Weighs 8.2 oz. (232 g.) for a US M9 / 6.9 oz. (195 g.) for a US W7
It’s an Altra, but it finally takes a few risks
The Ego Pro midsole is pretty great
Err, we might want to talk about price
Available now for $190
ROBBE: Judging from the comments we get on an Altra review on here or on YouTube, I’m willing to deem hardcore Altra fans as a foot-fetish cult. And they should be proud of it. The devotees to that zero-drop, natural foot splay philosophy have spent years securing themselves to the mast of the good ship Altra and deflecting any attempt to disrupt that.
Vanish. Magic. Speed. We’re running out of words to make you feel fast, so why not combine them to make you feel faster? Hence, the Altra Vanish Tempo. Of course, there’s no lack of shoes with Tempo in the name. Brooks Hyperion Tempo, New Balance Tempo, Nike Tempo Next%, the list goes on. Then again, a tempo shoe is one of the legs of the tripod that forms the runner’s version of the nutritional pyramid — race day, tempo, and daily trainer.
While Altra had some solid lightweight shoes in the past that allowed runners to pick up the pace (Escalante and Escalante Racer), there was never really an option to compete with some of the more glamorous tempo shoes of the past couple of years. Until now.
With an all-new, nitrogen-infused, TPE-based Ego Pro midsole (the same compound found in their carbon-plated racer, the Vanish Carbon) in a lightweight package, the Vanish Tempo presents a viable training option for Altra fans. That is — if you can afford it. Those piggies wiggling around in that wide toe box better get to market and start slinging some goods if you want to afford this shoe.
More on that later, but let’s go wee wee all the way into this review and see what comes out of it.
THOMAS: I’m apparently in the minority that likes pointy running shoes with a little bit of drop. When it is time to run hard, I want to look down and see a fighter jet strapped to my feet. With Altra’s “foot-shaped” trotters, all I saw when I looked down was hippie sandal shape. While writing this, two tunes drifted through my brain, the Top Gun’s Danger Zone theme than The Grateful Dead’s Casey Jones.
When we were introduced to the Vanish line in late 2021, the slimmer look with a high stack of foam looked like something that could get Kenny Loggins back in the studio. Translation: the Vanish Carbon and the Vanish Tempo were designed to look as fast as an Altra can. I was curious how the Altra team could create a race day shoe with a plate and maintain zero drop. Can you load a plate with enough energy without the leverage of drop? After trying the Vanish Carbon earlier this year, I can confirm that Altra figured out a way to make “balanced” (i.e. zero drop loosely defined) work.
As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be.More from Thomas
Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.More from Robbe