Altra One V3 Review Facts
Altra was founded by an elite athlete who concerned about the high amount of running injuries he was seeing and experiencing. He decided to design a shoe with the goal of eliminating these chronic injuries. The result was the first zero drop, cushioned running shoe and the Altra Brand.
The Altra One V3 is the most lightweight of the One series. In its first iterations, runners complained that the model sacrificed durability for lightweight features, but in the V3, Altra made some important changes. It increased the durability of the upper and outsole but kept what runners loved about the product, the zero drop cushioning. This is a fast shoe that runners love as a companion for their speed work, track workouts, and overall faster races.
The outsole of this shoe is made from an extremely durable blown rubber material. It also offers a FootPod for added durability. This outsole is more sturdy than other zero drop shoes, but it still able to be very light because it lacks lugs. This is not a shoe for your extreme off-road adventures
because of the lack of powerful gripping material on the underfoot.
The Altra One V3 is a zero drop shoe, and traditionally that means the midsole of a running shoe is either non-existent or extremely minimalistic. What sets this shoe apart from other zero drop shoes like Vibram
is that the midsole of this shoe is actually fully cushioned. This midsole is made using a combination of a tradition midsole foam, EVA and Altra's patented A-Bound midsole
material. This cushioning is balanced from the toes to the heel to ensure that runners can still utilize a proper zero-drop running technique in these shoes.
One of the key changes that Altra
made to the One V3 was to improve the durability of the upper. In the previous version, runners commented the upper broke down too easily and began to look worn more quickly. In the newest version, runners no longer have to worry about premature aging. Due to the TPU overlays found on the upper of this shoe, runner received added durability, but some commented that the upper took some breaking in before it stopped feeling too stiff.
The upper of the shoe is made using a breathable mesh material. In addition to this element of the shoe that is breathable, Altra also uses a unique lacing system to add even more breathability. Because their lacing system gives the shoe a more open look and feel, without sacrificing fit, the forefoot of the foot can breathe during runs. Runners reported being initially skeptical of this element, but once they tried it, they loved the added airflow it provided.
This shoe is a lightweight racing shoe. The ideal distance that runners suggest for this shoe is the 5k race. The cushioning of the midsole provides enough added to support to take a runner quickly and comfortably through this distance. The shoe weighs in at only 7.8 ounces, but this is actually heavier than some other top zero drop running shoes on the market. The key difference in weight comes from the cushioning provided by the midsole.
Altra believes that comfort comes from a less is more mentality. This shoe features a zero drop, but it is unique because it also offers extra cushioning in the midsole. This ensures that the alignment of the runner's major pressure points, the feet, back, and overall body posture get less impact. In the One V3, that impact is absorbed by the cushioning of the midsole. The midsole of this shoe is fully lined from the heel to the toe in a combination of midsole materials. Altra One V3 uses a combination of a tradition midsole foam, EVA midsole foam, and their patented A-Bound midsole material. Runners also love the overall zero drop features. They report that because of this design, they feel that their calves and Achilles are being strengthened in ways that they never were with traditional, higher heel drop brands.
Runners who loved a brightly colored, vibrant shoe, loved the look of the Altra One 3. Runners can choose from a few different options that range in color from a muted black to a vibrant yellow. Runners said that this shoe had a great runner look to it, but it didn't have that same style as a Nike.
This is not a fashion shoe, but it is a serious running shoe that also happens to be good looking.
Runners really liked the responsiveness of this shoe. The lightweight nature eliminates the problem of the clunky outsole and midsole material interfering in the feel of the road. Like many zero drop shoes, the thinner outsole and midsole makes it possible for runners to more accurately feel the road below them. This makes changing directions and pace
easy and safe. The underfoot of the Altra One 3 also has a higher level of traction which aids in its overall responsiveness.
