Altra Paradigm 7 with Ghillie Lacing and Zero Heel Drop

Last updated on February 16th, 2024

Altra Paradigm 7 toebox

The Altra Paradigm 7 stands out as a distinctive trainer that provides maximum cushioning and stability. Several modifications were implemented to enhance an already exceptional trainer, solidifying its position as a frontrunner in the realm of maximum stability.

If you are a runner who seeks to explore beyond the familiar boundaries and experiment with a distinctive stability trainer, then Altra Paradigm 7 is your suitable choice.

If you are a runner who requires a higher heel to toe drop or seeks ample stability, then you should look for other types of sneakers.

Altra Paradigm 7 upper

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a paradigm is a remarkable and representative example. Altra's Paradigm, on the other hand, offers a distinctively cushioned stability. By blending conventional stability techniques with Altra's core principles, this shoe provides runners with an alternative training option.

Altra offers two options for stability: the Paradigm and the Provision. While the Paradigm provides a higher level of cushioning, the Provision is a lighter alternative with slightly less cushioning, but still shares some key features.

The Paradigm is in competition with the Brooks Glycerin GTS, ASICS Kayano, and the Hoka Gaviota.

Having previously examined the last two editions, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of these. As I unveiled them from the packaging, my intrigue was immediately piqued. The color scheme, though understated, possessed a certain vibrancy that caught my attention. At first glance, they appeared to bear a striking resemblance to the previous pair I had evaluated.

I observed a decrease in their springiness when worn, but apart from that, they provided a comfortable sensation from the back of the foot to the front.

The inaugural trip on the Paradigm covered a distance of 5 kilometers. Despite a slight bouncing sensation, the journey was pleasant and cozy. The well-fitting design granted me ample room for unrestricted movement and allowed my toes to spread comfortably.

Because of the great comfort they provided, I frequently wore these shoes for my daily outings.

Altra Paradigm 7 laces

The Paradigm 7 has been upgraded with a redesigned mesh upper. This new mesh maintains the same level of breathability as its predecessors, while offering a balanced blend of support and flexibility. It molds to your foot, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit that adapts to your movements.

Altra's FootShape design embraces the natural curves of your feet, ensuring a comfortable fit without any tightness in the upper part of the shoe.

The Paradigm provides enhanced comfort and a secure fit with its plush tongue and heel collar. Additionally, these features contribute to the shoe's stability.

The previous problem with the tongue movement has been resolved by incorporating an extra layer of padding. Additionally, the lacing system is designed to be uncomplicated yet efficient.

The top section of the Paradigm is a straightforward and efficient component.

Altra Paradigm 7 outsole

Let's start at the very foundation. The outsole is coated with a thin layer of rubber, which proved to be resilient and performed admirably in all the running conditions I encountered.

The outsole is designed using Footpod technology, which prioritizes natural movement. Innerflex is also incorporated into the outsole.

The midsole contains carefully positioned grooves that enhance its flexibility, contributing to a more authentic and natural sensation.

The midsole incorporates AlterEgo Max, an elastic material that provides a lively response.

The midsole possesses a substantial size, yet it does not impart any sensation of being cumbersome or weighty.

The Paradigm, with its Altra FootShape feature, allows for natural movements of your feet while providing a gentle cradle-like fit. To ensure stability, the shoe incorporates guiderails on both the medial and lateral sides, with a larger rail on the inside and a smaller one on the outside.

They possess adaptability, providing stability when required, and successfully fulfill that role.

The combination of these elements resulted in a smooth and pleasant journey.

The majority of the midsole is composed of the Natural Ride System (NRS). This system includes three components: FootShape, a zero mm difference between the heel and toe, and metatarsal-specific shapes in the outsole (Footpod).

Altra distinguishes itself through these particular features.

The Paradigm was designed to excel as both a high-performance running shoe and a versatile everyday footwear option.

These are the shoes I wear on event days for the race company I'm employed by. While there may be a brief period of getting used to them due to certain factors, they ultimately enhance the running experience and make it quite enjoyable.

Altra Paradigm 7 midsole

This is my third time reviewing the Altra Paradigm, and it has become my preferred trainer among them. The shoe exemplifies how minor modifications can enhance an already well-built product.

The NRS, with its FootShape design, 0 mm drop, and footpod technology, facilitated a fluid and unrestricted motion during my run. Coupled with the EgoMax cushioning, it ensured a pleasant and smooth experience. Moreover, the guiderails proved to be exceptional in delivering adaptable stability.

Despite being a trainer with maximum cushioning, it never gives the impression of being weighty or cumbersome. The midsole provides a stable and organic ride, facilitating smooth impact, fluid transitions, and energetic toe-offs.

The Paradigm's upper combines simplicity and effectiveness in its design and performance. It features a newly developed mesh that offers a balance of structure and flexibility. To address the problem of tongue movement, extra cushioning has been incorporated.

The Paradigm's stability was enhanced by the secure fit of the upper. It embraced the shape of my feet without any sensation of tightness.

The competition in both the stability and max cushioning trainer markets continues to grow each year, making it increasingly challenging for a trainer to distinguish itself.

Altra has distinguished itself in both areas with the introduction of the Paradigm. While this shoe may not suit everyone, it has proven to be an excellent choice for me. The various features of the Paradigm combine harmoniously to deliver unparalleled comfort and a smooth running experience for your feet.

The only downside was a slightly extended period of getting used to and taking a break.
I assessed both the Provision and Paradigm this year. I can confidently state that the Paradigm is a superior instructor. It catches attention due to its distinctive qualities and rises to the top due to its exceptional performance.

The Altra Paradigm 7 stands out as an exceptional stability trainer with maximum cushioning.

Minor modifications were implemented to enhance an exceptional instructor, elevating them to the forefront within the realm of maximum stability.

If you're prepared to venture beyond your usual running routine, I recommend giving the Paradigm 7 a go.

  • Price: $170 (AltraRunning)
  • Usage:
    • daily training
    • road running
  • Constructions & Features:
    • engineered mesh upper
    • plush tongue and heel collar
    • true to size
    • outsole designed with Footpod technology and Innerflex
    • carefully positioned grooves on midsole
    • midsole uses AlterEgo Max technology
    • Standard FootShape Fit for natural foot position
    • guiderails on both the medial and lateral sides to ensure stability
    • metatarsal-specific shapes in the outsole (Footpod)
    • Altra EgoMax midsole foam
    • ghillie lacing
    • Stack Height: 30 mm
    • heel drop: 0 mm
    • Weight: 10.35 oz / 293.4 g
Altra Paradigm 7 quarter