ALTRA PROVISION 4 – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | APRIL 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What New: Altra Provision 4?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Altra Provision 4
- About the Author
Always a key shoe in Altra’s lineup, the newly re-designed Altra Provision 4 is a moderate stability shoe for mild overpronators. Like all Altra shoes, it features a level, balanced platform and a wide, foot-shaped toe box to accommodate for the natural movements of the foot.
The new profile of the Altra Provision is an eye-catching upgrade and will be sure to appeal to those who already love the style and a tempting offer to those mild pronators ready to slip on a pair.
WHAT'S NEW: ALTRA PROVISION 4
The Altra Provision 4 went through quite an overhaul from the previous edition, coming away with a lighter weight, cleaner design and a better, more resilient midsole. All of those made huge improvements and resulted in a more athletic vibe and a smoother ride. The Provision 4 is also a smidge lower to the ground and almost a half-ounce lighter.
The light-but-supportive engineered mesh upper allows for cooling airflow to pass through the shoe, allowing the foot to stay cool in warmer weather and to quickly wick moisture away from a runner’s feet.
With every stride, the magic of Altra’s zero-drop platform and relatively wide toe box come into play. While the foot is able to roll through the gait cycle without being burdened by an elevated heel, the toes have room to splay at the front of the shoe to set up for an optimally efficient toe-off phase of the stride.
When you slip your feet into a pair of Altra Provision 4's and lace ‘em up, you will get a feeling of roominess from in forefoot and a reliable, snugness in the medium-width midfoot and heel. There’s a comfy step-in feel that is best characterized as soft with a touch of bounce.
While softness is a characteristic of most shoes, the distinct bounce of the Provision 4 comes from the combination polyurethane insole and the A-Bound material in the midsole. The ride is buttery smooth and subtly supportive, as the GuideRail system and Dynamic Arch offers plenty of stability precisely when and where it is needed while each foot rolls through the gait cycle. While you don’t feel the support, you will definitely feel the bounciness in each step.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
Runners who mildly overpronate — in other words, those whose feet tend to roll inward after impact with ground — will absolutely love this shoe. Not only does the Altra Provision 4 provide necessary support, but it’s also comfortable, light and energetic. That’s a far cry from what traditional stability shoes feel like.
When it comes to short or long training, the Altra Provision 4 is a great everyday training shoe for shorter and longer distances, but it also might be the shoe of choice for a half marathon or marathon.
PROS AND CONS: ALTRA PROVISION 4
Pros: Altra Provision 4
The Altra Provision diminishes a runner’s unique pronation pattern with a combination of stabilizing technologies — a wider base, the GuideRails system with reinforcement along both sides of the foot (but higher into the sidewall on the medial side) and the Dynamic Arch wrapping lacing system that prevents respond to pressure and help keep arch from collapsing.
The fourth edition of the Altra Provision is moderately light, but it feels lighter on the run because of the bouncy characteristics of the recycled, environmentally friendly A-Bound midsole material. That makes long runs feel less grueling and up-tempo workouts just a tad easier.
The outsole is comprise from several specifically shaped segments of durable rubber that coincide with the cushioning, stability and flex features of the shoe. It offers great traction (even through wet conditions) and durability for long-wearing performance.
Cons: Altra Provision 4
If you need and appreciate stability shoes, there isn’t much not to like about this shoe. The only minor nitpicks our wear-testers could find were the low height of the toe box and the inability to integrate well with most custom insoles, but otherwise we love everything about it.
TECH SPECS: ALTRA PROVISION 4
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 “Kicksology”, “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.”