Altra Duo

8.2
8.2 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.2)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 9.7 / 10
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The Altra Duo is a unique shoe because the brand aimed to create a shoe that would not only be lightweight and breathable but highly cushioned as well. And it seems like they succeeded; all the reviews raving about how comfortable and long-lasting the shoe attests to that fact. This is also the first time that Altra has ever taken on a similar project before.

The shoe’s design features lugs which not only help to decrease the weight of the shoe, but also help to add to the shoe’s flexibility, and in turn, help the person to run even faster. And the cushioning is not too plush to the point where the person’s ability to run fast enough or for longer distances is compromised; there is enough cushioning to help the runner feel supported, while also feeling as though their foot is firmly in place. The cushioning is also meant to be responsive, meaning that it will absorb the shock of the movement of the feet and will help the person to run faster.

And finally, the upper part of the shoe is made out of ultra-thin material to help maximize the amount of ventilation that reaches the runner’s foot. For a shoe that is meant to be used for running longer distances, Altra surely did a great job at creating a groundbreaking running shoe.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • The shoes have an extremely lightweight feel, which allowed most wearers to feel as comfortable as possible during their runs

  • The shoes were highly cushioned and provided this cushioning no matter how long the shoe was worn

  • The mesh upper material in the shoe allowed for maximum breathability for most runners

  • The shoe is designed to fit the natural shape of the foot nicely, and provides a lot of room, avoiding the possibility of feeling too tight or uncomfortable

Cons
  • Some people have noticed that the upper part of the shoe and the shoelaces tend to stretch a bit as time goes on.

  • The outsole of the shoe sometimes collects small rocks in the grooves and crevices.

Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the shoe is made out of a rubber that supports the foot very well. It has lugs on the bottom with grooves in between them. The outsole is very flexible and it helps the runner to have maximum speed. The grooves in the outsole are referred to as Innerflex by the Altra brand. And finally, the outsole is made to suit the natural shape of the foot even better, which adds to the comfort of the shoe even more.
Midsole

Midsole

One of the most important and fundamental features of the shoe is that it has a lot of cushioning. However, the cushioning is not so soft to the point where it is plush, and where the person’s ability to run is compromised. The midsole is made up of Max Lite foam, which helps the person to have a lot of cushioning and support while also feeling firm. The midsole is also responsive, so when the person runs, they will feel a spring in their step as the shoe absorbs the shock. Finally, the foam does not change its shape as the person runs for longer distances. This means that the midsole is made of high-quality material that many people have appreciated.
Upper

Upper

If one is to look at the upper part of the shoe, they might notice that it is a lot thinner than usual. The shoe has a lot of breathability, which is important because these running shoes are meant to be used for running longer distances. If the individual needs to run for a long distance and the shoes do not have enough ventilation, then the runner will be deeply uncomfortable. The upper part of the shoe is both thin and lightweight, which might seem like it will be of poor quality, but the upper also is reinforced to be able to support the foot even better. It also helps to support the natural curvature of the foot, so it ends up feeling like the person is only wearing a sock, or like it is their second skin. Another important feature of the upper part of the shoe is that it has materials which help to keep the foot dry by keeping out moisture. The upper part of the shoe is also larger, which means that the toes will have a lot more extra room, making the foot much more comfortable.
Weight

Weight

One of the things that most people loved about the Ultra Duo was the fact that it is extremely lightweight and allows the wearer to have maximum comfort due to not feeling too weighed down. The weight of the shoe ultimately depends on the size; men’s shoes mostly range at around 7.9 ounces, and the women’s version of the shoe is around 5.3 ounces, making these very light, even for running shoes.
Breathability

Breathability

Another thing that lots of people who purchased the Altra Duo commented on was the fact that the shoes upper was made of a material that allowed for maximum breathability. And, another thing to take into consideration is the fact that the shoes have a lot of cushioning in them, which would make one think that they would be a lot stuffier and not as breathable. The shoes themselves are meant for long distance running, and having this amount of breathability is great because if the feet over sweat or become too hot, it might become incredibly difficult, or even impossible, to run.
Comfort

