Gear Hub: Altra Olympus 5 Hike Mid GTX

Gear Review

The Olympus 5 Hike Mid GTX from Altra has a lot of mixed reviews online, and honestly, I have to agree that my feelings are a bit mixed.

Upon first impression, I knew the light sand and pink colors of the shoe meant it was going to show how quickly I was about to dirty them up. I appreciate that they have a feminine flair to them, but at the same time I had friends asking, “What are those shoes for?” They almost look too nice to be hiking shoes, but depending on what look you’re going for that could be a great thing!

I appreciate the original Footshape fit with lots of toe box room. I am recently coming off of knee surgery and have been fully immersed in physical therapy and a yoga practice, so not feeling like my shoe is restricting the normal spread and motion of my foot and toes is important! I think Altra has nailed this.

The Olympus 5 Hike Mid GTX is very cushioned at a full 33 mm (compared to the Lone Peak shoe which has 25 mm) which is much different than a lot of Altra’s more minimal shoes. It still has the zero-drop. I originally began using Altra’s Olympus Trail Runners when they were recommended to me by a podiatrist because I was beginning to develop plantar fasciitis. So when I heard Altra came out with an Olympus Hiker, I knew I had to give them a try! While the padding around the foot (though almost too much) makes me feel more secure, the padding around the ankle isn’t enough to keep the little plastic bit from digging into the skin. There are several reviews online stating the same issue, but I’m hoping it’s something Altra will fix with their future mid-hiker models. It seems that not everyone experiences this issue. Other than that factor, I don’t feel like I had to break these shoes in at all. I tend to get heal blisters while hiking, but that hasn’t been an issue with these shoes.

The Vibram sole and Trailclaw lugged outsoles make me feel super secure as I scramble both on and off the trail, through the soft but root-filled forests of the pacific northwest and the sloping sandstone of the southern desert. The GORE-TEX has kept my feet dry through creek crossings and hailstorms, although I do wish they came with a gaiter attachment.

Overall, there are pros and cons to this Altra Olympus 5 Mid GTX Hiker; while I feel the extra cushion and ankle support is good following a surgery recovery, I think I’d go back to Altra’s trail runners for hiking in the future.

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