Over the course of the last year I have put a lot of miles on shoes, trail runners in particular. This review will be of the shoe that I wore the most. Logging over 1000 miles in two pairs of the Superior 3.0 trail runners. They are offered by Altra in their line of trail runners, they have the least cushion and a removal rock guard. The Lone Peak’s in Altra’s line seems to get all the love yet the Superior is highly underrated.
Before using the Superior 3.0 I had the King MT by Altra. So I was already used to the zero drop platform Altra offers. All of Altra’s shoes have no height difference between the heel and toe whereas other shoes may be up to 14mm or so. This gives a different feel and requires time to adjust from other shoes. Altra is also famous for their wide toebox which doesn’t crush your toes together. All of these things are mostly standard on Altra shoes.
The Superior 3.0 worked as a great shoe for me. The terrain I used them on was completely East Coast single track. I used the Superior 3.0 from Pennsylvania to Maine as well as running after the trail. I pushed the shoes way longer than I would ever recommend using them. Over the first 500 miles, I didn’t get a single hole the shoe or notice much change in the feel of the cushion. After this I started to notice the cushion flattening out quickly. Tears also began to show up on the sides of the shoe near the Altra logo. The shoes didn’t have any major blowouts that caused me to stop wearing them. The shoes ended up being pushed way beyond their limit. For the following pairs I’ll try to keep the usage under or around 500 miles.
The shoes aren’t all perfect, the look of them isn’t great. The color scheme’s for the 3.0 doesn’t really stand out but of course looks don’t matter when the shoe works well. Another feature that I can’t say I really have used or enjoyed is the internal braking system on the rear of the heal. It sticks off the back of the shoe and doesn’t add anything in terms of braking for me. The only thing I have found this to do is make it easier for people to step on the back of your shoe.
Why not Lone Peaks?
Everyone seems to love the Lone Peaks. They are a staple among hikers, I saw more Lone Peaks on the trail than likely any other shoe. Why? I don’t know exactly, but I would assume its the large cushion, and it seems that all of the “professional” hikers are wearing them. It’s time to break free and make the Superior switch! I found the Lone Peaks to be sluggish compared to the Superiors, even though the Lone Peaks on average weigh only an ounce more per pair. The tread pattern is more aggressive and less cushion means more ground feel. Though they are minimally cushioned I had no issues with them even in very rocky places, and my feet aren’t extraordinarily strong or anything. The other issue I found with the Superior is that no running store had it in stock, sure we have 14 pairs of the Lone Peaks but no Superiors. For me, the shoes were true to size if you order online.
My go to shoe – for now.
The Superior 3.0 will be my go to shoe until they bring out the 3.5 to see what will be new. I am going to be reviewing a few other pairs of shoes I have worn over the last year or so as well. I walked around 500 miles in a pair of Altra King MTs and 400 miles in a pair of New Balance Vazee Summits.