Some of my all-time favorite sandals are the Teva Mush because they are so comfortable. When slipping on the Alta Escalante’s, I instantly compared them to those sandals. The squish is certainly similar, but Altra’s EGO midsole is purpose-built for running, so you don’t have to worry about wasted energy or extra squish taking seconds off your mile times.

Altra Escalante Features:

  • Ideal for racing or training on the road
  • Moderate cushioning
  • 25mm stack height with zero drop
  • FootShape toe box
  • Altra EGO™ with InnerFlex™ midsole
  • Includes 6mm cushion contour footbed
  • Knit upper construction
  • FootPod™ outsole technology
  • MSRP: $130
Altra Escalante Review

Altra EGO midsoles are primo. Sockliner is coming apart after a year of abuse.

The Escalante makes knitting cool again

It’s been a year now with the Escalante’s and I’m still finding them easy to love, but not all is perfect — nothing ever is. That said, the initial love affair with their squishy comfort hasn’t changed one bit. When I want on-road comfort, these are the only shoes I grab. When I want to traipse around Outdoor Retailer or Interbike trade shows, these are the kicks I go for.

The most unique part of the Escalante is the knit upper construction. You’ll see two different colors on the uppers. The light grey is thinner and more breathable with less structure while the dark grey color is a thicker, but looser weave. Though it’s thicker, it’s not necessarily any less stretchy as the entire upper stretches about the same.

Altra Escalante Review

The outsoles show minimal wear — even after a year of use.

That stretch is part of what makes these feel so unique and comfortable. They are breathable in spades and feel darn near like you’re wearing slippers. Just don’t head out in your bath robe.

Again, Zero Drop is on display here with a natural feel and comfortable stride. Another hallmark of Altra’s shoes is the Foot Shaped toe box. That extra wiggle room is heaven sent and makes me wonder why we’ve squished our toes into the pointed ends of regular running shoes — it’s honestly beyond me.

Altra Escalante Review

Foot Shape toe box is an Altra classic.

I need to try and explain my poor experience with the toe box on these particular shoes. The knit uppers don’t provide much in the way of structure or support and the forefoot is relatively flat with very little rocker to facilitate the next push-off. With that, I feel as if I’m having to pull the shoe off the ground to make the next step by extending my toes upwards with each step. This process adds just a little toe movement with each step and has, unfortunately, given me blisters on nearly every run. As such, I’ve become accustomed to running in Injinji toe socks when running in the Escalante’s.

The outsole has proven grippy and durable on pavement. Wear is exceptionally-light considering the use and abuse. I will say that I’ve got a couple of seams pulling apart where the woven upper meets the sock liner on one shoe. That flaw may be due to a pre-production sample, but again, these are a year old.

The Good

  • Altra EGO midsole delivers squishy comfort
  • Woven uppers are like wearing slippers
  • All-day comfort for days when I’m on my feet
  • Lightweight

The Bad

  • Not much structure in the uppers
  • I consistently developed blisters between my toes

The Bottom Line: Altra Escalante

These are a unique road shoe with slipper-like woven uppers and classic Altra DNA. The Altra EGO midsoles offer exceptional comfort for long runs or long days on your feet.

Buy Now: Available at REI

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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