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Altra Instinct 3.0 and Intuition 3.0 Review

Despite the names the Altra Instinct 3 and the Intuition 3 are the same shoe, crazy right? Anyhow, the Instinct is the men’s version and the Intuition… you guessed it is the women’s version. Let’s jump into the review.

The Good

Thomas: Now this is an update! All the Altra Running shoes got revamped and they look a whole helluva lot better than their predecessors. Not only does the Instinct 3 look better, it is better. It still has the classic Altra footshape last and zero drop platform, but this shoe feels less like a brick than previous models. I am guessing it is the new midsole that helps the brick like feel disappear. It feels soft and plush with nice arch support. When running in the Instinct I can feel a build up of cushion in the center of the shoe. This helps to make the shoe feel less flat and rewards a mid-foot strike. It is hard to put my finger on why I like running in the Instinct 3. I think it might be a combo of, my preferred level of cushion, a flexible feel from toe off, and an upper that feels good on the feet. There is a good amount of durable rubber on the outsole, this shoe will pound out the miles with you.

Meaghan: The Intuition 3.0 is a moderately cushioned trainer from Altra. This is the first variation of the shoe I’ve tested. The tongue and collar are heavily padded for a super cushy feel all round. The upper is constructed with a honeycomb-like open mesh with a few overlays around the forefoot and heel. Despite all the padding, the shoes feel pretty breathable. The Intuition is lined with Altra’s A-Bound™ energy return compound and I can’t lie… the shoes seem to have an extra bounce to them. As with all Altra running shoes, the Intuition are designed with a footshape toebox and zero drop. I know the zero drop is a deciding factor for a lot of people, but it’s not for me. Anyway, the last great aspect of this shoe is the weight. They’re crazy light! My W7.5 came in just under 7oz (6.9oz to be exact).

The Bad

Thomas: I am having a tough time coming up with knocks against this model. While the look of the shoe has greatly improved, the foot shape still can look odd to me when I look down.

Meaghan: This shoe lacks some structure and support for me. The lacing feels sloppy and doesn’t keep the tongue in place. It’s probably partially my wide feet, but I wish I had some more structure through the midfoot.


Thomas: It is hard for me not to compare the Instinct 3 to the Altra Running One². The Instinct feels like the big brother to the One². Little more shoe all around from the outsole to the upper. I love the One² and feel the Instinct 3 is worthy of praise as well. The Instinct 3 is a perfect choice for the runner looking for a zero drop daily trainer. I would also probably recommend the Instinct over the One² because it is more durable and has just enough shoe to go any distance. This is a good trainer and I would have no issues with recommending this Altra running shoe.

Meaghan: The Altra Intuition 3.0 is a super comfortable trainer with a nice bounce. It has a plush feel from the moment you slip it on and stays comfortable through plenty of miles. While I personally prefer a bit more structure through the midfoot, I think this is a great option for someone looking for a flexible, responsive, super cushy daily trainer.

From Altra: The Instinct started it all and is back with a new look, softer upper and more responsive ride! The Instinct 3.0 retains its lightweight, flexible design and innovative technology that put Altra on the map. The FootShape™ toe box allows your foot to relax and spread out naturally and keeps the big toe straight for more power. FootPod™ outsole technology maps the bones and tendons of your foot for natural flexibility and more responsiveness. A top layer of our A-Bound™ energy return compound puts a spring into each step. Lace up into this update and upgrade your run with the new Instinct 3.0.


  • New Midsole & Outsole
  • Improved Upper Durability
  • Improved Midsole Responsiveness
  • Redesigned Upper
  • More Lightweight
  • InnerFlex™

Shoes provided by Altra Running
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Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Bryan says:

    Sure love the new colorway!

  2. Sean says:

    Notice any of the heel lift you had in the Provision 2.0? I had major slippage, to the point I had to return them. Would like to replace them with these, but am a little worried about the heel.

    1. I would try them on and see if it works for your foot.

  3. stephan says:

    I’m with Sean – the heel slippage in the Provisions was just too much. A shame, really, because I really liked that toe box.

    If you experienced less slippage with these than with the Provisions, that would give us some hope for them. If these slipped badly too – probably doesn’t bode well for us. I’d love to know how the heel felt to you.


    1. The heel counter worked out well for me Stephan. Give them a shot.

  4. Jeroen says:

    Great review! Could you say that the cushioning is the same as the One2? Or is it softer/harder? Reason for asking is that I really like the cushioning of the One2 but think it is a bit on soft side for the longer runs (+10 km). Do you agree?

    1. The cushining is only a little more but with the rubber it feels to me like a shoe that can easily go the distance in comfort. I think my longest run in them was a 16 miler. Feet felt great.

  5. stephan says:

    Appreciate it! Going to pull the trigger on them.

    This whole business of having moved to PA has kept me from running into you at any races recently, but I’m thinking about coming down for the Baltimore 10 – you likely to do that this year?

    1. Maybe, picking and choosing races based on how busy the weekend is going to be.

  6. Jacob Koenig says:

    How was the fit? I normally wear a 12.5 and my current running shoe is the paradigm. It fits my foot well, but according to the sizing chart on Altra’s website they say I should go up to the 13. Did you have to go up a size at all?

    1. My regular shoe size is a 10 for running shoes I always go 10.5. The Altra fit fine at 10.5.

  7. JPerry2828 says:

    I measure barely a 10 but I usually wear a 9.5 in most shoes…even tried on the 9.5 Instict 2.0 in a stor and ran on the mill…felt fine. But when I got my leaprachaun green Insticts in 9.5 they were too small toes were touching the end…especially my longer 2nd toe…sent back for the 10 but I am skeered that the 10’s will be too sloppy which is usually the case…I really hope not…I want these to work, they feel great. I know your review is for the 3.0 which has some major updates but I am guessing the last didn’t change and sizing is similar. Thanks again for another great review! Any fit differences you can recall between the 2 and 3?

    1. Thanks Justin, I do feel the 3.0 is snugger than the 2. Good luck with the sizing. -T

  8. Katie says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m a 32 year old female. I’ve been running in Brooks Pure Flows for a while now. But since last November I’ve been dealing with Bursitis in my right hip. My long runs used to be around 11-14 miles. Regular runs 5-7 miles. I’ve reduced mileage and taken longer breaks in between. I still cannot run pain free. I’ve been searching for a shoe that may lessen impact. would you recommend the Altra Intuition?

    1. Hey Katie – sorry to hear about your Bursitis. I have also been battling an issue (PTT) so I can attest to the frustration. I think the Altra Intuition would be a good option. They’re structured with a lot of nice cushioning underfoot. I might also recommend the HOKA Clifton’s… super cush and a lot less stress/impact. They’ve been my go to (on my second pair).

  9. Katie says:

    Thank you so much for your help!

  10. stephan says:

    Grumble… The sole is awesome. Not enough height in the toe box for me in size 13s (though plenty of length). I don’t think going up to 14s is likely to work – too much like clown shoes at that point.

    Altra, please look at the toe box on the provision and get some of that height into your other models.

  11. Isaac says:

    Do you think the Instinct 3 would work out well with custom orthotics if I remove the insole?

    1. I am not sure, you may want ro check with Altra to see if they have recommendations on inserts. The unique shape of the shoe would be my concern.

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