As the zero drop running craze continues to gather serious momentum, the founders of the zero drop movement have released their latest creation – the Altra Intution 1.5 running shoes, which are targeted specifically at the female running market. Below is the BurnTech.TV Altra Intuition 1.5 review
So first off, it’s worth touching base on exactly what the zero drop craze is and why you may want to invest in it as a runner. We covered this in detail in our recent article what are zero drop running shoes, but to briefly recap, zero drop running shoes are different in a few ways:
- Traditional running shoes have a height difference of around 12mm between the heel and the toe, whereas zero-drop running shoes have zero height difference (or a very small difference)
- Zero drop running shoes are designed to have a very wide toe section, making them more rectangular in shape (viewed from above) than standard running shoes. This lets your toes spread out when running, mimicking the barefoot experience
- Zero-drop shoes offer less cushioning and support than traditional running shoes, which has pro’s and con’s depending on personal preference.
So let’s have a look at the Altra Intuition 1.5s
The first thing to note is that the Intuition 1.5s are a pure zero-drop running shoe and this is an important consideration for anybody looking to join the zero drop craze. We covered this in more detail in our article referenced above, but it’s worth considering a staged approach to moving over from traditional shoes. The Altra Intuitions are more of a final stage in your movement, but if you are already on board with this movement, then these shoes are definitely worth a detailed look.
The Altra Intuition 1.5s are a big step forward for zero drops, largely because they don’t sacrifice the comfort of traditional running shoes to anything like the usual extent. The comfort is amplified because the shoes are not some ‘shrink it and pink it’ amendment from the male version – they are specifically designed with women’s feet in mind.
Traditional running shoes meet zero-drops
The Ultra Intuitions offer a perfect mix between the familiar Ultra designed flat profile with a fully cushioned sole which is more reminiscent of traditional shoes. This equates to an ability to run further, faster and more comfortably, which is three improvements that few runners would sniff at. This reengineered design also delivers notable respite from the noise that is often associated with flat profile shoes, especially on treadmills.
These shoes are a significant step forward because of how they have bridged the cushioning problem. When you remove up to 15mm of heel height you do so at a cost, and the material removed is the padding which adds the comfort to traditional shoes. The Intuition 1.5s are combatting this by upgrading their designs and focussing on gender specific solutions. These shoes are engineered for women, so feature a narrower heel and mid-foot, as well as a longer arch and higher instep than shoes designed for men.
The first notable benefit of this targeted approach is the Intuitions ability to avoid your heel slipping whilst running. This is a common problem that many women find with running shoes in general and certainly with flatter profile running trainers. The tighter heel and midstep means that these shoes fit like a glove whilst maintaining a more ‘natural’ feel, which is testament to some really good engineering work. The comfort is amplified even further by the super lightweight, as the shoes weigh in at only 7.7 ounces.
What we love about the Altra 1.5s
- Great, innovative design which is driving the zero drop running shoe market forward
- Gender specificity is a real step up from ‘shrink it and pink it’
- Barefoot design feels very natural and they’re so light that you could forget you have shoes on
- Optional additional padding make them feel even more comfortable
What’s not so hot about the Altra 1.5s
- Altra are seriously committed to the zero drop movement, but zero drop doesn’t work for everybody
- Styling leaves a little to be desired and that’s a shame – the plumbing is excellent but books do get judged by their cover.