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The Adam's Effective Sipes

As a passionate adherent of the minimalist footwear phenomenon, I was heartily anticipating the opportunity to try out Altra’s newly released Adam. I found it to be an extremely versatile, balanced, and comfortable shoe that is supremely well adapted to everything you can do with your feet: from walking, to running, to just loafing around. This shoe is so advanced that just like the Adam who launched the human race, it is sure to launch a new era in minimalist footwear.

Comfort through technology

The comfort level of the Adam minimalist shoe truly has to be experienced to be believed. It seems to be a cliché that they are as comfortable as wearing nothing at all, but in the case of this advanced Altra shoe it’s very true. They are supple, flexible, and snug while still allowing plenty of room for your feet to move unhindered. The Adam seems to have taken minimalist footwear technology, design, and engineering to the next phase, and walkers, joggers, and runners everywhere can rejoice… and throw their expensive, heavy, and stultifying traditional running shoes in the nearest river!

Seamless removable footbeds

The performance rubber outsole of the Adam is what Altra has termed the BareSole, and at an almost paper thin 3.4 mm it starts to feel like an extension of your own feet. Footbeds are included to be fitted within the Adam but they can be left out if you prefer to really get that just-about-barefoot feeling when you’re walking, jogging, or running. The footbeds are free of stitches or seams so they also contribute to the heavenly level of comfort of this amazing minimalist shoe. I also never had the secure-cinch strapping budge by one millimeter all the time I was wearing them! These shoes are more secure than a Swiss bank account!

Razor sipes provide phenomenal traction

The Altra Adam not only does a great job protecting the feet from any roadside or trail hazards such as broken glass and sharp rocks, but it also provides cat-like traction on wet, slippery, and icy surfaces. The soles are molded with what Altra calls razor sipes and the best way to describe how they work is to drive your car in snow with regular street tires, and then change over to an aggressive tread winter tire. The difference is palpable as when you’re wearing the Altra Adam, you feel like you have so much traction you can walk or run anywhere at any time. Except straight up walls. Leave that to Spiderman.

Protects and cools your feet

Even though I’m writing this in Northern Indiana in January when I can only dream about heat, the Altra Adam seems like one of the best choices for barefoot runners on hot asphalt. The sole’s design and the breathable stretch fabric upper are so well thought out and engineered that the Adam should do a great job of keeping your feet cool through the warmest days on the most sizzling tarmac: The kind that would leave bare feet looking like you just walked across hot coals! On a nice hot summer day you want a nice T-Bone steak charred on the outside, not the soles of your feet!

The Altra Adam is a very impressive minimalist shoe which I recommend to anyone. It’s exactly what you want for casual and competitive running, and with the Adam shoe’s comfort, balance, and traction, it’s a natural complement to anyone engaging in my FloWalking method of better walking (!

To learn more about the amazing Altra Adam, check out

  • Steven

    Sorry, Soft Star’s RunAmoc BlackLite has a 2 mm sole.  Absolutely the most incredible barefoot shoe available!  The Adam feels thick and stiff in comparison.

  • Levi Webb

    The Altra Adam is easily my favorite minimalist shoe. It is lightweight, foot shaped, incredibly flexible, with excellent ground feel, but I found the traction to not be all that mind blowing. I found the Altra Adam to have a lot of traction on flat surfaces such as hard wood floors, however, on dirt, leaves, mud and other things you might find on the trail, the traction didn’t seem to be there. 

  • Shoe care Ottawa

    I had these for about a week and did not like them. I agree with most
    of the good things said in this review, but there were two things that
    were simply deal breakers. First, there is far too much cushioning.