Saturday, September 28, 2013

Altra Instinct/Intuition 1.5 Shoe Review (You are now free to move about the cabin)

As I had previously stated in my Altra Samson/Delilah review, I had never experienced an Altra shoe before stepping inside the Runner's Mark store. Boasting a wide toe box and a zero drop platform, Altra was a bit of a strange beast. I was immediately intrigued of course. And after wearing the Samson as my everyday shoe (and running quite a few miles in them as well) until they fell apart I had to have more. Since the Instinct (Intuition for women) was the very first Altra shoe I had ever seen, it was only natural that I gravitate towards it. 
Altra Instinct
I may never run in another shoe again- these are like a second home for my feet (that of course is a bit of a lie as there are other shoes that I greatly enjoy running in for different reasons but it's more of a testament to how much I like the Altra Instinct). Many people who have tried them on just don't seem to "get" Altra shoes. They are supposed to feel wide in through the toes. It may be an odd initial feeling but after a few minutes it just feels so right. My first run in them I had am certain I had school boy grin maniacally plastered on my face (I get some odd looks on my runs but never that many)- I must have looked like a blithering idiot. It's like doing something you've been trained NOT to do but doing it anyway because it just feels so gosh darn good! (Insert any number of dirty and crude analogies into there that you want; I won't be responsible for alluding to anything your dirty minds might create.)
Altra Instinct
The shoe fits wide through the toes which allows them to fully splay. This adds to greater balance and body positioning and creates a whole host of benefits, of which injury prevention reigns supreme. Without having your toes jammed altogether you aren't having to adjust your balance with the minute muscle compensations. When your feet are not allowed to fall naturally, there is more pulling and strain on your body, which, even with things being pulled out by small margins, can over time create some serious running problems with knees, hips, ankles, and your back. Little changes can cause big problems and Altra helps to correct that.
Altra Zero Drop

 "Hold up you little snot-nosed kid; what about slipping around, especially going down hill. Won't your toes mash into the front the shoe if they are free to move about?"
No. Not at all. The Instinct/Intuition fit snug enough through the heel and midfoot that your foot is secure and there isn't any unwanted movement. Your toes can splay and "move about the cabin" but they are by no means rubbing or causing any irritations. I've worn these shoes everyday for the past two weeks, running anywhere from 12-20km and not once have I come into any sort of rubbing, chaffing, or black-toe issues even over some of the tougher technical terrain around Southern Ontario.
Altra Instinct
Like all Altra Shoes, the Instinct/Intuition is built on a zero drop platform (the heel sits at the same level as the toes), which I personally feel is the more startling change from the norm than the wider toe box. It is a very different way of running than what most plodders are used to; the zero drop platforms gets you up and forward towards the balls of your feet. It is a much more efficient and faster way of running but more "radical" from the traditional heel-toe that so many runners still have in their heads.
Altra Instinct
The Altra Instinct/Intuition is the answer to the new-age running question: Is minimalism dead? Altra has answered with: No, it has only changed. With a 22mm stack height throughout and boasting dual layer EVA and A-Bound top layer outsole, the Instinct/Intuition offers plenty of protection from the impact of the road and trails. Yet, having a wide toe box and zero-drop platform it also gives you the barefoot ride and strength development that barefoot/minimal running offers. All the benefits without any of the drawbacks. Coming in at just 8.9oz (men's size 9), the Instinct is a light trainer ready to go for those harder tempo and interval sessions while maintaining  protection from the pounding on longer runs. Its one-piece bottom through the midfoot offers great flexibility although adds a bit of weight when compared to its more beefy brother the Altra Torin (a similar shoe but much more plush and geared towards road-specific runs). 

Seriously. If you are looking for a comfortable ride and aren't afraid to at least TRY something new, get your foot into the Altra Instinct/Intuition. Your feet and body will thank you. I can't explain how much I like this shoe. Thanks Altra.

No comments:

Post a Comment