Saturday, October 1, 2022
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Altra at its Best » Consider within the Run



What You Want To Know

  • Weighs 10.9 oz. (309 g.) for a US M10.5 / 9.2 oz. (260 g.) for a US W8.5
  • Michael is throwing pictures at UNC and the Lakers, apparently
  • Ego Max is superb, at the least for the primary 50 miles
  • Ain’t no blowouts with this strengthened higher
  • Out there now for $160

TAYLOR: Clank. Clank. Clank. Clank. Clank. That’s the Altra Timp 4 curler coaster climbing to its pinnacle. It gained a number of love at its inception and the primary replace and began turning heads by the Timp 2. It’s nonetheless certainly one of my favourite path sneakers for something from each day runs to lengthy outings within the mountains.

Nicely, then the third model got here round and stirred the pot a little bit an excessive amount of. It felt like a step in a brand new course, and the drop was extra disappointing than thrilling, to be trustworthy.

Even at TRE this previous yr, there wasn’t a lot curiosity within the upcoming Timp. A few of it was as a result of forthcoming choices just like the Mont Blanc and Outroad, whereas the underwhelming Timp 3 performed an element.

My pleasure flipped like a lightweight change as I slipped the Timp 4 onto my ft. It’s a vastly totally different expertise from the previous couple of iterations, that’s for positive.

MICHAEL: All through my years of path working, I’ve had the pleasure of working in among the most prevalent path workhorses from manufacturers like Brooks, Saucony, and Hoka. Whereas I’d contemplate my pallete subtle and well-rounded, two obtrusive exceptions existed in my path shoe historical past: Salomon and Altra.

The rugged, ultra-cushioned Altra Timp 4 lands as my first foray into the dialog of zero-drop footwear, one dominated by the polarizing opinions of individuals both singing the praises of Altra (and subsequently getting YOKED calves) or runners like me shying away from the scene for concern of infected Achilles tendons and sloppy, roomy uppers.

I hope my assessment offers reference level for the zero-drop curious who need an trustworthy opinion on whether or not or not the zero-drop craze will bolster their decrease leg power as a critical coaching device or depart them sidelined with their Achilles throwing up hopeless, drained threes just like the Tar Heels within the final 30 seconds of the championship sport.

SAM: In a 2021 survey carried out by The Trek, over 70% of thru-hikers on the Appalachian Path wore path runners as an alternative of climbing boots or sneakers. Of that 70%, over half wore Altras. Meaning, in accordance with their pattern, that about 41% of all hikers making an attempt the 2195 miles of footpath between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine wore Altras for almost all of their hike. If thru-hiking was a sport of Monopoly, Altra can be sitting with accommodations on Atlantic Avenue by means of Boardwalk and grinning maniacally each time another person picked up the cube. Cha-ching.

That isn’t even essentially the most attention-grabbing shoe truth to come back out of that survey — 2% (seven totally different individuals) had been compelled to vary sneakers due to a raccoon. Anyway, after by no means proudly owning any pair of Timps, I acquired my new Altra Timp 4 within the mail, ran a fast 5 miles within the shoe, after which took it out on a 5 day, 80 mile AT journey. Wiser hikers know this was a poor alternative. To them I say: possibly, possibly it was.

altra timp 4 rear side

The Good

TAYLOR: Altra has been within the course of of creating the Timp a long-distance rugged terrain shoe, and it exhibits in numerous constructive methods. We’re speaking a couple of full overhaul (but once more) to make this occur with a brand new midsole, higher, outsole, every little thing. The rebuild makes for a novel expertise, however you’ll discover some familiarity when you’ve been in any previous iterations of the Timp.

Pause. We will’t go any additional with out saying that Altra’s been making regular positive aspects within the beauty division over the previous few years, however nonetheless, nothing has been genuinely catching the attention. 2022 is their banner yr, although — This new Timp 4 is unquestionably close to the highest of the checklist for seems to be.

