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Trail • April 29, 2021

Altra Timp 3.0 Performance Review

altra timp 3 - feature

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 9.6 oz. (272 g) for a US M9.0 / 8.1 oz. (230 g) for a US W8.0
  • Mostly just an upper update, so it’s weird this is a “whole number” version
  • Definitely some issues with the tongue sliding around
  • Still a pretty incredible trail shoe for mountain running, just maybe not as good as the last version
  • Taylor says funny words that aren’t swear words because he’s such an aw-shucks fella

TAYLOR: I would dare to say that the Timp has taken over, or equaled, the top spot for Altra’s number one preferred trail shoe. These things have gained a lot of popularity for creating a phenomenal balance in a shoe. For the foot-shaped zero-drop fanatics, it is pretty much a dream shoe that can handle the longest of races and the most technical terrain.

This year, we get the fourth version of this shoe (the number ‘3’ is misleading as there have been half updates in the past). Overall this is pretty much the same shoe as the last version. That, in itself, is a very good thing. The Timp 2.0 saw a major update to make it a more versatile trail shoe and versatile it is. I racked up miles on gravel roads to summits with the 2 because of the overall comfort and performance. I’m confident that the same can be said for the new version too.

altra timp 3 - lateral1

The Good

TAYLOR: The Timp 3.0 takes the exact same tacky MaxTrac outsole and midsole from the 2.0 and slaps it underneath, offering gobs of comfort over a variety of terrain. The outsole is one of the things I hope will never change unless they decide to throw on MegaGrip like in the Olympus line. MaxTrac rubber is grippy on a variety of surfaces but the real benefit comes from its strategically placed lugs. Altra uses a variety of shapes and directions of lugs to get optimal grip throughout the whole foot.

The Quantic midsole received mixed reviews from us in the past. My take is that Quantic is protective, mildly responsive, comfortable for the long haul, and durable. It is supposed to be the same as found in the Timp 2.0. I find it to be a touch more firm (and definitely more firm than the EGO midsole in the Lone Peak) which plays into the overall package as a versatile shoe. 

The ride felt moderately cushioned by the 29 mm of foam but not squishy by any means.

There are flex grooves throughout to complement the midsole’s stiffness for a smooth ride. The zero-drop platform encourages midfoot striking – which also helps smoothen the ride out. 

Fit is the number one reason to love (or hate) the Timp. Personally, as an average/wide-footed runner, I find it to be the money ball. The foot-shaped rounded toe box and moderately wide forefoot are plenty to allow toe splay. As compared to other Altra trail shoes, the Timp has a much more “glove” like fit rather than the larger “mitten” like fit. It is still foot-shaped, but from midfoot forward there is a more trimmed experience than what you might find in the Lone Peaks or Olympus. At the same time, a secure midfoot and heel keep the technical running on lockdown too. 

A new upper is the biggest update found in the Timp 3.0, which makes it more of the classic .5 updates that Altra has done in the past rather than a full. So the numbering is somewhat confusing. Overlays across the midfoot and an all-around thicker mesh bring more protection, soft comfort, and adds some midfoot security. All this is brought in for a small price in weight (10.7 oz for a men’s 10.5). I’ve noticed a huge kick in Timps being a top-choice among MUT runners (Mountain Ultra Trail) in the past couple of years. This update will have these folks whoopin’ and hollerin’ in a good way. 

The fortified toe bumper is substantial enough to deserve its own paragraph too. If you kick rocks as hard as I tend to, you’ll appreciate this thing more than a beaver at a lumber yard.

Shop Altra Timp 3.0 – Men Shop Altra Timp 3.0 – Women

The Bad

TAYLOR: Not all is good in the hood. I’m not sure that I have ever been audibly frustrated with a shoe before this.


“Ah, seriously!” (along with the occasional “dag-nabbit”) is about as strong of profanity as you’ll get out of me, and it flew out of my mouth on a couple of occasions. The tongue, even though it is integrated, always slid to the anterior sides of my foot. Some serious wrenching would keep it in place for a short while but never for a whole run. 

The new upper will be a 50/50 split … or possibly a little more lopsided. Overall, the thicker material with more robust overlays seems to cause extra stiffness in the whole package (which could be the reason for the tongue sliding). They took a little longer to truly break in than typical. Even then, they did not move as fluidly as the 2.0 did … and man do I love running in the last version! I only “liked” running in the 3.0 for this reason.

Shop Altra Timp 3.0 – Men Shop Altra Timp 3.0 – Women

Altra Timp 3.0 Conclusion

TAYLOR: You win some. You lose some. I wouldn’t call this a huge loss for Altra because the Timp 3.0 is still a good overall shoe. It’s just not quite the amazing recipe put together in the second version. The 3.0 is still very versatile; maybe even more so because of the more fortified upper. Rambling smooth paths to peaks will be no issue for the Timps as they run smoothly on any terrain, have a secure fit, and boast a protective/cushioned midsole. If you can get some of the odd issues with the tongue and general stiffness to subside, this shoe will be a winner for most anyone who picks it up.

You can pick up the Altra Timp 3.0 for $140 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Altra Timp 3.0 – Men Shop Altra Timp 3.0 – Women

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Justin TenCate says:

    I’m with you, Taylor. I have both the 2.0 and 3.0 here, and I prefer the upper of the 2.0 as well as the mildly squishier midsole. You CAN get the tongue to sit still on the 3.0 by using the top loop in addition to the bottom loop, and lockdown is better on my narrow feet in the 3.0 than the 2.0. The 3.0’s lace garage thingy works really well to keep laces tied, too. And dag-nabbit if I don’t even have to double knot the 3.0!

  2. Kat Moore says:

    How do they compare to the lone peak?
    I have worn my for 3yrs now love them and need new ones
    So just wondering if I should order lone peak again or these?
    Hiking mtn in PNW

  3. Thelma Kotze says:

    My husband and I both have a pair of the Lone Peaks but we both now pronate. Saw a podiatrist and he is of the opinion that tbe problem is that the Altra Lone Peaks do not have a sturdy sole and collapses easily causing the pronation. This happened within the first few months of wearing.
    Do you know if the Timp 3.0 has a more sturdy sole?

  4. Brian Fuller says:

    I have the Lone Peak 5 (which I absolutely love) and the Timp 3 (which I absolutely kind of like) and can confirm the Timp 3 has a more firm cushioning. In fact the entire shoe is a more firm ride than the Lone Peak. The Timp is what I use on a gravel/rocky trail. The Lone Peak I use on a softer trail. Hope that helps.

  5. Neil Chowdhury says:

    I tried two pairs of these and with both pairs the glued on side reinforcements immediately started delaminating. Too bad because the first was perfect, and I had to switch to a pair of Lone Peaks, which seem a little sloppy on my feet by comparison. Has anyone else seen this problem?

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