ALTRA TIMP UPGRADE, Comparing TIMP 3 and TIMP 2
Posted on February 10 2021
ALTRA has moved away from declaring 0.5 point upgrades to only now providing full numerals.
Previously a full point upgrade would signify a major change in the shoe whereas the 0.5 point upgrade some small changes etc.
The TIMP 3 would normally have been named the TIMP 2.5 but nevertheless the TIMP 3 does bring a few noteworthy improvements.
Lets state initially what stays the same.
1. For Hong Kong we position this as a "All-Terrain Shoe" something that will provide great longevity (ie wear characteristics on the outer) and yet still have good trail credibility. It is ALTRAs equivalent of the HOKA ATR Challenger. A go anywhere, do anything shoe.
2. The midsole remains the Quantic Foam and the outer the Maxtrak compound. We hold back from calling it an out and out trail shoe because there are stickier compounds out there for wet greasy conditions. Bearing that in mind, the compromise is better wear-ability of the sole.
3. Same 29mm of stack height as the TIMP 2 and of course being Zero Drop this is the same across the shoe. Very similar to the HOKA ATR at 31mm and 27mm.
4. Same great trail feel with adequate protection. There is perhaps room for a more robust rock protection plate but again this is a cross-over shoe so in that sense adequate.
So what has changed?
1. MORE ROOMY TOE-BOX. The first, and most significant change is to provide the TIMP 3 with a more roomy Toe-Box. There was criticism of the TIMP 2 that some people felt their toes were unusually constrained. Not something ALTRA fans are accustomed too. You can see below how that has been addressed
2. BETTER FIT: In recent releases of other models, ALTRA have made significant steps to improve the overall fit of the shoe, especially around the instep. With a wide toe-box, its essential the foot is held securely to allow the toes to move freely. This has been done by applying additional "hot melt" panels on the side of the vamp. This has been seen on the Lone Peak 5 and on the Olympus 4 and the Timp 3 gets the same treatment.
The overall feeling for the runner is a much more robust fit and additional feeling of precision.
3. HEEL CUP. Contributing also to the overall better fit is a redesigned heel cup. More shaped cushioning and again more additional hot melt panelling gives a wider and more shaped fit to the heel
The consequence of this change in the upper design is an increase in weight from 281g to 311g in the TIMP 3.
SO WHATS IT LIKE ON THE RUN?
I have been running in it now for a few weeks and it remains a very good shoe for what it is designed to do, as was the TIMP 2. Don't push it hard on wet, highly technical trails but for runs which are a combination of pavement and trails, especially in the dry what you get is a very similar ride to the Torin 4.5 Plush but with a more technical outsole.
The structured foot-bed on top of the Quantic midsole supports the arch really well. and the 29mm of cushioning gives a great ride.
The effort to improve the fit is welcome and the shoe felt very secure on my foot, uphill and downhill and my toes were free to roam as they should in an ALTRA. The fit actually feels a bit better than say the Lone Peak 5 because the Toe Box is still a little narrower.
As mentioned above, I had a couple of rock piercing winces but in the main the shoe coped well with everything I threw at it albeit not super technical trail.
Its also a much better looking shoe than the TIMP 2 and for many people this is very important. I love the grey colourway above and the women's shoes are also looking really good. VF is certainly improving that aspect of ALTRA.
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