The Altra Superior 6 is a perfect option for the trail runner looking to run fast out on the trails. It is lightweight and responsive enough to really get after it on trails that are good for running fast.
While the Altra Superior 6 is a pretty versatile trail shoe, it’s not a great option for the trail runner who likes a relatively cushioned sole. Over the course of a long ultra, or on rockier/more technical terrain, these shoes may not provide enough cushion to be ideal for some trail runners.
The Alta Superior 6 is the most recent update to one of Altra’s more popular trail shoes.
This version of the Superior continues the tradition of being a lightweight and minimally cushioned trail shoe.
As is the case with any Altra shoe, the Superior 6 is built on a zero-drop platform.
The shoe also has Astra’s standard foot-shaped toe box, but as has been something of a trend in many Altra’s lately, the toe box feels noticeably narrower than previous models of the same shoe.
All that said, I haven’t worn the Superior 6 for any fast trail running/racing to this point, and I’m still more than satisfied with this shoe.
As mentioned previously, the Altra Superior 6 was comfortable out of the box and continues to feel good on my feet with every run. What surprised me the most with this shoe is how comfortable the Superior 6 is on more technical terrain. With previous models of Superiors, I’ve always had issues running over rockier terrain/paved sections of trail. I’ve had no such issues in the Superior 6 on more technical terrain.
When it comes to traction on the trail, the Superior 6 gets the job done. I wouldn’t say the Superior 6 is the best shoe I’ve ever worn with regards to aggressive treads and good traction, but that’s a necessary trade-off in order to have a shoe that is as responsive and fast. I haven’t had any issues with traction running in wet grass or greasy clay, but I also didn’t push my luck in conditions where traction was likely to be an issue.
The only issue I’ve had with the Altra Superior 6 is that it is a bit narrow in the toe box/forefoot of the shoe. To be clear, I wouldn’t call the Superior 6 narrow in general, but it’s definitely narrow for an Altra shoe.
If you’ve been a fan of the roominess in the toe box of previous editions of the Superior, you may find yourself a bit disappointed in the Superior 6.
The protection offered by the Altra Superior 6 exceeded my expectations for a lightweight and minimally cushioned shoe. There are other trail shoes that will provide more protection to your feet, but none that I know of are as lightweight, comfortable, and responsive as the Superior 6.
The sole of the Superior 6 is a combination of EVA molded foam midsole and maxtrac outsole that combine to do a good job of protecting the feet from the inevitable trail debris. While you can still feel the ground beneath your feet, and the rocks or roots that you’re running across, your feet will still be good in good shape after a day on the trails in these shoes.
The mesh upper of the Superior 6 is reinforced around the toe cap and heel to provide a bit of extra protection where it’s often needed on the trail.
On relatively well-kept trails, you should have no issues in the Superior 6. But if you’re doing some serious bushwhacking, the level of protection that the upper of this shoe provides may not be sufficient.
When it comes to race day, or just long days on the trail, I think the Superior 6 would be a fine choice for distances up to about 50k. If you’re used to running longer distances with a minimally cushioned shoe I’m sure you could wear this for a longer race, but I think I’d opt for a shoe with a little more cushion if I was going beyond the 50k mark.
Additionally, while I’ve found the Superior 6 to do a good job of protecting my feet on more technical sections of the trail, I’m not sure I’d like the Superiors for a race for a very technical trail.
The Altra Superior 6 really shines on sections of the trail where you can open up your side and just run. These shoes are light and responsive, and there is no reason you can’t race hard/fast in these shoes on a runnable trail.
Uphill or down, no matter the surface, if the conditions of the trail are favorable for running fast, the Superior 6 is the shoe you want to be wearing.
The Altra Superior 6 is a comfortable shoe to wear. The upper is a durable mesh that forms well to the foot, with enough cushion in the heel cup to keep your foot secure while out for your run.
The sole unit of the Altra Superior 6 feels good on the feet, though there’s not very much between your feet and the ground. If you’re used to a plush sole with lots of foam, this shoe isn’t for you. But if you like a minimally cushioned shoe, you’ll find the Superior 6 to be plenty comfortable on your runs.
Overall, the Superior 6 runs true to size.
The only comfort/fit issue I have had with the Altra Superior 6 is the relative narrowness of the toe box. The shoes aren’t overly narrow, but they aren’t as roomy as the previous models of Superiors that I’ve worn.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and quite happy with the Altra Superior 6. I’ve been a fan of the Superiors for a long time, but only when running of very non-technical trails.
I’ve always had issues with the lack of cushion in the soles of previous models of the Superiors when running on technical sections of trails, but those issues have been resolved in this version of the shoe. Because of this, I’ll be continuing to wear the Superior 6 regularly going forward.
If you’re looking for a lightweight trail shoe that offers a pretty good amount of protection to your feet on some technical trails, you’d be hard-pressed to find a shoe that is better than the Altra Superior 6.