Altra Escalante 2.5 Review – The Best Version Yet?

The Escalante product line is a winner, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this one will be as well.

Altra Escalante 2.5 Featured

As we’ve seen before, updated products can be a big flop.

Some companies overhaul the entire shoe to make it better.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Today I will be reviewing the Altra Escalante 2.5 and providing my honest opinion.

Not bad for a minimalist running shoe
  • Quality
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • True to Size
  • Support
  • Value for Money
4.4

Bottom Line:

The Escalante 1.5 was good, but the 2.0 was a huge let down for Altra fans all around the world. Altra took the complaints as constructive criticism and came up with the 2.5, a running shoe that’s comfortable, versatile and a true running sneaker that performs. Not the lightest on the market, it’s still a force to be reckoned with within the minimalist running shoe community.

Green ArrowPros Red ArrowCons
  • Very comfortable fit
  • A breathable sockliner not found on the predecessor
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Multipurpose – good for casual and running
  • Positive feedback from the running community
  • Too wide for neutral and narrow feet
  • Not the best at running races – too heavy

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At a Glance


Product Name: Altra Escalante 2.5

Price: $130

Type: Road running

Drop: Zero-drop

Weight: 8.11 oz

Support: Flat feet, low arch, neutral arch, high arch

True to size: Yes

Expected lifespan: 1.5 – 3 years

Product Description


The Escalante product line has been a fan favorite for many years.

The 2.5 is an updated version of the 2 and includes some of its better features.

Altra describes it as comfortable, casual, and capable, and can be used for running or everyday use.

From walking, to jogging, to running, short distance, long distance, Altra says it does it all.

Features include a sock-liner that’s comfortable, lightweight and breathable.

The midsole includes Altra EGO and InnerFlex, both delivering a soft and flexible ride – maximizing performance.

They also have balanced cushioning, aka zero-drop technology. This keeps your heel and forefoot at the same distance to the ground.

There are many benefits to this, but all you really need to know is it provides a natural running experience.

The Footshape Toe Box is also one of Altra’s finest features. It keeps your toes spread out and accommodates wide feet perfectly.

Altra Escalante 2.5 Upper

Again, the biggest benefit to this is a natural running experience.

The outsole consists of Footpod Technology, mapping the bones and tendons of your feet to help it bend and move naturally.

Altra Escalante 2.5 Outsole

Changes from the Altra Escalante 2


The Altra Escalante 1.5 was a great shoe. It had comfort and versatility just like the 2.5

Business was booming, until it happened.

They released the Escalante 2.0 and s**t hit the fan. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Some say the 2.5 is a combination of the 1.5 and 2.0 put together.

They grabbed all the things that worked from both shoes and put them in the 2.5, and threw out what didn’t work.

The 2.0 was far too tight and the midsole was too firm. They found a balance with the 2.5, providing snug and comfort at the same time.

The 2.5 features the sock-like upper that the original 1.5 had. They removed this with the 2.0 which was part of the problem.

One Thing You Should Know About Altra


Altra are in the category of “natural running”, as you’ve probably already guessed.

There are people out there that enjoy minimalist running.

They prefer running barefoot because it feels more natural. But they can’t do that on rough and rugged roads.

Most of the time a shoe is needed.

That’s where a minimalist shoe comes in. That’s Altra’s specialization

The zero-drop technology keeps your feet at the same distance to the ground.

Traditionally, most normal shoes have a drop of 10mm to provide arch support.

Does this mean arch support is simply not there?

Not necessarily.

Minimalist shoes are usually created with enough cushioning to accommodate arches properly.

Performance Review – What Can It Do?


The good news is that the claims Altra make about being versatile are not exaggerated.

Customers run short distance and long distance and say they love them. They are comfortable and didn’t have any problems.

One person claims he put in 1000 miles into them, which is astonishing. The average running shoe only goes about 300 – 600 miles.

Others use them for racing. Although not the lightest for it, sometimes people can only run in zero-drop shoes.

They can also be used for walking, casual, for your job, and even the gym.

Yes they are great for lifting weights!

The flat and wide toe box promotes stability which is mandatory when weightlifting.

Size and Fit


The fit is true to size and accommodates wide feet nicely.

Sizes range from 7 – 15 for men, and 5.5 – 12 for women.

Keep in mind that Altra specialize in wide feet and have built up a loyal following because of it.

If you have narrow, or even neutral feet, I would stay away from these at all costs.

They’ll just be too loose and you’ll never get them to fit correctly. You can tighten the laces, but that just secures the midfoot while everything else stays loose.

Fit recommendation: Wide feet or wide forefoot

What Do The People Say?


Buyer Reviews

Here are a few small snippets pulled from Altra’s official website regarding the Escalante 2.5.

The 2.5 goes back to that sock-like upper feel of the 1.5 with extra support in the upper only where needed.

I’ve walked in my first pair for about a month. I ordered two more pairs! Possibly the best fit I’ve ever had from Altra.

Nothing negative to say here. I absolutely love these shoes. They are very, very comfortable and the fit is great.

I love this shoe! 30 miles in and I have nothing bad to say about them. They are light and bouncy and seem to hold true to a neutral foot stance.

Expert Reviews

I scoured the internet to find what the experts have to say. Here’s what I dug up.

Lets Run More – This is a comfortable shoe that’s good for different running distances, while staying versatile and good for weightlifting in the gym.

Road Runner Sports – The 2.5 has been revamped with a perfect combination of performance, fit and breathability. And you’ll quickly notice an improved stride the second you put them on.

Run Repeat – The Altra Escalante 2.5 is good for fast-paced running, and the zero-drop technology promotes smooth heel-to-toe transitions. They also say it’s good for both casual and running.

My Personal Opinion


What do I genuinely think about the Altra Escalante 2.5 Running shoes?

I think they are perfect for people with wide feet that want a natural running feeling.

But what if you don’t know what the minimalist experience is like?

It’s easy to know if you like this type of running, as you’d prefer to run in bare feet than traditional shoes.

Basically, minimalist shoes, aka barefoot shoes, are lower to the ground, lighter, and less cushioned than traditional sneakers.

They’re made to provide little protection while offering a natural ride.

And that’s the Escalante 2.5 in a nutshell.

Do I recommend them or think they are worth the price?

Heck yeahhh I do, and hell yes they are.

These shoes are incredibly comfortable, they are far better than its predecessors, and the toe box is good for wide feet.

Altra listened to the complaints from previous versions and made changes accordingly.

And they worked in their favor!

Verdict: A Comfortable, Natural Running Shoe


If you decide to get the Altra Escalante 2.5’s for yourself, know that you are in good hands

They are still pretty new so they are here to stay.

And everyone loves them. There have only been a few complaints.

The biggest downside is that the wide fit sucks for neutral or narrow feet.

However, they are perfect for wide feet people with a more natural running experience than traditional sneakers.

Altra Escalante 2.5 – $130

Not bad for a minimalist running shoe
  • Quality
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • True to Size
  • Support
  • Value for Money
4.4

Bottom Line:

The Escalante 1.5 was good, but the 2.0 was a huge let down for Altra fans all around the world. Altra took the complaints as constructive criticism and came up with the 2.5, a running shoe that’s comfortable, versatile and a true running sneaker that performs. Not the lightest on the market, it’s still a force to be reckoned with within the minimalist running shoe community.

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