Shoe Review: Altra Provision 7
Runners seeking a supportive yet agile running shoe will flock to the latest version of the Altra Provision, now in its sixth iteration. The Altra Provision is the less-cushioned little sister of the Altra Paradigm, Altra’s max-cushioned stability shoe.
The Altra Provision 7 provides moderate cushioning and gentle stability without weighing you down. The latest version is lighter and more nimble than previous versions, providing a smooth, easy ride.
Fleet Feet reviewers tested the Altra Provision 7 to get a feel for how it fits and performs. Here’s everything you need to know.
Altra Provision 7
8.2 oz (W), 9.6 oz (M)
New Balance 860, Brooks Adrenaline
GuideRails Offer Stability to Move With You on the Run
The Altra Provision 7 features Altra’s signature GuideRail technology—a thick layer of midsole foam that sits on the medial (inside) part of the shoe, keeping your stride in check. The foam is slightly stiffer than the rest of the midsole, so it compresses less under your weight if your arches happen to roll inward as you run (often referred to as overpronation).
What are stability shoes and how do they work? Learn more here.
While the GuideRails provide support where it’s needed, they don’t feel rigid or intrusive on the run. The shoe moves with you thanks to Altra’s Innerflex technology—small grooves in the midsole that add flexibility.
“The Provision 7 has a variety of stability features, but none felt obtrusive or overdone,” Alex says. “Plus, the shoe is more flexible than other Altra shoes I’ve tried.”
In addition to a supportive midsole, the Altra Provision 7 offers a grippy outsole with plenty of traction to keep you moving over slick sidewalks and wet pavements. The Provision offers much more grip than what you’d typically see in a road shoe, making it an option for quick, off-road jaunts. One of our reviewers even wore them to climb up on the roof and rake leaves!
“The tread on the Provision 7 is similar to what we saw last year, with a particularly sticky, grippy tread on the road,” Kate says. “They have excellent grip on wet asphalt. The guide rails in the shoe help to give them a more stable feel, and overall, the shoe is fairly rigid with a touch of flexibility in the forefoot.”
Altra shoes are known for their balanced cushioning platform, and the Provision 7 is no different. This means that the shoe has a zero millimeter heel-to-toe drop—the difference in height between your heel and toes. With your feet sitting flat, you can feel more ground contact while you run. This may take some getting used to for runners who are used to higher heel-to-toe drops, but reviewers enjoyed the feeling of the Altra Provision 7.
“These shoes feel natural and flexible on the run. They provide a touch of energetic cushioning underfoot, but still maintain a sturdy feeling of ground contact,” Caroline says.
Altra Provision 7 Offers Plenty of Breathing Room
The Altra Provision 7 features Altra’s Standard FootShape Fit, offering a wider toe box than most other running shoes. Because Altra shoes have a zero drop platform, your toes splay out more than they would in a traditional shoe with a higher heel to toe offset.
While the toe box is spacious, the midfoot and heel are snug to provide a locked down fit.
“The fit of the Provision 7 is definitely accommodating,” Kate says. “If you are a fan of the wide Altra toe box, you won’t be disappointed by this shoe. The toe box gives my feet plenty of space to splay out but without a lot of height, so the overall volume isn’t overwhelming.”
The Provision 7 uses an engineered mesh upper to provide soft and breathable comfort, while long, tubular laces help you adjust the fit. A molded heel collar keeps your foot secure through twists, turns and whatever your run throws at you.
“I love the textured padding around the heel collar,” Caroline says. “It’s highlighted by a different color than the rest of the mesh and gives it a really bold look. I also love how it sits low around my heel and ankle—there’s nothing worse than a shoe that’s constantly rubbing and bumping against your ankle bone!”
Altra Provision 7 vs Provision 6
The Altra Provision 7 is remarkably similar to the Provision 6. The new model features the same EGO midsole (Altra’s signature midsole compound) and engineered mesh upper as the outgoing version.
But there are a few differences between the two: The Provision 7 boasts a new molded heel cup to create a more secure fit, and it has a slightly lower weight to improve the ride. The shoe features the same zero-drop platform and wide toe box that Altra is known for. If you enjoyed the Provision 6, you’ll likely enjoy the latest version, too.
“The Provision 7 is my favorite Altra release of 2022,” Caroline says. “I love the unique blend of foamy cushioning and full ground contact from the zero-drop platform.”
What is the Altra Provision 7 Best For?
The Altra Provision 7 is a stellar choice for runners seeking a stable, supportive ride with plenty of ground contact and a zero-drop platform.
“The Altra Provision 7 is a solid shoe for daily miles and recovery runs,” Kate says. “They don’t feel quite peppy enough for me to choose them for a speed workout, but they’re a solid choice for regular training runs.”