Altra Zero Drop Intuition 1.5 (review)

IMG 1931 224x300 Altra Zero Drop Intuition 1.5 (review)I am admittedly a bit of a hoarder when it comes to minimalist shoes. I’ve tried most of them now, from the New Balance Minimalist (both road and trail versions), to the Merrell barefoot line, to Skora, and everything in between. Some have worked for me, some have not. When I spent my weekend in Bethlehem, PA, for the Runner’s World half marathon, one of the title sponsors was Altra Zero Drop. As such, the company outfitted all of my FitFluential friends and me with a free pair of shoes.

We were given the choice between several models, and I chose the Intuition 1.5, a second generation of one of the company’s initial offerings. Altra Zero drop markets this shoe as a neutral, cushioned shoe and it is, as the name implies, zero drop from heel to toe. The company also sticks by the idea that this isn’t just a “pink it and shrink it” shoe, but rather a female-specific design geared toward long distance running.

IMG 1398 Altra Zero Drop Intuition 1.5 (review)

The Delilah is a more flexible, lighter than air model

I was already familiar with the company’s Delilah model (reviewed here) from a pair the company gave me back in April at the Boston expo. I’ve put a lot of miles on this shoe and it’s one of my favorites. The Delilah, however, is a completely different animal from the Intuition. It’s a flexible, lightweight, cushionless shoe–much more along the lines of something a barefoot runner would wear when shoes are necessary.

The Intuition, by contrast, has a good deal of cushion to it. I can see where a real natural running purist would not like this feature. You do sacrifice ground feel and some flexibility by way of the cushioning. And out of the box, I found the shoe to be a bit stiff to run in (the Altra Zero Drop guys told me this would be the case). That’s one of the reasons it has taken me so long to write this review–I wanted time to break this shoe in and see if the flexibility improved a bit. Like the Delilah, however, this shoe has a great, wide toe box that is lacking in many other shoes. This ability to let your feet splay as they would naturally is a great feature, in my opinion.

Now that I’ve had a couple of months in them, I am finding I like the Intuition. Yes, there’s more between my foot and the ground than what I have with the Delilahs and other models. But one thing I have struggled with using zero drop shoes is getting to very high mileage. I think the Intuitions offer that middle ground for someone like me–a zero drop shoe that allows for hitting the ground under your center of gravity, yet a bit of cushioning to go for the longer haul. From a marketing standpoint, I think Altra Zero Drop is pure genius here. Build it and they will come.

I plan to spend a good amount of time in my Intuitions over the winter, so I’ll keep you posted on how I am liking them.

Anyone else try this model or others from Altra Zero Drop? Impressions? 

Disclaimer: Altra Zero Drop gave me these shoes for free. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Comments

  1. says

    I have done a lot of running in flats, from 5 fingers to NB, and this weekend I had 90min of hills and then 105min on the flat (next day in the NB00 trail) and by the end of that run my calfs were sore (was going to put it another way but…) I think 45min of up hill running could really be the the problem, but what I will say, I love the freedom one feels when not running, but just working off road and taking bigger steps to climb on or over rocks…

    in another post you talked about planned runs for the weekend, my weekend post is coming…
    Coach Dion recently posted..Pollsmoor 10km raceMy Profile

  2. Holly says

    I have the original Intuitions. I love them for walking but they never quite feel right when I run in them. They have always felt stiff + clunky-ish – like running in a flip flop. I never heard that they needed to be broken in. Maybe I should give them another chance over the next couple months of non-training. I wear Kinvaras for everything at this point. I am curious what you wore for your marathon?

  3. MJ says

    I know @dimityontherunn wears Altras and likes them. I’ve tweeted back and forth w/ the company and they seem very responsive. I think they have a 30 day guarantee, even on worn shoes – check their site.

    I’ve been looking at the Provision (my feet are so big/wide I am going to try mens shoes – wmns is Provisioness). Looking at it b/c of bunion & other issues. Thinking about wearing it walking/standing to get used to zero drop. (currently run in Brooks Ariel w/ custom orthotic) Have suggested to Altra that they make a few versions in street-wear leather, they responded positively.

  4. Keith says

    I just was fitted for a pair, i have been using Hurachees but wanted a bit of cushioning to deal with some achilles tenderness. Tried the newtons and some other zero drop shoes bit the altras dealt with my tall foot much better

  5. Pru says

    I’ve had my Instincts for over a year. Can’t say enough good things about them. Cushion without being thick and squishy, still some ground feel, not much support (I don’t do well with support -my feet can support themselves), lovely zero drop. I’ve done barefoot and minimalist and maximalist, these are my favorites. None of the other brands are really comparable to these, in my opinion.

  6. says

    I’m late to reading this. Those red intuitions were my first Altra’s. I love them. Ran my first marathon in them last December. I have since gotten another pair. I have the Torin, which is a bit more padded midfoot and I’m not sure what I think yet. I just got the lone peaks for trail running. Trying them for the first time tomorrow. Love the feel of altras – like slippers – even after a long run. I always enjoy you reviews. Thanks.