Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (2023)

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  • Weight: 9.3 ounces / 263 g
  • Florhöhe: 24 mm
  • soft midsole
  • true dimension
  • Wide toe, fitted upper
  • Perfect heel lock.

140 $

(30 days free returns)

The Altra Escalante was the love of many street runners, gym goers and casual sneakers alike. And now Altra has just released an update to bring version 3.0! So does this new heel in versions mean it's a completely different shoe? Find out in this blog post.

If you're new to Escalante, it's an Altra shoe that balances between two different markets.It's a great option for a smooth and easy run, but can also be worn as a casual, zero-drop alternative to traditional brands.

enter with24mm cushion, it's by no means minimal, but it feels relatively normal underfoot compared to the Altra Paradigm or Torin.

But how does the Escalante compare to its predecessors? If you're a long-time Escalante user, you'll notice some familiar features and key changes.

Read on to find out what they are.

To adjust

From othersis known for hisZero drop platform and long spikes- and that's still present in Escalante 3.0, but not in all its glory.

The Escalante 2.0 and 2.5 historically used a very flexible upper. While not the widest Altra shoe, the upper was very forgiving and almost slipper-like.

In version 3.0 we now see a more structured upper, a tighter mesh material and an overall tighter fit.

For some this will be a big disappointment. But there are benefits to be had.

With older models, any lateral movement would cause you to roll off the side of the shoe.Not the feeling you want when you're doing a lap at the finish line or at the gym.

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (1)

In the Escalante 3.0, your foot sits more securely thanks to a redesigned upper.

On the other hand, the shoe is much less forgiving.

If you were someone who descended from the old Escalante, you would have problems with 3.0.

This less forgiving upper seems to be a general move for the Altra line as they seem to be trying to appeal to a wider audience. The jump between altras and mainstream shoes like Nike, Addidas, and Hoka is less dramatic now, and you'll likely see more altras on people's feet in the future.

For me, Escalante 3.0 is still good, not perfect. I would like to see more volume in the toe cap, but I can solve it by swapping out the sole for a thinner one.

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (2)


A big notable difference between the new Escalante and previous versions is the language change.

On older models, Altra opted for the thin sole material tongue, which offers no padding but a soft fit over the ball of the foot.

This worked great for me, although others with smaller feet have a bit of tongue slipping from side to side.

Now in 3.0, the language has returned to a traditional layout.

Although I liked the old language, this conventional version still works well for me. And the proven design is probably a better choice for a wider audience.

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (3)

pretty cup

The Altra heel has remained similar to previous versions.

There's still plenty of cushioning and no plastic heel for added support.

Some people have had trouble accessing Altras in the past. They are quite wide and open like a skate shoe. So, if you are one of those who wear narrow heels, try them on first so you don't lift the heel.

Despite the lack of a heel cup, I still find the lockout excellent, which I attribute to the lack of a heel cup!

Listen to me. When you have a rigid shoe structure, you expect it to conform to the contours of your foot. Otherwise there is no way to allow the shoe to take the right shape.

On the other hand, squeezing a shoe with minimal structure wraps the upper perfectly around the heel. And that's why some of my most suitable shoes are barefoot.

Which Altra shoe is for you?

Take a quick 4 question quiz to find the perfect Altra running shoe for your feet! Based on your answers you will be given road and trail options!


do you feel the same That's the big question. And it's kind of a yes and no.

In fact, they're still an altra. And no doubt he is still a merciful Escalante.

And while the outside of the midsole looks very different, underfoot it looks pretty much the same.

I'll admit the 3.0 feels a bit more responsive, but I think the ride will end up similar to my par 2.5 over time.

The most significant change in feel continues to be the upper.

I often wiggle my toes when I walk. I'm not sure if they're dancing to their own beat or helping me keep my balance. Regardless, the ability to wiggle your toes is slightly reduced due to the lack of mass in 3.0.

Like I said, I'll probably change the insole in 3.0 just to give the shoe a little more volume and allow for toe movement.

On the other hand, if a "performance" styling tweak is what you're after, you might like this change.

internal inflection

In the past, Altra has boasted about its Innerflex technology. These small indentations ran horizontally along the soles of the feet and toes.

The Innerflex helped the shoe flex a little closer to the toe joints and allowed your feet to work more naturally.

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (4)

Andere Escalante 3.0 Sohle

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (5)

Miscellaneous Sole Escalante 2.5

At 3.0 they are less pronounced.

This results in a stiffer forefoot and a rocker feel in the shoe.

It is in no way similar to a Hoka, more a subtle difference between versions of Escalante.

