Editor rating:
9/10 on
User's rating:


  • Most responsive zero drop shoe I’ve worn;
  • Versatile and performs well over various surface types


  • Toe box is extremely wide--to the point the ride feels sloppy running downhill;
  • The laces are incredibly long and floppy.
  • Together these two features made The Ones look a little like clown shoes on my feet


Altra has truly created “The One” shoe that can do it all. They may never need to design another shoe.
The One
7.3 oz. (207 gr.)
100 US$
Altra’s The One is responsive enough for fast mile repeats and cushioned enough for long runs. Zero drop fans will love this shoe and I highly recommend these for runners who are skeptical of minimal and zero drop shoes because there is absolutely no compromise in performance, durability, or power.

Altra The One General Information

The One offers a foot-shaped toe-box and 18mm of stack height for comfort and durability. The AltraBound technology in the midsole is designed to provide optimal response off the ground that maximizes energy return with every stride.

Altra The One Impression

TheOne currently only comes in one color (seems appropriate for a shoe named as such): a vivid green. The laces and details on the women’s model are an exciting teal blue.The shoes stand out, but are not overwhelming like so many neon options promoted today. It is a good thing I like the green though, because all my white socks turned that same color after wearing them in these shoes.

The flat Speedpod™outsole of this shoe maps the bones of foot for flexibility that matches the natural movement of the foot. This feature make so much sense, it’s a wonder no one has marketed this design already.

The One can handle multiples types of terrain given its low profile and simple outsole, but is best on the roads. The no-frills upper fits comfortably with more than enough room in the toe-box. I recommend runners with narrow feet try on a pair before ordering since the toe-box can be overwhelmingly large on small feet.

Having never run in Altras before, The One really impressed me from the first run. They feel like no other zero-drop shoe I have run in. I could depend on these shoes for any type run from faster workouts to long runs. The One promotes an efficient stride and a high level of response with each step.

I did find, however, that given the oversized toe-box the shoes flimsily slapped the ground when running downhill or in wet conditions. Undoubtedly, though, The One is the most comfortable and responsive zero drop shoe I have run in.

Altra The One Sole Unit

As mentioned,the outsole employs Altra’s blow rubber Speedpod™ technology to simulate the natural flexibility of the bones of the foot. This feature provides just the right amount of flexibility while also maximizing response. The shoes provide a comfortable ride that is rather soft for a minimal shoe. I really appreciate the simplicity of this shoe’s sole unit. The midsole is composed of two layers of blended EVA.

The One is a great shoe for runners who have yet to experiment with zero drop footwear as it offers as much comfort and energy return as traditional running shoes while staying low to ground for improved form based on natural foot strike.

Altra The One Upper

The upper is a simple and comfortable quick-drying mesh. The tongue (typically an overlooked feature) is especially noteworthy on this shoe. It is so incredibly thin and soft that it is unnoticeable until wearing other shoes makes you realize the difference. The overly-wide toe-box is a signature Altra characteristic. For runners with wide feet, I imagine it is the best feature of the shoe; but for narrow feet it is just a little too much space.

Altra The One Opinion

As far as zero-drop shoes go, Altra really got it right with The One, all the way down to its name.

We thank the nice people at Altra for sending us a pair of The One to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.

Altra The One Price Comparison

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