Altra 3-Sum 50 Mile Review

The Altra 3-Sums were provided to me at no cost from Altra, with no expectation or agreement that I write anything about them. All comments about this product are my own and based on my actually using this product. Your experiences with this product might be different.

Here is my post on my initial impressions of the Altra 3-Sums running shoe.

It didn’t take many runs to get 50 miles on my Altra 3-Sums.

I have done a fast treadmill interval workout, 2 long tempo runs, a slow recovery run and a couple of get acquainted runs, so I have done just about all the different types of runs that I would normally subject my running shoes to and the 3-Sum’s have performed better than I expected.

No I would not take them on technical trails any more than I would other shoes designed to be run on the roads.

Stats from Runningwearhouse.com (no affiliation)

Weight: 8.2 oz (size 9)
Stack Height: Heel (13mm), Forefoot (13mm)
Available Widths: D=Medium
How It Fits (based on width D)
  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium to wide
  • Midfoot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Wide
  • Toebox Height: Medium to low
  • Arch Structure: Medium to low
  • Shoe Shape: Semi-Straight
Stats from OptimalRun.com (I have an affiliate link in my sidebar, which if you do click on and then purchase something, I get a percentage of the sale)
Altra 3-Sum Specifications
  • Heel to toe differential:  Zero
  • Stack height:  18mm
  • Weight:  6.8oz
  • MSRP:  $125.00

I like to show a couple of different website for comparison of how they are being advertised/marketed. Unfortunately, they are so new, that they are not listed on the Altra.com website – yet.

There are some differences in the stats and when comparing the 3-Sum to my Superiors, they look to have more cushioning, so I would say that the 18MM listed in the OptimalRun Stats might be more accurate.

I don’t have access to a scale, but the 3-Sum’s feel a lot closer the same weight as my Mizuno Ronin 4’s than my Altra Instinct 1.0’s or Mizuno Elixir 7’s. So while they are not feather-light, they are still very light.

Look and Appearance: I like the colorways on the shoe, I am a big fan of reds, oranges and yellow, so this is definitely a Harold shoe. I have always liked the slip on tongueless shoe style, there is just something about them that feel very comfortable for me. I did change the stock black elastic lacing to a yellow LockLace, which I liked better.

Fit/Comfort: The size 8, 3-Sum’s fit my feet perfectly and are very comfortable to walk and run in. The only problem I am having with them is the same that I am experiencing with my other running shoes as well, is my right little toe area becomes very uncomfortable when I wear socks with compression in that area. When I go sockless the problem resolves itself pretty quickly.

However, when I went sockless in the 3-Sum for 5.0 miles on 4/10/13, it did rub my right achilles. This was because of the seam at the top of the heel counter, inside of the pull tab. This was simply me doing too much to soon. If I was to go sockless more often (which it looks like I might have to), this would not be an issue.

Sole: There is no noticeable sole wear after 50 miles, the design does seem to pick up little rocks once in a while, but I don’t notice them, since there is enough cushioning. The sole design has worked well on tar, wet conditions, dirt and concrete.

The 3-Sum’s are not, at least in my opinion, a minimalist shoe. I believe they fall nicely into my light-weight trainer category. The 3-Sum is being primarily targeted to the triathlon community, due to how easy it is to slip on and the drainage holes in the sole. However, I find they work fine for me as a light-weight daily trainer and as a faster pace shoe for speedwork or racing, especially for those who want a zero drop shoe for those purposes and like the tongueless design (which I do).

Now I have some decisions to make, I like them enough that I am considering wearing them to my next 5K race instead of a much lighter shoe, primarily due to the zero drop and how I run a little differently in zero drop shoes.

They could also be my primary training shoe or the running shoe that I would run longer races in, especially after yesterday’s 13.1 training run at a 7:55 pace. However, I also recently bought the Altra Torin’s which are in the mix for those the same purposes as well.

Hmmm runner’s problems, I guess it is a good problem to have. It will depend on the mood I am in that day, which will decide which shoe I decide to run in.

Either way the 3-Sums are definitely part of my current running shoe rotation and yes I do like them a LOT. It will be interesting to see how they are doing at the 300 mile point.

FTC Disclaimer: New guidance from the FTC requires that if my post includes or mentions products that I have received free of charge or that I am receiving monetary considerations for, that I am required to disclose this to you the reader – whether the product is the primary focus of my post or just incidentally mentioned in the post. There is no time limit on this requirement, which means whenever I mention a product that I have received for free that I still have to publish a disclaimer about it.

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