Over time, the foam will likely soften and help restore the shoe's natural movement.

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Looking at 3.0, it's hard to tell which one breaks first.

Small - Nr

Midsole Foam - No

Rubber sole - Possibly

While the Escalante was never known for its longevity, I think the Altra did a good job this time.

I find it very hard to believe that the blanket will break prematurely due to the stronger material that is now used.

And as for the ego foam, I haven't seen any issues in that area for 100 miles.

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (6)


This is the first candidate for collapse.

On my old Escalante, the thin rubber covering the foam midsole was always in the right place.

And I bet if you asked an Escalante owner to show you the soles of their shoes, they would have worn at least some of the rubber off.

With 3.0 I "think" that the rubber is a bit more durable, but time will tell. After 50 km it shows only minor signs of wear, so keep your fingers crossed!

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (7)

inner coating

And in the shoe?

This is an area where my wife always struggles with premature failure.

And really, I'm not expecting a big change here.

The material is little changed; In fact, it feels a little less smooth.

So the key to longevity is a good fit. If your feet don't move in the shoe, the inner lining is less likely to tear.


If you've read my reviews before, you know I like to do a quick analysis of my gait in my shoes. I feel like it adds another dimension to help you and I make better shoe buying decisions.

To perform the analysis,I use college-level measurement capsules to estimate ground reaction force, maximum impact force, pronation angle/velocity, is much more.

I ran a 1 mile run on a treadmill at a pace of 8:34 per mile on the Escalante 2.5 and 3.0. Next, as a “control” comparison, I tried the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite barefoot shoe.


There is very little difference between the two versions of the Escalante.Normally I would expect this when one is just an update on the other shoe.

But let's examine the small differences anyway.


ZapatoAndere Escalante 2.5Andere Escalante 3.0Vivobarefoot Primus Lite
Impact force (G)

Interestingly, the Escalante 2.5 behaved very similarly to the barefoot shoe.These numbers tell us that the force at impact with the ground was lower for the Escalante 3.0.

But wait…..

ZapatoAndere Escalante 2.5Andere Escalante 3.0Vivobarefoot Primus Lite
Maximum ground reaction force (multiples of body weight)

The maximum ground reaction force (GRF) was identical to that of the two Escalantes. This means that the forces exerted on the body were equal at the peak of the impact, probably because I adjusted my biomechanics for the small differences, which smoothed out the impact.

So which one is better?

With such insignificant differences, the 2.5's 300 km probably affected the results compared to the relatively new 3.0. So I would suggest that neither makes much of a difference in impact forces.

Altra Escalante 3.0 review: what's changed since 2.0 and 2.5 (8)


Here's an area that gets a little interesting.

Pronation is the measure of the angle of the ankle rolling into or out of the initial contact position with the foot.

Many hear about overpronation and hope that they need a well-designed shoe to "correct" the pronation. Still, some level of pronation and even benefit is expected. You use your ankle to absorb some of the impact from the ground.

Another interesting measure of pronation is the rate at which pronation occurs. It is the speed at which you move from the initial foot impact position to the final prone position. Different shoe designs can have dramatic effects on both pronation angle and speed.

ZapatoAndere Escalante 2.5Andere Escalante 3.0Vivobarefoot Primus Lite
Pronation angle (degrees)-16,1-17,6-19,8
Pronation Velocity (degrees/sec)573698687

The Escalante 3.0 rides more like a barefoot shoe than the 2.5. And I think that's because of the firmer foam in the midsole.

With a firmer midsole, you'll naturally be pushed into the toe and ankle position faster.

On the other hand, with a softer foam, you'll sink into softness and normal pronation won't occur as much.

So which one is better?

Standard advice is to use a softer foam if you tend to supinate (away from midpoint) as the amount of pronation decreases and decreases the likelihood of ankle twisting.

If you tend to overpronate (about 70% of people) you want a more stable and in this case a firmer midsole.

Again these differencesI coulddue to the age of my Escalante 2.5. But with the elimination of the internal flex woods and the stiffer top there has been a shift towards a firmer ride in my opinion.

So the Escalante 3.0 will likely work for more riders than the 2.5.


It's a change! But it's not a big change. The old charm of the Escalante is still visible to all.

The small changes at the top may disappoint some, but these changes are minor and if bulkiness is an issue, a simple template change could fix these issues.

If you are looking for a 5k work shoe with half marathon pace, the Escalante is a perfect choice.

And if you want to switch to barefoot (Here's why you should), but want a "transitional shoe" to wear on your ride, the Escalante might be a good fit.

140 $

(30 days free returns)

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