Altra Running Shoes
What do you do when you can’t find a shoe that’s designed for the way you run? Start your own shoe company! That’s what the founders of Altra did once they realized traditional running shoes were not allowing runners to experience a natural gait cycle. Suspecting that the heels of most shoes were too high, they began to make alterations to existing shoes and get local runners to test them out.Read More
Their suspicions proved to be correct; runners wearing shoes with no drop (the difference between the heel height and the forefoot height) experienced a much more natural and efficient movement pattern—striking at the midfoot instead of the heel. Having corrected such a major oversight, it’s no wonder they named the company Altra—a play on the Latin word “altera,” which means “to fix something broken.”
Altra running shoe technology
Altra running shoes feature a variety of high-tech designs and materials to make sure you get the most out of every mile. From how they fit to how they perform, Altra running shoes make sure you run the way nature intended.
Balanced Cushioning™ and Zero Drop Platform
Traditional running shoes feature a “drop,” meaning the heel of the shoe is higher than the toe. This drop can range from 4 mm to 12mm. Every shoe in Altra’s lineup is designed with a Zero Drop that puts the heel and forefoot at the same level. This Balanced Cushioning keeps the body aligned to help with strength and maintain balance. A Zero Drop allows for more natural movement as you run, encourages front-to-back weight distribution, and amplifies propulsion by strengthening the Achilles tendon.
FootShape™ Toe Box
Designed to let your toes spread out naturally while allowing the big toe to remain straight instead of being squeezed inward. This natural toe splay can reduce overpronation, improve stability, and increase power during toe-off.
This innovative tech is built into the shoe’s tread and mirrors the anatomy of the foot’s bones and tendons. Not only does this provide excellent traction, it allows the foot to move in different directions and let the muscles flex more naturally.
StabiliPod™ and GuideRail™ Systems
Altra uses two different technologies to address overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot during a run): StabiliPod and GuideRail. These two systems work together to keep your feet and ankles aligned, ensuring better landings and a reduced risk of pain and injury.
StabiliPod places firmer midsole material in three strategic areas, working with the foot’s natural stability zones like a tripod to help control the exaggerated foot and ankle motion that causes an inefficient stride.
The GuideRail system works a lot like highway guide rails, gently guiding your foot back on course only when it strays from its most efficient path.
Altra was the first company to create a full line of shoes specifically for female athletes. Why? Because women’s feet are physically different from men’s. Women have a narrower heel and midfoot, a higher instep, a longer arch, and different metatarsal (foot bone) spacing than their male counterparts. Altra women’s shoes feature Fit4Her technology, which utilizes gender-specific designs for better fit and performance.
Altra cut omnidirectional flex grooves into the midsole to reduce overall shoe weight and allow better foot flexion. InnerFlex grooves adapt to each runner’s foot, providing flex exactly where it’s needed for better performance and faster times.
How Altra running shoes help you improve your run
Easily Altra’s best selling shoe, the Escalante was designed for neutral runners. Featuring moderate cushioning, Altra Escalante running shoes offer a zippy ride thanks to a lightweight, energetic midsole. This is a great shoe for runners looking to pick up the pace on longer outings without enduring the leg fatigue and foot pain that often accompany distance running.
Probably the second most popular running shoe in Altra’s lineup, the Torin is designed to be flexible, responsive, and comfortable. It has a little more cushioning than the Escalante, making it perfect for runners looking to ease into minimalist running shoes. Altra Torin running shoes hit that sweet spot between shock absorption and energy return, making them ideal for long-distance runners as well as 5K enthusiasts.
Altra Paradigm running shoes were inspired by the 135-mile Badwater ultramarathon (a.k.a. the world’s toughest foot race) and the very tired feet that survived it. Utilizing StabiliPod and GuideRail technology, this shoe offers support when and where it’s needed without hindering a runner’s stride. This is technically a stability shoe, but its support systems only come into play when a runner’s form breaks down making it a cushy-yet-springy option for neutral runners too.
Frequently asked questions
How do Altra running shoes fit?
According to some reviews, a lot of Altra’s shoes seem to run on the smaller side. Some suggest choosing at least one half-size up from your usual running shoe size to get an ideal fit. For example, if you typically wear a 9, then you might want to choose a 9.5 instead. Take into account that new running shoes may require a break-in period, and be sure to read some reviews to see what people are saying about a specific pair when making your decision. The only way to really know how they fit is to try them on in person and see what size works best for you.
How many miles do Altra running shoes last?
Typical running shoes last anywhere from 300 to 500 miles. Minimalist shoes, shoes with less cushioning, and shoes that are designed to be lighter are usually expected to last around 250 to 400 miles. When your shoes get toward the end of that range is when you’ll want to start looking to replace them.
Be sure to keep tabs on how many miles you’ve logged in each pair of running shoes. Just because your shoes appear clean and intact, that doesn’t mean that the technology inside is still functioning at peak performance. Wearing old, worn-out shoes can lead to pain and injuries, so replace your running shoes once they’ve reached their max mileage.
Which Altra shoe is best for overpronators?
The Provision is the best Altra running shoe to combat overpronation. It’s packed with numerous technologies for additional support. GuideRail works with StabiliPod technology to offer dynamic stability that’s only there when it’s needed.
What is the best Altra running shoe for me?
It all comes down to your goals, your routine, and your anatomy.
Goals: Choose shoes based on what you’re looking to achieve. Speed and distance are the two most common running goals. If you’re going for long-distance runs, you don’t want to skimp on cushioning. Conversely, if you’re looking to shave your time down, you may be willing to sacrifice padding for a shoe that weighs less.
Routine: Where do you run most often? Sidewalks? The road? Trails? A treadmill? Be sure to choose a shoe that’s suited for your most frequently trekked surface. Don’t forget to factor in other activities you may perform in your running shoes. For example, if you plan on wearing a shoe for walking and running, it would be unwise to pick a model that’s only built for speed because it won’t provide enough cushion or support for extended activity.
Anatomy: Pick a pair of shoes that fit your feet well and offer the level of support you need based on your foot width, arch height, and gait. Folks with high arches who underpronate (roll their feet outward too much) should opt for shoes with more cushioning while folks with low or flat arches who overpronate (roll their feet inward too much) will want to choose a firmer stability shoe. Neutral runners with medium arches can run in neutral shoes, but many shoes made for under- and overpronation can also work for neutral runners. The important thing is to wear a shoe that keeps you comfortable and aligned.
The Altra Torin is Altra’s Jack of all trades. The Torin is a popular shoe whether you’re prepping for a marathon, a 5K, a sprint, or just a trip to the supermarket. If you’re looking to multitask in a shoe, this shoe is it.
The Altra Escalante is similar to the Torin but with a little less cushioning, making it lighter and better equipped for speedwork. This is a more minimalist shoe, but it’s still comfortable enough for numerous types of runs and activities.
The Altra Paradigm is Altra’s top-shelf shoe. They didn’t hold anything back when designing this ultra-cushioned model. The dynamic technology in this shoe makes it ideal for neutral runners and overpronators alike. If you plan on running really long distances, or if you just prefer luxurious cushioning, the Paradigm is the answer.