The Altra One v. 3 is Altra’s continued answer to the ergonomically designed, light and fast racing flat. According to Altra the One V.3 “will stand up to miles of speed training and racing alike.” The Altra-standard Footshape toe box and zero drop design are meant to help runners maintain proper form, even when running on fatigued legs. This design element is continued in this newest iteration of the One shoe.
Out of the box, our testers noticed the increased space in the toe box. The midfoot and heel were perfect and the lacing helped secure the foot. However, the larger space in the toe box made some of the testers feel the responsively of the shoe was impacted.
More true to size than previous versions, fit well and comfortable.
Our testers liked the new and improved stiffer upper, particularly for its breathability (despite the new overlay), sturdiness, and durability. As compared to the previous 2.5 version, the 3.0 provides more durability while remaining lightweight and streamlined. This solves the shoe’s previous models’ issues with its ability to stand up to high mileage and varied terrain. There is a new TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) overlay for more stability, though not optimal support for a longer, more technical trail run that would necessitate a bit more support laterally.
In terms of flexibility, the upper does not offer much. In fact, as one tester wrote, “It seemed stiff and rather uncomfortable,” and this was perhaps due to the TPU overlay, which for some is an improvement over the last model, but not for others. This new stiffer overlay caused a few testers to have some discomfort where the forefoot bends, compared to the much more flexible Escalante. Otherwise, our testers were fairly happy with the overall re-do of the shoe. “It was lightweight and held up very well,” said one.
Improved overlays and durability of on the upper.
Performance-wise, reviews were mixed. Touted as a light and fast speedwork shoe, the One did not make our road testers feet happy. In fact, they preferred the Escalante for speed work over the One. The shoe does not seem to be a vast improvement over the last model, although the shoe works well for runs up to 10 miles. The shoes are “unresponsive” and “sluggish” and could use some improvement in the transition from heel to toe. The shoe is “nothing to scream about” said one tester.
A decent road and training shoe. Nothing to scream about.
The Blown Rubber FootPod Outsole of the One V.3 is sturdy and durable. The lugless sole can prove a liability on grass and trail, but function excellently as road and track shoes. The outsole helps maintain a minimal weight and great traction.
Blown Rubber is firm, without being too stiff. Seemed to wear well.
The redesigned midsole is stiffer and less flexible than previous versions. This poses an issue of responsiveness and comfort for our testers. Some felt sluggish when wearing. Others enjoyed the stiffness, saying that it allowed you to feel the surface you are on, “a good, solid feel.”
The Innerflex EVA was designed to be more firm than the V2.5, but it ended up being too firm, and fairly unresponsive.
Our testers put nearly a 1,000 miles on these shoes and did not see any obvious wear. The shoes maintained their great looks and the outsole wore well. The TPU overlay helped maintain the durability of the upper.
No breakdown issues at all, whether it’s the outsole, midsole or upper fabric.
Most of our testers loved the aesthetics of the new shoes. Many of them loved the more modern and bright color scheme. The dual colors worked great and the team received many compliments. A few, on the other hand, felt the shoes were a bit too flashy.
I had 4-5 people comment on how cool they looked within an hour of wearing them the first time.
Overall Consensus: 3
The new Altra One V3 is an okay shoe, whose improvements may not be what they are cracked up to be. The key word in our review has been stiff. Both outer sole and midsole are stiffer, which may work for some but for the vast majority of folks will just feel, well, stiffer and less responsive to the natural movement and positioning of the foot while running. The new TPU overlay, while adding some durability to the upper, provides more stiffness, which isn’t necessarily helpful in a racing flat.
- Ideal Uses: 5k
- Stack Height: 23 mm
- Weight: 7.6 oz. / 215 g
- Cushioning: Light
- Drop: Zero Drop™
- Last: PFS1.5-M
- Midsole: InnerFlex™ EVA
- Outsole: Blown Rubber FootPod Outsole
- Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed
- Upper: Lightweight Quick-Dry Air Mesh