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10.6 oz. (300 g) for a US M9,
9.6 oz. (272 g) for a US W8.5
33 mm in heel, 33 mm in forefoot (0 mm drop)
Easy runs and long runs and long, easy runs
Original FootShape, engineered mesh upper, EgoMax midsole, rockered geometry
AUSTIN: If you’re like me and love Seinfeld, you know it’s immensely difficult to choose a favorite episode. Honestly, it’s a fool’s errand, friends, as there are too many gems to highlight from arguably the greatest sitcom of all time. That said, I’d like to draw some parallels between one of my favorites, “The Opposite” (S5:E22), and the Altra Via Olympus 2. Brace yourself, worlds are about to collide!
AUSTIN: If you haven’t seen The Opposite, it begins with George explaining to Jerry at Monk’s Cafe that every decision he’s ever made has been wrong. Career decisions. Relationships. Clothes. Even meals. “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right,” replies Jerry. So, George orders an opposite lunch and musters the courage to introduce himself to a lovely woman who glanced his way during the group’s conversation.
After my first run in the Via Olympus 2 began, I instantly thought, “This shoe feels like the opposite of the original Via Olympus.” The EGO MAX midsole, Original FootShape Fit, rocker geometry, and stack height carried over into version two, but that’s where the similarities end. Speaking of width, I thought the Original FootShape would be too wide for my narrow feet, but I established a solid lockdown in both the midfoot and the heel. Oh, and there’s plenty of room in the forefoot for toe splay.
After feedback about the firm, dense ride of the OG Via Olympus, I suspect Altra engineers decided, like George, to do the opposite and roll out what runners believed the ride should have felt like at this time last year. Plush. Luxurious plush. A legit max cushion shoe with a ride that mirrors the marketing. Robbe said as much about the OG Olympus last December: “I’m not a fan of this trend of making huge-ass shoes that look like they’re max cushion, with a ride that’s completely opposite.”
I had no idea Robbe used the word opposite before writing my review. Wow. I think he foreshadowed some major events to come. A Ghost of Christmas Future kind of thing. Along with the plush ride, the Via Olympus 2 features deep flex grooves for a nice transition and some noticeable bounce.
The tongue (non-gusseted) provides modest padding, and the heel collar, while not as thick as I would have expected given the shoe’s premium features, supports the Achilles well. As an added bonus, the price of the Via Olympus 2 dropped by $5 from the first model. Take that, inflation. The outsole has some light wear, but durability looks solid nonetheless.
AUSTIN: At 10.6 ounces, it’s a hefty shoe, no doubt about it. Assuming the Altra Via Olympus 3 drops in December 2024, I’d like to see it trim some weight. Otherwise, I didn’t have any issues. Put it on, set your effort to cruise control, and enjoy a slow ride through the countryside.
AUSTIN: The hefty stack height makes the Via Olympus 2 feel less like a zero-drop (“balanced cushioning”) shoe. I regularly used it as a recovery shoe after long runs. The weight and plush ride naturally slowed my pace, ideal for shorter runs on trashed legs.
Altra’s Via Olympus 2 is also an excellent choice for people who stand 8-12 hours a day in hospital, warehouse, retail, and restaurant settings. With more stack than the Bondi 8 and a price to match, the Via Olympus 2 can now compete as a huge-ass shoe that delivers the max cushion expectation we all hoped for.
You can pick up the Altra Via Olympus 2 for $165 from Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.
Austin, who lives north of Atlanta, is a stay-at-home father and running store part-timer (year eleven). Based on his inability to provide a 10K or 5K personal record, he should probably race those distances more. It’s rare to not see a party size bag of peanut M&Ms in his pantry and a pair of Shokz on his ears during a run.
All-time favorite shoes: OG Altra Escalante, Saucony Kinvara 3, Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%More from Austin