Fall 2013 Road Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

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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