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The story of Altra by Golden Harper one of three founders:


Many years ago while filming customers at my family’s running store in the Rocky Mountains, I noticed a disturbing trend. We found that when our customers wore the traditional running shoes we sold to them, they ran with more impact and poor posture. When we filmed the same people in flats or barefoot, they immediately ran with low-impact technique and better posture. We started to wonder if we were really helping people!

Realizing that the only difference was the excess thickness and weight of the heels of the regular running shoes, I went to work with my trusty toaster oven to try and solve my customer’s injury problems. I began melting off outsoles and removing the excess heel elevation from their traditional running shoes. It was ugly, but it worked! This gave our customers the benefits of good form and low impact, without sacrificing the cushioning many runners felt they needed to do long mileage. I coined the term “Zero Drop” to describe how the cushioning no longer dropped from the heel down to the forefoot.

While testing our Zero Drop™ theory, we immediately saw incredible results with our staff and customers. It helped eliminate chronic injuries and helped people get back into running.

Zero Drop was just one of many steps we took to return the runner’s foot to its natural position. The research made it clear that we needed to develop a toe box that actually mirrors the shape of a healthy foot—imagine that! Teaming with some of the best engineers, designers, elite runners and biomechanical experts known, we started Altra to give a better, healthier running experience to the masses.

The award-winning combination of Zero Drop and a footshaped toe box has vaulted Altra into a Top 10 running shoe brand in only a couple of years. The Altra team consists of Ultra Marathoners and Triathletes who understand the need for a shoe that lets people run faster, farther, and better.

We’ve seen our shoes reduce injuries, improve running technique, and change lives. We believe they will help you run better and healthier too!

Founder, Altra Zero Drop™ Footwear Altra was originally created to help injured runners learn good running technique and overcome their chronic knee, foot, shin, and back pain.

Founding Partners: Jeremy Howlett and Brian Beckstead

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