Altra Olympus 3.5

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WEIGHT: 10.7 oz

DROP: 0 mm

FIT: True to size, with Altra’s typically wide forefoot

Get the women’s version here. Men’s’ here. (And, they’re on sale!)

With a whopping heel stack height of 33 millimeters, Altra’s Olympus 3.5 gives the HOKA Speedgoat 4 (32mm heel stack height) a run for its cushioning money.

This is Altra’s most cushioned shoe, with a slightly wider base to help combat instability from the stack height. The fit and feel are surprisingly light and nimble for the shoe’s overall height, and testers liked the natural running roll of the shoe. To maintain Altra’s trademark zero drop, the heel embeds into the cushioning at the back of the shoe while the forefoot floats a little higher near the front. 

This is a lot of shoe. While it still feels shockingly light, this is not a light and fast option or great shoe for technical terrain. The stack height makes the shoe feel a bit unstable, especially when you’re trying to move quickly through tough terrain, but it handles well on tamer trails as well as gravel and fire roads. The lugs are surprisingly grippy on a variety of terrain and handle particularly well on steep downhills, or wet and muddy conditions.

Changes from version 3.0 include a more durable upper material and slightly reduced stack height. Some testers felt the shoe lacked stability on gnarly steep sidehills.

This is a great pick for people looking for a plush zero-drop shoe with an accommodating toebox. This shoe would be a great choice for non-technical ultras when cushion and protection are a priority over stability and trail feel. If you’re looking for a max-cushion pillowy ride, this beast should be on your shortlist. 

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