ALTRA KAYENTA – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | JANUARY, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- New Style: Altra Kayenta
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Altra Kayenta
- About the Author
2019 welcomes the launch of a fast and lightweight performance road shoe from Altra, the Kayenta. This new road star is going to be a great addition to your shoe line up for longer races and marathons, tempo runs and triathlons.
For any Altra brand aficionado, the Kayenta is surely going to be welcomed with opened arms (or would that be feet?!)
Guest JackRabbit reviewer, Brian Metzler reviews the new style and gives us his take on the Kayenta.
THE BUZZ: Arriving 02.01.19
The Altra Kayenta is a featherweight, low-to-the-ground performance trainer with a unique upper design and responsive feel.
The Kayenta is made for up-tempo workouts and racing from 5K to the marathon. Like all Altra shoes, the Kayenta has the brand’s signature zero-drop (level) platform and wide, foot-shaped toe box.
ALTRA KAYENTA: LIGHT, FAST PERFORMANCE
The Kayenta is an entirely new shoe in the Altra line this sleek and slender racer is built with an innovative two-layer upper construction—a soft, foot-wrapping inner bootie and a supportive, engineered mesh outer shell—that accommodates for a wide range of foot shapes and volumes.
It fits into the Altra line between the Vanish-R super-light minimalist racer and the lightweight, highly cushioned performance-oriented Duo.
We found the fit to be exquisite—snug and locked down but extremely comfortable because of the lightly cushioned inner liner’s glove-like fit.
When you slip it on, it feels as if it’s an extension of your foot, offering intuitive feel-for-the-road proprioception. The ride is semi-firm, smooth and consistent, not quite springy but noticeably responsive with an easy forefoot flex and a very natural heel-to-toe transition.
Overall, it gives off and agile and energetic sensation, both at slower speeds and faster paces.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
The Altra Kayenta is perfect for a strong, nimble runner who is looking for a go-fast shoe. Runners with a light foot strike with a mid-foot, forefoot gait style will like it the most.
We loved this shoe for shorter runs, drills and quick-turnover running—tempo runs, fartleks and workouts like 5×1-mile. Wearing it for longer runs—10 to 15 miles or longer—requires efficient form and finely tuned lower leg strength.
PROS AND CONS OF THE ALTRA KAYENTA
The Kayenta is one of the first shoes to feature Altra’s new Max-LT lightweight performance foam with an energetic, well-cushioned vibe despite the relatively low stack height.
The engineered mesh upper is exceptionally breathable and durable, made from a thin but strong nylon mesh with perforations and vents for optimal comfort and security.
We enjoyed wearing this shoe with or with socks. The inner bootie is comfortable and wicks moisture, while the sofly cushioned sockliner is perforated to enhance breathability.
The only real detraction to the Kayenta is a heavy heel-striker might not like this shoe very much. The heel of the Kayenta is slightly tapered and doesn’t offer a lot of protection or added design features to encourage roll-through propulsion.
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.”