Simba Tested - Altra Timp 1.5
Simba Tested - Our gear guru & resident thru-hiker, Bryden Bowley (Trail Name = Simba), spent the summer of 2019 thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail over 2,000 miles across Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. While hiking, he chose 22 products to use, abuse, and give his unbiased review. Bryden's hiking resumé includes over 5,400 miles of trails since 2017 - for comparison that's about the same distance from LA to NYC and back again.
- 21 day hike across the Swedish Kungsleden trail - 270 miles
- The Anna Purna Circuit in Nepal, topping out at 17,800 feet above sea level - 175 miles
- 2017 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail where he earned his trail name "Simba" - 2,650
- 2019 Continental Divide Trail - 2,300 miles
Each week we'll release a new review that Bryden shot while on trail last summer - plus a follow up with his honest feedback about each product. We're proud to share Bryden's unbiased opinion about these products, and you can ask him questions directly through our Instagram Page. This is Simba Tested.
Altra - Timp 1.5
An Honest Review from a Thru-Hiker
Was this your first pair of Altra Timp 1.5's?
Yes this was my first pair of 1.5's, but the first time I ever tried the Timps was when they first came out. At the time it was just the 'Altra Timp' but now I guess you'd refer to them as the 'Timp 1'
I used those on the PCT in 2017 and finished the last 250 miles of the trail with them.
What were your thoughts on the original Timp?
Initially I was excited about it because it was a new design for an Altra shoe and immediately fell in love with it. It was more minimalist in its design without sacrificing any cushion. It's like they trimmed down the upper, and beefed up the cushion on the outsole.
Does the Timp 1.5 differ from the original model?
The Timp 1.5 doesn't vary much from the original, it's got a slightly softer midsole. The Timp 2 gets a bit of an upgrade though, they used a Quantic midsole to make the shoe even lighter and give it more cushion. It's also got a little more aggressive tread to further improve the grip on trail.
How many total miles did you use the Timp 1.5?
747 miles on the CDT - from Chief Mountain in Montana to Leadore, ID.
What was the first thing to wear out on these shoes?
The first wear & tear I noticed was at the interior bend near the ball of your foot. The mesh ripped where it connects to the sole on the inside of both shoes. That was after 360 miles while I was near Helena, MT. It didn't affect anything with the shoes, this type of wear & tear is pretty common with any shoe if you're walking in them all day, every day, and creasing them in the same spot.
What was the next wear & tear you noticed?
So as time goes on that single rip progressively gets bigger and bigger until it's an inch or two wide and at that point the shoes are pretty much done for. The good news here is that it it takes A LOT of miles for the tear in the mesh to affect your hiking. My pair lasted up until 747 miles before I retired them.
Any other issues you had with this pair?
I honestly didn't have any other issues with this shoe - the outsole of the shoe was getting pretty worn down after 600 miles which exceeds my expectations for a thru-hiking shoe. The only reason I had to retire them at 747 miles was because the ripped mesh had grown to the point where my shoes were effectively sandals.
So - Pros & Cons of the Altra Timp 1.5:
- The mesh upper is really breathable - my feet wouldn't get as hot or sweaty as other shoes.
- They dry super quickly - After river crossings they felt pretty dry after maybe 10 minutes in direct sun. I'd way rather have a trail running shoe like this that dries out quickly than a waterproof leather hiking boot. With a boot, if water does get inside the shoe it's really hard to dry out and can become an issue with moisture, fungus, athlete's foot, etc.
- The Outsole - These have more cushion than the Lone Peak, and they're the 2nd most supportive shoe in Altras line. It's the perfect amount of minimailist upper with an extremely supportive sole.
It's honestly REALLY hard to think of something I don't like about these shoes, but there is one downfall I would mention about the minimalist mesh upper. If you're bushwacking or moving through a lot of brush or high grass, these shoes are more susceptable to those annoying pokey things! We all know what they are but I don't know the technical term for them, little pokers that stick into your socks and can even sting.
The CDT isn't as much of a clean trail like the PCT or AT, so I did quite a bit of bushwacking and hiking through overgrown vegetation. I still love the mesh upper, and on a more blazed trail they're perfect.
Overall thoughts & Impressions on the Altra Timp 1.5?
I wish I had a never ending supply of these! I felt like I found the shoe for me after using these for 700+ miles. I love the Lone Peak but I definitely prefer the Timp for its added cushion and breathability.
Who would you recommend this shoe to?
I love Altras and highly recommend the Timps to everyone. From day-hikes, trail running, or just walking around town they perform great and are super comfortable. I'd especially recommend them to any long distance hikers, so if you plan on putting 100+ miles on trail in a given year definitely try a pair of Timps and see for yourself.
Men's Timp 1.5 - SOLD OUT
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