Altra Experience Flow - Review Time!

Altra Experience Flow - Review Time!

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to try out the new Altra Experience Flow, but before I give you my review, I thought I should explain about Altra shoes, their unique shape and how they are reinventing the brand.

To appeal to a wider base of runners, Altra have done away with their signature zero drop (or balanced cushioning) in their new models.

The first shoe of this type was the Altra Forward Experience, which was introduced into the UK market back in October 2023. May 2024 has seen the launch of the Experience Family. 

Altra Experience Flow – a neutral road running shoe that replaces the Altra Forward Experience.

Altra Experience Wild – a hybrid trail/road running shoe.

Altra Experience Form – a road running shoe designed to offer some pronation support.

New Geometry

The Altra Experience Flow has a 4mm heel to forefoot drop and there is a midsole rocker.

This rocker is designed to keep the shoe moving forward.

Research says that it reduces over striding and increases cadence.

More and more brands are starting to introduce rockers or curved shapes to the midsole.

I found that the Altra Experience Flow made me want to lift my heels up a bit more than usual, which felt quite nice! 

Altra Experience Flow vs. Altra Forward Experience

I have a pair of the original Altra Forward Experience and have done a fair few miles in them.

Apparently, Altra say that the rocker of the new Experience Flow is the same as the Forward Experience, but I’m not so sure. I felt the Experience Flow rocker was only noticeable at the toe-off point of my gait cycle.

For me, this isn’t an issue, and I think those runners changing to a rockered shoe might find this an easier transition. 


The Altra Experience Flow is made on Altra’s Standard last.

This has a broad rounded toe box but is snugger than the most wider ‘Original’ foot shape.

If you’re not used to wearing brands like Altra or Topo, these will feel roomier in comparison to other shoes.

If you have worn narrower shoes for a long time, you might find that your toes don’t spread as well on impact when you first start wearing the Experience Flow.

However, keep running in a roomy toe box shoe, and your feet will ‘remember’ how to work more naturally over time. 


The midsole is 30mm in the heel and 26mm in the forefoot of the women’s version and 32mm/28mm in the men’s version, giving a heel drop of 4mm.

Altra use a compressed EVA that gives a soft cushioned ride without feeling ‘soggy’ - I could still feel the contact with the ground. 

It might just be me, but I felt that the Experience Flow felt softer than the FWD Experience when I first put them on.

I have been wearing my FWD Experience around the shop as well as out on runs, and they have broken in nicely.

You don’t sink into the midsole, which I think saps your energy. I’m expecting the same with the Experience Flow. Although there’s a good level of cushioning, the Experience Flow is light for an everyday running shoe. My women’s UK 6.5 weighs 204g. 


The outsole rubber is nice and thick and is similar to that used on the Altra Torin. Thus, the durability of the Experience Flow hasn’t been compromised by the lightweight construction.

In fact, the combination of the smoothness of the ride and the way that the shoes work with the body makes them feel as if you have nothing on your feet! 

Upper & Lacing

If you look at the uppers of the FWD Experience and the Experience Flow, there is a subtle difference in the two.

The Experience Flow felt a little softer and the small piece of reflective material on the toe box has gone. The slightly curved heel tab remains. Yes, it is high, but the curved shape means that it doesn’t put pressure on the Achilles.

There are two additional bits of padding inside the heel cup which sit in the hollows under your ankle bones and help with the locked in feeling. 

Summing up

The Altra Experience Flow is a well-cushioned everyday road running shoe.

It’s versatile enough for easy runs, long runs and steady runs.

It has similar characteristics as top sellers like a Hoka Clifton, but with more room in the toe box that’s great for runners that need more volume in the toe box, or those that simply want to ‘Experience’ a more natural way of running (see what I did there!).

Altra shoes at Sportlink

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