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Some might say that the theme of the tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is that your actions may have consequences, but I’ve always thought it was that the best products should strike a balance between comfort and support. Obviously, the best porridge, chair, and bed were the ones that had a balance between being too much of one thing or the other. It was all just right.

OK, all jokes (and fairy tales) aside, the best running shoes usually strike a similar balance between comfort, support, and performance. The Altra Provision 8 running shoes even claim to have found the right balance that even Goldilocks would say, “It’s just right.”

In our testing of these shoes, we found them stable, supportive, and cushioned, but was it the perfect balance? And does the price match what these road running shoes have to offer? I’ll look at this and more in this Altra Provision 8 review.

RELATED: Best Stability Running Shoes

All-Terrain Testing for Running Shoes

Our team runs the gamut when testing home gym essentials—literally running when it comes to running shoes. With our team of certified personal trainers, coaches, and lifelong athletes, we know what to look for in these training shoes in terms of functionality, support, and performance.

For the Altra Provision 8, GGR performance editor and certified personal trainer Anthony O’ Reilly tried these shoes out on pavement and trails for all types of movement: walking, jogging, treadmill running, and just everyday errands. He took them out for both sunny and rainy days—you never know which you’ll get during Carolina summers. In his testing, he rated the shoes a score from 1 to 5 for their different features, such as:

  • Appearance
  • Construction and durability
  • Stability and performance
  • Adjustments and comfort
  • Versatility
  • Overall value

Altra Provision 8

Altra Provision 8

GGR Score: 4.45 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Road running and walking shoe
  • Roomy toe box
  • Breathable engineered mesh upper
  • Altra EGO midsole
  • 0 mm heel-to-toe drop

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Molded heel collar
  • Very stable

Cons

  • Design is a little plain
  • Not suited for trail running

Bottom Line

The Altra Provision 8 running shoes provide a great amount of stability and cushioning for road running or walking. While they are supportive, the rubber tread is suited best for the road; you probably won’t want to take these on trails.

A Quick Look at the Altra Provision 8

Altra was founded by a couple of passionate runners looking for a running shoe that gave room to your toes. Altra shoes are designed for a more natural foot shape, with a wider toe box to allow the toes room to splay while running. The shoes also are intended to provide support to allow for better and healthier running.

Constructed similarly to the Provision 7, the Altra Provision 8 shoes are made particularly with road running in mind, although they can also be great as walking shoes. To provide a good balance between responsiveness and comfort, Altra uses their trademarked EGO midsole cushioning, designed to bring added energy return and responsiveness to your running stride while still providing ample cushioning.

The Provision 8s also provide ample medial support through their GuideRail technology lining the inside of the shoe to add stability and aid people who suffer from overpronation. The shoes also have zero drop, making for a natural foot position while standing.

Before You Buy

  • The men’s and women’s versions both have different colorways, so keep that in mind while you’re browsing. Also, keep in mind that most people aren’t super excited about the colorways offered by Altra in general.
  • All Altra purchases done through the website provide free shipping on your order.
  • Not sure about purchasing online? Altra Running offers a 30-day run trial, where you can return your items for a full refund even after you’ve worn them for a few days.

Is the Altra Provision 8 Worth It?

At $140, the Altra Provision 8 is comparable to other running shoe prices from top brands. The Brooks Glycerin 21 shoes sit at $160, as do the Saucony Triumph 21s (although they’re on sale at the time of this writing). HOKA Cliftons are priced at $140, too.

This is comparable to most other Altra running shoes, too, with the Rivera costing $130 and the Torin 7 and Lone Peak 8 sitting around $150. The Altra Paradigm 7 is a bit more pricey at $170.

Obviously, this will be more expensive than most budget-friendly New Balance and Asics shoes, but being under $150 gives this pretty good value for a quality running shoe. Anthony rates the value of the Provision 8 a solid 4 out of 5. He docked a point off simply because the shoes are a little plain, but he adds, “This is undeniably a well-built shoe.”

The price may not fit everyone’s budget, and the level of support may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but these running shoes will be great for the majority of runners.

