Altra Footwear- By Jeremy Howlett

Built on the premise of “Run Natural™” Altra™ Footwear has created a brand new line of running shoes to do just that. Every shoe in their line has a few distinct characteristics which includes Zero Drop™, a unique foot shaped design, and gender specific.

Zero Drop™ is a term coined by the founders a few years ago to describe footwear that has no deviation in height from heel to forefoot. Typical running shoes are built on a 2:1 heel to forefoot ratio meaning that the runner’s heel is lifted twice as far off of the ground as their forefoot. Altra™ believes that to have a natural running experience and to improve form that the heel and forefoot should be the same distance from the ground when standing. This allows for the foot to land underneath the body and for runner’s to land with a bent knee. Then instead of impact to the knee it is allowed to be used as a spring similar to when we jump.

The unique foot shape design is unfortunately not being done by very many companies. Altra™ is the first to incorporate it into an entire line of running shoes. At first glance having a shoe shaped like a foot looks a bit funky. However, once we realize the purpose behind this it is a wonder why not more companies are doing this. Standard running shoes, and most footwear for that matter, have a tapered toe box area. This tends to jam our toes and cause forefoot fatigue and sore toes. Having a foot shaped toe box our toes can splay out and relax. Also, the big toe is able to engage providing additional stability and a more efficient stride.

Most companies tend to take a man’s shoe and “shrink it, and pink it” thus creating what they term a “female shoe”. Altra™ believes that this should not be the case. Anatomy shows that women’s feet are much different from men’s feet. They have a longer arch, higher instep, shorter toes, narrower heel, more of a ‘V’ shape, and their metatarsals are positioned differently as well. All of this was taken into account as Altra™ built their female line of shoes from the ground up.

Over the past 2 years Altra™ has been dedicated to building brand awareness, designing appropriate footwear, and working to get their shoes across the country. All of this has now culminated to a brand that has launched in full. April 1st Altra™ started shipping their first product. That first shipment has been sold out to both end consumers as well as to the 60 accounts that they have across the country. With interest continually growing they are working to keep up with the demand as stores continue to bring in their product across the country.

As they work to bring more retail stores on board across the country they have made many road trips about it. Brian drove over 3000 miles through San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Phoenix, Tuscon, and back to Utah to open accounts throughout the west coast. After being home for a week he headed out to Boston with Jeremy. They stopped in St. Louis, Chicago, Michigan, Toledo, Pittsburgh, New York and Boston. Brian will continue the trip down the east coast to DC, Baltimore, North Carolina, Georgia, across the south to Texas and home. Racking up thousands of miles on the road and opening accounts throughout the country they are dedicated to making a serious dent into the market with one of the most revolutionary running shoe concepts in many years.

You can find their shows online at as well as in many of the specialty retail shops throughout the country.

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About The Author

Jen has been doing triathlon for several years. She is a former bobsled pilot for America Samoa and has a passion for the outdoors; especially winter mountaineering. At home she is wife to a mountain obsessed husband and mother of three girls, but here at EnduranceReview, she is an author, Managing Editor and token chick.