We weren't started in some corporate office, but in the back room of a Wasatch Mountain running store. Our founders, elite athletes and running store managers, wanted a shoe that let you run the way you were born to. They noticed that the design of most running shoes was hurting runners more than helping them. Elevated heels promote high-impact landing and narrow toe boxes squeeze the toes out of their natural position.
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What began as experimental shoe alterations has transformed into the only shoe company to provide a cushioned Zero Drop platform and FootShape™ toe box. This innovative combo promotes low-impact technique and allows your feet to remain in a natural, relaxed position across every terrain.
Traditional running shoes feature pointy toe boxes that squeeze the toes out of their natural position—increasing risk of bunions, hammertoes and plantar fasciitis. Altra's FootShape™ toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally and the big toe to remain in a straight position. This enhances stability and creates a powerful toe-off to maximize running performance. We wish we could call it some scientific breakthrough, but we're simply giving your foot the working space it needs.
Years ago, Altra founder Golden Harper began melting off outsoles and removing the excess heel elevation from their traditional running shoes. It was ugly, but it worked! The term "Zero Drop" was coined to describe the level cushioning and perfect weight balance from heel to forefoot. This natural balance aligns the feet, back and body posture for less impact. It also strengthens the Achilles and lower calf muscles that have been weakened over a lifetime of running on elevated heels.
Don't just take our word for it...
"Altra's Torin delivers an extra dose of cushioning to Zero Drop—making the shoe a great choice for those new to natural running styles."Torin 1.5
"These shoes run great, but there's more to it. They actually felt so comfortable that I started wearing them to my job."
"The Altra Superior's are just what the name states -Superior to all the competition in this category.'Superior 1.5
"I found I could run longer and with less pain while wearing them."