The Altra Provision 7 is a great shoe option for the runner that needs some added stability in a road shoe. These shoes can also be worn by a runner that typically runs in a neutral shoe, and could be an especially good option if your form deteriorates as fatigue sets in toward the end of longer runs.
The Altra Provision 7 is not for everyone. While runners that typically run in neutral shoes can wear the Provision 7s without any issues, I’m not sure why you’d want to add external stability if you don’t truly need it. And for runners that have serious pronation issues, these shoes probably won’t provide enough stability to meet your needs.
The Altra Provision 7 is the newest iteration of Altra’s road-running stability shoe. The Provision line provides stabilizing support for the foot and ankle to help minimize/correct overpronation issues while running.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I first got my pair of Altra Provision 7s. I have worn neutral shoes for years and was more than a little leery about what impact wearing a stability shoe would have on me and my running mechanics.
As soon as I put these shoes on, I was able to relax quite a bit. The shoes were comfortable and they didn’t seem to be forcing my feet into any unnatural positions.
My first run in the Provision 7s was uneventful in the best possible way—no issues at all. Just a comfortable shoe that provides a bit of extra stability, but stays out of the way if/when the extra support isn’t necessary.
The Altra Provision 7 features a breathable engineered mesh from the mid-foot forward, that I found to be quite comfortable. Around the heel upper, the Provision 7 is a bit stiffer than the upper to help support the heel and limit any pronation while running.
The heel cup is very comfortable, but the external feel is quite different than the rest of the upper.
The only complaint I have about the upper of Altra Provision 7 is that it’s a bit narrower in the forefoot than I expected it to be. Granted, I’m grading this on the Altra curve, and may not feel narrow if you’re comparing it to a running shoe that doesn’t typically feature a foot-shaped toe box.
But if you’re used to the foot-shaped toe box that Altra is known for, you’re likely to find the Provision 7s to be a narrow fit.
The sole of the Altra Provision 7 is comprised of Altra’s Ego foam midsole, footpad outsole, and their proprietary GuideRail technology. The Altra Ego midsole is designed to strike a nice balance between offering ample comfort/cushioning while still providing a smooth ride.
The footpad outsole encourages the foot to flex and move in a natural way while running, and the GuideRail that is built into the sole unit provides medial support if overpronation is an issue. But if you don’t need that extra support, it won’t force your foot into a supinated position. Overall, I’d say the sole of the Provision 7 does its job quite well.
Combined, the stack height of the shoe is 28 mm but is still rather lightweight at only 9.6 ounces. As with all Altra shoes, the sole has zero heel-to-toe drop.
Personally, I prefer a bit less cushioning in my road shoes. But due to the smooth ride and sufficient ground feel of the Altra Provision 7, I really don’t have any complaints with the sole of this shoe.
The Altra Provision 7 is a fine shoe, especially if you need/want a little bit of stabilization in your road shoes. While I didn’t have any issues with the stability that these shoes provide, I don’t know that I’ll wear them consistently going forward. The reason why is simple: I don’t need the extra support this shoe provides.
If you struggle with overpronation while running? The Altra Provision 7 may be a great option for you. But as a runner without any pronation issues, I don’t see a reason to switch to a stability shoe while neutral shoes continue to work just fine for me.