Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Altra Olympus 2.0 Review


I started running in Altra shoes about a three years ago.  Continuing my week of Altra, I will review their Max Cushioned Trail Shoe, the Olympus 2.0.  This shoe won the Trail Runner Magazine’s Editors’ Choice award for Spring of 2016.  I have written reviews for several Altra shoes in the past.  Click the links to read my past reviews:

The Olympus 2.0 builds upon their extremely popular Olympus series shoes.  These are max cushioned trail shoes that are perfect for running longer distances on the trail where your feet need a little more cushion and support.  They have a stack height of 36mm, which is a lot, but doesn’t feel unstable in any way.


Like the Instinct 4.0, the Olympus 2.0’s midsole is made with both EVA and A-Bound™ materials.  The EVA top layer of the midsole helps take some of the impact from the trail while the A-Bound™ bottom layer to adds a spring to each step.  The really cool thing about this shoe is even with tons of cushion, it only weighs in at 11 ounces.  The cushioned midsole is a little more on the firm side than shoes like Hoka One One, but is really responsive. 


New for this version, the Olympus 2.0 has added a Vibram® Megagrip outsole.  This is a super-grippy material that really helps on technical and rocky trails as well as in the mud.  Altra completely revamped the outsole compared to the previous models.  The Vibram® Megagrip is blue area on the picture below.  The grey area is exposed midsole, which saves weight but is still effective at providing a great grip.  The tread is awesome!  It has both forward and reverse facing lugs.  The lugs will help give you grip when running up a hill and traction while running down hills.  I never felt like I was going to slip in the Olympus 2.0.


The redesigned upper takes away some of the overlays that previous versions had.  That means that it’s a lot more breathable, and again, it cuts down on weight.  The mesh and lacing design does a great job of cinching your foot down so you can handle anything the trails throw at you.

Like other Altra shoes the Olympus 2.0 puts your foot in its natural position with its zero heel drop (that’s how you would walk if you didn’t have shoes on).  The FootShape™ toebox allows your toes to spread out and will eliminate issues of compressing your feet/toes like many shoes out there. 

One of my favorite features of this shoe is the Gaiter Trap.  It is a piece of Velcro on the back of the heel that you can attach your gaiters too.  It’s also on the Lone Peak shoes and it makes securing your gaiters much easier. 


I took the Olympus 2.0 out on a really wet, muddy trail run to really put it to the test.  I went through mud puddles, over exposed granite, and on single track trails with roots.  Nothing slowed me down, except for my tired legs.  The Olympus 2.0 had the perfect amount of cushion and I really felt the benefit of my toes being able to spread out on the trails, especially when I was trying to make sharp turns.  It will be a great shoe for longer trail runs and ultras as well as shorter trail runs.

Pros:
Very comfortable
Zero heel drop
Wide toe box.
Great grip with the Vibram® Megagrip outsole
Gaiter Trap
Plenty of cushion
Lightweight at 11 ounces
Great price ($105 on sale at Altra.com)

Altra’s Social Media Links:

I love the Lone Peak 2.5 for shorter trail runs because they are somewhat lightweight and agile.  The Olympus 2.0 is perfect for longer trail runs and would be awesome when your feet start to get tired.  The lugs and  Vibram® Megagrip outsole really give you confidence on the trails, no matter the conditions.  You can get the Olympus 2.0 for $105 on the Altra website right now (on sale).  They just came out with the Olympus 2.5 which has some minor updates.  Be sure to read the reviews of the all new Escalante tomorrow as I continue the week of Altra. 

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.

2 comments:

  1. I've been running in Altra shoes (Lone Peak & Provision) for about a year now, and am really impressed at how much they've helped to improve my form/economy and reduce injuries (a couple of long-term recurring injuries have all but disappeared).

    I'd be curious to see a comparison of these vs. the Lone Peaks (the 3.0, as there were significant changes since the 2.5) - I've had shoe store staff warn me that the Olympus is just too tall/thick for really technical terrain (i.e., where I live in the westcoast rainforest), but OTOH I find myself thinking that the LPs are at about their limit on longer runs (50K+).

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    Replies
    1. The Lone Peaks are much better on technical terrain, but like you said, there are limits on how far most people can run in the LP without needing more cushioning and support. I love my LP 2.5, but probably would need more cushion than that for running 50k or longer.

      While the stack height is higher in the Olympus, it doesn't feel unstable in most conditions. On really technical situations, you might have an issue, but that would only be in the most extreme situations. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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