Altra Superior 6 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 Superior 6 Verdict

The Altra Superior 6 is a lightweight and low-cushioned trail shoe that can be worn in a variety of different trial conditions.

The pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

The cons

  • Narrow Toe Box (for an Altra)


Rating breakdown

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

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
Superior 6
Previous model
Type
Weight
10.1 oz (286 g)
MSRP
$130.00

Heel
999 mm.
Toe
999 mm.
Heel drop
0 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

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

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Responsive/balanced
Amount of cushioning
Little cushioning
Stability
Not particularly stable
Flexibility
Medium

Trail specs

Rockplate
Not present
Traction
Average 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 Superior 6 ?

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.

Who should not buy the Altra Superior 6 ?

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.

Altra Superior 6 Introduction

Picture of Altra Superior 6

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.

Altra Superior 6 Impressions

Picture of Altra Superior 6


The Altra Superior 6 is exactly as advertised: a lightweight and minimally cushioned trail shoe. And as one would expect with a lightweight/low-cushioned shoe, this shoe is perfect for going fast off-road.

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.

Picture of Altra Superior 6

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.

Altra Superior 6 Protection

Picture of Altra 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.

Altra Superior 6 Durability

Picture of Altra Superior 6


I have had zero durability issues/concerns with the Altra Superior 6. My shoes are showing almost no wear after many miles on the trails, covering a variety of surfaces from gravel to rocks to roots to sand to clay.

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.

Altra Superior 6 Responsiveness & speed

Picture of Altra Superior 6

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.

Altra Superior 6 Comfort and fit

Picture of Altra Superior 6

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.

Altra Superior 6 Conclusions

Picture of Altra Superior 6

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.

How does the Superior 6 compare?

Hoka One One Torrent 3
Altra Superior 6
Nike React Terra Kiger 9
Expert score
6
8
6
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$130
US$129.95
US$149.95
Shoe type
Weight
8.7 oz
10.1 oz
9.8 oz
Heel Drop
5 mm
0 mm
3 mm
Recommended for
Dirt trails, through grassy sections
Moderate trails, technical trails, rocky areas, muddy areas, through creeks and streams, dirt trails, through grassy sections
Moderate trails, muddy areas, through creeks and streams, dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Cushioning type
balanced/plush
responsive/balanced
responsive
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Little cushioning
Medium cushioning
Flexibility
medium
medium
medium
Stability
some stability
not particularly stable
not particularly stable
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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