Men's ALTRA® INSTINCT™ 1.5 :: Trust your instincts! Your quest for a natural-running shoe designed just for you is over. Enjoy a personalized fit with the award-winning men's Altra® Instinct™ 1.5. You'll love this ideal marriage between the natural-running benefits of a minimalist shoe with the comfort, cushioning and support of a traditional runner. You'll find your perfect running form with fewer injuries thanks to the Zero Drop™ platform and innovative foot-shaped design. Feet stay cool with the super breathable mesh and feel snug with asymmetrical lacing. Plus toes will feel free and annoying foot pain will be a thing of the past with this gender-specific design! 8.9 ounces
It is great to see Altras at Road Runner at last. I have had mine for about six months now, and have run on dirt roads, asphalt, concrete and snow/mud/ice. They are not perfect, but they are my new all time favorites.
This shoe is a little hard on the eyes. The bright orange, the giant ALTRA logo, the wide toe box and zero drop sole make this the ugly duckling of shoes. It is not sleek and form fitting like some minimalist shoes, but for me that is a mark in the "plus" column. Form fitting shoes never fit my feet, which are 4E wide, maybe a little wider on the left. The sole is thickly padded, but doesn't have a cushioned feel. This should help it absorb the shock of a foot strike on concrete, or the pointy tip of a rock, without losing the autonomous reaction to a natural foot strike.
There are two footbeds included with the shoe. One is a traditional running shoe footbed with some arch support and a little heel rise. The other is a flat pad, called the "strenghen" footbed. At first I called it the "tiring" footbed, but slowly transitioned to it anyway. Who wants to say they don't use the "strengthen" footbed? I think my feet actually look different - stronger - after months of running with no arch support.
Before the Altras I had run in shoes with heel drops of 8mm, and 4mm, but even the lower heel drop shoes didn't prepare me for the feeling of running in these shoes. The shoes feel wide, low, stable and light. My toes can wiggle around and spread out - a delightful feeling. I went up a full size so I could be sure to have plenty of toe-wiggling room and as much width as possible. The total lack of heel rise allowed me to achieve a midfoot strike without pointing my toe down or placing my foot behind me. As a result these shoes felt "right" from the first step of my trial run at the store.
Here are some random observations. I hardly ever try to turn my ankle any more, either because of the low heel or wide sole. The smooth soles don't grip on snow, and might not be too good for steep sandy trails. I wear my shoes loose, but even so I am not sure I would feel confident taking these on a technical trail. The shoes are covered with a fine mesh that seems to tear easily, especially on either side where the toe guard drops down to meet the sole. The sole is durable. The laces untie themselves. Compared to my 8mm drop shoes, I was about 1/2mph faster on the treadmill, which was the only place I made a careful speed comparison. The widest part of the shoe is not at the widest part of my foot - I wish it was a little wider there. When I put on my old traditional running shoes, I find the heel to be quite annoying now.
I transitioned carefully from 8mm drop shoes, and never had any calf pain. However, just a few weeks ago I picked up the pace and ended up with a sore achilles tendon for the first time ever, one of the common midfoot strike injuries. We probably need much more time than we think to really transition from high heeled running shoes.
Twain Harte, CA
My new love!
I was convinced by all the reviews I found on these shoes at other sites that these shoes were worth a try. I'm glad I did. I love them. My first pair were the Torino and I was so pleased with them that after just a few weeks of use I decided I wanted another pair to interchange with them. I opted to give the Instinct 1.5 a try because I was convinced they'd be just a good as the Torino. And they are!
The zero drop design and wide toe feel great on my feet. The light weight and zero drop make them feel a bit like racing flats but they have cushioning similar to regular trainers. If you are thinking about switching to a minimal shoe you should consider trying the Altras as a step in that direction. They'll give you the benefit of zero drop but with cushioning to easy your feet and legs into the more desireable midfoot strike. Thus allowing you to transition into zero drop more easily than if you just go straight to minimal shoes.
I find the wide toe box to be awesome. I can really feel a nice difference. I thought my toes felt fine in a conventional road shoe, but when I tried these on I realized how restricted my toes had been in other shoes. I feel more like I'm running barefoot but with a nice cushion under my feet.
The only downside is that during the first several runs I could feel my feet and ankles were a little sore and stiff the next day. They're working more than they've been used to before. But now that I've had several weeks of wearing them I can tell my ankles and feet feel stronger.
The icing on the cake is that the VIP discount gets you a great deal on these shoes.
South Orange, NJ
Impressed by the Altra Instinct 1.5s
I use these shoes for anything from long runs, to speed work outs, to tempo runs. They took a little getting used to in the beginning with the zero drop, but I gradually increased the mileage with them. They feel great! They provide good road feel but there is some cushioning so I don't feel like my feet are pounding on the pavement. My legs are not sore after long runs. The wider toe box gives me plenty of room. They do promote forefoot and midfoot running but I've been running like that for a while and they make it feel even more natural. These shoes make you want to go fast but they handle longer slower runs comfortably. I've put almost 100 miles on them and they have not disappointed. So far, other than the somewhat unusual looks, I have found no problems at all. The only reason I did not give five stars is that I want to see how durable they are over longer use and see if they keep feeling great when I get to the 300 or so miles mark. I am really enjoying these and will most likely get another pair or try the Altra "The One".
