Altra Instinct/Intuition 1.5, $100
10.0 oz.; 8.3 oz.
Fit: The unique shape of this shoe mimics the outline of a foot. Go figure, right? Although it feels snug in the heel, it’s generously proportioned through the midfoot (but can be tightened down from torqueing the laces) and is very, very roomy in the toe box. As gangly as it looks, our testers found it quite comfortable.
Feel: This shoe definitely feels and runs lighter than its spec weight, partially because the upper is so airy and most of the mass of the shoe is under the foot. There’s a semi-firm sensation running in this shoe, not uncomfortably hard but definitely not soft either. It has a zero-drop platform (meaning a 0mm heel-toe drop)
Ride: Once wear-testers got used to the unique shape of this shoe, they reported it felt quite peppy. Altra updated this version with a slightly rolled forefoot (known as toe spring), which helps it transition from midfoot to toe-off with greater ease. The firm feeling never dissipates, but a few testers felt it contributed to a responsive ride and a high level of proprioceptive interaction with the ground, especially at higher speeds.