The Altra IQ's dual shoe sensors allow you to monitor how hard you hit the ground with each step. The app provides a view of your overall impact rate as well as your left to right balance, providing you with the live data and coaching tips that you need to react mid run, and ultimately helping you to become a lighter, more efficient, and balanced runner.
The IQ's full-length sensors run the length of each shoe and deliver live foot strike metrics. Running hills? Tackling longer distances? Working on becoming more efficient? Live Landing Zone feedback is a great way to see how your stride and form change over the length of your run, and our live coaching will help you avoid any extremes in foot striking.
Cadence is the live "pulse" of your run and a key factor in your form, foot strike, and efficiency. Our live cadence tracking and timely coaching tips will help you keep your turnover at the appropriate rate for your current running pace, helping you become a more fluid running machine.
Ground Contact Time (GCT) is the amount of time each individual foot spends on the ground during your stride. GCT is a great informational metric to use in coordination with cadence and impact force/balance, helping you find the best stride for your body geometry.
- Virtually undetectable, razor-thin sensors are embedded in each of the shoe’s midsoles
- Live run-data is sent from the quad accelerometers to the Altra IQ App to be analyzed
- Just like a coach, the IQ experience monitors your movements and provides real-time coaching and feedback to improve and streamline your running technique.
- Weight: Men 9.3 oz/264 g Women 7.4 oz/209 g
- Cushioning: High
- Ideal Uses: Road Running, Form Improvement, Training, Balance Awareness
- Designed to Improve: Running Form
- Platform: FootShape™ Toe Box with Fully Cushioned Zero Drop™ Platform
- Stack Height: 28mm
- Outsole: FootPod Outsole
- Midsole: Razor Thin Sensor, Quad Accelerometers, Ultralight EVA with A-bound
From its humble beginnings, Altra’s goal has never changed: to help you run better. Everything that we do and every choice that we make is specifically designed to help runners improve their technique and avoid injury. Now, five years later and with multiple award-winning shoes under the Altra belt, we have developed the ultimate in running technology.
Introducing the Altra IQ powered by iFit. Affectionately called the “running coach in a shoe,” the IQ is a new wave of smart running technology, giving you running intelligence while you move. With a virtually undetectable, razor-thin sensor embedded right in the shoe’s midsole, and paired with iFit technology, you get real-time feedback and coaching to improve your running technique and teach you how to protect your body.
The IQ measures and coaches you on cadence, landing zone, impact rate left to right, and ground contact time, as well as the usual metrics (pace, distance, etc.). And like all Altra shoes, the IQ is built with Altra DNA: a cushioned Zero Drop platform and a FootShape toe box. At the end of the day, “if you put on a pair of Altras, you run better and the IQ is a natural extension of that.” (Golden Harper, Altra founder)
The IQ simply takes what you love about the Altra heritage and adds technology. But the original goal still remains: to help you run better.
Altra’s IQ app monitors your cadence—or total number of steps per minute—and any changes in your cadence can influence how you land and how hard you hit the ground with each step.
Sometimes called “turnover,” cadence is a key component in running technique. While there is no one magic number for a runner’s ideal cadence, a higher cadence is associated with better form, better posture, and a lower impact landing zone. Having an awareness of your cadence can ultimately improve your efficiency as a runner. In fact, research has shown that increasing a runner's cadence just 10 steps per minute leads to a 20% reduction in impact forces.
Cadence varies based on your pace. These are the optimal zones for different paces:
165 plus: 10:59 min/mile to 9:00 min/mile
170 plus: 8:59 min/mile to 7:00 min/mile
175 plus: 6:59 min/mile to 6:00 min/mile
180 plus: 5:59 min/mile and 5:00 min/mile
So, how do you increase your cadence? For most runners, just an awareness to quicken your stride is the first and most immediate way to increase your strides per minute. But don’t be intimidated; upping your strides per minute doesn’t mean you should have to run faster. It may eventually lead to increased speeds, but increased cadence also has to do with where your feet hit the ground and how hard your impact is with each step. With increased cadence, you should experience a lighter, more fluid run.
