The RW Takeaway: With a 2mm increase in stack height, the Rivera 3 has a more cushioned and supportive ride that doesn’t weigh you down.

  • Preceded By: Rivera, Rivera 2
  • Key Tech: Altra Ego midsole, zero-drop offset (balanced cushioning), men’s- and women’s-specific FootShape lasts

Altra Rivera 3

Rivera 3

Altra Rivera 3

$140 at Amazon
  • Increased stack height
  • Molded heel collar
  • Narrow fit
Weight8.6 oz (M), 7.4 oz (W)
Drop0 mm

Buy Men’s Buy Women’s

Something felt different running in this Rivera. I’ve sung praises about past versions, favoring their lightweight yet supportive cushioning, but I’d occasionally catch my toe on uneven sidewalk if I was too tired or, if I’m honest, in la-la land. I had less need for caution in the 3, more freedom for dillydallying in my head.

More From Runner's World
preview for HDM All Sections Playlist - Runners World US

The biggest change in this iteration is the increased stack height, and judging by my experience running in zero-drop shoes (i.e., scraped knees), I think that additional 2mm matters.

The Rivera 3 rides smoother and softer. It’s an ideal option for runners looking for a minimalism-inspired cushioned trainer or for the zero-drop novice who wants to see what Altra’s balanced cushioning is all about.

altra rivera 3

There’s plenty of room in the toebox, but some runners may feel a little tightness in the midfoot. The Rivera has Altra’s slim foot shape, which is the narrowest shoe form compared to the brand’s standard and original lasts. Even though the saddle felt snug, my instep didn’t feel like it was being squeezed in a vise. A tester had a similar experience with the Rivera’s fit.

“This shoe is good for those with average-sized feet,” she said. “I found the Rivera to be very narrow and snug in the midfoot. I actually liked that feeling, but for some it may be too tight.”

altra rivera 3
The women’s version accommodates a foot with a narrower heel and higher arch.
Thomas Hengge

Tester Feedback

Aly C. | Tester since 2017

Arch Height: Medium | Pronation: Overpronator | Footstrike: Midfoot

“I enjoyed running in this shoe and felt the ride was quite smooth and comfortable. It was very light and the upper has a mesh lining which helps to manage temperature. While I liked those features, nothing really stuck out that would make me rank the Rivera especially high. It is a nice mid-level cushioned shoe and I will continue to wear it for my daily runs.”

Headshot of Amanda Furrer
Amanda Furrer
Test Editor

Amanda is a test editor at Runner’s World who has run the Boston Marathon every year since 2013; she's a former professional baker with a master’s in gastronomy and she carb-loads on snickerdoodles.