Altra VIA Olympus 2 for Easy and Recovery Runs

VIA Olympus 2 on feet

The Altra VIA Olympus 2 is designed to be worn every day and offers the support, cushioning, and sole longevity needed for a shoe that can handle many miles of easy or recovery runs. The shoe's midsole incorporates the Altra EGO Max, which provides a more comfortable and gentle experience.

If you need a shoe to help you recover after tough workouts or long runs, this could be a good choice. It's also a great option if you like Altra shoes and prefer a zero or minimal drop.

If you're looking for ample padding and comfort for your feet, this option may not be my top recommendation. It took a few runs before I could truly feel any semblance of that.

VIA Olympus 2 quarter

The Altra VIA Olympus 2 is a reliable everyday running shoe that offers ample cushioning in its ALTRA EGO Max midsole and a durable rubber outsole, ensuring long-lasting performance over numerous miles.

The engineered mesh of the upper ensures comfort, while the wide midfoot and toe box allow ample space for your feet and toes to move naturally as you walk or run.

Related: In our last article, Brooks Glycerin 21 also has a wider toe box than its previous edition.

Upon initial observation, I noticed a significant amount of midsole material present. Upon tactile examination, the midsole felt remarkably pliable. However, once I donned the shoes, my experience took a different turn.

On my initial attempt with these shoes, despite their significant stack height and plush feel, I didn't experience any cushioning or leniency while running.

As someone unaccustomed to a zero drop, I definitely noticed my calves working when I went for a run. However, I wasn't concerned because I am confident in my ability to adjust. The upper part of the shoe felt incredibly pleasant and cozy.

VIA Olympus 2 wide toebox/forefoot

The upper of the shoe utilizes a specially designed mesh that offers exceptional comfort. It accommodates the width of my feet well, allowing my toes to spread out comfortably upon landing. Additionally, the shoe provides ample space for my toes with its generously sized toe box.

Despite its wide fit, the upper provided a secure sensation on the top of my foot and had no problems with slipping. The tongue is distinct in that it lacks padding and structure.

Running in this shoe is effortless, despite its delicate tongue. The heel counter is truly exceptional, along with the roomy toe box.

This shoe is designed for effortless and recuperative runs, offering an optimal balance of cushioning and support for an exceptionally comfortable experience.

The upper of the shoe offers just the right amount of padding, neither too much nor too little. Another notable feature is the inclusion of a reflective material on the side, which ensures visibility during nighttime runs.

VIA Olympus 2 sole units

In my opinion, the midsole incorporates Altra's Altra EGO Max material, which seems to be a typical EVA foam. Personally, I didn't perceive any cushioning or comfort for my feet while running.

It wasn't until I had covered a distance of slightly more than five miles that I began to experience a semblance of a comfortable ride in the shoe. Perhaps this is because I've been fortunate enough to try out and evaluate midsoles that offer much greater comfort and cushioning, like Nike's ZoomX or ASICS' FF Blast.

The design of the midsole allows your foot to adopt its natural shape, enabling you to fully utilize your foot's anatomy during your stride. This eliminates the need for relying on elevated heel heights to aid in propulsion, particularly during the push-off phase.

As a runner who prefers shoes with elevated midsoles, I definitely experienced increased fatigue during my initial runs with this particular shoe. However, as I continued to run regularly with it, I gradually grew accustomed to the absence of elevation. The wider platform of the midsole does offer a certain level of stability.

The sole of the shoe contains rubber with grooves that allow the foot to flex as you walk. I did observe that small stones can become trapped in the spaces between the rubber. While this is not a major issue, it can be bothersome.

The grip of the outsole is excellent. I've tried the shoes on different surfaces like grass, dirt, pavement, and gravel, and there were no instances of slipping.

When it comes to the longevity of the sole, it appears that the rubber will endure for quite some time. Even after traveling fifty miles, the rubber has not shown signs of wearing down or losing its grip.

VIA Olympus 2 light green midsole

In my personal encounter with this shoe, I have discovered that it serves as an excellent option for recuperation. Having put it to the test during both high-velocity runs and extended distances, I have determined that it is particularly suited for leisurely paces, preferably not exceeding a distance of ten miles. As I continued to run for more than ten miles, I noticed that my feet grew increasingly tired.

Could it be that the unfamiliar zero drop is the reason for my discomfort? Or perhaps it's because I found the midsole to be lacking the liveliness I desired? Would you consider buying this shoe?

I would opt for different shoes before considering the Nike Invincible with ZoomX or the ASICS Novablast with FF Blast. These alternatives offer midsole compounds that provide enhanced comfort and cushioning for my feet.

  • Price: $165
  • Style: AL0A85NA110
  • Usage:
    • easy runs
    • recovery runs
    • relax runs
    • daily training
  • Constructions & Features:
    • Altra EGO Max midsole
    • FootPod Outsole
    • engineered mesh upper
    • wide midfoot and toe box
    • reflective material on the side
    • cushion: Minimal/Low/Medium/High/Maximal
    • stability: neutral/stable
    • stack height: 33mm
    • heel drop: 0mm
    • True to size
    • Ortholite X55 footbed for a softer underfoot feeling
    • Foot Shape Toe Box for better movement and comfort
    • Natural Ride System (NRS) design with a more natural, foot-shaped last, zero millimeter heel-to-toe drop, and metatarsal-specific shapes in the outsole
VIA Olympus 2 mudguard