Altra’s Escalante 3 is a transitional running shoe for those who are starting out with barefoot shoes and who want a little extra cushioning and support.
The Escalante 3 combines a road running sole with a sock-like engineered knit upper. They feature a 24mm stack height with a zero drop platform, and a wide toe box. Considering the extra cushioning, they are comparatively light weight.
Sizing and Fit
Altra describes the Escalante 3’s sizing as “runs true to size.” They do recommend taking half a size up in running shoes purchased for running compared to shoes for casual use.
The Escalante 3 has a “snug fit” around the midfoot and heel, best suited to folks with average to narrow volume feet. The overall width is suited to average width feet best.
The shape of the toebox is suited towards sloping and mountain feet, while the footprint shape is somewhere between bean and triangle. The footprint shape has a pronounced negative space under the arch.
You can expect standard differences between men’s and women’s sizing in length and fit.
The Escalante 3 shoe has a 24mm stack height of cushiony layers, and provides little-to-no ground feel. This makes it a good choice for folks with very tender soles or who need extra protection for the bottom of the foot due to various health conditions.
Altra recommends: Spray, Wait, and Scrub!
“Clean your shoes as soon as they are exposed to dirt. In our opinion, the best way to clean our shoes is to simply spray them with a mild detergent, let them sit for a few hours, and then scrub them with a scrub brush in the sink or shower. Once you are done cleaning, stick a fan on them or stuff them with towels. Because the midsole foam tends to break down if soaked in water for prolonged periods of time, we don’t recommend machine washing or dryer.”
The Escalante 3 will be a great choice for those who are used to very cushioned running shoes and want their transition to zero drop and wide toebox shoes to be as seamless as possible. Some of our customers will be wearing them as a first minimal shoe for running, while others will be using them as an everyday shoe with extra comfort features.
Both of these are totally valid uses, it’s important not to transition drastically from orthotics or highly cushioned runners straight to the most barefoot experience possible! The Escalante 3 can be a stepping stone towards a future more barefoot feeling goal, or it can be the goal in itself, there are already benefits you can get just from aligning your feet parallel to the ground and having a roomier toebox.
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