Great for:

  • Runners with wide feet
  • Those wanting more support on longer runs
  • Minimal but high-quality cushioning

Not recommended for:

  • Trail-running
  • Runners who prefer a more neutral running shoe
  • Those who prefer a more aesthetically pleasing shoe

Altra Provision 8 Specs

Price$140
Weight10.2 oz (M), 8.27 oz (W)
Heel-to-toe drop0 mm
UpperBreathable engineered mesh
MidsoleAltra EGO
OutsoleRubber
Stack height28 mm
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5.5-12
ColorwaysBlue (M/W), Gray/Green (M), Black (M/W), White/Blue (M), Orange (M), White (W), Lime (W), Navy (W)
Warranty1-year limited

Using the Altra Provision 8 

GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly, CPT, CNC, tried out the Altra Provision 8 running shoes for several workout sessions throughout a week, along with some everyday errands. Although that’s only so much time to truly test the durability of the shoes, he did accidentally step in mud during a run, and they’ve held up well despite the accidental abuse.

RELATED: Best Pre-Workout for Running

The shoes are made with stability in mind. The level of cushioning is minimal, but quality. Anthony describes the cushioning as neutral, saying, “It’s a little tough to explain the cushioning; there’s not a ton of it, but what it does have is very high-quality and feels great.” After a pause, he adds, “It’s Goldilocks.” (This may or may not be our last reference to the children’s tale.) It doesn’t have max cushioning, but that tradeoff keeps it lightweight for longer runs.

Let’s break down the finer details of the Provision 8.

A person stands in grass wearing a pair of Altra Provision 8 shoes.

Construction and Durability

The Altra Provision 8 has a breathable mesh upper and the Altra EGO midsole, made to provide responsiveness and comfort. These design choices allow for a very stable running shoe. The molded heel collar provides a secure fit while running, and the GuideRail provides medial arch support along the midfoot of the shoe.

After a week of testing, Anthony rates the construction and durability a perfect 5 out of 5, explaining, “There’s been no fraying or wear and tear since I’ve been using these shoes. The shoes are a little dirty from accidentally stepping in mud, but otherwise, they still feel like new.”

Appearance and Design

The Provision 8s have five different colorways each for their men’s and women’s options. Most are bright and colorful, although there are some more muted and reserved choices for anyone who’d prefer that kind of colorway. Truth be told, though: not too many people seem keen on their color choices.

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Anthony rates the appearance of the shoes a 4 out of 5, calling them “a step up from being Dad Force 1s.” He explains, “They’re not the nicest-looking shoes I’ve seen or worn, but they’re also not the worst.” He adds that the colorways are nice, however, and if you go with the right option, they could match your wardrobe.

Stability and Performance

The shoe is well-built, but where it excels is in its stability, earning a 5 out of 5 from Anthony. The midsole foam is unique in its cushioning, as there isn’t tons of it (keeping it lightweight), but what is there is very supportive and responsive. In use, Anthony adds, “These shoes are ridiculously stable. I love them. I think the heel collar is possibly one of the best I’ve ever tried on in the dozens of shoes I’ve tested.”

The rubber outsole provides decent tread, but Anthony took the shoes on some rainy runs and mentions, “It’s fine on dry or wet pavement, but after running with these for a bit, I wouldn’t go off the beaten path with these things.” While these running shoes aren’t ideal for a trail run, they are pretty good for everyday wear, earning them a 4 out of 5 for versatility.

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Adjustments and Comfort

As far as adjustments go, the Altra Provision 8s are pretty basic, with basic shoe laces and no midfoot or forefoot straps. Still, they stay in place while in use and Anthony says they’re very comfortable, rating them a 5 out of 5 in this category.

Altra Provision 8 vs HOKA Clifton 8

HOKA Clifton 8

Hoka Clifton 8

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Neutral running shoe
  • Made with recycled and vegan materials 
  • 16 colorways for women and 19 colorways for men
  • 2 widths: Regular, Wide

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Very cushioned and supportive
  • Springy foam midsole
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Wide range of sizes

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Too much cushion for some runners
  • Not as versatile as other running shoe options

Bottom Line

The Hoka Clifton 8 has mixed reviews on comfort and many reviewers found the shoe to be too narrow.

Although the Provision 8 provides a decent amount of cushion, it’s not the most cushioned shoe we’ve tried out. If you’re looking for a shoe with a bit more cushioning and responsiveness, the HOKA Clifton 8s might be a better fit for you. Price-wise, the two shoes are even, although the Cliftons are marked down at the time of this writing (probably to make way for the newly released Clifton 9).

With a 5-millimeter effective heel height, the HOKA Clifton 8 is a low-drop shoe, unlike the Provision 8—a zero-drop shoe. The midsole cushioning is much more present in the HOKA shoes than the Altras, although the Provision 8s definitely provide more stability. The HOKA Cliftons are also more lightweight, although this led us to question the durability of the shoes a bit in our testing.

