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New to this year's lineup of Altra shoes, the Women's Escalante Running Shoe fills a void for those seeking enhanced energy return underfoot combined with Altra's dependable, foot-friendly silhouette. In typical Altra fashion, the Escalante is fashioned with the FootShape toe box and Zero Drop Platform, assuring ample room for your toes to splay and move, without causing pressure points and discomfort on your joints. Additionally, the Escalante touts an engineered mesh upper that promotes a snug, sock-like fit, allowing you to focus on the miles rather than the hot spots your toes are accruing. More importantly, though, the Escalante is equipped with the ultra-response Altra Ego midsole, which offers an energetic, swift, and plush ride—in turn providing fast turnovers, making the Escalante ideal for fartlek sessions and race training alike.

  • A running shoe built for quick turnovers and fast runs
  • Breathable mesh upper prevents hot spots
  • FootShape promotes the splay and natural movement of toes
  • Decoupled heel bolsters smooth and fast transitions
  • Altra Ego midsole is springy and attenuates shock
  • FootPod outsole maintains dexterity and quick toe-offs
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

2 years in

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These shoes were recommended to me by an ultra runner. I was incredibly skeptic, but he said he started training in zero drop as a way strengthen different parts of his leg. I definitely had to work into these, feeling muscles around my calf and ankle I hadn’t used. I’m now on my third pair, and they are my main runner. Not sure I’ll ever go back to a narrow footbed, my toes truely appreciate the ability to be free. If you want to get real weird, pair with some toe socks, you won’t regret it.


  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

I though I knew all you needed to know about foot shaped, zero drop, and why they are a better shoe for longevity. Until Altra came into Backcountry and gave us a clinic on their data. We are born with a foot that is shaped not like traditional running shoes, our feet want to stay in this position. When you take your shoes off to walk on the beach or through the grass you feel great. Why not get that feeling when your shoes are on?

Along with the feeling of your toes doing their job, the zero drop is really just a term for your foot being in its natural position. when our heel is lifted off the ground (drop rate greater than zero) you are more prone to rolling your ankle with or without high top shoes. With Altra you also want to be sure you can put your thumbnail between your toe and the end of the shoe. Your toes should feel like their swimming, but your heel locked in.

Best Running Shoes EVER

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

These shoes seem to be made for my foot and foot strike. I love the big toe box and the slightly sloped backward feel (even though you don't slope back). They remind me of the old Earth Shoes from the 70's. I liked these so much I also ordered a trail runner to use for trail hiking.