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Review: Altra Provision 2.5 || An easy-rider for roads & non-technical trails

The Altra Provision 2.5, my current go-to for easy runs on roads and non-technical trails.

The Altra Provision 2.5, my current go-to for easy runs on roads and non-technical trails.

When I retired my Altra Lone Peak 2.5 shoes in June after surpassing 550 clicks (read my long-term review), a void was left in my closet: I had no generously cushioned shoe suitable for easy recovery runs on roads and non-technical trails. Fortuitously, the Altra Provision 2.5 recently arrived for review.

(Altra also sent the Lone Peak 3.0. Read my review.)

The fit of the Provision 2.5 feels nearly identical to the Lone Peak 2.5. But otherwise it’s decidedly more road-oriented, with a flat outsole and an even airier upper. Relative to the Lone Peak 3.0, the Provision has a roomier toebox and a less reinforced upper.

I have taken well to the Provision 2.5, and it’s become my go-to for road-running and non-technical trails (i.e. relatively flat, straight, smooth, and well maintained). I’m less confident in its suitability for road races and hard training efforts, however. Its generous toebox, ample underfoot cushioning, and pronation-controlling wedge make it feel a bit clumsy and slow to me, although I can imagine some disagreeing with that assessment.

altra-provision-2.5-upper-outsole

Let’s take a closer look at the Provision 2.5:

Key specs

  • MSRP: $120
  • Weight: 9.8 oz (men’s size 9), 11.4 oz (mens size 11.5)
  • Stack height: 25 mm, “Moderate Cushioning”
  • Zero drop
  • Stability wedge embedded in the midsole for pronation control
  • FootPod Outsole

The fit is true to size. I’m 11.5 in Altra, La Sportiva, Salomon, and Salewa.


Please support this review by buying from one of the vendors below. All else being equal, please purchase directly from Altra, which supplied the shoes for review.


Cushion

For technical trails I prefer a low-to-ground shoe (forefoot height of 15 mm plus/minus) for optimal sensitivity and control. Unfortunately, underfoot cushioning must be sacrificed to achieve this ground feel.

For road-running and non-technical trails, however, generous underfoot cushioning is a lovely thing. With such models, I endure much less pounding, which should keep me fresher and healthier — and feeling less old, too.

Altra describes the Provision 2.5 as having “moderate” cushioning, with a stack height of 25 mm. This has seemed sufficient to me on runs up to 10 miles long, and a good balance between comfort and control.

altra-provision-2.5-lateral

Fit

The Provision 2.5 fits true to size. As with all Altras, it features a roomy toebox. The midfoot and heel are better secured, via the lacing system and heel cup.

I have a narrow and low-volume foot, and seem to be at the small end of the fit range. Runners with average feet will be happier.

If you liked the Lone Peak 2.5, you will like the fit of the Provision 2.5. If you have the Lone Peak 3.0, expect a roomier toebox.

Zero drop

Again, as with all Altras, the Provision 2.5 features a Zero Drop, meaning that there is no height differential between the heel and the forefoot. Altra claims that this improves running form. It may, but more importantly it takes some getting used to. Avoid straining your Achilles and calf muscles by doing a handful of shorter runs before going long in Altras.

altra-provision-2.5-medial

Outsole

The FootPod Outsole consists of disconnected rubber panels adhered directly to the foam midsole. They roughly mirror the skeletal structure of the foot, which allows for more independent and nuanced movement than a uniformly stiff outsole.

Currently I have no insight on the long-term durability of the Provision 2.5. I will update this review when I do. But the outsole is probably my greatest concern, as I can imagine these rubber pods delaminating from the foam if not manufactured well. Fraying of the mesh upper is always a concern of mine as well, regardless of the make and model. We’ll see.

altra-footpod-outsole

The disconnected outsole pods move independently, and roughly mirror the skeletal structure of the foot.

Guidance

My biomechanics are good and I generally prefer neutral shoes devoid of any controlling features. The Provision 2.5 features a pronation-controlling wedge that runs the full-length of the midsole. It does not seem overly controlling and I have not found it bothersome. However, I think this wedge is partly to blame for the shoe feeling slow.


Find the Altra Provision 2.5 Here


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which help to support this website. Altra supplied me with the Provision 2.5 for review.

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