Altra (all-tru) is our next brand on deck. Not really known for having a funny name, but once you saw one of their shoes, you’d know exactly what I was talking about. When I first saw this brand the words that I used to describe them were clown shoes, and that is the truth! A friend introduced them to me a few years ago and told me that I should give them a try. My exact words were “why would I wear clown shoes!” Long story short, they are now one of my favorite brand of running shoes. Enough about me let's talk shoes!
Now this brand started off in a very unconventional way. One of the founders of Altra, Golden Harper, actually started off working in his family running store. After years of hearing about his customers injuries, he sought out a solution to their pain. In 2009, after years of research Golden finally came up with a possible solution creating the term Zero Drop. When a customer came in with an injury, he would take their shoes and throw them in a toaster oven, to heat the midsole of the shoes, so he could cut and level the amount of cushioning in the shoe. Little weird right? But here’s the kicker, it actually worked! Those customers actually found relief from their common running injuries. Golden and one of his high school friends, Brian Beckstead, put everything they had towards creating a prototype for Altra. In 2010, the first prototype was made and was launched and tested on a make-or-break test run on the Wasatch 100 race course. 100 miles! That is the ultimate test for any shoes and it surpassed their expectations. Leaving them emotional and blister-free from running that many miles. The first Altra running shoe hit the market in 2011 and since then Altra has received numerous awards including Runner's World Best Debut and many editors choice awards.
Altra is known for having 3 core values to their shoes.
Foot-shaped Toe Box- the shape of the toe box in the Altra’s allows the toes to spread and relax naturally and the big toe to remain in a straight position for maximum stability and power. Also, since the toes are more free it actually reduces overpronation and enhances stability for all-round comfort.
Fit-4-Her- Altras cater to the specific form of the female foot which has a narrower heel and mid foot, higher instep, a longer arch and unique metatarsal spacing. Altra is the only shoe that has gender specific shoes, which is just another thing that sets them apart.
Cushioned Zero Drop- Now you have probably heard the term Zero Drop used for a minimalist shoe, but Altra does something a little bit different. They position the heel and forefoot an equal distance from the ground but add more cushion to give you a little bit more protection from the road and trails. The Zero Drop aids in optimal alignment of the foot and cultivates better form and encourages a low-impact landing.
605 Best Seller
The Torin has been the bestseller at the store. The Torin is a high cushioned shoe ready to be taken out on the roads. Altra has lately been making two different versions of this shoe. The Torin 4 and Torin 4 Plush just came out in May. The difference between them is that the Torin 4 is a lighter, faster version of the previous Torin and the Torin 4 Plush is more like a maximum cushioned shoe. So if you like do some faster runs or just like a lighter shoe then the Torin 4 is a great shoe. Now if you’re in it for the long haul and want something with a little bit more cushion, the Torin 4 Plush can be your go to shoe.