Altra Provision 8 review

5 expert score
0 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 10th January by TJ Jones Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
55 other reviews

Altra Provision 8 Verdict

The Altra Provision 8 is a stability trainer that has the components to be a great shoe. Unfortunately, the way these components are assembled they don’t reach their full potential.

The pros

  • The Improved Upper
  • Heel Counter
  • Ego Cushioning

The cons

  • Guiderails (overbearing)
  • Tightness in midfoot

Rating breakdown

Build quality
Sole unit
Value / Price

Facts / Specs

Provision 8
Previous model
10.2 oz (289 g)

28 mm.
28 mm.
Heel drop
0 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate


True to size
Heel fit
Midfoot fit
Toebox fit

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Amount of cushioning
Medium cushioning
Some stability


Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Altra Provision 8 ?

A runner who is looking for lightweight nontraditional stability trainer.

Altra Provision 8 Introduction

Picture of Altra Provision 8

The Altra Provision has gone through many iterations in its short 8 year life. They have tried different stability methods over the years without many lasting longer than 2 editions.

The 8th edition seems simplified and a return to what works. The Provision is one of two stability trainers Altra offers, the max cushioned Paradigm is the other one.

It goes up against other stability heavyweights like the Brooks Adrenaline, ASICS GT-2000, and the Saucony Guide. It retails for 140 dollars.

Altra Provision 8 First Impressions

Picture of Altra Provision 8

While I’ve never been a fan of white running shoes I was curious to see and run in these. Crisp and clean would be how I would describe them while holding them up for the first time. They felt light and fast. The mint green balanced the white because of how light it is.

The maiden voyage of the Provision was a 3.5 mile run. It was stable from the first step due to the guiderail. There was a cradle like fit as well.

It was a bouncier ride than the Paradigm. The heel portion of the Provision was slightly loose.

Overall, a smooth ride that had me looking forward to more miles.

Altra Provision 8 Upper

Picture of Altra Provision 8

The upper part of the Provision 8 features a new engineered mesh built with breathability and flexibility in mind. It provides a medium amount of structure. There is a redesigned molded heel counter.

It is similar both in looks and fit to New Balance’s latest ones. It’s slimmed down on cushioning, but the heel cup is still there. This encouraged natural movement of the achilles tendon.

A looser fit is the result. While I appreciate this, a tighter fit in the heel would make the Provision more stable.

ALso, gone are the days of the Innovarch (4 and 5). This edition has one small tab you lace through on both sides. This has minimal effect on the fit of the shoe.

Altra Provision 8 Sole Unit

Picture of Altra Provision 8

Let’s start from the ground up, the outsole is covered by a thin rubber. In years past it has shown wear quickly, this isn’t the case anymore; It handles all conditions and surfaces. Footpod technology makes up the outsole.

It is a map or layout that encourages natural stride and foot movement. Inner flex are strategically placed guidance lines on the outsole.

As a result of these two, flexibility is felt from heel to toe. Altra’s Footshape is found in the Provision 8. This is a standard of most of Altra’s offerings. Since my last review of the Provision (6th) the fit was different. The midfoot was narrower. There is also a bigger arch as well. Altra’s Ego foam compound makes up the midsole of the Provision. It’s a balanced cushion with leanings to the bouncy side.

Picture of Altra Provision 8

On the medial side you have the guiderails which are toward the heel portion. They do their job which is to provide stability. The drawback is the size of them. You are aware of them when you run in the Provision.

This means they are engaged with every step. This is different from other guiderail systems, ones that engage only when needed. The Provision is still a stable trainer, it is just the guiderails may be overbearing at times.

This also increased the adjustment period for them.

Footshape has been what sets them apart from other brands. It has been a major strength of all the Altras I have reviewed.

Something has seemed to change since my last review of the Provision. The midfoot was tight in the Provision 8. This caused discomfort on and off during the reviewing.

Altra Provision 8 Conclusions

Picture of Altra Provision 8

The Altra Provision was a mixed bag for me. This was the first in all the Altra trainers I have reviewed where I found myself disappointed. It’s a trainer with so much potential only to have certain aspects hold it back from reaching that potential.

The Altra Ego foam midsole provides a flexible, comfortable, and balanced ride. There is a welcome hint of bounce to it. Unfortunately, the guiderail system distracts from the ride. The reason is there is too much of it. You are aware of them along with the lack of adaptability. It’s a great idea but poorly executed.

Altra’s core principle of Footshape was one of the things I loved about the brand. It was actually a trainer in the true shape of your foot. The Provision 8 was the first time I struggled with it. There was a tightness in the midfoot along with a prominent arch overshadowing the comfort felt from below.

The simple upper was a strength of the Provision 8. It was breathable and flexible while giving your foot enough room. The updated heel counter isn’t for everyone but I thought it was an improvement.

It has been a while since I’ve run in the Provision. In my review of the 5th edition I said “Altra achieves its goal of having you run as naturally as possible with the Provision 5.” This is not the case for the Provision 8.

It is built with many of Altra’s core principles. It is the execution of those principles that fall flat. Now, it has some things I really liked about it but overall the drawbacks mentioned make it a mediocre trainer at best.

How does the Provision 8 compare?

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23
Altra Provision 8
Asics GT 2000 12
Expert score
User score
Retail price
Shoe type
10.1 oz
10.2 oz
9.5 oz
Heel Drop
12 mm
0 mm
8 mm
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training
Daily training
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
very stable
some stability
some stability
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Altra at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.

Reviewed by TJ

This review was written by TJ Jones on 10th January.
TJ Jones lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife and toddler son. He has been running for over half of his life. He has completed 3 full marathons and countless half marathons. In the daytime, he is a school counselor. He loves running no matter if it is on the road or trails

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