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.
Have you ever walked into a running store and seen all these fancy shoes on the wall that you have never heard of before? Or has one of the staff members at the running store rambled on about the unique technology about a shoe and it just sounds like made up words?
Well your in luck! 605 Running Company is starting a new blog called Brand Spotlight. What that entails, is that we are going to take a closer look at the different shoes brands. We are going to dive back in history to see how the brand came to be, what is cool and fresh about the shoes, and we will chat about some of our stores best sellers from each brand. Our goal is to make shoes simple to understand so that the hardest part is actually going to be saying the brand’s name.
My name is Nick Lawson and I’ll be your guide through our brand spotlight series. I’ve been working at the shop for over a year now and recently graduated from the University of Sioux Falls where I enjoyed running competitively for the Track and Cross Country team. You’ll find me down at the shop a lot more now as I take a year to prepare for PT school.
Our first brand on deck is Saucony! Now I know you may be wondering how the heck to even say that word. The pronoun citation of it is (sock-uh-knee). If you ask Greg (605 store manager) he will tell you to think of it as if someone SOCKED you in the knee and you yelled out UH my KNEE. But if you ask me I would say it fits like a sock and doesn’t hurt your knees.
To see the start of this brand, we have to go all the way back to 1896. The first Olympic marathon was run in Athens, Greece that year. If you were to look at the footwear that athletes wore back then you would see uncomfortable, leather shoes. Imagine running a marathon in leather dress shoes, hello blister city! The founders of Saucony wanted to change that so just two years later in 1898 Saucony was founded in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Later in 1968 they moved their operations to Cambridge, Massachusetts where they have stayed ever since. In 1972, Saucony was awarded “Best Quality” in Consumer Reports Magazine. They became a brand that you could trust and not one that would kick you in the knee! In 2006, Saucony launched the Run for Good Foundation to help end the childhood obesity epidemic. Not only is that a brand that strives to make a great, reliable shoe for you. They also what to make a difference in the world we live in.
Everun- This the type of foam that Saucony uses in there shoes that is super soft and springy. It’s a great combination so you don’t feel like you’re just sinking into a sink hole but then also not running on a brick. Think of a trampoline with a water bed top. It springs you up but when you hit the ground you just sink right in.
ISOFit- It’s like a suit made for your foot. It’s tight where it needs to be to stay one but leaves you enough room for your foot to boogie.
PWRTrac- Is a tacky, durable rubber that gives you more grip when you are running. This is a great feature for trail runners and anyone looking for more traction in our harsh winters here in the Midwest.
Arctic Grip- This feature is only on the Saucony Peregrine Ice+. It uses Wet Ice technology to help you stay upright on the ice and on wet surfaces. We all know that winter running can be dangerous, so this feature helps those warriors braving the harsh, cold conditions be safe out on the roads.
605 Best Seller
The Saucony Guide has been the stores best seller. The guide has that Everun foam on the midsole of the shoe giving it that soft, springy feeling. The guide also use the ISOFit that is seen on most of the Saucony models. The Guide is a supportive shoe utilizing a dense medial post and an arch support.
Global Running Day. It’s a real thing and like most things these days there is more than meets the eye. To understand this day you need to look a little further than just a day on the calendar. The driving force behind Global Running Day is of course the New York Road Runners. A non-profit organization looking to inspire people through running. The driving force behind Global Running Day is to inspire kids to be active.
This year the stars have aligned as Global Running Day is 6/05 Day and on a Wednesday when we have our regular schedule group run at 605 Running Company at 6:05pm. Our goal is to inspire everyone to be active through running no matter what their ability level. Global Running Day is perfect for us at 605 Running Company.
So here is the deal:
Thank you for your continued support of 605 Running Company. I’ve pledged 5 miles at the group run. That means we have 95 more miles to go. Who is with me!?!?
605 Running Company