Shoe Review: Altra Escalante 1.5
When Altra introduced the Escalante last year, it is safe to say everyone was a little skeptical. They were departing from their traditional mesh/overlay driven upper, they had swapped their entire midsole with this whole new thing called EGO… I mean, what were they thinking? Then everyone got their hands on it and minds were blown. The shoe was super light, responsive, and so comfortable. The question was, how were they going to update it? With that we present, the Altra Escalante 1.5, a “light” update to the original.
The upper on the Escalante 1.5 got the biggest update. Altra switched to a more breathable mesh and fully updated the knit. It also has 360 degree reflectivity. One big update which seems trivial, but is welcome is the tongue stay. There is not only more material used in the tongue, but it definitely stays in place better. Lastly, they also updated the heel cup which provides for a better fit. To say this shoe is comfortable, is an understatement.
Altra made no real changes to the original midsole except it appears a few millimeters taller. It is still made of their 100% EGO material, their custom EVA blend similar to Adidas’ Boost, Nike’s new React, etc. It is designed to be more responsive than other midsoles and in our experience, there is something to be said for this.
The outsole also was left alone. It is still primarily rubber contacts on the EGO midsole. The shoe tracks very well, slips very little, and the rubber and honestly the entire outsole feels more durable than other Altra shoes.
Style & Aesthetics
The Escalante 1.5 is available in 6 six color options for men and women. The styling nearly identical to the original with a slightly substantial upper. they have gone to a more single color upper as opposed to the toning of the original.
Run Test Commentary
I tested the original Escalante so I come in with a lot of prior emotions on this. I was skeptical of the original model coming from higher platform Altras like the Torin and the Paradigm. I ended up wearing the Escalante pretty religiously and even PR’d the Shamrock Run in Portland in them, dropping ~20 seconds on my per mile pace, hitting the low 7s pretty continually across the board and easily into the 6s on the downhills.As for the 1.5s, it is really just more of the same. Super responsive and very fast out of the gate as before. The EGO midsole is really just a very impressive update from Altra and I am so glad they added it to the Paradigm with the 4.0. This is a very agressive shoe don’t get me wrong, so it can be super tough on the legs. It is a speed day shoe and a great shoe to balance against your higher cushion, slower and longer days.
Altra didn’t reinvent the wheel with the Escalante 1.5, which is a great thing. They focused on the upper and are trying to make it as perfect as possible, while the mid and outsole were what made it so successful and were left alone. This shoe is better than the original and we truly look forward to see where they take it.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 7.9oz (size 9)
- Drop: 0mm heel/toe
- Type: Neutral
- Stack Height: 24mm
- MSRP: $140.00
- Available: Summer 2018