I’m breaking up with Altra. (for road shoes)
If you’ve been following along (and I have no reason to believe you have), you know that I’ve had continuous problems with the way Altra Zero Drop road shoes fit my heels (or don’t). The original Intuition was fine and so was Intuition 2.0, even though I hated how squishy that shoe was. But every other model has been terrible.
I’m currently running in the Provisioness 2.0, which would be a great shoe for me IF MY DAMN HEELS STAYED IN THE SHOES, but I put nearly 500 miles on those squishy Intuition 2.0s and needed to replace them. Feeling optimistic, I ordered the brand spanking new Intuition 3.0 from Amazon. The colorways are hideous, but I had high hopes since the 2.0 fit well.
I eagerly opened the box when they arrived and pulled out a shoe that was not only ugly, but actually felt poorly-made and only looked like a distant relative of the Altra family. It wasn’t even foot-shaped. 🙁 I pulled out the other shoe, put both on, laced up the weird weak-feeling laces, and knew immediately that I was done. Done. I put them right back in the box and they were headed back to Amazon the next day. That left me with a hole in my shoe line up. I can’t handle my current mileage in the Provisioness alone, heels flying all over, so I was faced with finding another shoe from an entirely new company and I had no idea where to look.
I turned to my fellow runners in the Trail and Ultra Running Facebook group. They are awesome. Not only did I discover I am not alone in not being able to wear the Altra road shoes, they had some really good suggestions for replacing them. In fact, one member pointed me in the direction of Skora, which is a company that makes zero drop “natural running” shoes. They have a new-ish shoe called the Tempo that comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, so I decided to live on the edge and try them out.
When the Tempos arrived a week later, I was skeptical. The heels didn’t even look padded. Imagine my surprise when I put them on and discovered they fit like a glove. (a slightly-roomy, one-size-larger glove) The insole is supportive, but it feels very luxurious. Instead of squishy, it feels cushy. I was still nervous to run in a new shoe after so many years with the same company, but I bravely took the shoes out on an evening run.
My heels stayed in the shoes! The toebox was plenty wide enough for my toes to stretch out. The zero drop platform is comfortable. The sole is grippy. (Is that a word?) Overall, it’s a very comfortable shoe and the 30-day money back guarantee is now a non-issue, because I’m keeping them.
So far I’ve done four shorter runs in my Tempos (<8 miles), but I plan to increase run length over the next couple of months. I suspect my right foot is slightly wider than my left, so I get hot spots a lot on my right arch, and it’s true in this shoe as well. I have some tricks up my sleeve to remedy that and I’m confident that these shoes and I are going to be best of friends. Check back. 😎