Altra  Shoes were suggested to me by Robbie Haywood and Brett Sutton at TriSutto after I picked up an achilles injury in the run up to Salalah 70.3. I sustained the injury on a morning session on the beach track just four weeks before the race. It felt bad at the time and I decided to take a taxi back to my car from the very end of the beach track. When injuries are sustained close to a big race the same questions go through your mind. Will it heal in time? Do I race and risk the rest of the season? Shall I not run until the actual race? Shall I just swim and bike and dump the run? Shall I try and defer? As with most things its best to speak to the coaches and get their input as after all that’s what we pay them for. In this instance Robbie and Brett were quite sanguine about the matter. Put heat on it – three times a day. Tiger Balm- yes. Ice it for 5 minutes before running and then heat as soon as you finish. Then followed the discussion on shoes. Well they are sh*t; we like Altra and On shoes.

So I decided to buy a pair of the Alta Vanish Tempo from in Dubai Mall. My first impression was, boy are they ugly! But they are light at 232 grammes and felt like trampolines as I jogged around the shop.

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Footshape Toe Box

A wide toe box allowing the toes to relax and spread out more naturally which makes them very comfortable. Spreading out the toes had been recommended to me before so this shoe ticked the toe box! This in theory makes them more stable on the uphills an down hill descents. So far so good.

Balanced Cushioning

Having spent a lot of time running in Adizero Adios and other older models the cushioning in the Altras was a revelation. The theory on the balanced cushioning is that there is zero drop between the heal and the toe so that heal and forefoot are at an equal distance from the ground, which encourages better alignment and form. A bit like barefoot running but with a thick springy cushion under your foot.

I was encouraged to run every second run in the new shoes whilst we transitioned from my Brooks, and for around 20-30 minutes at a time while the feet and muscles got used to them. So far so good. The Vanish Tempo are certainly worth a run out.

Technical Specs

Weight: 8.2 oz/ 232 g

Midsole: Altra EGO™ PRO

Outsole: EVA Rubber

Cushion: High

Stack Height: 33 mm

Upper: Breathable Engineered Mesh

So how do they race?

I decided to test drive these shoes over the Olympic Distance at the Youssif Al Mulla memorial triathlon at Ghantoot. Putting them on after the bike was super easy, with the Greeper laces. Running out of transition they feel really springy and comfy. Without socks is not a problem as there are no rough edges to cause blisters. The vents in the upper make the shoe very breathable. The achilles was still a bit grumpy throughout the run but the no drop and 33mm stack made it a comfy ride. After 10km, no socks and a second place in the Age Group with a comfortable run. I will give these a 9 out of 10. Win Ugly!

By David Hunt

Posted on 20th Nov 2022