Altra Zero Drop The 3-SUM is designed to meet the needs of the competitive triathlete. With a seamless upper, easy-on transition pull-tabs, quick-draw lacing system and heel/forefoot drain holes, the 3-SUM minimizes transition time and maximizes performance – get off the bike and run like there is no tomorrow!


Altra took the same performance training platform that The ONE is based on and took it one step further – for the better in my opinion. We recently reviewed Altra The ONE and it has one of our highest rating (5 stars) for a road shoe. The major differences are the uppers and lacing system.


The 3-SUM uppers has a thin sock-free liner that is treated for anti-odor and anti-bacterial. The lacing system is a custom Yankz quickdraw system for a customized fit and fast transition between your bike and run. The expandable lace cords form to your foot and reduce blistering and bruising. Detailed Yankz lacing instructions here and also included in the shoe box.


If you are adventurous, you can further customize by replacing the Yankz system with one that reflect your character – there are over 20 color combinations, reflective ones, and those with logos available from Yankz. I own a few pairs already.


There are also easy-on and easy-off transition pull tabs on the uppers and the outsole has additional heel and forefoot drain holes.

So how did Altra The 3-SUM perform?

Weighing in at about 0.5 ounce more than The ONE, the 3-SUM has the same stack height (18mm), cushioning (Blended EVA/AltraBound), and blown-runner SpeedPod outsole.


Running on both rubber track, asphalt, and non-technical trails, I took The 3-SUM on the same test routes as The ONE. The 3-SUM performed just as well as expected and more. I prefer The 3-SUM over The ONE because I don’t have to worry about the laces coming off and the ease in putting on and taking off the shoes. You don’t have to be participating in a triathlon to enjoy these additional features – with just half an ounce penalty in weight.


I did get some small pebbles/rocks coming into the shoes when running on non-technical trails – more so with The 3-SUM than The ONE. Since this is a road shoe, I might need to use a debris gaiter if I do long trail runs.

The pull tabs on the heel and tongue upper area add about an inch to the height of the uppers in the respective positions. And they are well worth it! The only other pair of shoes that I owned that have pull tabs is the Zoot Sports Ultra Speed, a popular triathlon shoe.


I highly recommend anyone who is starting to transition to zero drop minimal shoes to start with The ONE or The 3-SUM instead of the Altra Instinct or the Intuition because this is all the cushioning you need. The only improvement I could think of for Altra is the make the sockliner removable (for those who absolutely prefer minimal stack height) and finish the footbed (no exposed stitching).


The Altra Zero Drop The 3-SUM is available in a single colorway for Men:


It is also available in a single colorway for Women:



The Altra Zero Drop The 3-SUM is now available at: Altra

*Product provided by Altra Zero Drop (MSRP $130). CMP.LY/1 Review

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