Fall 2013 Road Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

  • By Brian Metzler
  • Published Sep. 5, 2013
  • Updated Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:51 AM UTC

Altra 3-Sum, $130

weights: 8.2 oz. (men’s); 6.4 oz. (women’s)

heights: 13mm (heel), 13mm (forefoot)

Fit: It sports Altra’s foot-shaped forefoot and fits snug in the heel and midfoot, but very roomy in the toe box. The one-pull, elastic quick laces do a good job of securing the shoe, but some wear-testers felt the forefoot was a bit too swimmy.

Feel: It’s built with a “zero-drop” profile (meaning a runner’s foot sits level in the shoe), but it offers a happy medium between feel for the ground and protection against the impact of every footstrike.

Ride: Lightweight and luscious, this race-day triathlon shoe has been designed with minimalist traits while still offering a reasonable amount of cushioning and protection. It serves up a smooth, low-to-the-ground ride without the pounding common to most “barely-there” shoes. The more efficient your stride, the more you’ll reap the benefits of this shoe’s unique design features and low-profile construction. (An added bonus is a removable stability wedge that offers additional medial support with 5mm of additional foam.)

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Brian Metzler

Brian Metzler

Brian Metzler is the editor-in-chief of Competitor magazine. He has raced every distance from 50 yards to 100 miles and run in more than 700 pairs of running shoes in the past 25 years. You can reach him at

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