Gear Review: Altra Timp Trail Running Shoes
Value Rating: 7
Durability Rating: 7
Overall Rating: 8
Location of Test: Trails, work, disc golf courses
Duration of Test: 10 months
Product Name: Timp Trail Running Shoes
Product Brand: Altra
Best Use: Hiking and trail running
The Full Review:
I purchased the Altra Timp Trail running shoes after I had worn out an older pair of low-top hiking shoes. I had always preferred the feeling and ankle mobility of a low-top shoe for hiking, and I had heard great things about Altra hiking and trail running shoes as a light and durable piece of gear. Altra’s trail running line features synthetic shoe upper material, which is lighter than a traditional leather upper and breathes exceptionally well.
Altra offers waterproof and non-waterproof shoes, as many long-distance hikers and trail runners prefer a non-waterproof shoe as it dries out faster. The Timp Trail is non-waterproof and features a 29mm stack height and 4mm outsole lug pattern that is grippy and aggressive for steep terrain, uphill or downhill (Maxtrac rubber with trail claw). This model features Altra’s signature “footshape” technology in the toe box which they claim puts toes naturally in a more splayed position for comfortable movement. Because of this, the toe box on all Altra shoes is going to be much wider than an average shoe, so folks with wide feet may find these shoes more comfortable in comparison to other brands when it comes to width and toe cramming.
The Timp trails weigh 11.1 oz (under a pound) and are zero drop, meaning they are a very flat shoe, so hikers with flatter feet and low arches may find these shoes especially comfortable. This zero drop concept also encourages softer foot landings with bent knees and softer foot strike. The midsole is made of light EVA foam for impact and shock absorbance on the trail. They also use a thin piece of laminate under the footbed called a “rock plate” to protect your feet from the feeling of sharp rocks and rough terrain when moving. The upper material on this shoe is also reflective for better night visibility.
I mostly hike in these shoes because of the level of cushioning. The footbed is exceptionally soft in comparison to shoes like the Altra Olympus or Lone Peak 3.5. The shoe is somewhat stiff in the midsole offering support when hiking longer distances. After hiking in the Altra Timp Trail Running Shoes for 8 months, there is minimal wear, but the synthetic mesh upper is starting to tear and pill slightly. I understood this would happen, as lighter shoes with synthetic uppers can be less abrasion resistant than leather. I’ve put in a few hundred miles on the trail with the timps and the lug depth is still going strong with minimal wear.
I also love the gator trap feature that is compatible with Altra specific or other Velcro style trail gaiters. I use “dirty girl” gaiters to keep out scree and dirt while hiking and running and the intuitive Altra GaiterTrap system is easy to use and stays on without readjustment throughout hikes. I also wear the Timp Trails at work and the soft footbed feels like a dream even after walking on concrete for 8-9 hours a day. Lastly, I wear a men’s size 10.5 in the Timp Trails, but normally wear a men’s 9.5 in other footwear. It may be necessary to size up but work with your outfitter to make sure sizing is appropriate.
Light, breathable, and extremely comfortable foot bed.
Synthetic upper is not as durable, and the lack of waterproofing can be challenging if you want to use these as an all-around shoe.
The Bottom Line:
The Timp Trails are an exceptionally comfortable hiking or trail running shoe that offer features not always available on the trail running market (zero drop, wide toe box) at a solid value.