ALTRA ESCALANTE 2 – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | JULY, 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What New: Altra Escalante 2?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Altra Escalante 2
- About the Author
The Altra Escalante has been a ground-breaking shoe in the JackRabbit stores and online and garnering a solid fan base since it first appeared. As a pioneering running shoe, Altra's Escalante low-profile shoe sets the bar high in the zero-drop category, but also looks great in a casual setting post run.
JackRabbit guest reviewer Brian Metzler evaluates the latest edition of the Altra Escalante, a leader in the zero-drop running category – a running shoe available uniquely in both men- and women-specific fits.
ALTRA ESCALANTE 2: COMING 07.17.19
One of Altra’s most popular shoes, the low-slung Escalante 2 just got considerably better with a few key updates.
This lightweight, energetic trainer looks and feels great, both on the run and in casual settings. Like all Altra models, the Escalante 2 is a zero-drop shoe built on a level platform with a foot-shaped profile to accommodate for natural foot movements.
WHAT'S NEW: ALTRA ESCALANTE 2
The Escalante has been updated with a softer, more structured knit upper for improved fit and greater breathability and a more resilient, a more durable polyurethane insole for a better fit, feel and ride and increased decoupling in the outsole for increase flexibility and performance.
Grid-like grooves have been added to the midsole and outsole for increased flexibility, reduced weight and a smoother overall ride.
From a tecnical perspective, a new Dri-Lex® Dri-Freeze heel liner was added to the Altra Escalante 2 for heat control and a better on-foot feel. On the interior of the Escalante, the polyurethane footbed adds long-lasting plushness for a soft step-in feel.
The Altra Escalante has always been a unique-fitting running shoe. With a narrow heel cup and a secure lacing system, the Escalante fits snug through the arch. But the foot-shaped, high-volume design in the forefoot crates a roomier fit in the toe box, allowing toes to wiggle and splay for optimal fit and performance. Your toes will be happy toes in the Escalante for sure.
The Alta Escalante 2 maintains a comfortable sock-like feel, thanks to the plush, new sockliner and new upper/tongue material, which is softer and more pliable than the previous edition. The special sauce of this shoe is still the Altra EGO midsole foam, which serves up an impressive amount of cushioning and responsiveness in a relatively thin layer of cushioning.
All of this new goodness in the Altra Escalante 2 results in a seamless, entirely uninhibited ride that allows the foot to land, flex and move naturally from touch-down to toe-off.
Although there is plenty of cush and protection from the ground, the Altra Escalante 2 gives off a near-barefoot sensation that allows you to feel the ground and run with strong, upright running posture.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
Runners who think “less is more” when it comes to their shoes will love the Escalante 2. It has a moderate amount of cushioning, but it can still serve as an everyday trainer and a speed trainer for runners light on their feet who appreciate an unencumbered ride.
For runners who like minimal cushioning and featherweight shoes, the Escalanate 2 offers the versatility of being an everyday trainer that’s capable of long runs, recovery runs and speed workouts. But it’s also light and fast enough to be the ultimate race-day tool, especially for 5Ks to half marathons.
PROS AND CONS: ALTRA ESCALANTE 2
Pros:Altra Escalante 2
Altra’s Zero Drop platforms (0mm heel-to-toe drop) allow the heel and forefoot to sit at the same distance from the ground for natural alignment and gait and low-impact landings and toe-offs.
The women’s models have slight shape differences to match the specific characteristics of women’s feet to enhance fit and comfort. Look out for the 'Fit 4 Her' options on Altra shoes.
Some runners will find the new Escalante 2 to be a great addition to their quiver of weekly shoes as model for doing post-run speed and strength drills.
Cons: Altra Escalante 2
For some runners, the only drawback to the Escalante might be the transition to a zero-drop shoe right away.
If you’ve been running in shoes with higher drops in the 8m to 10mm range, you might feel soreness in your Achilles and calf muscles after your first few runs.
However if you follow a transition program your body is a wonder, and will adapt. If you want to learn about transitioning to a zero-drop shoe? Read our recommendations on zero-drop running.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”