The Altra Paradigm: Natural Running meets Maximum Cushioning

There’s no denying that maximum cushioned shoes have made quite a splash so far this year. Not just for ultramarathon runners anymore, runners of all disciplines are increasingly picking up on the leg-saving benefits of a low-impact ride. Altra has been one of the earlier adopters of maximum cushioning, and they’re looking to take their cushioning to the next level.

Altra previously hit the ball out of the park with the Torin and the recently released Olympus, both shoes packing plenty of plushness underfoot for a soft and protective run. With the Paradigm, Altra is seeking to crank the cushioning to eleven as a totally max-cushioned road shoe that should easily rival Hoka One One.

According to Altra, the Paradigm is designed with a stack height of 34mm, putting it alongside the Hoka Bondi 3 and the Conquest. We expect that the shoe should perform similarly, with a nice stable platform that just soaks up the ground. Of course, this new shoe will feature Altra’s characteristic zero drop platform and foot-shaped toebox, allowing your foot to move and function naturally from footstrike through toe-off.

The upper will feature a breathable open mesh, ideal for hot summer runs. In addition, the seamless overlays are used sparingly to keep the weight of the shoe down while maintaining a comfortable and secure fit.

If the Paradigm runs anything like the Olympus or the Hoka Conquest, we can expect it to be a pretty hot pick upon its release. This is definitely a shoe to look into if you’re looking to minimize the pounding on your legs while enjoying Altra’s natural running benefits.

Expect the Altra Paradigm to hit the roads May 2014.

Altra Paradigm; M 10.5oz, W 9.5oz, 0mm Offset, $125*

*Footwear specs provided by Altra.