Comfort

There is no surprise that a customer literally referred to this shoe as being the Rolls Royce of running shoes. Most of the people who purchased the shoe had nothing but great things to say about the excellent comfort it provided them. The thing that makes the Altra Duo a very comfortable running shoe is the fact that it is made with extra cushioning. However, this added cushioning is not the kind that will make the shoe too plush so that the person would have problems running in it; instead, the shoe has a rather firm cushioning, which helps to make the shoe much more responsive. The fact that it is also as lightweight as it is is surprising, due to the fact that it has so much added cushioning. There are not many running shoes which are both cushioned and lightweight. And since the upper makes the foot feel more secure in the shoe, and the shoe is designed to be able to adjust to the natural curvature of the foot, there were almost no reviews complaining about problems with comfort. In fact, many people said that there were problems with the shoe stretching out over time. The other important thing to note is that people said that they did not need to break the shoe in; it was comfortable from the moment they started wearing it.
Style

Style

The Altra Duos definitely look like running shoes, so if you are not going for the kind of look where it would be obvious that you are wearing running shoes to go shopping or some other casual events, then these are not it. But, the good news is, the Altra Duos do come in many different colors for both men and women. For men, they come in black and blue, light blue and white with yellow accents, white and gray, blue and orange, black and red, and gray and lime. For women, the Altra Duo comes in almost the same colors, plus some options in black and pink, blue and coral, purple and orange, and dark purple. This means that you can find shoes in any color that you would like and that would match with your running gear.
Durability

Durability

Some people have said that the upper and the laces of the shoe stretched out over time. Also, the fact that the upper is so thin might cause some people to have second thoughts about how durable the shoe actually is. But in reality, the shoe has overlays in the upper which help it to not only keep its shape but to keep the foot firmly in place. And the cushioning will keep its shape for a long time, no matter how much or how long someone runs. The outsole is also made out of durable material meant to last for a long time.
Protection

Protection

This shoe has a lot of cushioning to help provide for extra protection. It is especially good for the joints. And, since the shoe has a zero drop and added cushioning, it also will help the person run more naturally, therefore adding extra protection for the feet and legs.
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The main focus on the Altra Duo was it's cushioning. The cushioning is not so soft as to feel plush, but it is also not so firm that it feels like a rock. Instead, the firmness of this shoe helps to increase its responsiveness by absorbing the shock and returning the energy to the feet.
Terrain

Terrain

The main environment in which these shoes are intended to be worn is the road. These shoes, due to the fact that they are made of rather light material, are certainly not intended to be worn on tough trails or on dirt roads. Some people have said that they were able to wear the Altra Duos for indoor gym exercises, but the shoes are more so intended to be worn on the open road. These are perfect for people who like to run daily, or who participate in more involved running events, such as marathons.
Flexibility

Flexibility

There is a technology that goes from the outsole into the midsole of the shoe that Altra refers to as the inner flex groove system. This system has several features. For one, it helps to contribute to the lightweight feel of the shoe by cutting down on the weight that is common in many running shoes. The inner flex system also helps to make the shoe a lot more flexible than other running shoes. It does this by giving the runner some more momentum when they hit the road. And since the shoe also has a thin upper, the added cushioning provided by the Altra Duos won’t make the shoe feel too stuffy on the foot.
Drop

Drop

One of the key features of shoes created by the Altra brand is that they all feature a zero drop. This means that they have no platform. For some people, especially those who might have problems with their feet, this might be a nightmare. But the Altra Duo also features 30mm cushioning, which helps to provide even more cushioning. The reason for this design is so that the runner will land on the middle of their foot instead of their heel. This ends up being a more natural way to run.
Key Features

Key Features

-The Max Lite cushioning in the midsole helps to ensure both high responsiveness and extra support for the wearer.
-The mesh on the upper part of the shoe is made out of thin material, not only helping to decrease the overall weight of the shoe, but also to provide maximum breathability for the wearer.
-The shoe has a zero drop, but the cushioning is 30 millimeters high, which means that running will feel a lot more natural for the feet.
-The inner flex groove system, going from the outsole of the shoe into the midsole, helps to decrease the weight of the shoe and provide for maximum flexibility.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Based on all the great reviews that the shoe received, it is clear that this shoe features everything that people will look for in a running shoe. It not only has a zero drop which is a signature feature of the Altra brand, but it also has enough cushioning to make it feel as comfortable as possible, lightweight material in the upper to help ensure maximum breathability, and the shoe is structured in such a way to support the natural curvature of the foot. There were very few negative reviews of the shoe, and people said that this was precisely the running shoe that they had been looking for.