Review: Altra Olympus 4.0

Written by

Denny Krahe

Running Coach and Podcast Host.

This expert review is written by

Denny Krahe

Running Coach and Podcast Host.
Denny Krahe is a running coach and a podcast host living in Central Florida.

He is working on running a marathon in every state in the US; 5 down, 45 to go!

Weight

We usually consider 10 ounces a "medium" weight for a running shoe: less than 10 and we are entering the lightweight category and above 10 the shoes start to be heavy.

Heel-to-toe drop

Heel drop is the measurement in mm of the difference between the height of the heel and the toe of the sole.

A lower drop (0mm - 5mm) promotes running on mid-foot and fore-foot, while higher drops (8mm - 12mm) are more traditional and meant to support a heel-striking gait.
Expert score
8/10

Quick overview

Best for
Regular training, long, slow training runs, ultra distances, 50 miles and greater
Terrain
Best for moderate trails, technical trails, rocky areas, muddy areas, through creeks and streams, through snowy or icy sections
Grip
The Olympus 4.0 provides excellent grip and traction on all kind of terrains and surfaces
Lack Traction
Average Traction
Provide Traction
Cushioning
The Olympus 4.0 is maximally cushioned
Little cushioning
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned
Weight

13.2

 oz
374 g
Heel to toe drop
Drop

0

 mm

Pros and cons according to our running expert

Pros and cons according to our running expert

  • Very Good Traction
  • Plenty of Cushioning
  • Drains Well
  • A Bit Heavy

Our verdict

The Altra Olympus 4.0 is a beast of a shoe that will work in just about any trail conditions out there. And as a maximally cushioned shoe, it will keep your feet safe and comfortable for the duration of your time on the trails.

Introduction Altra Olympus 4.0

Altra Olympus 4.0 - Lateral Side

Altra Olympus 4.0 – Lateral Side

The Altra Olympus 4.0 is the latest iteration of Altra’s maximally cushioned trail shoe.

The Olympus 4.0 will definitely keep your feet safe from rocks, roots, and any other trail debris that you’re likely to come across during a run.

And if your route includes some paved sections, the cushioning will keep your feet happy on the harder surfaces as well.

The look of the Olympus has changed quite (for the better, IMO) a bit from the 3.0 to the 4.0, but the feel and performance of the shoe is quite similar to the older model.

The Olympus 4.0 also maintains the Altra ideals of a foot shaped toe box and zero-drop platform that is standard across every shoe in they offer.

Cushioning Type
The Olympus 4.0 is a perfect mix of... Read more responsive and plush: good shock absorption
Responsive
Plush
Cushioning Amount
The Olympus 4.0 is maximally cushioned
Little cushioning
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
The Olympus 4.0 has a good mix between... Read more flexibility and structure
Rigid
Flexible
Stability
The Olympus 4.0 is not stable: not indicated... Read more for runners that need support
Not particularly stable
Very stable

Impressions Altra Olympus 4.0

Altra Olympus 4.0 - Pair

Altra Olympus 4.0 – Pair

The Altra Olympus 4.0 is quite the shoe. For some, it may be too much shoe.

But if you like a lot of cushion and a shoe that can hold up to some serious wear and tear, you should definitely consider the Olympus 4.0.

Out of the box, I was a little surprised at how much shoe was actually there thanks to a 33 mm stack height.

Thankfully, the shoe isn’t terribly heavy, which was a pleasant surprise to me given the amount of cushion and the sturdy heel cup/toe cap that the Olympus 4.0 brings to the table.

Helping to keep the shoe as light as it is (11.6 oz) is the mesh upper present in the mid foot area that helps the Olympus 4.0 to breath quite well.

After my first run in the Olympus 4.0, I was sold on the shoe as a solid option for any trail conditions.

That first run had a bit of everything: mud, rocks, pavement, gravel, roots, standing water, and hills. And through it all, my footing was never an issue.

The shoe also drained well, which is always an important thing to consider when water crossings are part of the equation.

Nothing that I experienced in any subsequent runs in the Olympus 4.0s did anything to diminish my opinions about the viability of the shoe either.

As I mentioned above, traction with the Olympus 4.0 isn’t an issue.

The outsole is made of a sticky rubber compound (Vibram Megagrip), and combined with ample lugs you can trust your footing no matter what surface you happen to be running upon.

While this is great for more technical trails, this may be a bit less desirable for more runnable trails that you may come across.

To be clear, I’m not saying you can’t run in the Olympus 4.0s, but they are definitely a lot more shoe than may be needed on some tamer trails.

Protection Altra Olympus 4.0

Altra Olympus 4.0 - Toe

Altra Olympus 4.0 – Toe

When it comes to keeping your foot safe out on the trail, there’s little doubt that the Altra Olympus 4.0 will do the job.

As has already been mentioned, the cushioning and outsole does it’s job when running on various rocks, roots, paved sections, or anything else that you’re likely to come across out on the trail.

The Altra Olympus 4.0 also features a reinforced toe cap that will keep your feet safe from thorns, briars, or whatever else if you’re running through some sections of trail that aren’t well maintained.

Rockplate
The rock plate in the Olympus 4.0 provides... Read more great protection from sharp rocks on the
Not present
Solid protection
Lugs
The Olympus 4.0 provides excellent grip and... Read more traction on all kind of terrains and surfaces
Lack Traction
Provide Traction
Water resistance
The Olympus 4.0 performs badly in wet weather... Read more conditions, getting wet rapidly and taking
Poor
Water Resistant

Durability Altra Olympus 4.0

Altra Olympus 4.0 - Closeup

Altra Olympus 4.0 – Closeup

The Altra Olympus 4.0 raises no durability concerns to me at this point. The shoe has held up well to everything I’ve thrown at it thus far, and save for some stubborn mud looks no worse for the wear.

The shoe also holds up well for longer days on the trail without breaking down, and I would definitely consider the Olympus 4.0 as an option for an ultra distance event.

Responsiveness & Speed Altra Olympus 4.0

Altra Olympus 4.0 - Heel

The Altra Olympus 4.0 is a shoe you can definitely push the pace in, but it’s probably not the best shoe for really fast trail racing.

The shoe doesn’t do anything “wrong” per se, but it’s just a maximally cushioned shoe that isn’t designed with maximal speed as the priority.

If speed is your focus, then lighter shoes with a bit less cushion would probably be a better option.

Comfort and Fit Altra Olympus 4.0

The Altra Olympus 4.0 is true to size and I had no issues with the fit at all.

Like every Altra shoe, the Olympus 4.0 features a foot shaped toe box, which may feel loose in the forefoot to those more used to a narrower shoe.

All in all, I’ve found the Olympus 4.0 to be quite comfortable to wear while running.

Sizing
The Olympus 4.0 has average sizing: buy the... Read more usual size
Buy size smaller
Buy size bigger

Conclusion Altra Olympus 4.0

Altra Olympus 4.0 - Sole

Altra Olympus 4.0 – Sole

The Altra Olympus 4.0 is a workhorse of a trail shoe, though I’m not ready to say it’s my new go to for my time out on the trails.

The Olympus 4.0 is as advertised: just a beast of a shoe that can hold up to some serious wear and tear. But for me and my preferences, it’s just a bit too much shoe.

I like a bit less cushion and a little more feel for the ground than what I get with the Olympus 4.0.

But if you like a shoe with a lot of cushion that can do just about anything, then the Altra Olympus 4.0 may be a good option for you!

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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