Gear Review: Altra The One

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After reading about Altra shoes I was quite interested in trying a pair of their shoes. More than anything I was interested in seeing how their idea of a zero drop shoe would work for me.

For those of you who are not familiar with Altra and their approach to designing running shoes their idea was to develop a running shoe that encouraged proper running form. They felt that elevated heels and narrow toe boxes in other running shoes was hurting runners more than helping them. You can read more about that here.

Recently I was sent a pair of Altra The One2 to test. I was looking for a light neutral shoe to add to my rotation and thought this model would be fun to try. Weighing 5.9 ounces they certainly fit that criteria. 

Picking these shoes up out of the box the first thing I noticed was how light they were. When I ran in them it felt like I was wearing a pair of slippers. They feel like a shoe that is made for a fast run.

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Altra, suggests taking time to transition to a zero drop shoe. Since I am used to running in shoes with an 8-10 mm heal drop I was hoping the transition would not take too long.

The first week I had the shoes I used them for my my easy run over to the set of stairs where I have been doing my calf workouts, approximately a very easy 3.5 km run. Week two saw me use them for an easy 9 km run and a more intense workout as I used them for my hill workout, approximately 9 km.

My last run in them so far, was last Sunday’s long run of 28 km. I was certainly pleased to have them on my feet when I ran the first and last 6 km at my goal marathon pace.

My calf muscles were a little stiff on Monday but otherwise I felt no effects from that long run. So I would suggest waiting another week or two before doing such a long run if you are new to zero drop shoes as I was.

I am planning to give them another shot on a long run in order to see if this shoe would be a good race day shoe for me in the marathon distance. As it stands I think they have good potential for that.

Overall I really like these shoes. For a shoe with minimal amount of cushioning they have a very soft feel to them when you run in them. The other aspect I like about them is the wide toe box. I don’t generally wear wide shoes but I have had pairs of running shoes that felt tight in the toe box depending on what socks I was wearing. Obviously that is not an issue with Altra shoes.

If you are looking for a fast shoe I recommend giving  The One2 a try. Just make sure to take your time transitioning to the zero drop if you are not already used to running in a more minimalist shoe. I am certainly looking forward to getting in some more quick runs in my pair. 

Note: the opinions expressed here are mine. Although a pair of shoes to test I was not paid to write this post.

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