Gear Review: Altra Provision (UPDATE)

Altra Provision MensMany months ago I reviewed the Altra Provision. I gave it an 8/10 RAWRS, a fairly solid score, but mentioned it was not the shoe for me when it comes to running longer distances.

Since then a lot has happened, including a big move to a different city. During that move, I had to pack up shoes, leaving one or two pairs out to use. After what seemed like hours of scratching my head, I picked one pair out of the sea of choices: The Altra Provision.

Now, keep in mind, these shoes had to do everything. I was moving boxes in them. Moving furniture. Working in the backyard of the old house as I got ready for my renter to move in. Working out, and of course, running. It would be 3 weeks before I’d be able to put another pair of shoes on.

When I interacted on Twitter & Facebook with Altra months ago complaining of the stiff heel counter, they mentioned that it needed to be worked in. I tried, but at the time never managed to get it the right way. I’m happy to announce that finally, after so many months of wear, the shoes have broken in. Boy have they ever. They are now up there with some of my most comfortable shoes. Except, here’s the weird thing… they look almost brand new.

These shoes have a lot of miles on them. Miles from running on both road and light trail (and, erm, not so light trail). Miles of walking, hours of lifting weights and jumping rope. These shoes have not been treated nicely. I’ve beat them like zero drop rented mules. And they’ve figuratively cocked an eyebrow up at me and said “that all you got?”

With the comfort increase the Altra Provisions bump up to a 10/10. I’m ignoring their less than stellar looks because, to be honest, 1) I don’t care & 2) Their new models look fantastic. They are comfortable, durable, have just the right amount of cushion and the room to allow my toes to splay is huge when I ramp the distances up.

So I’m upgrading their score with this cavaet: wear the suckers in. I don’t care what you have to do, beat them with a broom handle, toss them into a pen with 2 dozen puppies, whatever. Also, it is possible that other models/new models don’t have the stiff heel counter, so your mileage may vary. They might come awesome right out of the box.

Cost: $104.99
Score UPDATED: 10/10 RAWRS (Comfort, cushion, zero drop)

High: Lots of cushion, zero drop, lots of toe room due to “foot shape”
Low: Expensive, visually clunky

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