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Altra Olympus 5 Review (2024): Ideal Zero Drop Pick for Trail?

Altra Olympus 5 review

Published on: 14/02/2023

The Consensus

8.5Overall Score

Good trail shoe offering great comfort for long runs but a bit heavy and not grippy enough for technical terrains.

Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

The Altra Olympus 5 is a slightly revised version of the previous model: the outsole and midsole have only been somewhat updated; the real change is in the upper. It’s been reworked to provide more comfort and lockdown. However, this also means the shoe is heavier.

The 33 mm stack height makes the Olympus 5 one of the most cushioned Altra shoes. The underfoot feel includes some stiffness, but the comfortable cushioning amply makes up for it.

Also, the Vibram MegaGrip outsole gives this Altra shoe excellent durability. However, the Altra Olympus 5 was designed for moderately technical trails. Its 4 mm lugs don’t provide the necessary grip in mud or snow.

Overall, the Altra Olympus 5 is ideal for long-distance runners looking for comfy zero-drop trail shoes.

Please look at our full review of the Altra Olympus 5 for more information.

Foot lockdown and protection


  • Very good balance between comfort and stability
  • Large toe box
  • Reworked upper for better lockdown and comfort
  • Perfect to run longer miles


  • Heavy shoes
  • Limited in difficult conditions like mud

Altra Olympus 5 Complete Review Analysis


Altra Olympus 5 reviews

After the Altra Olympus 4, which was particularly popular for its cushioning, protection, and durability, the Olympus 5 offers more stability. It achieves this, especially through a reworked upper. Also, its 33mm stack ranks it among the max cushion shoes of the brand.

With its comfortable cushioning and protective desigb, the Altra Olympus 5 are very good shoes for long runs in fundamental endurance.

Grip and durability

Altra Olympus 5 vibram outsole

The outsole of the Olympus 5 is made with the same technology as the previous version: Vibram MegaGrip. This sticky rubber offers a good balance between grip and durability. The 4mm lugs make it the perfect partner for moderately technical terrain. However, it doesn’t provide enough traction in slippery mud or snowy slopes.

Altra Olympus 5 trail and hiking shoe

However, the Vibram MegaGrip has the advantage of being particularly resistant to wear. It’s an important highlight for runners who run (very) long miles as part of their training.


Altra Olympus 5 cushioned shoe

At 33 mm, the Altra Olympus 5 is erring on the max cushion side of cushioning. Of course, it still has a zero drop platform, the core feature that Altra has built its identity on by promising a natural position for runner’s feet. Overall, this Compression Molded EVA midsole, while not having a rock plate, offers enough cushioning and comfort to protect your foot, even on rocky terrain.

Testers appreciated the extra comfort on their long runs. Also, they felt the flared heel shape secured their better inside the shoes, especially on downhill runs. However, it lacked responsiveness compared to the Timp 4.

trail runner wearing Altra Olympus 5

With these few subtle changes from the Olympus 4, the Olympus 5 offers the highest cushioning and protection for longer runs. However, testers regretted the use of standard EVA foam instead of EgoMax considering the premium price of the Altra Olympus 5.

Foot lockdown (upper)

Altra Olympus 5 engineered mesh upper with tapered design to prevent heel slippage and gusseted tongue

The slipper-like feel of the cushioning is enhanced by a softer, more flexible upper than on the Olympus 4. Plus, the Olympus 5 is deep enough to easily add orthotics. The heel counter also presses higher on the Achilles tendon, improving foot lockdown and comfort.

Finally, the Olympus 5’s upper is more padded than other models in the series. Using durable engineered mesh, the upper is incredibly sturdy and effortlessly withstands the shocks and abrasion on the trails.

Altra Olympus 5 on feet, ideal for day hikes and long runs

The Altra Olympus 5 keeps the same wide and rounded shape for its toe box as the previous version. This is the Original Fit, the widest shape offered by Altra, suitable for high-volume feet. We also find the usual gaiter attachment points for runners looking for more protection.

However, it’s important to note that the few upper changes, while providing more comfort, increase the Olympus 5 from 329 g/11.6 oz to 350 g/12.3 oz for the men’s model (from 272 g/9.6 oz to 295 g/10.4 oz for women’s). This makes it a relatively heavy pair. Comfortable but heavy.

The ride

Altra Olympus 5 trail running shoes with a natural feel

The reviewers particularly appreciated the comfort of the Altra Olympus 5. Especially on long distances. Some testers even pushed it on ultramarathons and it easily passed the test!

The sole of this trail running shoe is particularly thick and quite stiff. But this stiffness does not lead to responsive cushioning on this pair. However, it translates into a protective and comfortable cushioning, ideal for long distances.

a man running on a muddy trail wearing Altra Olympus 5

One of the weak points of the Olympus 5 is the lacing. The laces are too short, which prevents them from being tied properly. You will have to think about changing the crossing system or the laces to tie them properly.


runner tying the laces on Altra Olympus 5

The Altra Olympus 5 is a trail running shoe designed for moderately technical trails. Runners who like speed or particularly technical trails will be disappointed. However, its comfort and robustness make it a good pick for long trail runs. Last but not least, it’s important to remember that transitioning to zero drop shoes should be done gradually to prevent any risk of injury.


Altra Olympus 5

Technical Specs

Pronation typeNeutral
Drop0 mm
Heel height33 mm
Forefoot height33 mm
Lugs4 mm
Weight (men)350 g/12.3 oz
Weight (women)295 g/10.4 oz
Release year2022




OutsoleVibram Megagrip
MidsoleEVA, Balanced Cushioning
UpperDurable Engineered Mesh, FootShape Toe Box


SpeedSlow, Moderate
DistanceMid, Long, Ultramarathon
WorkoutDaily running

Comparisons – Altra Olympus 5 vs.:

man and woman runners on a coastal trail wearing the Altra Olympus 5

Altra Olympus 4

As usual, Altra has implemented only minor updates between the Olympus 4 and Olympus 5. The outsole and midsole are almost identical. Only the upper has been slightly modified to provide more comfort and lockdown.

Margaux Licciardi

Margaux Licciardi

Margaux is a writer based in Lyon, France. She discovered running in 2013 during her studies and hasn't hung up her sneakers since. She ran her first marathon in 2017 in Paris. Since then, she varies her pleasure by practicing different outdoor sports such as trail running, road cycling, or triathlon.

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