I’ve been hearing about Altair trail runners for a few years now. They tend to be either hated or loved by those who use them. I’ve been wanting to try a pair for a long time now, but didn’t want to take a shot of buying over the internet since I have a track record of getting the wrong sizes!
Monday I went to REI and checked things out. They didn’t have any Lone Peaks in my size but I had been wanted to check out the Timp and they did have those, so I checked them out.
I learned that for me at least they fit to size. I’ve read a lot about having to buy a size larger in Altairs, but not so here at any rate.
The first thing I noticed when I put them on was how light they are. It’s amazing. They have to be the lightest trail shoes I’ve ever used. Here’s a shot of the pair I bought, for $110, which isn’t bad at all really.
So this morning my old pay jet lag woke me up early, I decided to take advantage and make jet lag work for me! So I suited up, put on my Timps and headed out the door at around 4:15 or so. It was about 94 degrees and fairly humid. I ended up doing almost 5.5 miles and my feet felt great.
If you know about Altairs you know they have two outstanding features which I’ll comment about below.
Most shoes are made with the heel being slightly higher than the toes. But Altair have a naturalistic philosophy so they decided to make their shoes like you feet, with no, or zero, drop from heel to toe.
When you put them on and stand up you feel this immediately. It stretches out your calf and Achilles tendon a lot more than traditional shoes. It doesn’t feel bad to me, just different. As I hiked I could feel the stretch for sure, especially at first going steeply downhill. But there was not pain at all.
I did notice that without that extra weight in the heel I walked a bit differently. I tend to plant my heel hard, which has caused me some injuries in the past. I stepped a bit lighter this morning which is probably a good thing.
Expanded Toe Box
If you look at the picture above you might notice the front of the shoe (the toe box) is wider than what’s normal on most shoes. That’s is another naturalistic feature of Altairs. They don’t squish your toes together but give them room to breath.
I have to say it felt good as soon as I put them on. The more I walked the better I felt. By the time I got home I was loving the feeling in my toes. I’ve had a lot of trouble in the Salomon’s I’ve been using, but not here.
Now granted I only did five and a half miles, but still my feet felt much better then usual at the end. I did notice some slight rubbing on one toe on my left foot. So time will tell on this and I’ll keep a close eye on it.
My first impression of the Altair Timp is very positive. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do on longer hikes and am planning on taking them to Spain for the last 300 miles of the Camino. That will be the real test!
As things develop I hope to keep you updated with other posts.
Till then don’t stop walking!