Altra Adam Review

I've had a bumpy road to get a chance to review the Altra Adam's. My first pair of Altra Adam's got held hostage by UPS and would not be released. Thanks to Jeremy at Altra, I was able to get another pair to review.

If you stop reading after this paragraph then all you need to know is that the Altra Adam's are on of the best Barefoot shoes one the market right now.

When you first look at the Adam's they remind you of a pair of scandals with socks or they look alot like a pair of Vibram Five Fingers with the toes sown together. The Adam mimics the shape of the human foot very closely and is very minimal in its design. The shoes weights a supper light  4.7 Ounces.

The Company: ( From the Altra Website)

Running technique has always been a big deal in my family. My dad blew out his knee playing college football and was told he would never run again. He learned to avoid heel striking and run with proper technique to pull the pressure off his knee. Reducing the cushioning and weight of the heels in his running shoes helped him maintain proper technique and stay injury free. Since then, he's won major marathons, worked for running shoe companies and built our dream running store in the Rocky Mountains.

Nearly 20 years after starting the store, we still felt there was a large gap for truly biomechanically correct footwear. We believed that shoes shouldn't encourage a heel strike; they should let the body move naturally.

For years, we had cut down the heels of regular running shoes to test our Zero Drop™ theory and had seen incredible results with our staff and customers. It eliminated injuries and helped people get back into running, just like my dad.

Working with engineers, designers, elite runners and biomechanical experts, we started making prototypes to bring Altra footwear to the masses. Our unique, Zero Drop™, foot-shaped, gender-specific design was exactly what we were looking for - a shoe to help everyone run naturally!

The Upper:

The Upper of the Adam is made from a stretchy fabric and mesh that create a sock like upper that has Velcro straps. The Adam provides a comfortable fit with the 2-strap system.There are no laces as this is a strap design shoe. The Altra site says it created breathable Stretch Upper with SecureCinch Strapping. Along the back of the upper the heel section is slightly padded for comfort. On areas of the upper where you'd expect wear and tear they have added tougher material for protection like around the heel and toes.

The Toe Box:

The Toe box on the Adam is amble size and designed around a males foot design which allows the toes to naturally splay and not mess with your bio-mechanics. To me when looking at a barefoot shoe one of the most important things is a large toe box because without this I find your bio-mechanics are altered too much, and the Adam gets it right. (Could be a tad wider)

The Sole:

The Sole on the Adam is very thin being only 3.4mm thick, it's a Siped Performance Rubber BareSole Out sole. The Altra Adam's sole features a five-toed pattern at the end and reminds you of a human foot or looks like a pair of vibram five fingers that have the toes sown together. With the Sole being only 3.4mm thick it's slightly thinner or as thin as any Vibram Five Fingers. The Sole on the Adam is very minimal with no added support and is Zero Drop. Zero Drop is the heel and the toes are the same distance from the ground, meaning no raised heel. The Adams don't have a very aggressive tread, so that is certainly something to consider if you plan on running on wet surfaces, I had no issues during my testing.

Here are the stack heights of the shoe:
Stack height = The total thickness of the shoe/the distance between the foot and the ground.
Without footbed: 4.4mm(Heel)/4.4mm (Forefoot)
With Support Footbed: 9.4mm(Heel)/9.4mm (Forefoot)
With Strengthen Footbed: 7.4mm(Heel)/7.4mm (Forefoot)

The Inner:

The  inner of the Adam is a "SeeNoSeam" Stitch Free Footbed. I mainly wear my Adam's without socks and have had no issues and they feel great. The only issue I found was when I was running barefoot in the Adam's I found that a hot spot developed where the Velcro strap attached to the sole. It's wasn't too bad on my shorter 5km runs but could be worse if I ran longer. I must say I have wide feet that would contribute to this as well.

The Look:

The Altra Adam is a well designed barefoot shoe. The Altra Adam draws comparisons to a pair of Vibram Five Fingers or a pair of sandals with socks. Some people asked me if I was wearing a aqua shoe, and I can see why they asked that question. The only thing I need to hear is from my wife who states they are my best looking pair of Barefoot shoes, and I have Case Closed!

The Feel:

The feel of the Adam is very natural and comfortable. There's a myth that a barefoot shoes can't be comfortable. I would suggest if that's your opinion try on a pair of Altra Adams and get back to me. Like I said the only issue was I started to feel a hot spot on the outer of the baby toe. The sole is thin yet comfortable and I believe that the overall comfort of the shoe is because Altra has put a lot of time and money into properly designing their shoes around the human foot. One thing that I found is when changing speeds quickly in The Adam your toes slip past the toe guard and pushes against the  softer fabric which creates a odd feeling till your foot naturally corrects the issue.
Add a S clip to keep your jeans off the ground.


As I stated earlier The Adam has become one of my favorite barefoot shoes. Altra has created  a shoe that is close to perfect, there's always room for improvement.

The Adam offers a great barefoot feel and still stays stylish, and a shoe you can wear casually with a pair of jeans or shorts.

Like all barefoot shoes you want good ground feel and the Adam offers some of the best ground feel in a shoe design.

For someone looking to get their first barefoot shoe or add to their collection I would recommend The Adam. With a $79.99 price point and a great return policy, and right now they are offering free shipping, you can't go wrong with Altra. Check out their site here.

Happy Running

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