Altra Timp 5 Review: These Take My Breath Away!

It's lightweight, grippy and cushioned - plus many other reasons why this new Altra shoe is right up there as one of the best trail running shoes this season.


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Hi Everyone! I’m excited to share with you my in-depth review of the Altra Timp 5 trail running shoes.

I’ve run in them on some of my favorite testing grounds here in Northern California, including a mixed bag of terrain: challenging uphills, gnarly downhills, winding forest and fire roads, and a good dose of mud, too.

In this review, I’m sharing my thoughts on what I love about the Altra Timp 5, areas where I think they could be improved, who they’re best suited for, and whether they’re worth the $155 price tag.

If you’re looking for a pair of Altras for walking or running on roads, you may also want to look at the Altra Torin 7, which are their latest cushioned road running shoes – essentially the road-equivalent to the Timp 5. Learn more about those shoes in my Altra Torin 7 review.

Altra Timp 5 review trail running shoes 5

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $155 at REI or Altra Running
  • Sizing and fit: True to size with a medium width fit
  • Weight: 8.1oz / 230g for size US(W)7.5
  • Drop: 0mm
  • Toe box width: Wide
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support added
  • Midsole Cushioning: Moderate
  • Best for: Varied trails where you need excellent traction, including technical steeps, loose dirt, and long-distance including trail marathons and ultra marathons.

Before we get into my experience with them, let’s talk about what sets the Altra Timp 5 apart. For those new to Altra, they’re well-known for their zero drop trail and road running shoes. This means there’s no height difference between the heel and toe, promoting a more natural foot position. Looking at the shoes, you’ll see exactly what I mean—there’s no elevation change from the back to the front.

Another noteworthy feature is the robust toe box, designed to offer protection against those unexpected roots and rocks on the trail. It’s not rock-solid but should prevent foot damage from kicking those obstacles that pop up out of nowhere!

The Timp 5's toe box offers protection from kicked rocks and roots, and the outsole tread wraps nicely up over it for added uphill traction.
The Timp 5’s toe box offers protection from kicked rocks and roots, and the outsole tread wraps nicely up over it for added uphill traction.

What’s truly special about Altra’s design is the wide toe box. It’s not just for runners with wide feet; it’s crafted to let your toes spread naturally, mimicking barefoot running dynamics. The Timp 5 has a wider than average toe box (Altra’s ‘Standard’ footshape), although not as wide as the Lone Peak 8 (which uses Altra’s wider ‘Original’ footshape).

The laces are fairly standard but have a textured finish for a secure tie, ensuring they stay tied with no slippage, providing a snug fit right out of the box. I wear a US women’s size 7.5, and each shoe weighs in at 8.1 oz (about 230 g), which is impressively lightweight for a trail runner.

The last standout feature I want to highlight is the Vibram Megagrip outsole. This is new for the Timp 5 vs its predecessor, the Timp 4. It has aggressive lugs that really grip the trails, something that definitely boosts confidence on uneven terrain and loose surfaces underfoot.

New for this version, the Altra Timp 5 has a Vibram Megagrip outsole, that contributes to the excellent traction offered by these trail shoes.
New for this version, the Altra Timp 5 has a Vibram Megagrip outsole, that contributes to the excellent traction offered by these trail shoes.

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The features of the Timp 5 that I really like

There’s quite a bit to cover, so I’ll try to keep it concise. Starting with the outsole, it’s insanely grippy. If I had to summarize it — and really, the shoes as a whole — in just two words, it would be “confidence building.” There’s nothing like a trail running shoe that doesn’t seem to slip on any surface to make you feel confident when running on trails.

Next up, the midsole. It’s zero drop, as I mentioned before, but it’s also well cushioned. It feels like you’re getting the best of both worlds: a natural foot alignment and generous cushioning that absorbs the impact on rockier trail sections.