As with its cousin, the Mont Blanc, this yr’s Timp receives a midsole swap from Ego to Ego Max. This foam was additionally within the Torin 5. Despite the fact that all three sneakers have the identical 30mm stack, every case feels barely totally different. The Timp is the least “responsive” of the Ego Max crowd, however there’s nonetheless an accent. The cushion is the first precedence, like within the Torin, and I completely benefit from the sensation. Consider it or not, the underfoot really feel is someplace between a Nike Pegasus Path 3, Hoka Challenger ATR 6, and the Speedland SL:PDX (with out the plate). Something from straightforward days to lengthy runs may be carried out in nice consolation. The reasonably excessive stack and versatile foam additionally permit traces of floor really feel. I’m a fairly agency believer in having the ability to really feel a little bit one thing underfoot.

The higher follows up with steadiness of sturdiness, consolation, and breathability. Paired with the foot-shaped final and extra roomy expertise than previously, this woven knit higher is most just like what was on the OG Timp. TPU overlays run alongside the midsole and higher juncture practically 360 levels throughout the shoe and the eyelet chain. There’s been a number of flack for blowouts within the forefoot, but when that occurs to you within the Altra Timp 4, you must cease juggling chainsaws in your trainers.

Altra at all times has the consolation of a balanced footbed (no drop) and foot-shaped design. The Timp 4 appears to fall in the course of the corporate’s three lasts, so it’s not a slim match just like the Timp 2. The entire higher lays simply on foot. Count on an expertise nearer to the Olympus’ extra spacious match than the rest. For me, this explicit match brings a mixture of emotions, however I do respect the consolation of extra room because the run will get longer.

Fortunately, in contrast to the Mont Blanc, the reconstructed heel collar offers a really good base for the shoe. It tends towards the extra “minimal” development however doesn’t really feel flimsy. It’s structured sufficient to present a good lockdown. The heel collar finds a pleasant malleable, structured, and comfy steadiness. Some further padding across the rim of the heel collar assists with match too. In previous fashions, the tough heel cup tore the crap out of my heel after about 50 miles, however there shouldn’t be any of that tough play occurring right here.

Maxtrac outsoles have been a strong choice for the Timp previously. The 4 exhibits a newly configured outsole with multidirectional lugs for all journey instructions, however the lugs appear to be barely shallower. At any charge, the Altra Timp 4 runs very easily on numerous terrain, together with gravel and paved street segments. This brings some versatility to the Timp sequence, making it a strong choice for tough trails, however it could get you out of your doorstep to the trailhead with ease.

To show its path readiness, Altra has built-in a number of particular items to guarantee long-lasting consolation. Gaiter attachments have at all times been a part of that. The brand new midsole, as talked about, helps within the all-day consolation division. To assist keep its integrity, a mesh net conceals the froth within the forefoot. There are additionally very noticeable holes within the foam, which offer a really noticeable stage of drainage too. A practical pull tab that’s giant sufficient to be a spoiler rounds out the path equipment.

altra timp 4 overlays

MICHAEL: In Altra’s lineup, the Timp is pitched as a higher-cushioned, protecting ‘cruiser,’ and it holds as much as that declare. The zero-drop profile promoted a midfoot and forefoot strike on flat terrain, leaving me feeling like I used to be at all times working with good kind. Whereas the brand new Altra Ego Max midsole didn’t increase my delight through the run, it offered a dense but mushy and responsive trip on the path. Whereas my longest run within the Timp 4 was solely 13 miles, I feel the shoe will certainly maintain as much as its repute of being a go-to ultra-distance cruiser. So long as you’re accustomed to the drop, the Ego Max midsole will depart your legs feeling contemporary day after day of mileage. In case you aren’t accustomed to the drop, the Ego Max cushioning is forgiving sufficient that will help you transition into zero-drop use with out tearing up your ft, soleus, and calves.

The Timp higher is a strong one-piece knit, with light-weight overlays across the midsole and toe field of the shoe and extra overlays and padding within the heel collar. The overlays present some delicate safety, and the knit development is concurrently tremendous sturdy and rugged with out feeling stiff or thick. General, it has a pleasant stretch whereas nonetheless providing the sturdiness to final for a lot of, many glad miles.

By way of match, the Timp held as much as my preconceptions concerning the midfoot lockdown of an Altra shoe. Each the heel counter and tongue of the shoe incorporate splendidly mushy but skinny padding that allowed me to safe the midfoot of the shoe with out slicing off circulation in my ankle and never feeling overly cumbersome or cumbersome with padding. Unbelievable work, Altra. Regardless of the extraordinarily loose-fitting forefoot of the shoe, I had no issues with toe jamming whereas white-knuckling and heel-braking my approach down among the steepest descents on the native menu. The midfoot, heel counter, and tongue of the Timp 4 are top-notch.

