I don’t generally wear zero-drop shoes to run. I tried a pair about 6 years ago form a random, now-defunct, shoe company. I think the shoes were actually made well, but running in them really gave me bad foot and achilles pain. Ever since then I have sort of steered clear.
Luckily, we do have a few zero-drop runners on our team who love the premier zero-drop shoe company – Altra. They rave about their products and have actually reviewed both the Superior and the Escalante for us in the past. So when Altra’s new Supalante (a non-running combo of these two shoes) was released, I figured this may be a golden opportunity to get my feet wet…so to speak.
The Supalante borrows the sock-like knit upper from the Escalante and the rubber outsole from the Superior and somehow still seems to create a shoe perfect for casual wear. It allllmost looks like you could wear on the trail, but it’s creation is more aesthetic than fully functional for likely anything more than a casual hike.
Yet, I hardly even want to get these things dirty. They are just really good looking, and even with a muted grey color scheme, they still make a statement with the grip on the bottom and the clean design on top.
I also don’t think that there is as pronounced a toebox as I anticipated. Yes, when looking down, it is definitely wider than most casual sneakers, but I thought it would be more pronounced. It looks pretty normal, and from the front and side I didn’t find it all that noticeable.
And finally – how does it wear? All of the above things – look, construction, uniqueness – don’t mean much if it hurts your feet. And these really worked for me.
I don’t need a wide toe box, but the extra room is kind of nice in a casual shoe. I’m not running in these, so the zero-drop isn’t all that noticeable on a wear-to-wear basis. But taking the construction, padding, and technology from a running shoe, and placing it inside a casual shoe, really does wonders in the comfort department. Most casual shoes can’t say that.
The Supalante can.
Company: Altra (Facebook)
Shoe: Altra Supalante ($110)
- Weight: 9.9 oz / 281 g
- Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed
- Midsole: EVA with InnerFlex™
- Outsole: Duratread Rubber
- Stack Height: 21 mm
- Upper: Engineered Mesh
More about Altra:
Altra’s FootShape™ toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally and the big toe to remain in a straight position for maximum stability and power.
Every Altra shoe is built on a Balanced Cushioning™ platform that positions the heel and forefoot an equal distance from the ground. This natural foundation aids in optimal alignment, cultivates better form, and encourages a low-impact landing.
Thank you to Altra for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.