Lightweight, comfortable, fast drying trail shoe with…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 90 USD


Lightweight, comfortable, fast drying trail shoe with limited durability and support.


  • Roomy toe box
  • Very breathable
  • Fast drying
  • Comfortable


  • Not much support
  • Limited durability

Comfort and Support

The Superior 2.0 is a very comfortable, lightweight, zero drop trail running shoe that I used for running, backpacking, and currently as a backup or water shoe. The fit is very comfortable. The wide toe box is standard in Altras and contributes to an out of the box comfort that I haven't found in any other variety of trail shoe. 

The zero drop of the 21mm sole feels very natural and gives a good feel for the ground. The heel fits loosely, as others have noted, but that was not an issue other than a wear spot that has been documented by several other reviews on the shoe.

They aren't the most handsome shoes.  To be generous let's call them quirky looking.

IMG_5791.jpgClassic Altra "clown shoe" look

These shoes were marketed by Altra as being lightly cushioned and that is accurate. I have a heavier than average step and these shoes didn't offer the support or protection that I needed for a primary backpacking shoe. After two fast and long consecutive backpacking trips I relegated these shoes to backups, and switched back to the Altra Lone Peak series for their more substantial sole support when backpacking. For trail running the support was adequate and comfortable.

Design and Function

The uppers are a thin mesh with almost no seams which contributes to the comfort factor. The mesh is highly breathable, it wets out instantly, dries in a flash, and is surprisingly comfortable without socks! Water crossings are a breeze with these shoes, and I have walked several miles sockless while they dry out with no ill effects. 

IMG_2638.jpgTaum Salk Section of the Ozark Trail, long fast days with thin soles

The only foam material is in the heel cup and the lightly padded tongue, the rest of the shoe is composed of the mesh. I can report that these are some of the best (?) OK, least smelly, trail shoes that I own. I attribute that to the lack of cushioning. The mesh does allow dust to enter, and gaiters don't seem to help that much. There are velcro gaiter traps on the rear of the Superiors, but no metal loops in the front like the Lone Peaks.

Traction and tread is adequate, though they aren't as aggressively treaded as the Lone Peaks.

IMG_5790.jpgTread, note the ripstop of the mesh uppers


My Superior 2.0's suffered a bit in the durability department. I ran in them for a short time and with a few backpacking trips have logged around 150 miles with these shoes. Functionally, they still work fine, though there are chunks missing from the soles and the area around the toe caps from rock collisions.

Showing wear in heel cup and sides


While the Altra Superiors 2.0 didn't give me the cushioning I needed for backpacking, for me they are a very comfortable lightweight shoe and a joy to wear without a pack and for lower mile trail running. I'd recommend them to someone who runs in wet places, and even as a somewhat heavy (9.6 ounces a shoe in size 11) but fully functional water and camp shoe.  

IMG_3009.jpgPutting in some miles in the Superior 2.0's, Karkagne section of the Ozark Trail


Thanks for testing these out, Andy. I was curious about the traction. How do they do on wet trails when running or hiking? Any issues there?

2 years ago
Andy Gotto

They're grippy when running and hiking without a pack regardless of the surface, though they don't have as much traction as the Lone Peaks. I think the zero drop and thin sole helps with the grip factor.

2 years ago

I had the same heel cup wear problem in my 1.0s after just 100 or so km. Loved the fit, but I had to return them.

2 years ago
Nick Mesarhakis

This pair looks good! I like them but I have to ask how do they perform in uneven rocky terrain without any backpack. Is the sole stiff enough to handle it? Cause I'm really disappointed with my Salomon Speedcross 3. Good review!

2 years ago
Andy Gotto

I read your review BigRed and thought it was funny they wore in the same place, I believe there is a review of the womens version that wore through there also. My newer Altras are proving to be much more durable. Without a pack they're ok Nick, but I wouldn't call them stiff at all. You will feel every point in every rock, and it made my feet sore after a few hours of scree like material. That said, I didn't use the included rock plates. Without a backpack I'm twenty pounds lighter and maybe it's a balance issue, but the rocks don't seem to matter as much.

2 years ago

MollyCule, who reviewed the women's version, is my daughter :-). She suggested I try them. SHe's now a heavy Hoka user.

2 years ago
Andy Gotto

That's awesome! I read that review as well, your daughter's been in some damn cool events! Aren't Hokas known for their thickly padded soles?

2 years ago
Nick Mesarhakis

Thanks Andy!

2 years ago

Yes, Hokas are pretty spongy. My wife uses them too. I've gone the other way -- Trail Gloves and zero drop shoes, although lately I'v added some more conventional shoes to the mix. Molly did the Tromsø Skyrace again this summer, and a 3-day stage race version of the Ultra Tour de Monte Rosa. She write a blog reporting on her training and racing activities:

2 years ago

Not to sidetrack, but I wanted to mention how much I enjoyed learning about your daughter's recent races. She's done some excellent ones.

2 years ago

I demo-ed some Altra road shoes a year ago. I agree about the clown shoe toes, but I found them comfortable. Didn't buy them, but considered it.

2 years ago

One of the most comfortable shoes I have owned, but…

Rating: rated 2.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ca. $110


One of the most comfortable shoes I have owned, but not for long.


  • Wide toe box is very comfortable
  • Good trail feel in forefoot
  • Zero drop for those who like it that way


  • Wear out fast
  • Not great trail grip

I record my runs with a GPS watch and have put about 135 km on these shoes, mostly on trail. I bough them in my usual size 46, but the fit is a bit loose, especially in the heel (tried on the 45s but they seemed a little short).

I was looking for something with a little more padding than the "barefoot" shoes I have been running in for the last 5.5 years, but still with zero drop and some trail feel. These seemed to fit the bill. They are super comfortable, especially in the toes, where I often get rubs on my hammer toes in other shoes. The trail feel is good in the forefoot, less so in the heel. I have not tried the inserts that are supposed to give extra protection.

The bad news is that after only 135 km, the loose fit in the heel has resulted in my wearing through the soft heel lining on both shoes, resulting in an uncomfortable edge that I can feel on my heel.


I have also started to wear through the soft black outer rubber on the "toes", exposing the harder and slipperier red rubber underneath, so I'm not expecting that to last long either.


I will say that the outer material of the uppers is holding up well. I would hope to get 700 km out of a pair of shoes, but at less than 20% of that distance I have my doubts about these shoes. I have to decide between trying to return them, but I bought them in the US and would have to pay a chunk of their value in postage, or just doing a tape job on the heel lining to keep them going.

Too bad. I really wanted to like these shoes!


Thanks for the review of these, BigRed. Too bad about the durability.

3 years ago

rated 3.50 of 5 stars All Superior 2.0 versions

In addition to the 2 men's reviews above, there is 1 review for another version of the Superior 2.0. Read all reviews »

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.
previously retailed for:
$54.83 - $109.95

The Altra Men's Superior 2.0 is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen January 26, 2018 at REI.

Recently on Trailspace

Six Moon Designs Minimalist Review

Inov-8 Roclite G 345 GTX Review

Helle Trofé Review

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1 Review

Name this pack!

Black Diamond Iota Review