Trail Running Gear: The Timp 3 has more toe room than its predecessor and provides cushioned support for high mileage.
- Lightweight Quantic midsole cushioning
- Canted lugs for multi-surface grip
- Breathable rolled mesh upper
Weight: 11.0 oz (M), 8.9 oz (W)
Altra usually rotates shoe releases with soft updates, the point-5s signaling minor adjustments to the upper and change to the midsole. But with the newest Timp, the brand skipped over 2.5 and went straight to 3.0. An Altra rep said the company plans to phase out half numbers moving forward. Technically speaking, the 3’s updates still run the gamut as a point-5 shoe. There are significant changes to the upper, yet the bouncy Quantic midsole is left intact.
Testers had complained that their toes felt “squashed” in the previous version—a surprising issue since one of Altra’s signature features is the foot-shaped toebox. Receptive to runners’ pleas, designers widened the toe box this go-around while retaining the snug fit in the midfoot and heel.
“The overall fit and comfort was excellent,” said a tester, whose toe blistered while testing the Timp 2. “The width was perfect in the toe box for my gangly toes and also perfect for my narrow heel.”
The padded heel collar is cut lower compared to other trail shoes, exposing more skin above your foot, but the edge doesn’t dig into your ankle when you turn corners or skirt around trail debris. Its interior is slipper-like as well; the Timp’s comfort-level puts it beside the plush Hoka Speedgoat and Brooks Caldera.
Minimal Design With Generous Cushioning
Compared to Altra’s beefier Olympus and streamlined Lone Peak, the Timp falls smack in the middle with a 29mm stack height, plush rolled mesh upper, and all the features needed for trail buffs (gaiter tabs, canted lugs, overlays for increased toe protection). The Quantic midsole provides lightweight cushioning, which had us tagging on miles without late onset soreness. Altra touts the Timp as a shoe for high-intensity days, and our testers weren’t afraid to push the limit—even on the road.
“This Altra shoe had ample amount of cushioning,” said one. “It is definitely an amount that would be good for longer distances and hours of repetitive pounding on the concrete. I didn't “feel” the road at all. You felt very bouncy and airy while running.”
Another tester, plagued by “bone-on-bone” knee pain, praised the Timp for its comfort. “I have been increasing my mileage on roads and sidewalks in recent weeks and I noticed that these surfaces did not negatively impact my knee which was great.” An overpronator, he also highlighted the shoe’s stability, stating his ankles didn’t roll—an issue he found running in Hokas. “This is the best overall trail shoe I have tested, which included a number of different Altras and Hokas.” (He wasn’t the only tester who shared this sentiment; see More Tester Feedback, below.)
However, weak-ankled runners navigating rugged territory may need more support in the heel area, or should consider a shoe with a molded heel and external heel counter, like Topo Athletic’s Ultraventure Pro.
More Tester Feedback
Steph N., tester since 2012
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“The length and width* of the sneaker was perfect. I did go with a size 9 this time and I typically go between an 8.5 and a 9. I think that helped with the fit and comfort. There were no parts of the sneaker that felt tight or compressed. The ankle area could have had a little more padding and that would have made you feel like the sneaker had some stability.”
*Altra suggests going half a size up for more forefoot volume.
Michael H., tester since
Arch: Medium | Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Heel
“This was one of the better shoes I’ve tested. A really good overall fit, and the tread is perfect for the type of terrain I run on. The grip it provides on dirt/gravel is excellent. [However,] as good as the tread is, I really liked the lacing system. It held the shoe snug, but without making my feet feel too cramped or tight.”