Overall, the type of support you’d like in your running shoes will likely determine your decision here. For a stability running shoe, the Altra Provision 8s are the clear winner. However, for a more neutral, cushioned feel, the HOKA Clifton 8 is a good choice.

Altra Provision 8HOKA Clifton 8
Price$140$140
Weight10.2 oz (M), 8.27 oz (W)8.9 oz (M), 7.2 oz (W)
Heel-to-toe drop0 mm5 mm
UpperBreathable engineered meshBreathable mesh
MidsoleAltra EGOCompression-molded EVA
OutsoleRubberHigh-abrasion rubber
Stack height28 mmNot disclosed
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5.5-12Men’s 7-16, Women’s 5-12
ColorwaysBlue (M/W), Gray/Green (M), Black (M/W), White/Blue (M), Orange (M), White (W), Lime (W), Navy (W)Butterfly/Summer Song (M), Radiant Yellow/Maize (M), Nimbus Cloud/Blanc De Blanc (M), Blanc De Blanc/Illuminating (M), Real Teal/Aquarelle (M), Blue Fog/Plein Air (M), White/White (M), Summer Song/Ice Flow (W), Yellow Pear/Sweet Corn (W)
Warranty1-year limited1 year

Customer Experience 

Altra offers a 30-day trial run of their running shoes, where if you’re not satisfied with the shoes, you can return them for a full refund. Additionally, their shoes are all backed by a limited 1-year warranty that covers manufacturing and material defects.

The company can be contacted in a variety of ways: phone, email, live chat, or even social media support. Because of these solid policies, we rate the customer service a 4.5 out of 5.

Ordering the Altra Provision 8

You can order the Altra Provision 8s directly from Altra’s website with free shipping. Anthony reported no issues with ordering his shoes. Financing is offered through Klarna; if you qualify, you can pay for your shoes in four interest-free payments (one every two weeks).

Customer Reviews

While there aren’t many reviews out yet for the Altra Provision 8, what is out there now is generally positive. The 14 reviews on the website average 4.1 stars out of 5. Customers with positive reviews tended to like the fit and support of the latest Provision, but they’re brutally honest about the color schemes available, with many asking for different colorways and options. Hopefully, we’ll see some more down the road.

Negative reviews often remarked on the durability of the shoes, saying that the rubber tread on the outsole had worn down prematurely. Customer service quickly responded, so if you happen to have similar issues, be sure to reach out to Altra. Some people also said the shoes were the wrong fit. While we didn’t have this issue, the product page does warn that the shoes run slightly small.

Final Verdict of Our Altra Provision 8 Review

So the final question must be asked: Are these the perfect “Goldilocks” shoes? Well, no. They do strike a great balance between comfort and support, but these stability shoes won’t be for everyone. They’re not really ideal for runners looking for neutral shoes, and they’re not the best shoes for trail running either.

However, if you’re looking for a road running shoe that provides a ludicrous amount of stability, these may need to be your next pick; you might find them just right.

Full Rating

Altra Provision 8

The Altra Provision 8 running shoes provide a great amount of stability and cushioning for road running or walking. While they are supportive, the rubber tread is suited best for the road; you probably won’t want to take these on trails.

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 140

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.45

Altra Provision 8 Rating

Appearance and Design – 4
Construction and Durability – 5
Stability and Performance – 5
Versatility – 4
Adjustments and Comfort – 5
Price and Value – 4
Customer Service – 4.5
Customer Reviews – 4.1
Buy Now

Altra Provision 8: FAQs

What’s so special about Altra shoes?

Altra shoes are designed for more natural movement in your toes while running. Each shoe is made with a roomy toe box to allow your toes to splay naturally during each bound while running. Altra also claims to provide balanced cushioning, letting runners run more naturally with proper alignment throughout the leg muscles and joints.

Are Altra shoes good for plantar fasciitis?

While not every shoe is designed to combat plantar fasciitis, the Altra Provision 8, as well as the Paradigm 7, provides ample arch support and a heel collar, which can help provide stability to your foot and ankle. The zero drop of the shoes may also allow some gentle stretching of the ankle during walks, too.

How many miles are Altra shoes good for?

Altra estimates their shoes will last between 300 and 600 miles, depending on the intensity of your activity.

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Some might say that the theme of the tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is that your actions may have consequences, but I’ve always thought it was that the best products should strike a balance between comfort and support. Obviously, the best porridge, chair, and bed were the ones that had a balance between being too much of one thing or the other. It was all just right.OK, all jokes (and fairy tales) aside,  » Read more about: Altra Provision 8 Review (2024): Ridiculously Stable Road Runners  » Read more