Altra One Two? Altra One squared? Whatever. Altra’s marketing department screwed up big time when they came up with the name for the successor of the Altra One. It’s hard to find in Google or in online shops, and you’ll find completely different results depending on whether you type one name or the other. In the end, I bought it in a nice running shop in the City, even though I had to pay an extra 20 quid.
Yeah, I have to admit, this shoe is rather ugly, but it came highly recommended by the Quiet Roman. This was my first zero-drop shoe (i.e. no height difference between heel and toes) and it has a 23mm stack. This amount of cushioning may seem a lot to a barefoot runner, but to me it was reassuring to start my journey towards minimalistic shoes.
My first impression was something like “Feck, this shoe is light!”. I checked, that’s about 210 grammes per shoe: this is about the same weight as an iPhone 6 plus, and it’s much cheaper. Also, it’s much easier to strap on your feet. Altra 1 – iPhone 0.
The next thing that struck me was that this shoe is very comfortable (23mm of flexible foam has to be more comfy than the 7.1mm of an iPhone 6 Plus, even if it’s famous for bending easily). I have very wide feet and this shoe has a very wide toe box, which felt great right from the first time I tried them on. Though some people have reported that the toe box is somewhat low and their toes hit the top at every step (not the case for me, and it seems to have been fixed in the next model). Altra 2 – iPhone 0.
The main reproach I have for this shoe is the longevity. After 200 km of running, the fabric cracked. My guess is that this happened because my feet are really oddly shaped and I almost run on the side of them, which puts a lot of strain on the top of the shoes. Add to that the fact that for whatever reason, I mostly ran on wet days with them, this may have weakened the fabric. Anyway, even an iPhone lasts longer than that. Altra 2 – iPhone 1.
In the end, I’d probably recommend this shoe despite my misfortune. It’s still better than the iPhone. The Quiet Roman has a pair of them and he’s really happy with them, so is the Mad Cook. It seems to have been replaced by the Altra One 2.5 which settles the name issue, and supposedly, the toe box size (which might or might not have prevented my shoe to crack). Anyway, if I have convinced you to buy this shoe (I doubt that) you can buy it here for men here for men and here for women. Thanks for your generosity!