The Altra Paradigm 6 is a max cushioned/max stability shoe that serves up a blend of comfortable softness, energetic pop and structured support built on a balanced cushioning platform with an accommodating rounded toe box.
It’s an ideal choice for long-distance runs and high-mileage training for runners who tend to overpronate or supinate when they run. Subtle changes have resulted in an improved fit, feel and ride.
A lot has changed since the previous edition of the Paradigm was unveiled last year. The most notable updates are the addition of the new Altra EGO Max cushioning material in the midsole.
The Altra EGO Max midsole foam is absolutely luscious, a welcome improvement over last year’s Altra EGO compound. It’s lighter and springier but it doesn’t compromise the shoe’s stability. It feels better and has helps make the Paradigm run better without any inhibitions.
All Altra shoes are built with a Footshape toe box design. The toe box is wider and more rounded than most other shoes. This allows a runner’s toes and the transverse arch to splay and flex to allow for more effective muscular output for natural stability and optimal propulsion at the toe-off phase of a stride.
It might feel excessively wide when you lace it up, but it will feel smartly proportioned during a run.
The new Altra Paradigm 6 fits true to size with a medium volume in the heel and midfoot and a slightly wider toe box — though not nearly as spacious as some previous editions of this shoe. (It’s only available in a standard width.)
The step-in feel is soft, plush and comfortably snug, thanks in part to the interior arch support mesh that gently wraps each foot.
The new Altra EGO Max cushioning material feels light, airy and responsive when you first lace them up and start running, but especially so late in a long run.
What you don’t feel is the distinctive only-there-when-you-need-it support that accommodates the specific medial and lateral rolling of each foot as it rolls through the gait cycle.
If your ankles tend to overpronate or supinate when you run — especially in the latter stages of a long run — the ride remains supportive, cushy, energetic and consistent.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners who appreciate a lot of cushioning and also need extra support to offset overpronation will love the Altra Paradigm 6.
The blend of comfortable padding and stability-enhancing structure are ideal for high-mileage weeks, training for longer races and long training runs.
It’s not a fast or especially agile shoe, so it’s not going to be a choice for faster workouts, up-tempo training or racing. But it’s as a reliable and comfortable as any shoe in the stability category.
ALTRA PARADIGM 6 PROS
The Paradigm 6 still provides subtle stability in every stride, but in a revised fashion from the previous edition.
Altra updated its GuideRail system to have two independent support rails on the medial and lateral side that provide stability to match a runner’s specific gait style and pronation/supination patterns.
It also removed the firmer SabiliPods in the base of the shoe to allow a more natural rolling sensation from touch-down to toe-off.
The reason Altra builds all of its shoes on a level platform is to allow the heel and forefoot of a runner’s foot to always be an equal distance from the ground. Unlike shoes with elevated heels and sloping profiles, Altra’s shoes create what the brand calls a balanced cushioning platform for optimal foot alignment and low-impact footstrikes.
Lastly, it brought a trimmed-down version of its InnovArch system that cinches in the foot with an interior netting integrated with the laces.
ALTRA PARADIGM 6 CONS
It might take some time to adjust to running in shoe with a level or zero-drop platform like this. Ultimately, it can be a great setup for a lot of runners to help their feet move and flex naturally.
But if you’ve been running in shoes with a high to moderate heel-toe offset of 8mm to 13mm, consider make a gradual transition into Altra shoes built on a level platform.
ALTRA PARADIGM 6 TECH SPECS
SHOP PARADIGM 6
MEN’S ALTRA PARADIGM 6
WOMEN’S ALTRA PARADIGM 6