Best Altra Road Running Shoes of 2023

With the Rivera 3 released earlier this year, and the Torin set to be released soon, it’s time to start talking about the best Altra Road Running shoe of 2023. 

It’s tough to come up with the “best” because a lot is down to personal preference, but certain aspects can still make a standout shoe. Why do you think the Escalante has had such a loyal following for all this time? 

If you’re in the market for a new road running shoe and you’re looking for a shoe that won’t squish your toes but still has some padding, Altra is the solution. 

If you want more ground, feel, and that true barefoot option, check out my other post on Minimal Shoes.

Why barefoot? Barefoot training can be a game-changer for overall running performance! But that’s for a different post.

Let’s get into the Altra road running shoes for 2023! 

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Which Altra Shoe is for you?

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Altra Escalante 3

The Altra Escalante 3 was released in 2022, but new colors are still coming out in 2023. 

One of the favorites among the old Altra crowd, the Escalante tries to find that balance between ground feel and cushion. 

The third version of the Escalante was a change from the previous versions, particularly the cushion used underfoot. I talked extensively about the changes from v2 – v2.5 – v3 in my Escalante 3 review, so head over there for the deep dive.  

Altra Escalante tongue

In the past, the Escalante was known as the soft, supple shoe that made your foot do all the work. It was a great training tool and a perfect alternative for those like me who want a little cushion but still maintain that barefoot feel. 

The Escalante 3 is a little stiffer but still more flexible than most on the market and has a firmer ride.

But this change has brought the model to a wider audience. More people can lace up the Escalante and run for longer. So it’s not all complaints. 

For me, the Escalante 3 is my go-to Altra shoe, and I hope it stays around forever. And if anything, I’d love to see them reduce the stack height.

masszymes review – (30-day free returns)

Escalante 3

Type: Road

Width: Wide

Stack height: 24mm

Weight: 9.3oz / 263g

The closet to barefoot you can get in Altra shoes. Read the Full Review

Altra Rivera 3

Release at the end of January 2023, the Altra Rivera 3 was a surprise. 

A bigger stack height, a firmer ride, and almost a rocker rider to the shoe!

For me, if a Hoka wearer came to me and wanted to transition into an Altra, I’d tell them to try the Rivera. 

Altra Escalante tongue

It’s a little narrower than most other Altra’s, making it feel like a conventional shoe with a wider toe box. For some, that’s the best of both worlds. 

I’d almost describe the ride as – addictive?! 

The ground feel is minimal, but the minor rocker motion pushing you forward onto your toes is joyful. And that’s coming from a barefoot runner. 

It’s not an everyday shoe for me, but for my long easy runs, the Rivera is an exciting choice that will go far. 

masszymes review – (30-day free returns)

Rivera 3

Type: Road

Width: Average

Stack height: 28mm

Weight: 9.8oz / 278g

A great shoe when transitioning from conventional shoes like Hoka. Read the Full Review

Altra Torin 7

Now we’re getting into speculation. 

Set for a release in June 2023, the Torin 7 is looking at a minor upgrade. 

We’re looking at a 2mm stack height increase from 28mm up to 30mm, which may sound a little like the Altra Rivera, but the big difference is the foam in the midsole. 

The Torin will use Altra’s EgoMax foam, which feels more “plush.” Basically a softer, spongy ride. 

If version 6 is anything to go by, the Torin usually comes in 2 width options too. Regular and wide. The wide is excellent for those that yearn for the original Altra fit.

One difference I hope won’t interfere with the feel too much is the introduction of more support. 

From the pre-release pictures, there’s no traditional support in the shoe. None of the Altra shoes have heel wedges or plastic stiffeners, but they have built up the walls of the sole around the foot. 

From what it seems, if you liked the Torin 6, you’ll be good with the Torin 7, which is always relieving to hear! – (30-day free returns)

Torin 7

Type: Road

Width: Wide

Stack height: 30mm

Weight: ~10oz / 283g

A perfect long run, steady miles shoe. Review coming soon.

Altra Paradigm 7

The last shoe release we expect from Altra for road shoes this year is the Paradigm 7. 

If you’re looking for a stability shoe, you should look at the Paradigm. However, it’s not a traditional stability shoe. 

I expect the Paradigm to feel much like the Torin, just more stable on the inside arch. 

We’ll still see the EgoMax midsole being used, so expect a softer plush feeling underfoot and a similar ride to previous versions. 

This year, the Paradigm has updated the strange Innovarch wrap that was present in version 6. Originally added to help with stability, some runners found it caused an uncomfortable fit and even rubbed while running. So this is a welcome update. 

The upper should see very little change other than a visual redesign, so if the Paradigm 6 fits well, expect the Paradigm 7 to be a winner. – (30-day free returns)

Paradigm 7

Type: Road

Width: Wide

Stack height: 30mm

Weight: ~10.5oz / 298g

A perfect long run, steady miles shoe. Review coming soon.


Finding the “best” Altra road shoe of 2023 is impossible. It all depends on your preference. 

But if I were to inject some of my barefoot/minimal bias, I’d suggest sticking with the Escalante 3.

Even though Altra did not update the Escalante 3 in 2023, it’s still my standout shoe. 

I’d add a tip of the hat to the Rivera 3, which pleasantly surprised me. Because of the slimmer fit, it’s not for everyone, but if you have a narrower foot and were a Hoka lover in the past, lace up the Rivera 3. It’s fun. 

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Altra Superior 6

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Altra Escalante 3

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Altra Lone Peak 7

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Altra Outroad

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Altra Rivera 3

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Altra Torin 6

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Altra Timp 4

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Altra Superior 5

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