Altra Timp 1.5: 500km Review
Altra Timp 1.5: A Review
After 500km in the new Altra Timp 1.5’s, I think it's high time for a review.
Stack Height: 29mm
Weight: 298g / 10.5oz men's; 247g / 8.7oz women's
Heel-to-toe drop: 0 mm
After running in Altra shoes for a little over a year, I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on one of only 2 pairs of Altra Timp’s in South Africa (thanks to a delay in Bennie Roux’s shipment before his Munga win earlier this year). I have to admit that I was a bit tentative after my Lone Peak 4 experience, where I felt the shoe never really gelled with my feet. Now, after 500km I have a good sense of these shoes .
The shoes arrived in their usual Altra box with all the nitty gritty logo’s and information on zero drop running on the inside of the upper lid. Upon first inspection, I was very impressed with the look and the lightness of the shoes. The tread looks slightly different to that of other Altra’s in their trail lineup, with a distinguishable ‘TIMP’ on the sole, It is also worth noting that the rubber sole doesn’t cover the entire under side of the shoe, but rather leaves sections of the foam exposed. Whether this is for maneuverability or to simply reduce weight is unknown to me, but I can confidently say that traction is not lost. The shoe also comes standard with Altra’s ‘Gator Trap’ system, which is essentially a 4-locking point system where the specific Altra Gators attach to on the laces, sides, and back of the shoe.
If there were a shoe designed to fit my foot perfectly, this would be it. It held my heel snugly enough that there was no slipping of the heel, the mid upper was just the right amount of pressure, and the toe box was just the right amount of ‘roomy-ness’ - something I found the Lone Peak 4’s personally had a bit too much of. The Timp’s have what Altra dub their EVA innerflex technology, and I have to say that the sole felt extremely responsive and cushioned, but not so much that you could not feel the ground below your feet. This is likely due to the a lack of a rock plate (which is really not essential in most of the terrain I run on). However, this is something you really don’t notice when running over rocky, technical terrain where the 29 mm of cushioning absorb every bit of uneven, sharp objects (besides from the odd piercing rock).
During my first run on semi-technical terrain I was hugely impressed. My feet were comfortable, I felt I could pick up the speed when needed, and i felt extremely confident on the technical descents.
This past weekend I officially past the 500km mark in my Timp’s, and it’s sign of ageing is beginning to show. With that said, I have run some really gnarly trails. I ran the Theuneskraal 30km in June in what can only be described as a mudslide, placing third overall, and this past weekend I ran the Chokka 62km trail on a combination of service gravel roads and soft beach sand. On top of that, I have trained on extremely wet and mountainous trails to fast winding single track, to long meandering jeep track and road, and the Timp’s never fail to impress. The feel super comfortable on long runs, even after 7 / 8 hours, but also make me feel very confident while bombing down some single track or highly technical Table Mountain trails. The mid sole is beginning to flatten out a bit, but surprisingly not as much as one would imagine seeing as I am a 85km 1.90m guy, and one of the lugs on the sole has lifted off. Other than that, it is still a pleasure putting these guys on my feet.
As a shoe marketed for the more longer distances, these fair very well for shorter, faster efforts too. The grip extremely well in the mud and dry, rocky surfaces alike, and are just the right amount of cushioning to handle just about anything. I am extremely impressed with the shoe, having that same indestructible ‘go-anywhere’ feel of the Lone Peak 4’s, while not slacking on the faster, more technical stuff like the Superiors, neither.
Disclosure: Robert Henning is an Altra Ambassador, and has been wearing Altra’s since long before his ambassadorship and simply loves the shoes. He runs in the Timp 1.5, the Paradigm 2 & 3, and the Torrin 2.5.