ALTRA PARADIGM 6 - First Impressions
Posted on October 10 2021
We have been running in the ALTRA Paradigm 6 now for the last couple of weeks and approaching 100km in the shoe.
The Paradigm is positioned by ALTRA as their Max Cushioning/Max Stability shoe and in previous models they have looked very much like that. .... A LOT OF SHOE!.
However, this iteration of the Paradigm is a significant upgrade to previous versions and limiting its applicability to only being a support shoe is not doing the shoe justice. This doubles up as a awesome high mileage, comfortable trainer par excellence!
We have quite a number of customers coming to us for advice and many have some degree of overpronation and you can read our BLOG on how stability shoes work and it will give you an idea if you might need some support too.
Here is the LINK
The trend in running shoes generally is towards lightness and the traditional approach to providing support which is inserting a hard medial post in the midsole worked, but it also brought with it considerable weight. The Paradigm 6 has a different approach which we will explore in this review.
The point however is that this version of the Paradigm is a great shoe for everyone, not only people with overpronation issues. It feels like a max cushioned Torin 5, and even looks quite similar.
ALTRA have put a lot of effort into this shoe and enlisted Kara Goucher to be the test athlete as they worked through development.
If you want to learn more about Kara you can go here:
They did a great job together.
First of all, the Technical details
- Weight: 10.8 oz / 307 g
- Midsole: Altra EGO™ MAX
- Outsole: FootPod™ Outsole
- Cushion: Max
- Stack Height: 30mm
- Upper: Breathable Engineered Mesh
Of course the ALTRA characteristic "Balanced Cushioning" and "Foot-shaped" toe box are there too.
The first big upgrade of the shoe in this iteration is the use of EGO Max for the midsole. This is currently ALTRA's top midsole material and the same as used on the Torin 5. On the Paradigm this is pushed up to 30mm from the 28mm used on the Torin.
In addition, the midsole foam is wrapped up around the shoe on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe to form what ALTRA calls "Guiderails". These work in the same way crash barriers work on highways. When your foot hits these they guide your foot back to a more central position. The heavier the impact, the more the correctional force. Support when you need it.
This approach contrasts with the traditional approach to support featuring a hard medial post under the arch which is there whether you need it or not and contributes to saving weight.
The second technology that is employed on the Paradigm 6 is the inclusion of the "INNOVARCH" which was originally introduced by ALTRA on the Provision.
This is basically an independent strap connected to the medial laces and lateral side of the strobel board of the shoe (not the medial). Consequently when the laces are tightened this strap wraps around the arch and provides additional support. this tension can be increased with the inclusion of an additional lace hole.
So what is the overall conclusion?:
Having used the shoe for around 100km I have found it to be a fabulous, high mileage, daily trainer. Everybody overpronates a little when they are tired so even if you are not a heavy overpronator this shoe should be in your rotation.
I am a total convert to zero drop and having run for years in 10mm of drop shoes I can attest to making the transition is not so difficult and the benefit of running in a much more natural running shape has kept me injury free despite clocking up over 4000km per year and bringing my streak now to almost 800 days.
The Paradigm 6 is now my go-to everyday trainer, super comfortable, and just that bit of support when I need it.
It's kind of the Torin 5's big brother.
CHECK OUT THE RANGE HERE