Altra Escalante 2.5 review

Altra Escalante 2.5 Review – The Altra workhorse

Altra is one of the biggest names in the running shoe market, and one shoe that’s been heading that expansion is the Altra Escalante. In this Altra Escalante 2.5 review, I will take you through the fit, feel, and quality and then help you decide if the shoe is for you or where to look for alternatives. 

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By no means is the following a prescription, and by no means am I a doctor. When making any changes in your life and using new products, ensure you discuss them with your doctor.


Weight: 8.8 oz / 251 g
Stack Height: 24mm
Upper: A full tight knit upper throughout

Altra Escalante side view


Following the style of many of the mainstream running shoe producers, Altra decided to opt for the all-mesh upper. 

Having a full mesh upper means that fit is rarely an issue, and is almost always comfortable. It’s like slipping on your favorite pair of slippers. 

With the comfort comes drawbacks, though. Performing any sharp or fast turns results in a feeling of slipping out of the shoe. While not as pronounced as you’d feel in some Nike shoes, it’s something to be aware of. Although a minor flaw, knowing that the shoe is predominantly used for road running, sharp and sudden turns are unlikely. 

As we’ve come to know through the years, Altra prides itself on a roomy toe box and completely flat zero-drop cushioning. And there’s no exception here. 

The cushioning is on the softer side, creating that “cloud” like running feel that some people love and some hate. I can be confident in advising that this is not an authentic barefoot feel, but in some circumstances, that’s good.

Lastly, I am happy to say that the Escalante’s fit true to size for me, and my wife can attest to the women’s fit too.

Buy from Altra

When you buy direct from Altra, you get the 30-day guarantee of complete satisfaction, or you get a full refund, with a free return shipping label!

Altra Escalante side view


From day one, the Escalante’s feel entirely comfortable. There’s no break-in period, no uncomfortable miles to get through before you get to the sweet spot, and certainly no sore spots to worry about.

Heading out for my first 5 miles, I was struck by the soft, spongy feel of the Escalante 2.5. This may be because I’m comparing too closely to the recent Superior 5.0, although it shouldn’t be an unfamiliar feeling to current Altra aficionados.

Towards the end of my running, the feeling had become normal, and I’d decided that these shoes would now be my recovery run shoes. 

The soft cushioning helped when I couldn’t keep a great running form, and a comfortable feel created no barrier in completing the run. 

After my first 50km, I can safely say nothing has changed. The sponginess hasn’t gone away, and the stretchy up is still morphing around my foot perfectly. 


As with many other Altra’s, Durability could be my only question mark. 

With the cushioning being a soft as it is, I’m a little worried about premature breakdown. 

Add on top of that the multiple areas of exposed form and thin patches of rubber on the sole; I feel longevity is not going to the Escalante’s strong point. 

That being said, with the price point it is at, some buyers are completely happy investing in a pair every 500km or so, knowing that the shoe has a shorter lifespan than others on the market. 

Should I buy the Altra Escalante 2.5?

If you’re looking for a lightweight, zero-drop, wide-toes box runner, then the Escalante is a no-brainer. There’s no other shoe on the market, especially for this price, that hits all those unique points. 

If you’re looking for that barefoot feel, I’d suggest you look elsewhere. 24mm drop is not barefoot and will affect your running style. That being said, if you’re looking to transition to barefoot or have a backup runner for when your feet are trashed/going long distance (like I do), the Escalante is worth a look. 

If you’ve never run in zero-drop shoes, and you’re transitioning from traditional shoes, or even Hoka shoes, then a larger stack height could be a safer bet. I’d suggest looking at Altra’s like the Torin or Paradigm if you’re coming from the likes of Hoka. 

Buy from Altra

When you buy direct from Altra, you get the 30-day guarantee of complete satisfaction, or you get a full refund, with a free return shipping label!

Altra Escalante side view

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Nick helps aspiring runners learn how to take a healthful approach to their training and races so they don’t crash and burn before they achieve their goals.

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