Photo: Oliver Baker

Altra Instinct 4.0


$120, Altrarunning.com

The draw: Zero-drop middle-distance comfort

Altra has never let up from its zero-drop mantra and foot-shaped designs—all of its shoes are built on a level platform and have roomy toe boxes—but it has continued to develop innovative shoes. The lightweight Instinct’s neutral performance has evolved with a new engineered mesh upper, an updated two-layer foam midsole with a de-coupled heel that smooths the transition phase after foot strike. The interior got tweaked to accommodate both wider and narrow feet. It’s an ideal tool for running or racing all distances from 5K to the half-marathon.

9.4 ounces | 0mm heel-toe offset