The Paradigm 4.0 from Altra was one of our favorite shoes in a long time, so we were very excited about the release of the 4.5 as to what might’ve changed. To be honest, we were entirely underwhelmed and not because the 4.5 isn’t solid, more because it’s essentially the exact same shoe. Sure, very minor modifications have been made, but overall it’s almost identical even visually to its predecessor.
First off, this is easiest upper write-up in a while because the Paradigm 4.5 upper is a straight takedown from the 4.0. It uses Engineered Mesh, but its got a little structure to it which decreases sloppiness. It also gives you plenty of room in the toe box, but without feeling like too much. This upper still feels like one of their strongest designs which is probably why they are continuing to stick with it.
The Paradigm 4.5 uses the Altra EGO midsole platform which has been our favorite, but it has a lot of the structural elements including things like Altra’s GuideRails which you find in more support oriented products. Of all the midsole designs that Altra has, our preference is definitely the EGO as it balances cushion and responsiveness and you definitely find that here.
The Paradigm 4.5 uses the Altra FootPod tech, so think high impact landing zones which increases the longevity and durability of the shoe overall. Not much more to say here other than eight grips pretty well in most kinds of weather.
Style & Aesthetics
It is available in 4 colors for men and women and it looks again exactly like the 4.0, so we would’ve loved to see a few styling tweaks because it could use a little help. It’s not bad, it just feels like it needs an update.
Again, and you’ll notice a trend here, the 4.5 runs exactly like its predecessor. It feels like the same shoe and in fact, if you put them on side-by-side, you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference. That upper, with its mix of mesh and structural elements, does hold you really well yet gives you plenty of room for your foot. It is definitely not a high-performance shoe, but you can run these things for a really decent amount of distance and not be unhappy about it at all.
I would definitely target the shoes to the more recreational runners out there simply because, at over 11 ounces, it’s getting a little too heavy on the road. It also has significant structural elements designed into it that is more for someone who needs a little extra support during the run. Overall, it’s a nice shoe to run in and great for those really easy days that you might have. I do think they could stand to lose some weight because it is noticeable the heavier your legs get.
The Altra Paradigm 4.5 is basically the 4.0 with a little hint of love. I don’t think there is enough here to warrant recommending this over the 4.0, but if you liked it and need a new pair, then you might as well go with the newer model. If not, then I would probably hold off for the 5.0 to look for the next big design iteration on this platform
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 11.2oz (size 9)
- Drop: 0mm heel/toe
- Cushion: 30mm
- Type: Neutral Cushioned Road
- MSRP: $150.00
- Available: Now