Altra Instinct Review

Altra InstinctPRICE: $75
WEIGHT: 8.8 ounces

This is the basic model from Altra and its most popular. It won the Runner’s World Best Debut in 2012. It is also our pick for best minimalist shoe. It comes in a black/silver color scheme as well as a grey/red/silver color scheme. It uses Zero Drop, meaning there is no height change from the heel to the toe, just the way we like it. It has a nice, wide toe box to fit the shape of your foot nicely. It also has enough of a sole and cushioning to protect your foot while still giving you a barefoot-like running experience. And at $75 it really is a great deal.

User Reviews

Users can post their own reviews straight to the Altra website, and here are a view of the reviews rated most helpful:

I’ve been a barefoot runner for over a year now. I’ve tried every minimal heel drop shoe available and none compare to actual zero drop! I don’t know how even 4-5mm changes things but it does. i did my first ever race, a trail half marathon, in the Trail Glove and by the end i knew i was going to need more underfoot for anything longer! this shoe and or the lone peak when available will be it, i’ll be wearing one of these shoes for my 50k in september. these feel like a comfy trail glove with way more protection. this shoe doesn’t hinder one ability to run effortlessly. what i noticed the most was my lack of thinking about my feet or how i was running, you don’t have to force anything in this shoe, IF you have fully transitioned to this level of footware. Thank you Altra for being ballsy enough to do this, i wish you the best of luck and hope to hell you keep it up, we need you! ~Jeremy from Michigan

I have always hated how my running shoes wear out. The heel grinds off and the forefoot becomes collapsed and thin, leaving a clunky shoe with a huge drop and no purpose. The minute I put this shoe on and jogged around the corner, I knew it would be different. I couldn’t heel strike if I wanted to (which I don’t). I am transitioning into barefoot style running, but wanted to strengthen my calves first. This is the perfect shoe for that. It offers the comfort and protection of a conventional running shoe without a heel strike. You can practice your good form a little longer because the bottoms of your feet don’t have to adjust to the hard ground just yet. This will be the shoe I use in all of my races until my calves and feet are strong enough to use minimalist shoes or no shoes. With no toe spring, zero-drop, and foot-shaped design, your feet can bend, spread, spring, and run, just the way they were created. The changeable insole allows for unique comfort, depending on your situation. I personally didn’t like arch support, so I went with the flat insole, allowing me the comfort of a running shoe without the restriction of an “arch immobilizer”, as I have heard it so cleverly called. The only thing I would change is a version that has a seamless inner, and a soft material all around to make it a shoe that can be worn without socks. I had a little bit of a problem with the bottom/inside edge, but it went away after a few runs. BUY THIS SHOE! ~TheHeapsToe from Utah

I like everything about them except for the fact that the tongues don’t stay where they’re supposed to. I recently emailed your company about that problem, and received a kind reply from Jeremy Howlett — so you’re obviously a company that cares. Thank you! ~David from Kansas