A top-down look at the Altra Timp 5's footshape, upper, laces and cushioning around the tongue and ankle.
A top-down look at the Altra Timp 5’s footshape, upper, laces and cushioning around the tongue and ankle.

Now, regarding the fit: it’s true to size. I usually wear a women’s US 7.5, and that’s exactly what I’ve got on. These shoes hug my feet just right, offering a snug fit around the midfoot.

Then there’s the wider toe box, one of Altra’s hallmark features, allowing your toes to spread naturally for additional comfort and stability. While this toe box isn’t the widest Altra offers, it’s still spacious and accommodating for a natural toe splay. If you have a wider forefoot or simply prefer more room, the Lone Peak 8 is worth checking out for its even more generous toe space – read my Lone Peak 8 review to learn more about that shoe.

I also want to call out the attention to detail Altra has put into the design of the Timp 5. Altra has included hooks for attaching gaiters, a small but highly appreciated feature for trail runners who prefer extra protection. The gaiter attaches at a little Velcro section on the heel and a loop on the toe box.

Nice padded, long tongue on the Altra Timp 5.
Nice padded, long tongue on the Altra Timp 5.

Another thoughtful touch is the design of the tongue—it’s positioned high enough that it doesn’t slide down under the laces, and it’s also nicely padded for comfort.

The outsole not only wraps up around the toe for added protection but also extends slightly at the heel, offering a bit of extra grip for those steep downhill sections. This detail adds yet another layer of confidence when you’re navigating challenging descents.

I haven’t even mentioned the colorway of my particular pair, yet, but that’s also worth a mention, because if you’re drawn to running gear in vibrant colors, as I am, then you’ll love the bright yellow/coral, which screams, ‘wear me’!

I’m genuinely enthusiastic about these shoes. When I take them out for a run I usually end up running further than planned, simply because they’re so enjoyable to wear and the miles go by quickly.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

The features that could be improved for the next version

What’s there not to love about the Timp 5s? Very little. Considering the amount of trail running shoes we review here at Trail and Kale, the fact that these stand out as some of my favorites this season speaks volumes. They’re right up there right now along with the HOKA Speedgoat 5 and rightfully earn their place on our best trail running shoes list.

As I’ve highlighted, the Timp 5 is a zero-drop shoe, which might not appeal to everyone, especially if you’re accustomed to a higher heel stack. Additionally, its wider-than-average toe box might not be necessary for all runners. However, if you’re in search of an even wider toe box, as I’ve mentioned, the Lone Peak 8 from Altra offers that and shares many similarities with the Timp 5.

So really, unless they’re just not to your preference in terms of stack height, or have a foot shape that suits a different shoe, there isn’t much negative about these shoes.

Another look at the Timp 5 and that nice outsole toe wrap.
Another look at the Timp 5 and that nice outsole toe wrap.

Is the Altra Timp 5 worth buying?

So, who are these trail runners designed for? In my view, they cater to a broad spectrum of trail enthusiasts. Given their exceptional grip, precise fit that runs true to size, light weight, cushioning and their compatibility with a variety of foot shapes, these shoes are a solid pick for many.

The Timp 5’s ample cushioning makes them particularly well-suited for long-distance endeavors. Whether you’re tackling half marathons, 30ks, full marathons, 50ks, or even longer ultramarathons, you could do it in these shoes.

At $155, they sit within the typical price range for quality trail running shoes, and considering there are more expensive options out there that I don’t rate as highly, the Timp 5 offers great value. They’ve certainly earned a permanent spot in my trail running shoe rotation, as well as a coveted Trail & Kale Editor’s Choice Award!

I hope you found this review of the Altra Timp 5 insightful – If you did, subscribe to our Newsletter for more in-depth running shoe reviews just like this one. Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you on the next one. Peace!

Watch the video review

Altra Timp 5 review YOUTUBE

Tap the image above to watch my Altra Timp 5 video review and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more shoe reviews just like this one!

Altra Timp 5 review gallery

One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.


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