Could a shoe potentially help runners run faster, climb higher, and experience more comfortable miles? Altra shoes are unique in design. The company takes pride in melding what seems to be two different worlds – zero drop and cushioning. The Timp has zero drop. It is a fully cushioned trail running shoe.
Adventurers like the flatness of zero drop shoes but still want the comfort and cushioning of traditional running shoes. The Timp is a response to the requests of athletes. Altra created the shoe to come between the Olympus and Lone Peak in terms of cushioning.
Altra patented technology decks out the shoe. It is designed to be a long-lasting shoe meant to hold up against harsh and harmful elements of the trail. Different midsole technologies are used to stabilize the foot.
The lightweight upper breathability keeps the foot comfortable. Altra Trail Claw and DuraTread rubber are used to create the outsole. They ensure runners stay securely upright no matter what conditions they face. The shoes are reasonably priced for high-end trail running shoes available. Runners appreciate the four styling and color options that are offered.
- Can tackle all terrain
- Four color options
- Fully cushioned, zero drop
- Not road running designed
DuraTread rubber is designed to provide unbeatable grip, including on slippery surfaces. The rubber outsole material holds up against tough terrain. It provides an extended lifespan of the trail running shoe.
Ultra-light EVA foam is in the midsole. It is a full-length foam. Altra patented A-Bound technology is also featured in the midsole. The technology is located directly under the foot of the runner. It provides impact absorption.
Altra designed A-Bound technology to compress less and maintain its shape. It is meant to provide runners a durable ride. The midsole, while cushioned, flattened prematurely for a group of reviewers.
They felt the first run completely flattened the midsole. After 20 miles, everything started to hurt. It was particularly noticeable when running on flat stretches of trail, longer runs, and longer descents.
The reviewers were disappointed, but they may have tried to use the shoes for something they were not intended. The shoes are meant for rugged trails, not paved roads. Also, new muscles are strengthened when wearing zero drop shoes. The pain might be associated with muscle ache common to muscles that are newly challenged.
Laser cut TPU overlays are designed to protect the feet against possible harmful elements on the trail. The overlays provide runner protection in the most vulnerable areas. Visibility in low light areas is supplied by 360-degree reflective material.
Altra utilizes patented Footshape technology in the design of the upper. The shoe protects those with a hammer toe, plantar fasciitis, and bunions. The tongue on the Timp is attached on both sides.
It keeps debris out of the shoe. Primarily the shoe is kept in one piece. When dealing with loose debris, sand, and dry dirt, the shoes do a great job of keeping debris out. The design of the tongue helps.
Altra utilizes patented Footshape design which allows the toes to splay naturally and spread out. The risk of painful and harmful afflictions such as bunions or hammertoe is reduced. Breathable uppers keep the feet dry and cool even in warm conditions.
The sizing feels right out of the box until the upper begins to stretch. The lacing starts to touch the upper. As the laces are used to tighten down the shoes, it loses some of its adjustability. It would seem that a stretched upper problem would be solved by ordering a size smaller.
The toes would rub along the front of the toe box. There is a hard stitched-in material. The upper cannot be sufficiently tightened, so the shoe does not fit everyone well. Sizing goes hand in hand with lacing.
The shoes have asymmetrical, off-center lacing that begins to come toward the medial side of the shoe. The laces can never be tightened in that area which limits all the ability to tighten across the forefoot. It makes it difficult to get a solid fit in the shoe.
The extra TPU layers featured in high abrasion areas ensure protection against the elements. Extensive use does not cause the shoes to wear down. The A-Bound material of the midsole is designed to compress two to three times less than traditional midsoles.
It maintains its effectiveness and shape mile after mile. Patented DuraTread rubber material is used in the outsole. Along the forefoot, there is a durable outsole rubber ridge. Some reviewers complained that the ridge falls under the point where the midsole starts to flatten. The result was a ridge of discomfort on all surfaces, primarily flat, hard surfaces, compact dirt, and rocks. The shoes are not meant for flat surfaces.
It helps strengthen essential feet and leg muscles that have become weak over time when wearing traditional running shoes. Areas of weakness include calf muscles and the Achilles. The design also helps improve a runner’s gait. Trail Claw features on the outsole ensure runners stay upright and safe during trail adventures.
The Trail Claw design is the second. It is an aggressive lug system distributing different size and shape lugs along parts of the shoe that create the most durable grip achievable. The outsole material permits running in slippery conditions.
* A-Bound midsole
* Breathable mesh upper
* DuraTread rubber
* Footshape design
* Gaiter trap keeps debris out
* Recycled materials
* TPU overlays
* Trail Claw outsole
* Zero drop, fully cushioned
Reviewers were interested in a shoe that was bigger than the Lone Peak and smaller than the Olympus. It is a high purpose shoe with a wide forefoot, foot-shaped, durable cushioned and a grippy running shoe that is meant to go the distance.
A group of reviewer felt the Timp was a bit of a miss. After researching multiple reviews, it is hypothesized the group was not aware of the purpose of the shoe. Complaints included the first run being more frustrating than freeing. Every run after that became progressively more painful.
The reviewers did not describe the terrain for which the shoes were used. They are not meant for road wear. The shoes are specifically designed for natural surfaces and trails. Could it be this group was not used to zero drop shoes and were experiencing pain that accompanies using muscles not used previously?
The group did feel Altra nailed durability. Other trail and road shoes they reviewed did not hold up as well. The upper material is as damage protecting as expected. The idea of the Timp is also something the reviewers liked - a more cushioned load peak, a grippy outsole. A more performance oriented fit in the upper with less volume, a new interesting lacing system, and a lighter more agile version of the Olympus are all design ideas runners can get behind.