Whereas earlier variations of the Timp seem to function tamer outsoles with uncovered EVA, the brand new Timp steps up within the ruggedness division with a full-coverage, really aggressive outsole sample. Whereas I didn’t discover the Maxtrac compound notably sticky, I believed the lug sample did an incredible job on among the softer, muddier trails I discovered myself working on. Regardless of the aggressive outsole, I discovered that the Timp 4 additionally ran surprisingly easy on a few of my door to path routes, including to the shoe’s versatility.

Lastly, I wish to level out a couple of options that I respect as a path runner. The gaiter attachment factors, a large pull loop, and drainage holes (which carry out exceptionally effectively, I would add) present that this isn’t Altra’s first lap round your native long-run loop.

SAM: There’s a complete lot of excellent on this new model of the Timp, particularly for Altra followers. First, this can be a handsome shoe. Between this and the Mont Blanc, Altra has actually stepped it up with its design. The feel change within the midsole and the weave of the higher make for one thing you need in your ft, even when you’re going to smear dust throughout it. I’ve the blue/gray colorway, however, man, that orange model seems to be electrical.

The higher is hard as nails and really comfy. 80 miles of sticks and rocks impaling the woven mesh and bashing towards the painted on scree guard produced no seen put on (aside from the anticipated dust and dirt). My ft stayed extra protected (and cooler) than I anticipated. The free weave of the mesh is breathable and does little to limit airflow.

In one other glad shock, this shoe feels quick and snappy regardless of its path runner weight. It edges rather well on technical trails and the EGO Max foam actually absorbs and displays no matter you pound it by means of. It fared effectively for me as a transition shoe as I ran it from street to path and again once more. I even set a 5k PR (which for me is NOT quick) in it on an “open up after 80 miles of sluggish” run put up backpacking.

Store Altra Timp 4 – Males
Store Altra Timp 4 – Ladies

altra timp 4 sole

The Dangerous

TAYLOR: Even with all of its goodness, the Timp 4 has a couple of warnings. There isn’t one kryptonite facet, however there’s potential for this shoe to have a shorter life than desired.

Initially, the Timp gained weight. With how quickly tech is advancing in sneakers, there shouldn’t be many instances of sneakers selecting up further ounces. My US M10.5 got here in at 11.5 ounces — a achieve of practically a full ounce. Fortunately, the package deal doesn’t really feel that heavy whereas on the run.

As previously, the Maxtrac outsole exhibits up in each the great and the dangerous. Sturdiness is likely one of the issues. Even after 40ish miles, some lugs are beginning to look fairly chewed up. About half of these miles had been on gravel roads, lower than a handful on pavement. Additionally, the brand new Maxtrac feels much less cheesy. Constantly dry circumstances or considerably sloppy circumstances had been wonderful to traverse. When the 2 crossed over (which is like all that I run on within the spring), issues acquired iffy. Going from a moist patch to rock or dry surfaces virtually at all times got here with a stunning lack of grip.

Alongside comparable traces, even with 40 miles on the sneakers, I can really feel some settling of the responsiveness within the midsole. That is pure, however you don’t typically discover the distinction so early or abruptly. Each run had an impressive stage of honey butter cushioning, however the rebound had rapidly fallen away. I hope that this doesn’t imply the Ego Max midsole will discover itself within the dump after 150 miles. Time will inform.

Additionally, to no shock, there was some particular midfoot and forefoot play occurring. This may be typical with Altra sneakers due to the foot-shaped design and generally wider, baggier profile. The shoe has had a spread of suits and feels through the years, however this one traces up nearer to the very spacious choices just like the OG Timp and Olympus sequence. The higher isn’t “saggy” per se, however it suits looser. It was semi irritating to dial within the match to a degree I felt assured on extra technical terrain. I felt like a canine proprietor whose pup retains pulling the corkscrew chain out of the dang floor. I needed to cease at the least as soon as to retie for a safer match each single run I went on. Even so, I used to be solely capable of cinch this one as much as be reasonably safe (very like the Olympus).