With the Altra IQ technology, you can assess your landing zone as well as show any differences between your right foot and left foot. Although landing zone directly affects how much force your body has to absorb, it is very important to understand that a good or safe landing is a result of having good running posture, compact arms, and a quick cadence.
Where your foot lands when it hits underfoot is crucial for streamlining your run and avoiding injury. For example, harsh heel striking (over-striding) is associated with higher forces on the joints, whereas landing too far up on the toes is associated with excess stress to the foot, Achilles, calves, and lower leg. Just like with cadence, there isn’t a singular sweet spot for the perfect landing zone, as every runner is different. Instead, every runner's biomechanics are a little different and will therefore land a little bit differently. What is important is that the foot is landing underneath a bent knee instead of out in front of a straighter knee. The Altra IQ Landing Zone metric will tell you where you are landing and whether it is balanced between your right foot and left foot.
Essentially, the IQ will help you avoid any extremes in your landing zone. The IQ will show you 3 distinct landing zones:
1) Forefoot: This landing zone is when a runner is landing too far up on their toes, subjecting their foot and lower leg to a lot of stress.
2) The Safe Zone: This landing zone consists of light heel, midfoot, and slight forefoot landings that are generally considered safe landing zones that result in less stress to both the joints and the feet.
3) Harsh Heel: This zone detects when a runner is over-striding or hitting on the very back of their heel out in front of their body. This kind of landing is usually associated with excess stress on the joints.
Note: It is very important that a runner does not try to actively change his or her landing zone, as this can result in tensing up the foot and associated problems. Landing zone is largely improved by improving posture, cadence, and arm swing.
Impact Rate Balance (Left vs. Right):
The combination of how hard you hit the ground as well as differences in impact from left to right is what we call Impact Rate, and knowing this metric may result in less fatigue and a lower likelihood of injury.
You may have heard runners talk about trying to run more “light footed.” This is a reference to impact rate, and it has a direct connection to running efficiency and technique. Running with inefficient technique will put pressure on your joints as you hit the ground with each step. But you can lessen that pressure and dial in the right amount of impact with some simple tips, like running a little quieter, bending your knees a little, and just relaxing. Running fast will obviously lead to higher impact rates, which is ok. Look out for big differences in Impact Rate from left to right as a way of avoiding injury. For example, a runner that constantly has problems with their right leg might find that their impact rate is much harder on their right side. Or a runner with a current injury might find that their impact rate on the injured side is lower since the body is protecting that side.
Additionally, as you increase your cadence, you will inevitably feel lighter on your feet, decreasing your impact rate with each step. The goal is to remain balanced left to right and to achieve a slightly lower impact rate over time. Largely speaking, a proper impact rate is also a result of following the coaching tips for good posture, compact arms, and proper cadence.
Ground Contact Time (Left vs. Right):
With the technology in your Altra IQ shoe, you can evaluate how long each foot is in contact with the ground during your strides, which can then help you improve balance and eventually optimize contact time. Lower contact times are often associated with a higher cadence and improved posture.
Running performance is contingent upon many different variables. Ground contact time—one of the lesser-known running variables—is crucial to running economy. Every time you stride, your foot is in contact with the ground, and the length of time that your foot remains there can tell you just how effective and efficient you are as a runner.
How do I clean my shoes?
Direct heat will alter the shape of the shoe. Open out the shoe and then stuff the inside with kitchen paper or newspaper. The paper will absorb the dampness inside the shoe. A shoe takes about twelve hours to dry out. If you're a frequent runner, you may want to use two pairs of shoes for winter running, so you can alternate between them as each pair dries out.
What mobile phones is the Altra IQ App compatible with?
Android v5.0 and higher versions; Apple 4S and newer versions.
Phone won’t recognize shoes/ Shoes not syncing with phone?
Try one or both of these options:
- Make sure bluetooth is enabled on your phone. Go into phone settings>bluetooth> turn on.
- Make sure shoes are turned on by hitting the shoes together or running in place.
How do I know what pair code corresponds to my shoes?
