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Altra Viho Review

We aren’t impressed by this new style of a wide toebox running shoe
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Price:  $100 List | $99.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable, moderately sized toebox, affordable
Cons:  Lacks upper comfort, laces slip, tight midfoot
Manufacturer:   Altra
By Ally Meller ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 22, 2020
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Responsiveness - 25% 4
  • Landing Comfort - 25% 6
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Upper Comfort - 10% 4
  • Breathability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The new Altra Viho didn't live up to our collective high hopes. Narrow-footed runners with a desire to run short distances in a 5 mm drop shoe might find the Viho to be up to snuff. Besides that, we aren't sure other runners will enjoy it. The upper portion lacks the comfort we prefer for long distances, and the plastic-ridden mesh doesn't allow for much breathability. The arch support is subtle, so runners who overpronate might feel as though their ankles are collapsing in towards each other. These kicks are a bit more streamlined and low profile than our other Altras, which makes them appealing for fashion purposes, but outside of that, we found them pretty average.


Compare to Similar Products

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.

Performance Comparison


Blue skies and upbeat tunes make this runner outrageously happy  even if our shoes were slightly underwhelming.
Blue skies and upbeat tunes make this runner outrageously happy, even if our shoes were slightly underwhelming.

Responsiveness


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 profile of the Viho is a bit too flat to be responsive.
The profile of the Viho is a bit too flat to be responsive.

Landing Comfort


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.

If you are neutral or flat-footed  the landing in this will be A-OK. Otherwise  you may want to look elsewhere.
If you are neutral or flat-footed, the landing in this will be A-OK. Otherwise, you may want to look elsewhere.

Weight


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.

The weight of the Viho is quite admirable.
The weight of the Viho is quite admirable.

Durability


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.

That rugged heel bed is one that can last.
That rugged heel bed is one that can last.

Upper Comfort


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.

These shoelaces are pretty aggressive  right?
These shoelaces are pretty aggressive, right?


Breathability


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

Despite sub-par breathability  we enjoyed our beach walks in these low profile foot-huggers on cooler days.
Despite sub-par breathability, we enjoyed our beach walks in these low profile foot-huggers on cooler days.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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).

The Viho will be fine for some foot anatomy  but not for all. We recommend trying these before buying because - if they do work for you - they are available for a very nice price.
The Viho will be fine for some foot anatomy, but not for all. We recommend trying these before buying because - if they do work for you - they are available for a very nice price.


Ally Meller