One Mix, founded in 2013, is a growing Chinese footwear manufacturer that started popping up in our Instagram feeds a few months back with an intriguing running shoe. At WearTesters, we love trying new shoe brands, so when One Mix reached out, we quickly agreed to test the shoes. The shoe in question, the One Mix Light Armor, is marketed as a hybrid marathon training and racing shoe. And tech specs show it has all the typical marathon racing shoe bells and whistles such as a carbon fiber plate, proprietary foams, and air pockets.
But can the One Mix Light Armor compete with the extremely crowded and very good marathon running shoe category? Let’s find out.
One Mix Light Armor
Weight: 8.7 oz.
Sizing: True to size
Chris Chung: You can’t ignore the fact that this is a carbon-plated shoe starting at $129.99!
The starting price for a carbon-plated shoe usually starts above $200, so that in itself is a huge plus. Now you might be asking, “does the performance of this shoe fit in the same category as some of those other super shoes?”… my simple answer is “no.” But there are still a few features of this shoe that can’t be ignored and make it a great choice.
First is the carbon plate itself. It’s very responsive without being overly aggressive. So training with the OneMix Light Armor could be a great option in the weekly shoe rotation.
Secondly, the midsole is nicely cushioned with an excellent rocker shape for a smooth toe-off. I really found myself settling in nicely on my longer runs, with my stride feeling smooth.
Drew Whitcomb: I wasn’t enthused with the midsole setup of the One Mix Light Armor but I’ll get into that in the cons section. What did stand out was the breathability. The Light Armor’s engineered mesh is barely there and allows an incredible amount of airflow. This is how summer running shoes should be built.
I also enjoyed the padding on the heel collar. It added comfort to a shoe that didn’t nail the fit so it was appreciated.
Finally, the traction, of which I was originally skeptical due it’s repeating starfish pattern ended up working quite well. It’s not top of the line like any shoe with Puma Grip, but it only slipped in the typically difficult spots (like mildewy boardwalks).
Chris: Something just feels off about the fit of the upper. Even though the “Engineered Mesh” was extremely breathable, there was just too much room, especially in the toe box area.
The lacing system was also way too close together. When I tightened the laces, it didn’t do anything.
There was also a very interesting concept with the lacing system that is supposed to tighten around the heel to further lock down the foot. But as mentioned before, I wasn’t able to tighten the laces properly for this feature to be effective.
Overall, my foot just felt lost inside the shoe.
Drew: I agree with Chris that the fit is the weakest point of the One Mix Light Armor. The width was very accommodating and will work for wide footers. But there’s not a foot in the world that can get the bubbly toebox and interesting yet ineffective lacing system to provide good lockdown.
The laces, as Chris mentioned, don’t do anything. I wish they did because the top lace loop connects to a pull tab at the heel to create a “heel tension belt” that looks like it could lock down the heel similar to a runner’s loop. With the whole lacing system basically doing nothing, I couldn’t get the heel tension belt to work as promised. I love the concept though. I hope One Mix refines it in the future.
Differing from Chris, I really didn’t like the ride of the One Mix Light Armor. True, the rocker shape is good but I found the foam/air/plate combo to be really firm and dead. It didn’t give me the bounce I expect from a modern marathon racing or long distance shoe. The foam feels like basic EVA and even the visible air pocket feels overfilled. A shoe needs softer cushion to balance out the stiffness of a carbon fiber plate and One Mix wasn’t able to deliver that here.
One Mix Light Armor Summary
Chris: I can see myself reaching for the One Mix Light Armor on long runs, as the midsole setup was very comfortable and responsive. It carried me through later into my runs on tired legs. The roomier fit wasn’t terrible for, the slower paces on longer runs. But I wouldn’t choose these on race day, as the fit was not locked down, and taking turns at a faster pace could become problematic. With all the major brands, it’ll still be tough to find a shoe that performs like this for under $150.
Drew: The One Mix Light Armor has an interesting value prop but even around $130 there’s many better long distance running shoes. And this certainly isn’t a race day shoe. Not even close. I won’t touch this shoe again now that the test is over. It’s just not a very good running shoe. I do, however, hope One Mix learns from its first effort at making a high end running shoe and delivers something truly competitive with their next shoe.