Altra One

9.0
9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0)] = Runnerclick score (9.0)/10

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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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All Altra Shoes
Altra OneReview Facts

Altra might not be the most broadly known shoe company, but it’s clear with their simply-titled One that they’re planning on becoming a fixture in the industry, and fast. It all starts at the top with the Altra One, with its Quick Dry Air Mesh that provides a breathable element to the shoe, allowing your feet to stay cool and dry while simultaneously keeping out the elements. Its outsole is made out of blown rubber, which allows it to provide a high degree of durability and traction for your run. It comes in several stylish color options, so you won’t just be stuck with a couple generic options. The shoe is quite affordable, and it’s got a responsive midsole that gives you plenty of cushioning and flexibility.

Pros
  • Breathable Quick Dry Air Mesh
  • Improved durability
  • Blown rubber for better traction
  • Plenty of color options
  • Affordable
  • Midsole is cushioned and flexible
Cons
  • Less cushioning and arch support than predecessors
  • Toe box is tight
  • Narrow heel area
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Altra One is helped greatly by the proprietary FootPod technology that follows the natural flow and form of the foot to allow it to move naturally. This will provide for maximum responsiveness and flexibility during your run. That isn't all when it comes to the outsole. It also features a blown rubber construction that makes this shoe especially durable and tough. You should keep in mind, though, that the flex grooves of this shoe might have a tendency to accumulate mud and muck while you're running, so you should probably avoid muddy trails. This might not be the best shoe for a mud run.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Altra One's midsole is fairly advanced, in that it takes advantage of the Dual Layer EVA in order to provide an appropriate level of cushioning. It also uses A-bound technology to provide an efficient level of energy return as well as underfoot cushioning. It reduces the ground impact you're going to feel, meaning that this running shoe is excellent for most any road surface. It also has InnerFlex technology that allows your feet to flex naturally in the shoe, making it so that your feet react naturally to the rigors of the run.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Altra One has an upper that's quite a bit more advanced than the uppers of its predecessors. One of these updates is the Quick Dry Air Mesh that offers breathability as well as support. It keeps your feet cool and dry, and it also does a good job of wicking the water away, meaning that you can run in the rain and not have to worry about your feet getting wet and cold. The upper also features asymmetrical lacing, following the natural contours of the foot instead of trying to force a shape that isn't natural. It also has a 5mm removable insole to provide more traditional support while leaving open the option to get rid of it if needed.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Altra One features a running shoe weight that while it isn't the absolute lightest that we've seen, is really close to reaching that. The men's version of the shoe weighs in at a paltry 6.3 oz. while the women's version is only an astounding 5.2 oz. This extreme lightweight design is going to be quite noticeable while you're out on the road or the trail, as you won't be fighting against the shoe but instead working with it. Every aspect of the shoe works together, delivering quality features to you while also keeping to a light weight and form function.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

If there's one thing that the Altra One does well, it's being breathable. It all starts (and mostly ends) with the Quick Dry Air Mesh system. This system staves off moisture while at the same time providing you with breathable coverage. When you add to this the fact that it has the ability to naturally wick water away from the shoe, it becomes a no-brainer to choose this particular running shoe, especially if you plan on running in poor weather conditions. Again, though, you should recognize that this shoe won't necessarily fare well on muddy trails, so run wisely.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

It's a mixed bag when it comes to comfort on the Altra One. On one hand, you have the upper and the midsole which are very well-cushioned, allowing you to get a smooth ride no matter how difficult the terrain might be. On the other hand, you have issues where some runners have stated that the toe box and even the heel itself have been a little too tight and narrow, allowing for crowding to occur. With that said, you might want to order a half size larger to account for both crowding and foot swelling.
Style
Style

Style

Style is where the Altra One really shines. Just as the name of the shoe itself implies a certain level of class and minimalism, the shoe offers a variety of color options and styles that will suit just about anyone's tastes. Altra might be relatively new to the game, put they're pulling out all of the stops to provide a shoe that isn't just loaded with features, isn't just extremely lightweight, but also a shoe that will be sure to turn a few heads while you're out on the road or the trails.
Durability
Durability

Durability

To be sure, the durability of the Altra One has been drastically improved from its predecessors. This is largely due to the blown rubber construction of the outsole, but it's just as crucial that it has a midsole that provides protection on both the outside and the inside. The last thing you want is a running shoe that will only last a couple of years, the outsole blown out and the cushioning worn down. You won't have to worry about this with the Altra One, as it was designed to last long.
Protection
Protection

