The Altra One Junior is a running shoe for kids who love to run. My son is pretty serious about his running. He set a NH state half-marathon record last fall, led his cross country team to the state championships, and hopes to break 20 minutes in the 5K before entering 7th grade. He also loves his gear- tall socks, colorful shoes, and matching kit. So, when I gave him a pair of Altra One Jr. running shoes he was stoked. The Altra One looks good, and performs even better.
The first thing you’ll notice about Altras is the foot-shaped toe box. This allows for the toes to splay naturally and the big toe to remain straight for a more powerful and stable stride. With traditional running shoes, the toes get smooshed together to conform to the shoe. Altra allows the toes to function naturally.
Once you actually pick up the Altra One Jr. your next thought will be: “Wow! These things are light.” They weigh in at just 4 oz. each. I’m pretty sure I have winter socks that weigh more than that. The deep flex grooves along the outsole are designed to increase flexibility. The result is a featherweight shoe that feels like it’s hardly there.
My son transitioned from an ASICS Kayano to the Altra One Jr. over a period of two weeks. The zero drop Altra is a big change from the traditional geometry of the ASICS Kayano. He alternated between the two every other day, and then wore his ASICS every third day. Now, he mostly runs in his Altras except for his long slow runs where he likes the added cushioning. Although, the last time he ran in his old ASICS he said they “felt weird.”
Peyton set a PR in his last track meet, and ran his fastest 5K a week later. Not all the credit goes to his shoes, but he wore the Altra One Jr. for both races and he’s a believer. His running form has improved too. He no longer slaps the ground with his feet. The quiet landing of the Altra speaks to the improved gait and better mechanics of the shoe.
If you have a young runner in your family that might enjoy a more natural shoe style, the Altra One Junior would be worth checking out. They sell for about $55 on Amazon in sizes 1 to 6.
These shoes were sent to me for review.