Altra Provision 8 Integrates Guiderails for Better Stability

Altra Provision 8 - mudguard/tip

The Altra Provision 8 possesses the necessary elements to excel as a stability trainer. Regrettably, the manner in which these elements are arranged prevents them from achieving their utmost capabilities.

If you are a jogger who is in search of a stability trainer that is both lightweight and unconventional, then you deserve it.

Over the course of its brief 8-year existence, the Altra Provision has undergone numerous transformations. Various stability techniques have been experimented with, yet few have endured beyond 2 editions.

Altra's 8th edition appears to have taken a more simplified approach, going back to what has proven to be effective. Alongside the Paradigm, which provides maximum cushioning, the Provision is another stability trainer option offered by Altra.

Altra Provision 8 - quarter

Competing with renowned stability shoes such as the Brooks Adrenaline, ASICS GT-2000, and the Saucony Guide, this particular shoe can be purchased for a price of 140 dollars on Altrarunning official site.

Although I've never been fond of white athletic footwear, I was intrigued to try out and jog in these particular shoes. When I first held them up, I would describe them as fresh and immaculate. They had a lightweight and speedy feel. The orange shade complemented the white effortlessly due to its airy nature.

The inaugural journey of the Provision covered a distance of 3.5 miles. Right from the very beginning, it displayed unwavering stability, thanks to the guiding rail that provided support. Additionally, there was a snug and secure feeling, akin to being cradled.

The Provision offered a livelier experience compared to the Paradigm, with a slightly less secure fit around the heel.

In general, I enjoyed a comfortable journey that left me anticipating the opportunity to travel even further.

Altra Provision 8 - toebox

The top section of Provision 8 showcases a fresh engineered mesh design that prioritizes breathability and flexibility. This mesh offers a moderate level of support, and it is accompanied by a revamped molded heel counter.

The appearance and fit of this product closely resemble New Balance's newest models. While it has reduced cushioning, the design still includes a heel cup that promotes the natural movement of the achilles tendon.

The Provision could benefit from a snugger heel for added stability, although I do appreciate the current looser fit.

The Innovarch is a thing of the past, as well. The current edition features a single small tab that you thread through on both sides. This has a minimal impact on the shoe's fit.

Altra Provision 8 - outsole

Let's begin at the very beginning, where the outsole is protected by a thin layer of rubber. In previous years, it used to deteriorate rapidly, but that's no longer true. Now, it can withstand any conditions and surfaces with ease. The outsole is made with the help of footpod technology.

The design of this map or blueprint promotes a natural and effortless walking motion. Inner flex refers to carefully positioned guiding lines on the outsole.

In light of these factors, a sense of adaptability permeates the entire foot. Altra's Provision 8 features the trademark Footshape design, a characteristic shared by many of Altra's shoes. However, in comparison to my previous review of the Provision (6th edition), the fit has changed. The midfoot is now narrower, and there is a more pronounced arch. The midsole of the Provision is composed of Altra's Ego foam compound, which offers a well-balanced cushioning that leans towards a lively, springy feel.

The guiderails on the inner side of the shoe, specifically near the heel, serve their purpose of offering stability. However, their noticeable size becomes apparent as you experience them while running in the Provision.

The Provision offers continuous engagement throughout the entire process, setting it apart from other guiderail systems that only come into play when necessary. While it remains a reliable trainer, the Provision's guiderails may occasionally feel overwhelming. This also lengthened the time it took for them to adapt.

Altra Provision 8 - laces/tongue

The distinctive shape of their footwear has always distinguished them from other companies. It has consistently been a key advantage in all the Altras I have assessed.

Since my previous evaluation of the Provision, there appears to have been a shift. I noticed that the middle section of the shoe, specifically the area around the arch of the foot, felt constricting in the Provision 8. Consequently, I experienced intermittent discomfort while conducting the review.

My experience with the Altra Provision was a bit of a mixed bag. Out of all the Altra trainers I've tried, this was the first one that left me feeling disappointed. It's a trainer that had a lot of promise, but certain aspects prevented it from reaching its full potential.

The Altra Ego foam midsole ensures a ride that is both flexible and comfortable, while maintaining a perfect balance. It also offers a pleasant touch of springiness. However, the guiderail system detracts from this experience due to its excessive presence. Its lack of adaptability is also noticeable. Although the concept is commendable, the execution falls short.

I was initially drawn to Altra because of their unique Footshape concept, which I found intriguing. Their shoes are designed to mimic the natural shape of your foot, which I appreciate. However, when I tried the Provision 8 model, I experienced some difficulties. The midfoot area felt tight, and the arch support was too pronounced, which took away from the overall comfort I expected.

The Provision 8 boasted a straightforward upper design that offered both breathability and flexibility, allowing ample space for the foot. Although not universally appealing, I personally found the updated heel counter to be a positive enhancement.

I haven't worn the Provision for quite some time now. When I assessed the 5th edition, I mentioned that Altra successfully accomplished their aim of providing a natural running experience with the Provision 5. However, this is not the case with the Provision 8.

Altra Provision 8 - midsole

Altra's core principles are evident in its construction, although their implementation lacks success. While there are some aspects I appreciated, the mentioned downsides ultimately render it a subpar trainer.

  • Price: $140 (Altrarunning)
  • Usage:
    • daily training
    • road running shoes
  • Constructions & Features:
    • engineered mesh upper
    • revamped molded heel counter
    • a heel cup for natural movement of achilles tendon
    • outsole with footpod technology
    • Altra's Ego foam midsole
    • guiderails on inner side for stability
    • guiding lines positioned on outsole
    • moderate cushion
    • stack Height: 28 mm
    • heel drop: 0 mm
    • weight: 10.2 oz / 289 g