Altra Vanish Tempo: How Zero-Drop Technology Can Benefit Road Runners

If you’re looking for a versatile and lightweight road running shoe, Altra’s Vanish Tempo may be just what you need. With a 0mm heel-to-toe drop and responsive foam cushioning, the Vanish Tempo is designed to provide a smooth and balanced ride no matter how fast you’re going. 

Along with a roomy toe box and Altra’s signature foot shape, you’ll have plenty of space to move your feet naturally. So if you’re looking for a shoe that can handle any distance or pace, check out Altra’s Vanish Tempo.

When it comes to Altra’s range of Vanish racing shoes, there are two main offerings. The Vanish Tempo and the Vanish Carbon. 

In this review, i will be sharing my experience with the Vanish Tempo shoes. The Tempo is perfect for tempo runs or tempo workouts, while the Carbon is ideal for race day. Both shoes feature Altra’s Zero Drop™ technology, which encourages a natural foot strike and promotes lower-leg health. 

They are designed as companion shoes, train in one and race in the other.

What is zero drop technology and what are the benefits for road runners

Zero-drop technology is a relatively new development in the world of running shoes. It is designed to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. 

The main advantage of these shoes is that they have a zero-drop sole, or in other words, the heel and toe are the same height. This design encourages a more natural running style and helps to reduce impact forces on the joints. 

In addition, zero-drop shoes often have a wider toe box, which allows the toes to spread out and grip the ground more effectively. This can help to improve balance and stability, as well as provide a more comfortable running experience. 

Road runners are always looking for ways to improve their performance and minimize the risk of injury, so zero-drop technology is worth considering.

Zero drop shoes are not without their risks.

One of the main risks of minimalist shoes is that they can lead to injuries. 

Runners with poor foot structures such as flat feet, are at an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries when using minimalist shoes. 

Although not everyone with flat feet suffers from foot pain, people with flat feet overpronate, which means their arch collapses for abnormally long periods of time during the gait cycle. 

Pronation helps you absorb shock and adjust to uneven terrain. However overpronation can lead to injury or other foot problems including plantar fasciitis, bunions, tendinitis, stress fractures, calf pain, and shin splints because of the lack of support these shoes offer.

How Altra’s Vanish Tempo uses zero drop technology to improve road running performance

The Altra Vanish Tempo may not be for everyone, but I have been impressed by my first zero-drop shoe. I have been running in the Altra Vanish Tempo for a few weeks now and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite shoes. 

It’s perfect for those long runs where comfort is key. The 33mm soft midsole provides a comfortable ride, while the zero-drop and geometry allow for even strides from a mid to forefoot landing. 

The soft midsole feels comforting at slow and easy paces and the light weight of the shoe works well for faster speeds. In short, this shoe is perfect for those long miles where comfort is key. And who doesn’t love a good comfort shoe?

Additionally, the Altra Vanish Tempo features a breathable engineered mesh upper, lockdown support, and a durable outsole.

The lockdown is solid, and there’s no issue with extra room or movement within the shoe. 

The midsole is also well executed, with the Ego Pro providing a comfortable, lightweight, and responsive ride. And finally, the outsole rounds things out with a generous layer of rubber that should hold up well for many miles.

They have a rubber outsole which gives better traction on different surfaces like grass or pavement. 

I have put these shoes to the test by running on pathways, roads and trials, and I can say that they don’t seem to wear down nearly as quickly as other high-end pairs made from lighter materials. 

So far, I am very impressed with the Vanish Tempo’s durability.

How do they fit?

When it comes to fit, the salesperson recommended I move up half a size from my normal size 9 that I wear with my Saucony Kinvara’s. Something to keep in mind with Altra shoes. 

The Altra Slim FootShape not only provides enough space in the forefoot area for toe splay, but it also ensures a secure fit in the midfoot and heel collar. 

If you haven’t heard of Altra, their trademarked FootShape toe box allows your toes to spread naturally, which provides an overall more comfortable fit than other shoe brands that I’ve tried before. 

With the roomy toe box and Altra’s signature foot shape, you’ll have plenty of space to move your feet naturally. 

I did have to size up with the Tempo and I prefer a slimmer cut over the standard Altra foot shape. With this addition of padding around the collar area as well as in the tongue, you can run without feeling any hotspots on your feet.


What’s Bad?

I’m not one for small talk, so let’s just get straight to the point: the price. At $299AU, these shoes are on the higher end of the spectrum. But to be fair, running shoes seem to be getting more and more expensive across the board. So if you can find a good deal or discount on them, definitely go for it.

As for me, this is my first time trying out the Altra brand. And I have to say, I needed some time to get used to the 33mm stack height. Coming from Saucony Kinvara’s, which have a 4mm drop and 28.5mm heal stack, it was definitely a bit of an adjustment. But overall, I’m liking the feel.

Some reviewers had said that the front of the shoe was too soft, and I was worried that they wouldn’t provide enough support. However, I never experienced any problems with the front of the shoe being too soft, and they provided excellent support during my runs.

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Final Thoughts

Zero-drop shoes ae not for everyone, and if you are thinking of transitioning to zero-drop shoes, it is important to do so gradually in order to allow your body time to adjust.

Start by wearing them for short periods of time, such as an hour or two at a time, and gradually increase the amount of time you wear them. Also make sure to mix in traditional supportive shoes every once in awhile.

If you experience any pain or discomfort while wearing them, stop immediately and consult with a health professional such as your doctor,  physiotherapist or a podiatrist.

But if zero-drop shoes are your thing, then the Vanish Tempo could be what you’re looking for in a trainer. 

If Altra fanatics don’t mind the slim fit and wish their shoes were just that little bit more supportive, they’ll love this one! 

It’s light enough for hours on end without being cumbersome or heavy-duty but still provides excellent cushioning when needed most. 

In terms of zero-drop foot shapes, there isn’t anything else quite like it around except its carbon bigger brother, which costs an extra hundred bucks…

Condy & Sandi Canuto

Your Everyday Runners

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