Shoe Review - Altra Rivera

Cushioned and comfortable for recovery, yet energetic and lively for picking up the pace

4.4 out of 5 rating | Weight 240g | Drop 0mm | Neutral Daily Training Road Shoe | £120

First Impressions

This shoe looks great! Compared to how Altra shoes used to look, the product design has improved dramatically. Out of the box the shoe feels light and the cushioning feels soft when I squeeze it. The Rivera definitely looks like a solid daily trainer with a good amount of outsole rubber too.

Fit and Width

For me this is the highlight of the shoe. The fit is spot on. The Foot Shaped toe box does exactly what it's supposed to do by letting the toes relax and giving them a lovely amount of splay room. I’d say the Rivera is a little more ‘fitted’ around the mid foot than the Escalante, which for me fits very nicely. If you have a wider mid foot then perhaps the Escalante might suit a bit better. The heel feels nice and secure for me and Altra has put in an extra eyelet on the lacing system so if it does feel a bit slippy around the ankle the ‘runners knot’ lacing technique should fix that. The ‘Balancd‘ cushioning also feels nice when standing. This shoe honestly feels like wearing a really well cushioned and structured pair of slippers.

Where it works best

For me this shoe has been great for the distances that I cover with my longest runs at the moment being around the 10km mark. I found the Rivera to be cushioned and comfortable on recovery runs and really energetic and lively when I decided to pick up the pace and throw a few strides into the mix. I can personally see this shoe doing great for the half marathon distance, potentially even a full marathon. Also, I ran in this shoe a couple of times in almost torrential rain and found the grip to be great on the local paths/canal paths that I run on.

Our thoughts

This is technically a new model from Altra, however it's more of a continuation of the Torin line. When the Torin 4 came out, Altra released another shoe called the Torin 4 Plush which was essentially a more cushioned and softer daily trainer. Once this line had ended, the original Torin was then replaced with the Rivera and the Torin is now only available in the 4.5 Plush model.

One particular change would be the movement away from the Quantic midsole foam that was in the Torin and replacing it with the Altra Ego midsole material. The Quantic midsole from the Torin 4 (now found in the Torin 4.5 Plush) was very light, soft and bouncy in feeling whereas the Ego foam in the Rivera is plusher and more responsive in my opinion, therefore fits perfectly for a solid daily training shoe.

As always with Altra, their shoes are quite unique in that they all have the ‘Balancd’ cushioning and the ‘Footshaped’ toe box. These two points allow the foot to move naturally while still giving the user a good amount of cushion and support around the foot. Another interesting point is that the ‘Footshaped’ toe box actually changes shape depending on whether it's a men’s or ladies shoe, with the ladies fit being slightly more rounded around the toes and the men’s being a bit squarer in the toe box.

The Rivera has a particularly unique feature when compared to other Neutral Altra shoes in that the upper of this shoe is pretty well structured. This, coupled with the slightly narrower mid foot section (when compared to other Altras) gives this shoe a really, really nice fitting upper that holds the foot in one place.

This shoe has been tested by Harry. He has run in the shoes for a minimum of 4 weeks or about 50 miles before submitting his review. The scores he has given the shoes are based on his experience, his running style and his training type. These shoes were gifted by Altra for the purpose of this review, no input was made by Altra. The view is entirely that of our tester.

Hi I’m Harry,

I’m a bit of a trainer fanatic who happened to fall in love with running and sport in general when I was about 14/15 years old. This passion of mine has allowed me to try a lot of shoes (some very unusual) and also understand how most brands tend to fit and feel. As it stands, I run about 10-15 miles a week so not tons but enough to keep the legs ticking over. Running for me has always been for headspace and that feeling of being out there with the world passing by is second to none. I hope I can provide you all with good feedback so you can make choices on which products might fit and feel the best for you.

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