First, make sure that you are at least 50 feet away from any other Altra IQ shoes; your pair should be the top code that appears in the app.
Do my shoes need to be updated?
If there is an update available, you will see a prompt to update your shoes after a run at the run summary screen. Select the prompt and your shoes will automatically be updated. Make sure not to turn off your phone during this process and to keep it in close proximity to your shoes.
How do I change my sensor battery?
Remove insole. Lift up the garage door to expose sensor battery door; then, using a coin, unscrew the lid. Remove battery and install a fresh CR2032 battery. Make sure both o-rings remain in place when installing the lid.
Are my shoes waterproof?
While your shoes are not waterproof, they are very water resistant. Don’t be afraid of the rain but do not go swimming with them or throw them in the washing machine.
Can I run without my phone?
Currently you will only get all your data if you run with your phone. An untethered update will be rolled out in future app updates so that you can leave your phone at home and still get all your post-run metrics. For the best experience and live coaching your phone needs to be close to your side.
Why are my shoes showing that I’m landing so much on my heels/toes?
Try to improve your form by:
- Relaxing and rolling your shoulders back.
- keeping your feet underneath you.
- Not allowing your elbows to come in front of your hips.
How do I increase my cadence?
Try one or both of these options below:
- Take more, quicker steps.
- Try counting your steps for 30 seconds and determine your cadence to get a feel for it.
What does each metric mean or measure?
-Impact Rate: This metric can help you in two ways; 1) detect imbalances between your right and left foot, and 2) help you learn to be lighter on your feet. There is no correct number to shoot for since this metric changes based on several factors including weight and pace. Instead, you will establish a baseline number for each foot based on your first few runs with the Altra IQ. As you progress you can track how your numbers change over time. Focus on being lighter on your feet and more balanced between your right and left side and your impact rate should decrease accordingly.
-Cadence: This metric measures your steps per minute. It is relative to pace so while there are ideal ranges, they change depending on how fast you are running. For example, running with a cadence of 165 spm would be fine for a 10 minute mile, but for an 8 minute mile you’d want to be closer to 175 spm. Just like Impact Rate you can establish a baseline cadence at a given pace in your first few runs and then aim to improve over time. To increase your cadence try taking quicker, smaller steps and avoid overstriding. Counting your steps for 30 seconds then multiplying the number x2 (to get steps/minute) can also help give you an idea of how a certain cadence feels.
-Foot Strike: This metric tells you what part of each foot is striking the ground and can help you develop a lower-impact, more efficient stride. In the Altra IQ App Foot Strike is broken into 3 zones: midfoot, extreme heel and and extreme toes; ideally you are aiming to run within the midfoot zone, but keep in mind that this zone emcompasses all but the extremes at each end of your foot. At the end of your run you will receive a summary showing the percentage of time each individual foot spent in a given zone. To help improve your Foot Strike take a look at your summary after your first Altra IQ run and assess; if you spent a higher percentage of time in the heel zone try relaxing your body, standing up tall and taking lighter, smaller steps; if you spent more time on your toes try relaxing your ankles and shoulders and bring your upper body back slightly.
-Contact Time: This metric measures the number of milliseconds each foot is in contact with the ground and varies with cadence. The ultimate goal is to decrease contact time for a lighter, lower impact stride. On your first few runs with the Altra IQ you will establish a baseline number for each foot. This metric is related to cadence in that a higher cadence equals a lower contact time. To improve Contact Time focus on being light on your feet and increasing your cadence. Also be aware of the difference between your right and left foot and try to balance the two.
What is the warranty for the Altra IQ?
Manufacturer defects are covered for the electronics for the life of the shoe (about 400 miles) or 1 year whichever comes first. Please refer to the manual for full warranty information. IQ Manual
Why doesn’t my Altra IQ App accurately record distance when I run on a treadmill?
The Altra IQ App measures distance via GPS, this means that you will not receive accurate distance information when running on a treadmill because you are not actually moving from one point in space to another. Due to the nature of a phone GPS your App could still show a distance covered but it will not be accurate. Essentially, you are confusing your phone GPS when you run on a treadmill.