I just got a pair of these yesterday. Great fit, and I love the feel of the foot shaped forefoot. Having a wider foot isn't always fun with the narrower toe shoes. I had never before tried minimalist shoes. I did try others on at the store and the Altra seemed like it would be more forgiving as it has what I would call a thicker sole or some would call cushioning although it really isn't much of that. Anyone wanting cushioning shouldn't be looking at minimalist shoes anyways. I have to say that after a three mile run last night in the Altras, I am sold.
My stride was different although I didn't consciously set out to change it. I found myself having a more mid to front landing rather than my usual heavy heel strike. I did notice the slight calf tightness that the booklet warns you about, but I'm sure it will go away after a few weeks. Overall, it's worth the try and you won't be disappointed.
San Diego CA
Had to send them back
I've been running in zero-drop and minimalist shoes for months now and they did help me pick up my pace and have less problems with joints which I attribute to the flexibility. I thought I give Altra's a try because of the good reviews and awards. I do like some cushioning as I am not a waif but I'm not a Clydesdale either about the 163-167 range. I ran in these shoes twice and to say anything about cushioning in the description is just incorrect. These shoes have none. Also when I turned sharp I thought my ankle was going to cave-in with very little side support. The wide toe box sounded good to me but it was too wide for my foot. I'm sure these shoes are good for some runners who want that near barefoot experience but they were not good for me. I'm going back to Brooks Pure.
Runs More than Many
Altra gets it right
Finally, a shoe that incorporates foot shape with zero drop platform that is truly runnable. I am rating the original Instinct, but plan to try the 1.5 or Torin. I've run up to 10 miles at a time with these. They encourage mid foot strike, but are forgiving for short periods of heel striking. They are not easy on the eyes, as mine are silver and we refer to them as " moon boots" around my house. You will feel soreness in your gastrocs as you become accustomed to the gait pattern they promote, but just like the appearance you will adjust to it.
The perfect running shoe!
I've tried many different brands and model to deal with the aches and pain during my run as well as afterward. I've even tried minimal running shoes and had the same problems. On my first run with the Altra, I had no pain! These shoes do force you to change your gait and will require you to strengthen your muscles and tendons. I'm still only running a few miles at a time but these are the first shoes that I'm am absolutely sold.
Coming back to Altras
Started marathon training a few months back. Wanted to try something new this go around so I bought the Altras. Great shoe! My only problem with them was that the meshing fell apart way too quickly. Sent them back in exchange for another high end brand...bad idea! Altras, even with the durability issue I had, are better! No issues running in them, sent the other shoes back in exchange for Altras.
My first run was an 8 mile marathon pace run over hilly terrain. Normally on a run like this in zero drop or newton shoes I would have noticeable calf soreness for 24 to 48 hours following the effort. In these shoes I had none of the soreness. I suspect the difference is in the cushioning. Most of the other zero drop shoes on the market are no cushion or minimal cushion. These shoes have adequate cushion but are far from being Hokas.
Andrew the Marathon Maniac
My Favorite Shoe!
I am 6'3" and 225lbs. I run with a midfoot strike. I'm in the military. I run at least 25-30 miles a week. These Altra's are my preferred running shoe. They are perfect for those looking for a minimalist type shoe that provides a good amount of shock absorption. The wide toe box is roomy but not loose and the heel feels locked in. I am an Altra-maniac!
Fort Bragg, NC.
Nice ride right out of the box!
Great shoe for anyone looking to move to a "minimal" shoe. Low heal promotes running more on the mid to front of the foot and not back on the heal. Seems to be more efficient for me and I feel like I have more energy on runs. I have used this shoe on runs from five miles to ten miles and have been happy with the performance at both distances.
Fort Worth, TX
I have had the Instinct 1.5 and thought that was a good quality shoe. I went to the 2.0 last year and loved it even more. It's a very comfortable shoe and the wider width really helps a lot. It's lightweight too, which makes it a complete high quality shoe that I will continue to buy. I hope newer versions are as good as this one.
Meets my needs perfectly
I used to suffer low back pain and stiffness and shin pain until I went to zero or minimal drop footwear. This is my third pair of Altra brand shoes and I find they are the best in the "minimalist" category for me. The toe box allows my feet to splay naturally and running on my forefoot and toes has made running enjoyable again.
Had been using it for 6 miles runs, they are the most comfortable shoe up to date (4 years of 30 plus mile per week, more than 20 pair of shoes, different brands) They are everything the advertised. Waited 5 months to arrived, worth the wait.
San Juan, PR
5 star shoe with a 1 star build quality
Great shoe to run in, but after 4 months the upper is ripped on both shoes. They really need to go back to the drawing board on this as the previous version didn't have this problem
good idea, terrible quality
mesh started completely tearing off the midsole and around the lettering after less than 50 miles on a treadmill. definitely doesn't belong among the other shoes at that price range
Best running shoe I have owned
I have bad knees. When I ran my knees would hurt. I switched to this shoe and I have no pain at all.
Love the Zero Drop & wide toe box. Need to add 13.5 size, had to order 14. To big, but still love the shoe.
Mens Altra Instinct 1.5 Running Shoe
Your Help Is Here
Shop with confidence knowing your team of Fit Experts is waiting to answer all your questions.
You can always find your perfect product and your perfect fit.
Your Road Runner Sports Fit Experts will make sure you get exactly what you want and have tons of fun in the process!
Give us a call, chat, or email!
Call 800-743-3206 to
Get help with your order or finding a product
Learn how to find your perfect fit for shoes, apparel and gear based on your feet, body, and training goals
Or just to have a great time talking about life, liberty and the pursuit of running!!!