Protection

When it comes to protection, the first thing you think about in a running shoe probably isn't the upper. But when it comes to the Altra One, that is the first thing you should think about. That's because this upper is designed to protect you from the elements while simultaneously making sure your feet don't heat up too much or get wet. For sure, you should stay away from running in really muddy conditions, but running on a rainy road will be no problem for you if you're wearing these shoes.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The tricky thing about any running shoe is finding a balance between a tough and durable exterior and a responsive ride. Altra has found this delicate balance in their simply named One shoe. They utilize a tough and durable external shell of an outsole that will stand up to the hard conditions of most any road surface while still remaining responsive and springy. This dynamic outsole is helped by a midsole that is responsive on both the inside and outside. Other running shoes are capable of pulling this off too, of course, but few can do it while also keeping the shoe super light.
Support
Support

Support

Uppers on running shoes aren't exactly seen as the strongest and most supportive element of a shoe. This is all different with the Altra One, however. The shoe's upper cushions your foot, sure, but it also keeps it in place so that you won't be slipping out of the shoe and potentially rolling an ankle or worse. It has contour footbeds that allow you to get more traditional support for your feet, delivering a classic experience that has been adjusted to meet the increasing demands of competitive runners. If this can stand up to marathons, triathlons, and other such rigorous races, you can bet it'll stand up to an ordinary run.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Simply put, the Altra One was quite obviously designed to handle any and all road terrains. While it would probably do well in more technical trails that incorporate simple gravel or dirt constructions, you probably shouldn't take this running shoe out on muddy terrain. While the outsole would have no problem standing up to the demands of the terrain, there's a good chance that you'll get mud stuck between the flex grooves on the bottom of the shoe. This is similar to how athletes wearing cleats for soccer or football will have to pick out mud and grass from where it accumulates between the cleats.
Price
Price

Price

For how many features and lightness that the Altra One is packing, the price is outrageously low. Keep in mind that it isn't the cheapest running shoe out there, but as of this writing, it was priced at less than $100. As you might expect, Amazon had the cheapest price by far, so you should consider pulling the trigger and going with them for this purchase. They have even better prices than some of the dedicated running shoe supplier sites, which truly boggles the mind. You can do a lot worse for your money than going with this dynamic running shoe.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Traction is where the Altra One really shines. This is completely due to the proprietary technology of the advanced outsole, incorporating subtle flex grooves that will easily grip the road. While this means that the shoe isn't meant for muddy terrain, it also means that you'd be hard-pressed to find a better running shoe for on the road. This is one of the few aspects of the shoe where only a single feature contributes to the cohesive whole.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

With a running shoe as rigid and durable as the Altra One is, you'd expect the shoe to really suffer when it comes to flexibility. However, in this case you'd be wrong. The flex grooves really do a great job at allowing your ride to adapt to the road environment. While you might not need a whole lot of flexibility while running on the road, you'll still have that support if and when you need it. This is further backed up by the midsole that is flexible from both the inside and the outside. Your ride will be improved as a result, allowing you to take on steep inclines, broken up road surfaces, and even packed-in gravel.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The superior stability of the Altra One all starts with the inside of the midsole, which has been designed with the idea of allowing the foot to move in its natural direction instead of being stuck to rigid movements that will impede your natural flow. Usually, when you have this high level of flexibility in a shoe, the stability of it suffers as a result. This simply isn't the case with the Altra One. It somehow accomplishes the task of being extremely flexible and stable, all while weighing in at a minuscule amount, allowing you to get a great toe-off and a smooth ride.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Quite simply, we here at RunnerClick can guarantee that you won't find a better heel to toe drop on any other running shoe other than the Altra One. That's because the heel to toe drop on this running shoe is 0.0mm. That's right. There is no heel to toe drop on this shoe. This means that as soon as you touch the ground, you'll be able to push off with ease, making your stride that much more fluid. When you couple this with the fact that the shoe weighs very little, it's a no-brainer that any serious athlete who cares about every tenth of a second should buy this shoe.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

You can't go wrong with the Altra One in terms of key features. It has a Quick Dry Air Mesh system put in place to allow for the proper ventilation of the feet while preventing the elements from getting in. It has durability like you wouldn't believe, improved even from its predecessors. It has a blown rubber construction on its outsole, allowing for greater flexibility and durability than most other running shoes out there. It has plenty of colors and styles to choose from and is extremely affordable for a running shoe of its caliber. It's all held together by a midsole that cushions well and protects the foot from harm.
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the Altra One is a comprehensive running shoe that has all of the features you've come to expect from upstart Altra at a fraction of the price of a typical running shoe. It has an upper that keeps your foot snug, protected, dry, and cushioned, a midsole that protects from both the interior and the exterior, and an outsole that utilizes proprietary technology to make sure your foot is protected from any road surface while also providing the flexibility that you need to best adapt to any environment. And again, this running shoe is priced so competitively that you can actually get a mediocre gym shoe for the same price. Altra has a real winner in its simply named One shoe.