Altra VIA Olympus 2 Introduction
The Altra VIA Olympus 2 is a daily trainer that provides enough midsole with their ALTRA EGO Max and rubber outsole for durability to last you many miles.
The upper provides comfort with their engineered mesh and enough room with its wide midfoot and toes box for your feet and toes to display during your gait cycle.
At $165, does this stack up with the likes of other daily trainers like the Nike Invincibles?
Altra VIA Olympus 2 First Impressions
My first impression was there was a lot of midsole going on. Feeling the midsole with my hands it felt really soft. But as I put the shoes on, it was a different story.
During my first run in them, even though the shoe had a lot of stack height and was very soft on the touch, I didn’t feel any cushioning nor forgiveness on the ride.
And for a runner that is not use to a zero drop, I sure felt my calves working. I wasn’t too worried as I know I can adapt. The upper itself felt really nice and comfortable.
Altra VIA Olympus 2 Upper
The upper uses a dual layer engineered mesh that is very comfortable. It fits wide on my feet, and I can really expand my toes on my landing due to it also providing a very wide toe box.
Although the upper is considered wide it did feel secure on the top of my foot and had no issue with any slippage. The tongue is non gusseted and is very unique. It’s unique because it provides little padding, but it also has absolutely no structure to it.
It’s a very flimsy tongue but once you lace up and start running you will have no issues with it. I think the best feature of this shoe, beside the toe box, is the heel counter.
For a shoe that is meant for easy/recovery runs it provides the right amount of padding and structure to make it a very comfortable ride.
Not too much padding nor too little padding. One other feature the upper provides is it has a reflector on the lateral side in case you are running at night.
Altra VIA Olympus 2 Sole Unit
The midsole uses what Altra calls the Altra EGO Max, which to me feels like a standard EVA foam. I honestly did not feel the ride had any cushioning nor forgiveness on my feet whatsoever.
It took me just over five miles into the shoe to feel anything near a cushioning ride. Maybe it is because I’ve had the fortune to ride and test out midsoles that provided way more forgiveness and cushioning such as the ZoomX from Nike or FF Blast from ASICS.
The geometry of the midsole provides a natural foot shape so you can use the full anatomy of your foot on your gait cycle instead of relying on higher drops to provide any assistance, especially on the toe off.
As a runner that does use higher drops on their midsoles, I sure felt more fatigued on my first few runs with the shoe. But as I ran more consistently with the shoe, I became more comfortable with the zero drop. The midsole does provide some stability due to the wider platform.
The outsole provides rubber that has flex grooves where the human foot is able to flex during the gait cycle. What I did notice with the grooves between the rubbers is that little rocks can get stuck in between. Not a deal breaker but can get annoying.
The traction of the outsole is really good. I’ve tested the shoes out in grass, dirt, pavement, and gravel with no issues with slippage whatsoever.
When it comes to durability of the outsole, the rubber seems like it will last a while. After fifty miles, the rubber has not seemed to smooth out and the traction is still there.
Altra VIA Olympus 2 Conclusions
My experience with the shoe is that it is great recovery shoe. After testing it with speed and long distances, I found it to be the perfect shoe for slower paces at around no more than ten miles with this shoe.
I felt like the longer I was running with it past ten miles the more my feet became fatigued.
Maybe it is because of the zero drop that I am not use to? Or maybe it’s because I felt the midsole wasn’t as alive as I wanted it to be? Now, would I ever purchase this shoe? Possibly not.
There are other shoes that I would purchase beforehand with better midsole compounds such as the Nike Invincible with the ZoomX or even the ASICS Novablast with the FF Blast. Those midsoles feel more comfortable and more forgiving on my feet.
Plus, the price of the Novablast is a lot more affordable.