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Altra Instinct Provision Featured

Side by Side Review: Altra Instinct 4.0 and Provision 3.0

In today’s wrap-up we are checking out two of the latest from Altra, the Provision 3.0 and the Instinct (for women called it’s the Intuition) 4.0. The reason we go head-to-head on these is because they are very similar runners both featuring moderate cushioning with the big difference around the level of support they provide. The Provision is definitely your stability shoe whereas the Instinct is your very neutral road runner, but the differences go much further than that.

Altra Provision30 Instinct40 7
Altra Provision 3.0 and the Instinct 4.0 Side by Side

Altra Instinct (Intuition) 4.0

Historically, I’ve always gravitated to the Torin as my everyday runner and love the last version of that shoe as we have posted prior. For longer road runs, where I like a lot more cushion I tended to gravitate towards the Paradigm. I am most definitely a “shoe for all the different things you do” type of person. That being said, the Instinct, or the Intuition as it is known for females, comes in at a great spot where it’s not only solidly cushioned for longer runs, but has enough responsiveness for those higher pace, higher cadence, shorter runs.

Altra Instinct 4.0 lacing closeup, not the minimal stitching and lack of overlays
Altra Instinct 4.0 lacing closeup, not the minimal stitching and lack of overlays

The Instincts are very comfy and as I mentioned, quite the opposite from the Provision in that there are almost no stability elements at all minus the FootPods and it’s almost a barefoot feeling mesh on the upper. I do love the breathability and the overall cushion I am getting, but the one big caveat I noticed was that the shoe is running small for me. I am always a 12 in every Altra I have ever worn and that is a lot, but these fit me about 1/2 size smaller so I could feel my toe touch the front of the shoe which is very odd. It is definitely something to try on and consider sizing up on.

Altra Instinct 4.0 Abound closeup
Altra Instinct 4.0 Abound closeup

The changes from the prior version are fairly major bringing in an all new upper, a full rubber outsole, and they brought back the same lasts as the old 1.5 model which were definitely the most popular. Other than that it’s still loaded with Altra’s patented tech including ZeroDrop, FootShape toebox, Abound, Innerflex and FootPods.

Styling wise, the Instinct is all about simplicity. It features broad swatches of single color paneling across the entire shoe, so there isn’t a lot of visual variation to speak of. The color blocking isn’t bad, but it’s not stylistically something I was in love with. It does come in four colorways for both men and women and there is some variety in here, but none are as fun as they’ve been in the past necessarily. It feels like a very practical shoe in a lot of ways, at least visually. I wouldn’t let this take away from the run aspect however as the new updates in the Instinct are awesome. The shoe runs like a dream, just note some of the sizing issues I mentioned.

Technical Stats & Availability

  • Weight: 8.5oz (size 9)
  • Drop: 0mm heel/toe
  • Stack Height: 25mm
  • MSRP: $120.00
  • Available: Now

Altra Provision 3.0

We looked at the last few models of the Provision and this one is definitely the best so far. It has an all new midsole and a redesigned upper so visually it’s essentially all new. They have also added their new GuideRail technology which is designed to keep your foot tracking more natural and on line when your foot starts to get tired. Stabilipods have also been included and provide some additional width to the shoe in key spots where you typically need more stability. Lastly, they have a full length built-in Varus Wedge technology that helps realign the foot for those with collapsed arches and other foot issues like excessive pronation.

Altra Provision 3.0 GuideRail on the interior medial. Support!
Altra Provision 3.0 GuideRail on the interior medial. Support!

Aesthetically the Provision has been updated as well and these things are a head turners, especially the Charcoal/Blue and the Black/Red models. The stability improvements and structural elements are very clearly visualized in the profile of the shoe. The shoe looks more like a machine than anything and every time I have it on I get a comment, people seem to really dig it. It comes in three separate color ways for men and women and the palettes are similar to the Instinct. However, the shiny exterior is starkly contrasting to the Instinct in almost every way.

Altra Provision 3.0 contrast lacing closeup. Lots of stitching and overlays.
Altra Provision 3.0 contrast lacing closeup. Lots of stitching and overlays.

Technical Stats & Availability

  • Weight: 9.9oz (size 9)
  • Drop: 0mm heel/toe
  • Stack Height: 25mm
  • MSRP: $115.00
  • Available: Now
  • Contrast Photos

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    Overall Conclusion

    Altra Provision30 Instinct40 1

    As we wrap up this look at the Instinct and the Provision, we are consistently reminded that shoe manufacturers do the best job they can producing shoes for all needs. If you struggle with pronation, plantars, or if you simply require more stability in your shoe, then definitely check out the Provision. If you are good with a neutral runner with solid responsive and moderate cushion, then the Instinct is something to check out. Visually, the Provision is very cool looking whereas the Instinct is more subdued. I kind of wish the Instinct felt more like the last generation of the Torin from a styling perspective, but the improvements to the shoe itself are greatly welcomed.