Altra Kayenta Review

From, Running tips
Jump to: navigation, search

I wasn't sure I'd like the Altra Kayenta due to its sock liner upper and the lacing system that puts additional pressure on the midfoot. However, it's a light weight and well cushioned shoe, which surprised me with its comfort. I didn't realize that the Kayenta is the replacement for the Altra One, but with hindsight it shares many characteristics with that shoe, including light weight comfort and a tendency to wear a little quicker than I'd like. Even after a few hundred miles, the sole of the shoe has a fairly limited abrasion, but the midsole foam is compressed quite badly under the ball of the foot. Like all Altra shoes it's close to zero drop, and it's shaped like a human foot. However, unlike most shoes, I found there was a reasonable amount of height in the toe box, which combined with a very flexible midsole allowed me to leave the toe box intact, rather than cutting it open as I typically do. The Kayenta is a shoe that I find myself reaching for without thinking, and when I'm running in the Kayenta, it disappears from my thoughts. I've loved running in it, and I just wish it would last a little longer. Just like The One it replaces.

Altra Kayenta


  • Cushioning . The Kayenta has reasonable cushioning. It's not as bouncy as a TPU foam, such as that found in the Altra Escalante, but it's good for an EVA foam shoe. I found the cushioning did reduce with mileage, and this happened rather faster than I'd like.
  • Drop. It's close to zero drop when new, but I found the compression of the midsole under the ball of my foot tended to create a bit of drop, and worse some tilt so my foot was pronated slightly when in contact with the ground.
  • Structure. This shoe uses single density of foam, and there is little in the way of "pronation control" to interfere with your biomechanics. There is a slight rise under the arch, though it didn't cause me any problems. The heel is cupped a little, which keeps your foot centered in the shoe without overtly interfering with your biomechanics.
  • Flexibility. This is a nicely flexible shoe that moves naturally with your foot.
  • Outsole. There is a little hard rubber outsole, which strangely seemed to wear pretty much as quickly as the exposed midsole. I ended up with the blue of the harder rubber smeared over my treadmill, which is a first. However, I didn't find abrasion was the problem, and the midsole compressed way before the sole wore.
  • Shape. The shoe is the classic Altra shape, which follows the outline of the human foot much better than other makes. The toe box is a little higher than other shoes, so much that I didn't feel the need to cut the toe box open.
  • Upper. I thought the upper would be a problem, as it's a thick sock liner style bootie, with two "A" shaped lacing supports on either side of the midfoot, all wrapped in an inflexible outer layer. This seemed to be a recipe for an overengineered, hot, and uncomfortable shoe. To my surprise, it all works quite well, and the shoe hugs the foot without any problems. It became my favorite shoe for Treadmill Descents, spreading the forces of the descent over my foot nicely.
  • Tongue. It has a sock liner booty instead of a tongue, so it's a bit harder to put on, but comfortable and trouble free in use.
  • Lacing. The thin laces work well and remained tied.
  • Heel Counter. There's really nothing you could justify calling a "heel counter", which is nice.
Please support this site

This review was made possible by readers like you buying products via my links. I buy all the products I review through normal retail channels, which allows me to create unbiased reviews free from the influence of reciprocity, or the need to keep vendors happy. It also ensures I don't get "reviewer specials" that are better than the retail versions.