Altra Olympus 5 review

8 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 03rd April by Denny Krahe Running Coach and Podcast Host.
26 other reviews

Altra Olympus 5 Verdict

The Altra Olympus 5.0 is a trail shoe that will handle just about anything you throw at it. From runnable to technical, this shoe will keep your feet happy out on the trail.

The pros

  • Very Good Traction
  • Ample Cushioning
  • Protective Toe Cap

The cons

  • A Bit Heavy
  • Tongue can Rub Ankle/Shin


Rating breakdown

Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
10
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
Olympus 5
Previous model
Type
Weight
10.8 oz (306 g)
MSRP
$128.00

Heel
36 mm.
Toe
36 mm.
Heel drop
mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Wide

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Not particularly stable
Flexibility
Rigid

Trail specs

Rockplate
Not present
Traction
Provide Traction
Water resitance
Poor

Best for these distances

Road-to-trail
Max cushion  
Trail racing
Technical

Best for these terrains

Moderate trails  
Technical trails  
Rocky areas  
Muddy areas  
Through creeks and streams  
Through snowy or icy sections  
Dirt trails  
Paved trails  
Through grassy sections  

Who should buy the Altra Olympus 5 ?

The Altra Olympus 5.0 is a great shoe for runners that want plenty of cushion and protection beneath their feet. With the Olympus 5, runners don’t need to worry about changes in terrain causing problems, from rocks to roots to roads, there is nothing the Olympus can’t handle.

Who should not buy the Altra Olympus 5 ?

The Altra Olympus 5.0 is not ideal for the trail runner that prioritizes speed on the trail. This shoe is a bit of a beast, and while it would be fine for a fast/runnable trail race there are certainly lighter options available that would probably be preferred in that situation.

Altra Olympus 5 Introduction

Picture of Altra Olympus 5

The Altra Olympus 5.0 is the most recent version of Altra’s maximally cushioned trail shoe. This shoe is a tank, which to me is a very good thing! This shoe will hold up well to any trail conditions, and your feet won’t have any complaints after being in this shoe for several hours.

The Olympus 5.0 is very similar to the previous model of this shoe. This shoe is built upon Altra’s standard zero-drop platform and features the usual foot-shaped toe box that is common across the Altra brand.

Altra Olympus 5 Impressions

Picture of Altra Olympus 5

The Altra Olympus 5.0 is a tank, and for some I’m sure it’s way more shoe than they would prefer. For those who like a max-cushioned trail shoe, this shoe could be just what you are looking for.

After my first run in the Altra Olympus 5.0, it was clear this shoe was exactly as advertised. No matter what the trail threw at me, from rocks to roots to anything else, my feet felt good from start to finish. Even on some of the more technical sections, where my sensitive feet are rarely happy in any shoes, I had no issues in the Olympus 5s.

The traction of the Altra Olympus 5.0 is second to none. The lugs are aggressive enough to provide a good grip on the ground, even when the conditions are far from favorable. It didn’t take me long to trust my footing in these shoes, and never once did I have an issue with slipping despite a lot of miles on muddy trails.

Between the ample cushion and the solid traction of the outsole, no doubt the Altra Olympus 5.0 would be a great choice for logging lots of miles on some more technical trails.

Could you wear these shoes on a more runnable trail? Sure, but if speed is your priority you might want a lighter shoe to really allow you to open up your stride and fly! If the trail is technical and you’re going to be out there for most of the day (or longer), this shoe will deliver.

Altra Olympus 5 Protection

Picture of Altra Olympus 5

I assume that many people considering the Altra Olympus 5.0 are focused on the protection that the shoe will provide, and as has been the theme of this review, the protective qualities of this shoe are second to none.

Between the cushion of the midsole and the Vibram outsole, your feet will be safe from anything that you step on while out on the trail. The shoe also has a reinforced toe cap, so that when you catch a rock with your toe you’ll be fine to keep going.

Picture of Altra Olympus 5

The only area where this shoe could be lacking from a protection perspective is in the upper itself. The upper of this shoe is a durable mesh that isn’t likely to do much to keep your feet protected if you’re doing some serious bushwhacking. But on a somewhat well-maintained trail, you should feel very comfortable wearing this shoe.

Altra Olympus 5 Durability

The Altra Olympus 5.0 is showing little, if any, signs of wear after several runs.

I have zero doubt that this shoe will hold up well for the long haul, and would not be worried about holding up and performing well in any length race.

Altra Olympus 5 Responsiveness & speed

Picture of Altra Olympus 5


As mentioned already, the Altra Olympus 5.0 is not the ideal shoe for really fast racing.

I didn’t have any issues running in this shoe, and during runnable sections of a more technical trail you can certainly open up your stride and run in these shoes, but if the majority of the trail is runnable and you’re focused on your speed, I’d go with a lighter shoe for sure.

Altra Olympus 5 Comfort and fit

Picture of Altra Olympus 5

The Altra Olympus 5.0 fit true to size and was comfortable overall. The only issue I had with this shoe was the tongue rubbing on my ankle/shin, but after folding it down it was a non-issue.

The foot-shaped toe box of this shoe is very much appreciated, as it allows the toes to splay while running without any restriction or rubbing.

All things considered, I have zero issues with the comfort or fit of this shoe.

Altra Olympus 5 Conclusions

Picture of Altra Olympus 5


The Altra Olympus 5.0 is a beast, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I’ve worn this shoe for several long runs on the trails, and never once did I regret that choice. I prioritize cushion/protection on the trail more than just about anything else, and those are the two areas where this shoe shines the most.

I wouldn’t call this the perfect trail shoe for me, as it is a bit heavier than I’d prefer. That said, it is definitely going to stay in my rotation and will likely be my choice anytime I’m trying out a new trail that I suspect will be at least somewhat technical.

Ultimately, the deciding factor for the Altra Olympus 5.0 comes down to how much shoe you want.

If you’re willing to give up a little bit of cushion to have a lighter shoe, then I’d pass on these.

But if you like a beefy shoe that is guaranteed to protect your feet during long trail runs, you won’t go wrong with the Altra Olympus 5.0.

How does the Olympus 5 compare?

Hoka One One Stinson 7
Altra Olympus 5
Asics Trabuco Max 2
Expert score
9
8
9
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$169.95
US$127.5
US$149.95
Shoe type
Weight
12.7 oz
10.8 oz
10.8 oz
Heel Drop
5 mm
mm
5 mm
Recommended for
Moderate trails, through creeks and streams, through snowy or icy sections, dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Moderate trails, technical trails, rocky areas, muddy areas, through creeks and streams, through snowy or icy sections, dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Moderate trails, technical trails, rocky areas, muddy areas, dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Cushioning type
plush
balanced
responsive
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
rigid
rigid
medium
Stability
very stable
not particularly stable
some stability
Sizing
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 Denny

This review was written by Denny Krahe on 03rd April.
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!

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