Altra Kayenta -Hidden cushioning ?

Get on with the stats:

  • 200g
  • 16mm of Max-LT cushioning (Newish Altra Foam)
  • Dual layer upper
  • Footpod outsole

Fantastic shoe. At first I was not impressed, but a bit scared, that I won’t like it. I went out for a 10k progression run and I felt a bit of an annoyance. A structural issue coming from the triple layer upper. The second inner section is pulling on the sock-liner of the shoe to provide a hug. One insertion point is on the midfoot, if you feel that natural bony protrusion just on the outer side of your pinky toe. In an inverted V shape where the legs of the “V” is attached, it is basically enveloping this foot bump, putting it right into a ‘gap’. It really made me feel a little discomfort, even next day walking, on both sides !

This has been totally eliminated now. Experience tells, that unlike other Altra shoes, this needs a bit of a break-in time before you go out and run. Break in is easy. Wear the shoe at home and tighten and tighten and tighten. Walk around at home, do the cleaning and washing the dishes. Untie, take it off, put it back, do the hoovering and so on. It is about making the shoe adapt to your feet. If I had done 3 to 4 days like that with a little jog to the local fruit market, than I would have eliminated that light, 2 days of discomfort.

The upper is triathlete shoe / onion like. Three layers with kind of neoprenish sock-liner, an external textile outer and an in-between strategic free foot-strap. I could say, that all are acting together like tripple security action system. This makes the shoe, just a little bit hot. You know, each shoe has a purpose though. This one is a racing one. No real important road race is done in the midst of summer, neither we run so fast for so long to make this issue bothersome.

The cushioning is a 16mm foam with some pods and a drain hole. I feel like that it is perfect. Will see how it degrades and how it behaves when used regularly and constatntly. If it will be like the Escalante and the Escalante Racer, it will break down evenly and get through certain phases of greatness.

Like always, the most important section is experience. I use the shoe majorly for track workouts and will test it out for road races later on. As a very first update, I can say that while the shoe likes running fast, it already has signs of wear. That is just brutal, as I ran very little in the shoe. I ran a fast 1500, a 1000, a 500, a 3000 and once a 10km on the road. Then added in a 10 x 400 and a 6 x 1000. That is it. I mean it is not even a total 50km of running. Yes I am talking about running at a fastish clip, like the 1000 on 3:00 or the 500 @ 1:20, but the other runs were light and easy. The 1500 was a 5:05 and the 3000 was @ 3:55 pace. The 10km we had declining pace from 4:25 to 3:25 each km and was on the road. I can see the same wear on the Vanish XC too. I think the faster running makes these shoes wear down quicker. I mean, that most probably I have a light micro-slip like imperfection yet in my stride and it causes some friction at the forefoot region. Friction it is !

Overall, the shoe will be a great addition to my racing flats and I am looking forward to put down the hammer on a 5k 10k road race. I will try to preserve this baby and run a 10mile classic, as the very first road objective of the season in St Tropez. Hope to go under 55min on this rocky and hilly terrain with a couple of hundred meters of dirt paths.

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