ALTRA TIMP 4 - Long Term Review
Posted on March 25 2022
Brands often claim that a new generation of a shoe is "ALL-NEW" and ALTRA do that with the Timp 4.
Its fair to say that for the previous iterations of the Timp, the shoe has had some quite significant limitations and we have always positioned it as a crossover shoe, road and trail, a bit like the HOKA ATR Challenger. Comfortable but certainly a bit of a handful in the wet.
The claim by ALTRA that this is indeed an "ALL-NEW" shoe compared to previous generations is no exaggeration. Its hard to find much that is the same except the MAXTRAC outsole. Even that, with the much more aggressive lug pattern, elevates the grip to something like the Lone Peak. Still not as grippy as Vibram Megagrip but a substantial improvement on the previous version.
But what is completely new is pretty much everything else. Made in the same factory as the recently released Mont Blanc I have the feeling this is a shoe made on the same last as the Mont Blanc. Its the "standard" footshape, so the middle offering from ALTRA (as is the Mont Blanc) has the much improved EGO MAX midsole (was previously Quantic) on the earlier Timps. Again this is the same as the Mont Blanc .
Its a more substantial shoe than the Mont Blanc and not positioned as a racer but gives a lot of the same underfoot cushioned ride that the Mont Blanc does.
The upper is completely different to the Mont Blanc though and seems to address some of the comments that have been levelled at the Mont Blanc concerning Heel lockdown and fit, flat laces rather than round, substantial tongue cushioning rather than the thin fabric on the Mont Blanc and the construction around the heel much more substantial.
This all comes at extra weight (309 g v 280g) but for an everyday trail shoe this is not unacceptable.
After around 175km in the ALTRA TIMP 4 I can say I really enjoy running in this. Its the shoe I use when I want to save the wear on my Mont Blanc and when perhaps the weather and terrain doesn't really need the benefit of Vibram.
The underfoot cushioning is excellent, with a nice balance between protection and trail feel. 30mm of stack height (same as Mont Blanc) which is 5 mm more than the Lone Peak. EGO MAX gives great energy return.
I had no problem with heel lockdown and the lacing was simple and easy to get the right level of tightness. I had to fiddle with the tongue support strap and move it up a couple of laces to prevent the tongue sliding down into the shoe but I did not need to use the extra lacing hole to get good lockdown.
The grip is like the Lone Peak, adequate, and the big lugs will work well in sloppy conditions.
The midsole has some groves cut into it which are apparently there to help with drainage. On the sample shoes I have been running in these are quite open and I noticed on the production shoes these grooves have a smaller access hole. I understand this is to prevent stones and dirt entering the grooves but I have to say I never noticed that.
Its absolutely true to say this is an ALL-NEW version of the TIMP and a very welcome upgrade on almost every front. It is now a capable trail shoe which we couldn't say previously. Highly recommended!.
Check it out the collection HERE