Runners who love zero drop shoes will sometimes comment that the uncushioned midsole affords no cushioning or shock absorption. The unique element of the Altra One V3 is that although it is a zero drop shoe, it still offered midsole cushioning. This protects the runner from the shock of each stride. The patented A-Bound midsole is a unique compound. It can be found directly below the foot and its sole purpose is to protect the foot from harmful shock and reduce the impact of the pavement on the runner.
One of the key ways that the Altra One V3 supports the foot of the runner is through the non-traditional design of their toe box. Since the traditional design of running shoes is pointy and can lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis.
To prevent against these common runner injuries, Altra uses its patented Footshape Toe Box that promotes a natural toe splay. Because the toes are in a better position, the overall gait of the runner is improved. In addition to the support provided to the runner via the midsole, the upper of the shoe also provides some structural supports. It is made from a breathable mesh, but it also comes with TPU overlays to give the shoe structural support. The TPU overlays help the shoe to keep its shape without feeling stifling or preventing airflow.
Not only does this shoe feature a durable and breathable upper through the use of TPU overlays, the midsole of the shoe is also made from materials that are scientifically proven to fight wear and tear. In addition to the EVA foam used in the midsole, The Altra One V3 is also made using A-Bound. This foam is designed to compress far less than more traditional midsole materials which mean it will be able to maintain its original form and function over time. In the long run, this means that the shoe will need to be replaced less frequently.
This shoe is designed for the roads
. Because of its lightweight nature, runners loved this shoe for speed work and races. They reported that this is a good shoe to use on track workouts because of the added traction found in the outsole. Although the underfoot has no lugs, there is a higher level of traction. These are not suggested for your extreme outdoor adventure, but a groomed trail is ok for this shoe too.
The Altra brand
works hard to provide their runners with affordable, high quality products. The outsole and upper of the shoe are highly durable and runners reported that they didn't need to replace these shoes as often as other pairs they have owned, making them an excellent value.
Although the underfoot of this shoe doesn't come with lugs for added grip, it still provides the runner with added traction. This is a road running shoe but the added traction of the outsole allows this shoe to traverse groomed trails
While the outsole of this shoe offers flexibility to the runner, the upper of the shoe is more stiff, mostly due to the TPU overlays. This is a zero drop shoe and it is designed to promote a natural gait cycle. For this reason, the thinner outsole is very flexible and responsive. On the other hand, runners reported that the upper of the shoe felt much stiffer and much less flexible than the outsole.
One of the signature elements of the zero drop shoe is that it doesn't offer added stability or support to the runner. Those who ascribe to the zero drop philosophy of running believe that all of the added stability features of more traditional running shoes are actually hurting us in the long because they are keeping key muscles in our legs from fully developing. You won't find added stability
features in this shoe.
Altra is one of the original zero drop shoes on the market today. They have been on the market since the 90s and they have been working to perfect the technology of the zero drop shoe and make Altra the best brand for a zero drop shoe. The unique element of these zero drop shoes is that while most zero drop
shoes lack any midsole cushioning what so ever, these shoes do offer some support in the midsole. This added cushioning is why runners say this zero drop shoe is great for speed work but can also go on longer runs too.
- Footshape Toe box reduces the risk of injury and improves overall gait
- Dual A-Bound and EVA midsole
- TPU overlays protect the shoe from wear and tear
- A-Bound midsole foam is responsive and durable
- Blown Rubber outsole adds durability without adding unwanted weight
- Unique lacing system provides a better fit and more airflow to the upper
The Altra line is one of the original zero drop shoes on the market. They have taken their original design and improved it by adding cushioning to the midsole while still maintaining a zero heel drop. The upper of the shoe fits snuggly and is breathable but doesn't offer much flexibility to the runner. The outsole is made from a durable blown rubber and also includes a unique footpod. The underfoot design doesn't feature lugs which reduce the traction of this shoe, making it a poor choice for off-road
adventures. The Blown Rubber FootPod Outsole of the One V3 is sturdy and durable. Due to its lightweight nature, runners love this shoe for speedwork and fast racing, but the reported the added cushioning of the midsole makes this shoe safe for long runs too.