Shoe Name: Altra Zero
Weight: 6.4 oz (men’s 9.0)
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Forefoot: Probably one of the best shoes in regards to getting the forefoot “perfect”. It has a nice wide toebox which allows full movement of your toes. Any mild to moderate bunion deformity will have plenty of room in this shoe. The upper is a soft mesh that is forgiving and breathable. The toebox is so ideal that I recommend this shoe for a lot of my patients who have bunions and hammertoes.
Cushion: There is much more cushion in this shoe as opposed to the New Balance Minimus Zeros and the Merrell Barefoot Gloves. It’s a firm cushion and not squishy like the Skechers GOrun which makes the ride more stable and less “wobbly”. Definitely plenty of cushion for a marathon.
Flexibility: Very flexible which allows the foot to work the way it should. The shoe can be rolled up demonstrating perfect flexibility. It’s basically a nice firm cushion platform with a flexibility in all planes and no arch support or form for the foot. The foot bed insert is described as a “contour footbed” which will form to the foot but offers no support.
Overall: I like to call this a perfect cushioned minimalist shoe with no support. It’s a ideal shoe for a runner who wants a minimalist shoe with some cushion for a long run. Over the past two years I have seen a lot of runners who transitioned to minimalist shoes in my practice pick this shoe and I have since been recommending it. My wife had ran 4 marathons in a pair New Balance Minimus and was wanting some more cushion so I picked this shoe for her. She’s logged about 300 miles in them since putting them on and hasn’t taken them off! Her only complaint that I keep hearing is “the laces are too long!”. That’s no big deal. You can tuck the ends into the crossed parts of the laces on the midfoot or simply cut the ends and melt them to stop them from fraying. My wife is really particular about what she puts on her feet so for her to stick with this one means a lot. She’s tested some others before settling on this.