So as part of my first week back after a 2 week break to deal with ITBS (not 100% successfully) we made a road trip to another town to try the Altra Escalantes. The two of us who went to look ended up buying them and frankly we both like them.
I’ve put 9 miles on the, 3 outside the store and another 5+ yesterday. As a big boy runner the cushioning isn’t such that I’d want to run super long distances in them right now. A lighter runner, someone more average will probably be fine in them and a large number of people who are average in size who’ve run in them seem to validate that guess on my part.
The shoe is very light, both in weight and in feel. It also runs long for Altras. Which means it runs about true to size. I had to get a size 14 in paradigm’s as my toes were hitting the ends of the 13’s.
In the Escalante I have a full thumbs width between my toes and the end of the shoe, tons of room for swelling.
The reason I wanted to try the Escalantes is the moderate cushioning on top of the 0 drop (negative really) will help me with changing my gait/stride from heel to mid/fore foot. And it does. Pain is a great tool for teaching. Not a ‘good’ one but it is up there on effectiveness.
Landing on my heel in Escalantes is not what you’d call enjoyable so the body not liking pain strives to not do the thing causing the pain and thus it reinforces my desire to land mid/fore foot.
The shoes are seemingly well made, no obvious defects in my pair. I like the color in the grey, the only option I had, it could work as a casual every day shoe without any problem at all.
General comfort level was high, even better than my Lone Peaks. Better mostly due to the fact that my foot fits the Escalantes better yet. After running in the Escalantes and then putting my LP’s back on, what had seemed like a super comfortable shoe kind of paled in contrast.
The shoe has an even number of eyelets and a heel lock hole. This is important to me as I prefer parallel lacing and typically like the way the heel lock works for my feet. Parallel lacing doesn’t work as well with an odd hole count.
Running on them has been mostly a good time. As much a good time as it’s possible for me to have while pushing my body at speeds and distances it doesn’t like in the least.
I say mostly with the reservation that I’m in the middle of changing gait so that adds more than big of stress to my runs. Trying to remember how to land and take off, how to hold my posture etc. makes it more difficult to just enjoy
It’s a very flexible shoe, if you’re used to overlays and heel cups you won’t find them here and you may not like the shoe for that reason or you may find it doesn’t work for you for that reason.
But at the end of the day, if you can work with a 0 drop shoe, the Altra Escalantes are definitely worth trying out.