Overview of the Altra Timp:
The Altra Timp is a new model for Altra that sits between the popular Lone Peak and the maximally cushioned Olympus. As with all Altra shoes the Timp is zero drop (i.e., the heel and the forefoot have the same stack height or amount of cushion) and utilizes a foot-shaped toe box. The fit is stereotypical Altra with a wide, forgiving forefoot fit. The idea of the Timp is solid but the execution leaves room for improvement.
- Weight: 267g / 9.4oz (US women’s 8.0); 323g / 11.4oz (US men’s 9.0)
- Category: neutral
- Drop: 0mm, 24mm heel/24mm forefoot (+5mm insole)
- Upper: water-resistant mesh with TPU overlays, gaiter attachment points, and asymmetrical lacing
- Midsole: quite soft EVA foam cushioning
- Outsole: MaxTrac ® outsole (anatomically-shaped sticky rubber legs which are pretty substantial)
Presenting the Altra Timp. This new model is a good start but needs some improvements.
Now for more details. In this review, we’ll break things down in to six areas:
- What’s good: the new, differentiating, or simply well designed or built features or aspects of the shoe.
- What could be improved: tweaks or improvements that could be made to make the shoe better.
- When to use it: the situations or scenarios where the shoe excels.
- How it compares: my current go-to shoes and how this shoe compares.
- Should you purchase? My overall recommendation on whether to purchase this shoe or not.
- Purchasing Information: where to go to purchase this shoe.
I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. After all, you’ve probably got more running you can do today!
- The fit. This is the fit Altra is known for – wide and forgiving to allow your toes to splay. The forefoot fit is about as wide as any shoe I have ever tried. We’ll get to the downside of the fit in a minute but having a fit like this has its place in your shoe arsenal I believe for certain types of runs or terrain. The asymmetrical lacing and padding throughout is also very comfortable.
The Altra Timp has an ‘Altra fit’ – wide and forgiving.
- The stack height. 24mm in the heel and forefoot plus an additional 5mm from the insole brings the total stack height to 29mm. On a wide platform, this medium/max amount of cushion could work well.
- The style. If you can get past the clown shoe look I think the colorways in both the women’s and the men’s versions are rad.
One of the best-looking Altra shoes to-date I believe.
- The grip. Plenty of grip from the sticky rubber, nearly full coverage outsole. The lugs are plenty deep but don’t impede the ride on tamer terrain.
Solid outsole = solid grip.
What could be improved?
- The midsole (i.e., the cushion). It flattens out prematurely I noticed. As a result, the shoe quickly becomes kind of dead and slappy. Once this flattening-out occurs the ride becomes uninspiring and overly soft and that’s a bummer. Suggestion to Altra’s design team: can you use the Ego midsole seen on the Escalante (review here) on v2 of the Timp? Please.
The extremely soft midsole breaks down too fast in the Timp.
- The weight. Altra continues to use a lot of fabric-supporting structures on most of their uppers. As a result, their shoes often suffer from being a bit heavier than needed I believe. The Timp is no exception and could probably save 0.5oz (14g) or more with some design and material tweaks.
The upper is certainly comfortable but could perhaps be more streamlined to save some weight.
- The value. At a MSRP of $130 it’s a fair value – if it held up. Since the midsole flattens out too fast the value play definitely suffers here.
As usual gaiters work seamlessly with this Altra model as well.
When to use it?
I struggle to find a true use case for the shoe given the premature midsole breakdown. If the ride suits you, and you don’t notice the flattening out feeling or can deal with it, then perhaps:
- Second half of ultras when you want that extra cushioning or lots of room for toe splay
- Easy runs when you want to work on strengthening your feet and calves/Achilles due to the zero-drop platform and soft cushioning (this is definitely a zero-drop shoe)
Similar shoes to compare with:
- Altra Lone Peak 3.0 (review here). While I like the fit and upper comfort of the Timp better I would pick the Lone Peak first in most situations, except in hot weather, due to the much better midsole and ride.
- Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 (review here): Very different shoes. The Speedgoat 2 is much firmer and better-suited to technical terrain. However, the fit is too tapered still for my liking in the Speedgoat. Can we combine the fit of the Timp with the platform of the Speedgoat 2? Toss up here depending on the situation.
- Sense Pro Max (review here). Sense Pro Max all day errrr day. This one is not even close.
Should you purchase?
So, the $130 question – should you purchase the Altra Timp?
In a word, not yet. Until the midsole issues are ironed out I cannot recommend this shoe. Once Altra fixes this shoe, and hopefully shaves some weight, this could be the best Altra trail shoe available.
Questions, comments, or feedback on this shoe? Please share! And thanks for reading!
If you’re interested in purchasing this shoe, please first check availability at your local, independently owned running specialty store. They need your business and are a great resource for the community.
If that’s not an option, please consider using this affiliate link for the men’s shoe or this affiliate link for the women’s shoe for Amazon. The return policy is great, and it’ll drop a few nickels into URP bucket if you decide to keep it. Thank You!
Meet Your Reviewer: Ben Zuehlsdorf
I am an avid running gear junkie. When I’m not smelling new shoes I’m usually running or racing around the local trails in Marin County, California or talking shop with the San Francisco Running Company community of friends. I was once a road marathoner but now have transitioned almost exclusively to the trails and racing ultras the last few years.
Disclaimer: These shoes was provided to URP/Ben for testing purposes. All words and thoughts are ours and no compensation was offered or received.