instinct 3 solve that issue?  Let’s compare the Instinct 2 and Instinct 3.

Stack Height
25 mm.
24 mm.
Heel Drop
0 mm (as with all Altra shoes)
0 mm (as with all Altra shoes)
9.5 oz.
8.1 oz.
Midsole Material
Dual Layer EVA/A-Bound Blend
Ultralight EVA/A-Bound Blend w/ Innerflex
Outsole Material
Footpod Outsole
Footpod Outsole
5 mm. Contour Footbed
6 mm. Contour Footbed

The Instinct 3 has a redesigned midsole and outsole.  The upper material is more durable.  The midsole is more flexible and therefore is more responsive.  The biggest change though is that they shaved off 1.4 ounces and made the ride less squishy.  I would be willing to take the Instinct 3 out for speed workouts or utilizing them on race day with the changes that Altra made. 

I only found one negative thing about the Instinct 3, which was more user error than anything.  The bottom of the tongue on the inside of the shoe, right near my toes, folded under and irritated my foot. This is a different design than the Instinct 2 and once I figured out what felt weird, I was able to correct it quickly.  It has not been an issue since that point.

Very comfortable
Zero heel drop
Very light
Plenty of cushion
Great price (As low as $110 at Altra)

Weird tongue design.

I have to be completely honest.  I love these shoes.  These are awesome shoes for anything from running hills to speed workouts to your long training runs.  Altra continues to make amazing shoes and they definitely did not disappoint me with the Instinct 3.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.  If you are not used to zero drop shoes, there can be a small break in period, but I have become a stronger, more injury free runner since I primarily switched to zero drop shoes. You can pick up a pair for around $110 at Altra or Amazon.

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.


  1. I've been looking at the Altra shoes for awhile, but have never run in them. (Yet.) I'm not currently running in a tall stacked heel, and I sometimes wear Earth Shoes (which are negative drop). THanks for your input on their ride!

  2. I love the shoes Altra puts out. The Instinct 3's are a great mix of cushion and flexibility in a zero drop platform. If you like less cushion, the Topo Athletic Fli-lyte and Skora Tempo are great shoes as well. Thank you for your comment and let me know if you have any specific questions about Altra that I could answer for you.


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