REVIEW: Altra Vanish Carbon Running Shoes
Written By: SportsShoes
This long-distance speed shoe is equipped with Altra EGO™ PRO midsole foam for cushion in each step and the Active Stance Rocker is designed to provide a more efficient toe off. Slim FootShape™ fit is designed to give you the power and stability you need to reach full speed in each stride.
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Off the bat I want to confess this is the first Altra running shoe I have ever tested, as well as the first zero drop shoe I have ever worn. Could I tell the difference between this and a normal drop shoe? Not exactly. Yes, it felt slightly different, but I was expecting a much more dramatic difference. That’s a good thing, you get the benefits of a zero-drop shoe, whilst it still feeling like an optimal performance shoe.
My first impression before wearing the shoe was that the foam in hand felt dense, akin to adidas’ super foam Lightstrike pro. However, in comparison to adidas shoes, the Altra Vanish Carbon has a more accommodating fit and is probably the most comfortable super shoe currently on the market.
Ok, so this might be a game changer. The shoe doesn’t have a toe spring, but a toe taper. Essentially a pivot where the foam narrows in the toe area, causing an aggressive push off that feels much faster in terms of ground contact time. You get the aggression without the dramatic reduction in foam. Maybe something other brands can learn when trying to make a faster super shoe without compromising on cushioning for longer distances.
The midsole design also creates extreme versatility. It is comfortable and good at all paces. I’ve taken the shoe from near sprint effort, to the easiest of jogs and there isn’t a pace that feels unnatural or out of the shoe's control.
I have no complaints whatsoever with the midsole.
Maybe a little excessive, so I’d like to see a little less outsole to save weight in the next rendition. That’s only because a racing shoe should prioritise weight saving over durability - in my opinion. However, if you want a durable performance shoe then the Altra Vanish Carbon fits that specification perfectly. Personally, I don’t mind durability in racing shoes, but that’s probably me taking for granted that I get sent shoes to review. The Vanish Carbon certainly won’t fall apart after a few races or training sessions.
Also, I’m not saying the outsole feels heavy, just saving weight is never a bad thing. The grip is great, so I’ll be using this shoe for a variety of training sessions and for racing in differing conditions and terrain.
Nothing crazy, nothing bad. Again, relating to weight saving, it would be great seeing an innovative superlight upper in the next release. But the upper doesn’t cause any issues in terms of rubbing or hotspots and adds to the comfort.
All in all, the Altra Vanish Carbon is a very impressive shoe. It contends with other super shoes on the market and has a uniqueness about it, especially with the comfort and zero drop. If you are a fan of zero drop shoes, then this would be a great addition for your training and racing shoe rotation. Personally, I will be wearing it a lot in training due to its durability and the variation of zero drop compared to my other traditional drop shoes.
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