What to expect from the Altra Superior 6

The Superior 6 is now available!

More of the same Superior, with some essential upgrades.

It’s not long now until the Altra Superior 6 will be released! Rumors are that we’ll be seeing the first shipments in May, and I want to be first in line to check out these ideal minimal trail runners.

In this short blog post, I will introduce what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and if the upgrade from 5 to 6 will be worth the extra money.

Much of the information has been gathered by the teams at Believe in the Run, and Trail Running Review, so a huge thanks goes out to them.

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Outsole

Let’s start with the most significant advancement—the outsole. 

In the past, the outsole on the Superior 5 started to break down at around 400km for me. That’s just not good enough. And it’s never had the best grip in the world. 

I’m not expecting huge advancements in the grip in the Superior 6. Similar, but not exactly the same patterning as the Superior 5. The tread pattern looks shallow and not very aggressive. I’ve found that the Superior is great for dry trails, but I’d stick with the Lone Peaks for muddy conditions. 

We’re expecting the same rubber compound used in the new Lone Peak 7. And that’s awesome. This was one of the best upgrades seen in the Lone Peak. That extra grip will be welcomed; hopefully, it’ll mean they’ll last a little longer too! 

Goodbye heel lip. The extension of the sole out the back of the shoe is getting shorter and shorter! In years gone by, the rubber used to visibly poke at the back of the shoe. In the Superior 6, it’s all but gone! I’m not sure how this will affect the ride, but I’d assume it’ll make a difference on the descents.

Midsole

I don’t expect we’ll see much change here.

We’re still looking at a 21mm stack height and obviously zero-drop.

The cushion is said to be the same soft and cushy ride we’re used to in the Superior, although I’ll reserve judgment until I try them out. 

No more rock plate! In the Superior 5, there used to be a thin plastic removable rock plate. Although, in my opinion, the shoe didn’t need it in the first place. But that makes me wonder if the midsole has changed to mitigate the negative feedback they may receive from customers. 

Upper

It doesn’t look like much has changed here. 

The burrito-style tongue is here to stay! I’m surprised that this design, where only 1 slit in the shoe upper rather than a traditional tongue, is still present in the new design! It’s not like any other model has adopted it. That’s not to say it’s a bad design! It works well in the Superior. So I’m happy they’re sticking with a design that works! 

Updated material choices, and maybe losing to bulk? We’ll have to wait for the official figures, but I think the Superior 6 will come in just a tad under the weight of the 5. The upper materials look a little less bulky around the medial side, but if lighter, it will be by only a tiny amount. 

Conclusion

We’ll see much of the same with the Superior 6, which is great! It’s a fantastic shoe for a barefoot runner looking for a race shoe or a little more cushion for descents.

The price is said to be increasing from $130 to $140, which isn’t too surprising in today’s shoe market. 

My advice would be to grab the Superior 5 when it goes on sale near the release date of the 6! 

Altra Superior 5

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Nick
Nick

Nick is a UESCA-certified ultramarathon coach and avid barefoot runner, having over 5 years of experience in barefoot training and has competed in multiple ultra marathons wearing barefoot shoes. Starting his journey in the running industry over 10 years ago in New Zealand, Nick evolved from a running shoe salesperson to a passionate advocate for the transformative power of barefoot running. He believes in its potential to enhance running experiences for all and combines his unique insights from both personal achievements and professional coaching to guide and inspire the running community."

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