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Altra Olympus 2.0, Great cushioning

Published on 27/07/2016 00:00

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The Olympus 2.0 by Altra, a new concept of a trail running trainer; The maximalist show with zero drop, with a great cushioning and protection for the long distance runner and mountain runner.


Technical assessment









Wet traction


Dry Traction


Being me, a runner who tends to choose discrete, really simple and light (almost floating) trainers, I must admit at a first glance, the Olympus 2.0 from Altra almost frightened me. You have to realize that they are trainers with a zero drop, but with a 36mm sole which offers an out of the ordinary cushioning and protection. Often this over-protection results in excessive weight and discomfort, and yet, when I finally try an Olympus 2.0 of Altra, it was a great surprise.

First Impressions:
I put the Olympus 2.0’s on for the first time for a light 10km trot on a comfortable terrain of a forest path. The first impressions were surprising: the trainers offer comfort and cushioning in abundance, but an adaptation period is necessary with them, above all for those who, like me, are accustomed to a low profile trainer. Therefore the feeling is “look how high I am” with these trainers. On the other hand, the feeling of control and balance are different, and require a certain adaptation period. In general, the first impressions were good, although then I realized that the Olympus 2.0 demand more kilometres.

Lacing, Upper and how does it adjust to the foot?
The fit to the foot is sensational. Yes, they are wide shoes; they leave a lot of freedom to the toes, so I think they are really designed for those seeking the "barefoot" kind of feel, but want the protection of a sole that cushions ALOT. The fit which feature in the laces is correct and the upper of this model is a lightweight and comfortable fabric, pleasant to walk with, very breathable, ideal for long days pounding kilometers.

The Structure of the Trainer
In terms of structure, as I mentioned, the Olympus 2.0 Altra have a feature that makes them slightly less than unique and that calls attention: A large sole that provides extraordinary cushioning, but with a zero drop profile. This means that, perhaps, a period of adaptation by the runner is needed, because in my opinion some stability and sensitivity with the ground is lost, because of running 36 millimeters above the ground.

Cushioning, comfort and footwear How behaves at different distances?
There is no doubt that the Olympus 2.0 is a shoe for long distances, and I would add that maximum performance can be seen from 40 km. One can notice how the foot and joints suffer less than normal due to the high damping. However, in order to test this model of trainers, I made a "special" test on a technical terrain which I would want to move nimbly, with great step frequency in the path of the vertical kilometre of Fuente Dé in Picos de Europa, which has hosted the Spanish Championship in 2016. The race consists of a grassy and rocky slope of about 2.8 km, with an incline of 1000m. I have to admit that Olympus gave me a good feeling in this technical terrain, very specific of a high mountain race, offering a very good grip (Vibram no fail rubber sole, even on wet ground) and running without noticing the terrain in the background due to the large thickness of the sole. Of course, I say again that the shoes are suitable for ultra-distance runs and in races of 40 km or greater where I could make the best use.

The sole and how they behave in different types of terrain and conditions?
As I mentioned, I am in favor of trying the shoes on all terrains and distances. The Olympus 2.0 can eventually be used in virtually all means, because they offer good grip, comfort and lightness, but in my opinion, is a shoe with an excellent performance in the "runner" terrain, tracks or trails with loose rocks and along long distances or very long ultra-trail type. Those annoying twinges of small or middle sized stones of the road will no longer be a problem with the Olympus 2.0 of Altra. In addition, soil moisture or the slipperiness of the rocks is a factor that is minimized due to the high quality of the Vibram rubber sole.


How it behaves at different rhythms?
Trainers like the Altra Olympus 2.0, of course are not the right shoes for series 1000 meters on a flat surface. The great cushioning can ballast a short quick stride, explosive outputs or sudden turns. Its greatest performance comes out over long distances and the gentle rhythms, especially on loose stone or rock terrains, because the foot will not suffer major impacts. On the other hand, one aspect to highlight is its lightness. At first (and only if viewing photos) the Olympus 2.0 can show a picture of heavy shoe. But nothing is further from reality, because despite the large sole, it offers a fairly lightweight one, weighing nothing beyond 310-315 grams in size UK10.

User profiles that you would recommend the product.
No doubt: The Olympus 2.0 of Altra are like slippers for the ultra-runner seeking comfort, protection, cushioning, good grip on any terrain (Vibram) and is used to zero drop (tread metatarsal).

Aspects for
* Great cushioning and comfort
* Good grip.
* Good ratio protection: weight
* Fresh and breathable textile with good durability.
* Great choice for wide feet
* Freedom of movement in the toes.
* Good quality / price / durability.

Aspects against
* Relative Stability Loss
* Loss of sensitivity with the ground
* The need to adapt to the sensations that brings the great sole.

Translated by Max Wright

My height

1,80 m

My weight

70 kg

My clothing size


My birthplace


Mi objetivo es pasa el mayor tiempo posible en la montaña. La actividad en concreto es solo una excusa, aunque tengo mis preferencias: Me apasiona correr en verano y esquiar (skimo) en invierno. Si las condiciones son buenas, el alpinismo ligero es lo que más me aporta siempre. Me gusta competir contra mi mismo, ver hasta dónde puedo llegar. Las carreras son los objetivos que me hacen estar siempre motivado para entrenar cada dia más!!

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