All that being stated, the Altra Timp 4 wasn’t fairly as spacious because the Lone Peak sequence. Nevertheless, it does have a tendency towards the extra spacious finish of the spectrum. In case you’re one of many unique cult Altra members, you’ll seemingly be looking for this sort of match.

Lastly, for the love of all issues holy, GET A BETTER LACE SUPPLIER, ALTRA. I may rope cattle with these laces with them nonetheless tied. Sorry for my outburst, however that is an annual problem. The laces did lay properly excessive of the foot, although, they usually’re sturdy.

altra timp 4 heels

MICHAEL: Whereas I discovered my expertise within the Timp 4 to be largely joyful, there have been a couple of hiccups. Most of my dislikes ought to include the disclaimer I’m an Altra noob, and a few of my points can and must be simply dismissed by the Altra trustworthy.

First, I discovered that the midsole took some time to interrupt in. Whereas this isn’t essentially a draw back, I feel it must be talked about in order that potential consumers aren’t thrown off by a deceptive lack of step-in consolation in a model new shoe.

Second, the load of this shoe places it out of competition for race day use, easy as that. If the shoe had a rock plate, I’d give Altra a bit extra slack, however the absence of a rock plate and lack of a rocker made the load extra noticeable than in different heavy ultra-cushioned sneakers just like the Brooks Caldera 6. That being stated, the slight bounce of the Ego Max midsole did help in serving to the shoe really feel a bit lighter than it’s, particularly on flat, cruisy terrain.

Whereas the Maxtrac outsole wasn’t notably sticky (moist rocks had been sketchy, not gonna lie), its most notable disadvantage was the dearth of a rockplate (or comparable safety) within the shoe’s forefoot. Surprisingly, I acquired fairly beat up within the Timp 4 working by means of some rocky sections. Just like the power of the LA Lakers roster on paper, the Timp 4 seems to have shot at strong underfoot safety with 30mm of forefoot cushioning and a full-coverage rubber outsole.

This wasn’t the case, and my ft had been fairly beat up after working by means of some rockier sections of singletrack. Whereas I can’t blame this totally on an absence of a rock plate (it most likely additionally has to do with the very fact I used to be working in a zero drop shoe for the primary time), it might be a welcome function. The load is already too far gone to be thought of for race day, and the addition of a rock plate would solely additional cement the shoe’s rugged versatility for any coaching run.

My penultimate gripe with the Timp ought to virtually definitely include a grain of salt: the large ol’ toe field merely isn’t for me. Whereas the midfoot match of the shoe was unbelievable, I discovered the forefoot to be sloppy, cumbersome, and generally simply flat-out annoying, particularly on technical sections of path the place I used to be always catching on rocks, roots, and all method of different path paraphernalia. That being stated, I do know Altra sneakers are beloved by so many (together with my fiance) for the vast toe field and subsequent consolation and blister prevention, however it simply wasn’t for me. Like Taylor, I discovered myself always stopping to regulate the lace pressure within the forefoot and will by no means get it fairly proper. In fact, everybody’s ft are totally different, and I’d suggest these to a wider-footed runner in a heartbeat.

Lastly, HOW ON EARTH ARE THE LACES THIS LONG? I do know I tie my sneakers tighter than most, however as a result of lack of overlays on the medial and lateral sides, the mesh stretched out a bit and solely added extra size to laces you might already quilt a blanket with. I’d heard tales earlier than of the fabled Altra lace size, however man, this was a sight to behold.

SAM: It doesn’t matter what I do with these, my heel at all times feels a little bit free. Whereas sporting thinner socks on day 1 of backpacking there was sufficient motion to create hotspots on the again of my heels after ten miles. Altering up my socks and enjoying foot physician fastened this up, however I’ve by no means had this in another path shoe — particularly an Altra. Bear in mind, I foolishly tackled the AT beneath weight in these with no break-in, so possibly mark among the points to that. Regardless of the case, they nonetheless by no means really feel like I’ve the lockdown I like.

This shoe additionally has the identical top-welded tongue that you’ll find on Altras just like the Torin 5. Whereas it appears to go away after you set miles on them, that prime weld at all times slices neat little papercut-like gashes into my ankles for the primary few runs if I’m sporting no-show socks. Not a shoe killer, however annoying.

