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Altra Running Provision 2.0 Review

The Good

Thomas: The Altra Provision 2.0 is touted as a moderate cushioned, zero drop, stability shoe. It falls in between the Instinct and the Olympus in the Altra line up. The shoe also reminded me of the Torin, although it is more flexible. I really enjoyed my miles in the Provision 2.0. Typically I used it on my slower recovery miles. At 10.7 oz. for the size 10.5 it isn’t feather weight, but the shoe didn’t feel that heavy either. The fit over the arch was superb, and while toe squishing isn’t an issue I struggle with in running shoes, the Provision offers a “foot shaped” toe box that allows your toes to splay. With plenty of carbon rubber coverage on the outsole, durability won’t be an issue. The toe also has a solid bumper on it to protect your toes and help with the durability. While not the smoothest shoe through my stride, the Provision provided a solid platform from landing to take off. There is just the right amount of give and flexibility to keep the shoe from feeling like a brick on the foot. The toe curls slightly upwards which helps with the transition as well. I did not feel Altra’s “…stability wedge slopes down from the medial to lateral sides of the foot to provide extra support and prevent excess pronation. Innerflex™ technology utilizes grid-like flex grooves in the midsole to let your foot flex where it needs to for more speed and stability.” However, I did feel the Stabilipods™ and they acted like more of a reminder of where and how my foot was landing.

Meaghan: The Provision falls under Altra’s “stability” section. It’s a moderately cushioned shoe (25mm stack height) intended mainly for road running.  In my opinion, it’s nearing the max cushion group. Altra created a really nice balance of firmness, flexibility and stability with this outsole. From landing to toe-off, the shoe seems to morph with your stride. The super wide forefoot, dubbed the FootShape ToeBox is another great aspect of this shoe (and of all Altra running shoes). There’s plenty of room for your toes to splay and absolutely no rubbing or hot spots.  It’s a cushy shoe, inside and out. The tongue, collar and much of the upper have a good amount of padding. They keep your feet warm on those cold, winter days. I even took this shoe out one icy morning for a run and they felt surprisingly sturdy. Despite the smooth looking outsole, the shoes provided some nice traction. Did I mention the beautiful colorway? Teal upper with coral and black accents. Muy bueno.

The Bad

Thomas: While the shoe fit well overall my foot did experience a little heel lift. The Provision is not a shoe that melts away from your foot and let’s you click off the miles. between the stack height of 25mm and the Stabilipods™ you feel the shoe. It isn’t really that bad, I am surprised by the flexibility of a shoe with zero drop and 25mm of cushion and outsole. Looks wise the Altra keep getting better, the Provision doesn’t have a fast look, it has the long distance look. Does that make sense?

Meaghan: I do not feel fast in this shoe. I think it’s probably the wide build and somewhat-heavier design. My W7.5 weighed in at 7.85 oz. As Thomas noted, I also struggled with heel-slippage. I ended up using the lacing trick to keep my heel-locked down, but I still felt some movement on toe-off.


Thomas: As I mentioned, I really enjoyed my miles in the provision. Most of the miles came in very cold to freezing temps and the shoe stayed flexible (again for such a thick cushioned shoe) and had good cushioning. This shoe can take a beating, I am guessing it would be a good choice for the clydesdale runner. I can tell the shoes are zero drop when I run, but to be honest, I don’t really care about the drop unless it interferes with my stride. Being a mid-foot striker, I had no issues running in the Provision. In general I love what Altra is doing with their shoe line. They are staying true to there foot shaped zero drop philosophy while vastly improving the look of the shoes and the feel of their uppers and midsoles. This shoe is a work horse that can handle training runs to ultra miles.

Meaghan: I like the Provision 2.0. The only other shoe from Altra that I’ve tried is the Superior 1.5. I can’t compare the two, but I can say that the Provision is much better shoe for me. I think it’s a good option for people looking for a 0 drop shoe with substantial cushioning. This shoe is a workhorse. You could definitely wear the Provisions  day after day and not see any type of wear.

Shoes provided by Altra Running for the review.

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  1. Dink Sommer says:

    I had the same problem with heel slippage which was frustrating for a shoe that advertises a “heel claw”. After reading the Altra website, I realized the company promotes running in their shoes without the insole as a foot strengthening technique. I tried this and with the extra 2-3mm depth my heel fits like a glove! The only problem is, the rubber grips my socks and caused hotspots after only a few miles. I noticed Altra has a “strength insole” in some of their models which is paper thin. I called customer service to inquire about buying a pair. They shipped me a pair free of charge and didn’t even charge for shipping! I’m very happy with this shoe now that the heel fits. I’ve run in the Torin 1.5 and agree with the differences the reviewer mentions. This shoe combined with the One2 for speed-work and shorter races has been a great match up.

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