Shoe Review: Altra Kayenta
The Altra Kayenta is like nothing we have really seen from Altra before. Visually it makes you think of the Torin, but really it’s in a new class by itself. Compared to what Altra has come forward with before in the low weight and high-performance category, this is a dramatic improvement. Packing 23mm of cushioning into a below six-ounce shoe is truly an accomplishment. Also as a bonus, this upper is perfect for triathletes.
The Kayenta is unlike any Altra you have ever worn before. The double-layered quick-dry mesh and neoprene combo feel better suited to the tri environment as these shoes are very easy to wear sockless. The shoe overall will throw you as it is just not an Altra in many ways, but after a few times wearing them, we just kept going back for more. The snugness in the upper is actually very welcome and it holds you fairly well regardless of its lightweight design. It is a hit or miss for many though, but given the roominess in the Escalante, these are a solid performance alternative.
Altra has brought forth yet another midsole technology with its new Max-LT™ Technology. The craziest thing with this one is how light it is given how much cushion you are getting out of it. Getting 23mm of cushion on a less than six-ounce shoe is just insane and it has plenty of pop to keep you moving.
The outsole on the Kayenta is primarily composed of reinforced EVA with a few full rubber contact points for durability in those high impact areas. Designing the EVA into treads was pretty clever and works pretty well.
Style & Aesthetics
The Kayenta comes in three different two-tone color options and honestly while its a little non-standard looking, it is also kind of cool in its own way.
The Kayenta is an interesting beast, especially given it comes from Altra. I mean, it barely looks like an Altra shoe… I mean the toebox alone isn’t even that maximum FootShape and the upper is a stark contrast to their other shoes. That being said, it’s actually a ton of fun to run in. That two-layered upper is super comfortable and fits you like a glove. It is actually fantastic for triathletes as well as you can definitely go sockless in these. If you are in transition and need a shoe to throw on quickly, with great fit and turnover, then the Kayenta is a solid choice. Next, the midsole which again is something that will feel new in the Altra lineup. Their Max-LT midsole is decent, provides solid responsiveness, and honestly keeps the shoe nice and light. That being said, we still prefer their EGO or even Quantic midsoles as we feel the performance you can pull out of those is just a lot higher in our testing.
The Altra Kayenta is a quirky beast and a ton of fun to run in. The shoe is so light which is amazing and compared to some of their older lightweight performance models, we would pick these hands down every time. The shoe feels great on the foot and for triathletes especially it is a really solid shoe.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 5.9oz (size 9)
- Drop: 0mm heel/toe
- Cushion: 23mm
- Type: Neutral Road
- MSRP: $110.00
- Available: Now