Altra Viho Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Durable, moderately sized toebox, affordable
Cons: Lacks upper comfort, laces slip, tight midfoot
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Our Analysis and Test Results
With Altra shoes, it really does come down to personal preference. We love the Fit4Her shape, wide clown-like toebox, and forced muscular engagement of other models. But the new Viho didn't hold up, despite the amount of technology they possess.
As previously mentioned, the Viho lacks an average amount of arch support. We found that this sensation created a flat-footed, Big Foot type gait that is neither graceful nor agile. Each footfall landed as if it was going to be the last one, so we had to deduct massive points for stunted energy return. Throughout our reviewing process, we have learned that the more nontraditional the shoe shape, the less responsive it tends to be.
The Viho offers above-average landing comfort. They are not plush or flexible like their cousins, the Torin 4, but they are less aggressively built, so that is appealing. The arch support is less than in typical running shoes, but it is enough to support neutral and more flat-footed runners. Overpronators, however, should steer clear of the elusive arch support in these.
These neutral trainers weigh in slightly below average. Each women's size 7 shoe tips the scale at 7.5 ounces, a very respectable weight for a runner — though you can find lighter if that's a priority.
We are happy to report that these shoes have it in them to go the distance. While the execution might not be perfect, the durability of these bad boys is quite good. The outsole is made up of FootPod rubber, which is wonderfully comfortable and surprisingly durable. We love a low-ish priced AND durable runner, and these shoes hit both of those marks beautifully. The FootPod rubber sole holds up mile after mile, and the cushion stays consistent throughout the entire lifespan of these shoes.
The Viho underperformed in this metric, and we are bummed about it. The midfoot is fairly narrow already and becomes snugger across the unrelenting lace bed with the plastic-esque exterior putting merciless pressure across the foot. The tongue is fairly short, and, while well-cushioned, the shoelaces still cut in across the upper foot. The laces also didn't ever seem to stay tied. It's honestly not all bad, though. The collar is very well cushioned, and we like the extra ankle space worked into the design.
Durability was employed at the expense of breathability in the flawed design of the Viho. There is an unusual coating wrapped around most of the upper mesh of the shoe. This coating looks similar to the chocolate that soft-serve ice cream cones come dipped in; delicious but perhaps not appropriate in this instance. This casing cuts down on breathability but doesn't offer extra support, and the multidirectional mesh is quite heavy
The Viho is the least expensive shoe in our review. They are a good value, but since they don't score as high as slightly more costly shoes, we probably wouldn't buy these again. Our Best Buy Winner offers a lighter, quicker, and more supportive ride for only a few more schillings.
We wanted to fall in love with the Altra Viho, but instead we only developed a minor crush. They offer good landing comfort, but time and time again, we found ourselves reaching for a different pair instead. They are not speed shoes, nor are they suitable for overpronators as the arch is slight and responsiveness underwhelming. That said, narrow footed runners looking for slightly more toebox space will likely enjoy running in these. The streamlined expression of a FootShape toebox is excellent for long fitness walks and beginners looking to dip their toes into the zero drop zone. This was Altra's first time around with the Viho, and we hope that in future iterations, they will exist to satisfy more than just flat-footed walkers (or people with extremely narrow feet and bunions).
— Ally Meller