Please Note: The Altra 3-Sums were provided as a free sample from Altra, with no expectation or agreement that I write anything about them. All comments are my own and based on my actually using this product, please be aware that your experiences with this product might be different.
I just got the Altra 3-Sum in tonight and in the short time that I have had them, I have been very impressed.
Although the shoes are designed with tri-athletes in mind – I am not a tri-guy, but I have always liked tongue-less, lighter and brightly colored running shoes, so I really wanted to try the 3-Sum.
Especially when I found out they were built on the same last as the Altra Superiors, which I love.
Appearance – The first thing you notice about these shoes is the color, they are a blended yellow and orange, which are two of my favorite colors. They are definitely what TheWife calls “Harold” shoes. The way that Altra mixed the colorways on this shoe, makes for a very sharp looking shoe and shows how far Altra has come from their original design, while keeping true to the wide toe box.
Here are the Atra 3-Sum’s specifications from the Optimal Run website:
Altra 3-Sum Specifications
- Heel to toe differential: Zero
- Stack height: 18mm
- Weight: 6.8oz
- MSRP: $125.00
Construction – The 3-Sums are a zero drop shoe that has a very minimal design on the uppers. They are seamless, with very few sewn-on overlays. The 3-Sum’s do not have a detached tongue. But do have finger holes in the heel and tongue to make it easy to grab on and pull them on. They are designed to be worn with or without socks, which I will test out to see how they do and feel either way.
The 3-Sum does have a heel counter, but it is very flexible and shouldn’t bother me at all.
The sole unit should wear well and have decent grip on a variety of surfaces, however, they are not for heavy trail use, but on dirt roads or easy trails, I wouldn’t hesitate using them. The 3-Sum is very flexible (not quite Nike Free flexible), but quite flexible. I don’t know what 12 holes are for (maybe drainage? – update – I got confirmation from +Altra Zero Drop Footwear on Twitter that is what they are for), that is something I will research more.
The only two things from my initial look at the design side are the high tab on the heel pull (will it cause any blisters?) and if the heel is wider or if it just feels that way due to my needing to cinch down the shoe a little more.
Speaking of the lacing – the stock elastic lacing is a nice system and very adjustable, but I had a pair of yellow LockLaces that were just crying out to be put on these shoes. I do like the yellow laces better than the black, they just go better with the colors the shoe has.
Fit – The fit is very close to the Superior’s sizing and fits my 7 3/4 foot, better than other shoes I have worn. I like the wide toe box that all Altra’s are known for, but as I said above, I am wondering what the heel fit will be like when I actually start to run in them.
I got them too late to go for a run tonight, but after my 5K race in the morning, I plan to do a few miles while waiting for the finish of the Half marathon. I will give them a good initial run and be able to discuss how they feel actually running in them.
This is one of the first pair of running shoes in a long time, that I can honestly say that I am really excited to run in and see how they perform.