Store Altra Timp 4 – Males
Store Altra Timp 4 – Ladies

altra timp 4 side

Altra Timp 4 Conclusion

TAYLOR: Let’s put it this fashion: when you appreciated the OG Timp, you’ll benefit from the Altra Timp 4. In case you had been a fan of the two, you’ll respect this mannequin. In case you discovered favor within the 3, you’ll be greater than glad.

Altra’s Timp 4 takes a number of the road’s former glories and brings them collectively to make a cushty, sturdy, ready-for-a-backcountry-adventure shoe.

That is positively the roomiest and most cushioned model of the shoe. So, take that for what it’s price. Lone Peak fan? It is a barely trimmed up and safe model (by way of match) with extra underfoot safety. In case you come from the Olympus facet, this could really feel like a extra versatile and lighter model in lots of respects.

In case you’re coming from the just lately launched Mont Blanc, the Altra Timp 4 feels extra cushioned and is available in a extra well-structured and versatile package deal.

There are some issues about whether or not or not the package deal will maintain up for a very long time. Final yr’s Timp 3 had some main delamination points, and this yr’s midsole and outsole are taking a noticeable hit earlier than the 50-mile mark. These are points that solely time will inform. It’s a strong sufficient shoe that I’ll be reaching for it for straightforward each day miles or lengthy runs. So, verify again in for an replace sooner or later.

Private plug: I’d like to see the Timp 4 bundle on the identical final because the Mont Blanc with the addition of Vibram Megagrip.

MICHAEL: General, the Altra Timp 4 offers zero-drop lovers with a flexible, rugged, balanced each day coaching choice. Whereas weight could limit the Timp 4 from race day duties, it’s undoubtedly a superb decide for lengthy weekend coaching runs over assorted terrain and circumstances.

Whereas the shoe didn’t persuade me to drop my conventional trainers for zero-drop sneakers, I did discover the Timp 4 to be fulfilling and thrilling. I’d suggest the shoe to anybody considering seeing what the Altra hype is all about. You won’t get big calves like a few of my buddies who swear by Altra, however I feel there’s one thing to be stated for working in a decrease drop shoe every now and then to assist strengthen the foot.

Altra sneakers are extraordinarily common within the backpacking and thru-hiking group, primarily for his or her consolation and blister prevention. I feel the Timp 4 must be among the finest choices for backpackers and thru-hikers trying to change from clunky climbing boots to path trainers, particularly with the drainage holes and the mushy Ego Max midsole. This shoe is a winner for path runners and thru-hikers alike.

SAM: I really feel like I’m over right here copycatting the conclusion of Taylor, Alex, and Matt’s assessment of the Altra Mont Blanc once I say that this shoe is so near being a really nice multi-use long-distance path runner and hiker, however it misses by only a hair. It’s nice all-around, save for the heel lockdown and the bizarre knife-like snippet of tongue. Even with these two points, I nonetheless have a tendency to succeed in for these over the Lone Peak. The dialed-in match, powerful however ethereal higher, and the good midsole and tread make miles go down with much less ache. Although the heels really feel free, they didn’t begin inflicting me points till I took them over ten miles. Then, with the best socks and lacing, I didn’t have additional issues.

So, the Timp 4 may miss its aim of being the proper large miles path shoe, and it most likely gained’t ascend to AT superstardom — a place held by the Lone Peak in the intervening time — however it’s a strong, very comfortable, very powerful, reasonable miles shoe that can take some velocity. If Altra cleans up the heel within the subsequent model, that is an all-out winner, and I can’t wait. Be sure to just like the match, and it’s going to be adequate that you just’ll wish to hold it locked up and really protected from stray shoe-thieving raccoons.

You may decide up the Altra Timp 4 for $160 at Operating Warehouse (that includes free 2-day transport and 90-day returns) through the use of the store hyperlink under.

Store Altra Timp 4 – Males
Store Altra Timp 4 – Ladies

altra timp 4 on foot

Michael is an avid path runner, bike owner, and (former?) triathlete. He at present lives in Huntsville, Alabama, the place he research mechanical engineering.


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