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The Ginger Runner | Review: Altra The One2 (Squared) & Altra Paradigm

Review: Altra The One2 (Squared) & Altra Paradigm

17 May Review: Altra The One2 (Squared) & Altra Paradigm

ALTRA THE ONE 2 (Squared)

Altra The One 2 (Squared)

Click to watch the review of the Altra The One 2 (Squared)

Every once in awhile, I am really blown away by a shoe. Unexpectedly so. Altra’s The One 2 (squared) is one such shoe. After being a bit disappointed with previous Altra models and them not living up to my expectations, I wanted to make sure I gave these a shot seeing as Altra had seemingly gone back to the drawing board on a lot of their shoes. Boy, was I glad I did. This shoe has quickly become one of my favorite shoes of 2014.

From the moment you slip these shoes on, you feel like you’re wearing a speed slipper. The super comfortable upper and soft cushy midsole material combine to make one hell of a comfortable experience. Running in them is no different. I even chose this shoe as my Big Sur Marathon shoe (you can see it in my race video!) and it performed flawlessly.

I obviously love the wide toebox and zero drop, I love the cushioning – reminiscent of a Kinvara – and I just love the slipper like upper. My only real problems with the shoe involve durability in the upper and outsole/midsole material as I want this shoe to last forever. Also, the looks can be a turn-off to some (I actually kind of like them). I hope this shoe does in fact last forever and I hope you get the chance to try them out for yourself. I was pleasantly surprised! Let me know what you think of the Altra One 2 in the comments below!


  • Light (just over 7oz)
  • Flexible
  • Cushion
  • Upper
  • Fast
  • Zero drop/wide toe box


  • Upper Wear
  • Midsole wear
  • Looks (though I like, some do not)
  • Wide ankle material
  • Naming

PRICE: 4/5
LOOKS: 4/5

TOTAL: 16/20

These shoes were provided by Altra for review. All opinions are my own.



Altra Paradigm Review

Click to watch the Altra Paradigm Review

I’ve reviewed a few Altra shoes in the past and while I like their approach – wide toebox and zero drop – I could never fully get behind the models. The Paradigm signals a bit of a shift in direction from Altra and is one of their primary contenders in the Max Cushioning market. I will say that this shoe surprised me quite a bit and has nestled itself securely in my shoe rotation. It’s a comfy beast!

The big question is if the Paradigm gives Hoka a run for their money, and I have to say that it does. By not only providing a wonderfully plush midsole cushion, VERY remeniscent of a Bondi or Stinson, the Paradigm one-ups Hoka’s offerings by featuring that zero drop and wide toebox – two qualities Hokas do NOT offer.

While I love the soft midsole EVA, the wonderfully responsive A-Bound layer, the thin and light upper, and the shoe’s durability, I’m still plagued by similar problems from previous Altra experiences. The upper, while thin, still feels too bunched and too clunky. The ankle area alone is pretty intrusive and contributes to a lot of my disappointment. However, all this aside, the Paradigm is a solid shoe that I would definitely recommend you consider if Max Cushion is on your agenda. And if you’re looking for a trail version – while this shoe does just fine on trails – Altra also offers the Olympus which I will be reviewing very soon as well.


  • Cushioned
  • Durable
  • A-bound (nice stroble board responsiveness)
  • Light (just over 10oz)
  • Thin upper
  • Zero drop/wide toe box


  • Too much upper
  • Eyelets too close
  • Squared off toe box
  • Big heel

PRICE: 4/5
LOOKS: 4/5

TOTAL: 15/20

These shoes were provided by Altra for review. All opinions are my own.

The Ginger
  • Nick
    Posted at 19:53h, 17 May

    Does the Paradigm have any sort of “rocker” profile?

  • Eric
    Posted at 21:22h, 03 June

    I was thinking the same thig about the clunkyness of the upper. I think it feels that way because of the wide toe box. I dont have a wide foot so I dont think I really need that feature, but I am liking as well that there are more options now other than just hoka for a recovery maximalist type shoe. Then again I have heard there there is nothing like a hoka, they just do the cushion the best.

  • Bridget
    Posted at 13:05h, 07 June

    I cannot wait to try this shoe! Have been waiting for the prettier color to get to running warehouse, and they were there this morning. Oh happy day! 🙂 Roadrunner STILL doesn’t have the Paradigm at all! I have been running in Altras for a couple years now. I have super wide feet, so I am in love with their toe box!!! The eyelet issue you have is not a problem for me because I want nothing pulling the shoe tighter against my bunion on the side of my already wide foot. I have been running for 6 years and my feet were never truly happy til I found Altras. Plan to use these for IM Maryland this fall. Thanks for your very detailed review!

  • Steve K
    Posted at 19:26h, 14 July

    Thanks for the Paradigm review, Ethan. Have you had time to try the Olympus out yet? There are two camps of thought with these shoes: 1) Same shoe, just Paradigm is plush for road, Olympus is plush for trail, and 2) They are different shoes that can handle both road and trail.

    The Altra website tends to lean to camp # 2, showing both a video of guy scaling mountains of craggy rocks in his Paradigms while also pimping the success of the Olympus in an ultra trail race.

    If the Paradigm tread seems grippy enough, I would lean towards those but was hoping you could chime in on any Olympus fit and grip concerns. Thanks!

  • Joel Simkins
    Posted at 02:53h, 26 July

    GR, spot on review of the One 2. Its a great shoe and reminds me of a sponger Pearl Izumi EM1, of which I have hone through 3 pairs. This shoe requires minimal break in time and after about 15 miles, I knocked out a new near PR 1/2 marathon at Rock N Roll Chicago. My only complaint so far is that the shoe does taper down pretty snugly on the toes which sort of negates the ability to wiggle them and feel free as you would expect with the Altra wide toe box. I can also spot some light wear and tear on the paint already. With that said, great shoe, good price/value and thanks Ginger Runner for the review.

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