Mention the word ‘Paradigm” and one conjures up the idea of a “paradigm shift” which, as defined by Oxford, means a fundamental change in approach.
This is what the good people of Altra are trying to peddle to the maximalist lovers among the running community when it came out with the Altra Paradigm earlier this year. The highly-cushioned running shoes counterstrike against the minimalist running shoes was pioneered and is dominated by Hoka. But now, here comes a challenger. The Utah-based Altra came up with the Altra Paradigm early this year and this is a serious challenge to the Hoka dominance in the maximalist sphere.
The Altra Paradigm offers maximum cushioning similar to what Hoka offers plus it has the Altra trademark features of wide toebox and zero drop. Plus, it is lighter and less expensive than most of the Hokas currently available in our part of the world. Check out the table below.
|Table of Comparison|
|The Altra Paradigm side by side with the Hoka Conquest|
Since getting my blue pair of Altra Paradigm (my 3rd Altra) from Singapore, more than a month ago, I have logged more than 200 kms.+ in it. In fact, I got to use it for the challenging 50-km Sungay Challenge last July 13. It offers the same pillowy soft feel that Hoka shoes offers. Plus it is more comfortable to run with for a long period of time given the ample space its wide toebox provides my feet.
|My Altra trinity|
|My Altra Paradigm in action at the Sungay Challenge|
The Altra Paradigm is a truly remarkable running shoe. I would imagine it is constantly being remarked on, not just in Altra headquarters, but also in the Hoka camp. My proof is that with the launch of the Paradigm, Hoka came out with 2 new models which seem to suggest a defensive response :the Hoka Clifton which is priced at US$ 130 and is lighter at 7.7 oz; and the Hoka Huaka which is lighter at 8.9oz and has a lower offset at 2mm when compared to older Hoka models.
Talk about a paradigm shift. The consuming runners are all the better for it.
Life is good like running on a beach in Santorini, Greece.