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Young Runners, Old Friends

Altra founders Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead met in high school in 1997. They've been running together ever since. Even as young kids, these two pursued the sport with passion and commitment, both for fun and in competition. Golden ran his first marathon at age 10 and then set an age group world record two years later.

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Toaster Oven Prototypes

Golden was raised in his family's running store, where he was always trying to improve the running experience. Curiosity and research led him to create ZeroDrop technology in 2009—by heating existing shoe models in a toaster oven, cutting out the midsoles, and leveling the cushioning platform.

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Mile 94 of Wasatch100

After exhausting every financial resource and mortgaging Brian's dad's house, Brian and Golden continued to push forward in launching Altra. In 2010, Brian laced up the first trail shoe sample for a make-or-break test run on the Wasatch 100 race course. At mile 94, he was several hours under his previous year's time and blister-free. At this emotional moment, Brian broke into tears, realizing Altra would succeed.

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Launching the First Shoe

Following years of tinkering and testing prototypes, Brian and Golden were ready to share their innovations and present a new option to the running world. Altra's unique core technologies—FootShape, ZeroDrop, and Fit4Her—made their debut. The first shoe hit the market in 2011.

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A Nationwide Road Trip

Brian loaded up the first batch of Altra shoes in his trusty outdoor adventure wagon and hit the road for a coast-to-coast tour. He stopped at every running store he could find, showcasing the new creations and opening up many doors along the way. This set the foundation for Altra's impressive future growth.

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ICON Health & Fitness

A leading Utah-based company, ICON Health and Fitness, discovered Altra and was inspired by the brand's vision, original products, and achievements. In 2011, ICON brought Altra into its family of fitness-based brands, moving Altra to the city of Logan in the gorgeous Cache valley of northern Utah.

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Awards Galore

The Runner's World Best Debut designation confirmed Altra was on the right track—and runners agreed. Altra was just warming up and has continued to receive praise for their breakthrough innovations. Altra collected several editor's choice awards in addition to many other awards, including best winter trail shoe, best traction, and comfiest ride.

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Peak Inspiration

Every pair of Altra's standout trail shoes are named after the peaks that surround the company's birthplace. Altra shoes are designed by people who enjoy conquering the varied terrain of Utah and we love to witness the remarkable journeys fans pursue as they travel the state, the nation, and the globe.

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The Way Forward

Altra is known for much more than its Core 3 foundation. The company has mastered rugged trail advancements (GaiterTrap, TrailClaw, MaxTrac, and DuraTread) and redefines dynamic support with Stabilipod and GuideRail. Their unique midsole foams (Altra EGO, Max-LT, and A-Bound) set Altra apart.

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Performance for the World

It began with a few stores in the U.S. Now, Altra is a household name experiencing significant global expansion. Altra is taking its grassroots marketing around the world, reaching every region that loves to run.

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Events & Sponsorships

Altra has partnered with trail runners, marathoners, triathletes, thru-hikers and many others who take Footshape comfort to podiums and records in every discipline. Altra also supports multiple races around the world—for those who pin numbers to win or simply smile.

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Anniversary Acquisition

Just before the seventh anniversary of Altra's first shoe, VF Corporation—known for its core outdoor and lifestyle brands—acquired Altra and added the company to its incredible portfolio. With VF's experience, resources, and focus, Altra is equipped to evolve its unparalleled innovation and perspectives for even more fans and customers.

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#ZeroLimits Mantra

Building a global brand for passionate runners, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Altra's success is built on community, adventure, and steady progress. Staying true to the company's roots, Altra employees live a #ZeroLimits mantra and use Altra products every chance they get.