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Whether you're running down a new trail, working hard towards a new PR in an upcoming road race, hiking a trail less traveled or simply headed out the door for a walk, if you're doing it by foot Altra has the perfect pair of shoes to get you there. Altra has a unique perspective when it comes to creating running shoes, and taking a closer look at a pair makes it clear how the brand has separated itself from the pack.

There are three main characteristics that set every pair of Altra running shoes apart from most others currently available on the market. The first thing you might notice about Altra shoes is the unique shape characteristic of every model. A component that plays a role in determining how each Altra shoe looks is the shape of the toe box. Every shoe produced by the brand features Altra's own FootShapeTM toe box, which although it sounds like a no-brainer while explaining it, was truly a revolutionary idea when the company decided to incorporate it into every pair of its running shoes. The toe box on Altra shoes is wider to accommodate the spreading out of the foot and toes. A run in a pair of these shoes ensures feet have ample room and can relax rather than be scrunched together. The brand has also found that both power and stability improves when the big toe is able to retain a straight position, as its shoes allow.

Another defining feature of Altra running shoes is a focus on zero-drop heel elevation. Referred to by the company as Balanced CushioningTM, this technology ensures the heel and forefoot each remain at an equal distance away from the ground. Providing a natural foundation, Altra's zero-drop shoes encourage better running form, improved alignment and landings that are lower in impact and easier on the body.

Altra was also the first company to create full lines of women's shoes designed to be completely different and fully specific to the feminine foot. The brand has taken into account the longer arch, the unique spacing in the metatarsal, the higher instep and the narrower midfoot and heel often present in the shape and build of women's feet. The result is an amazing fit and feel that gives women exactly the support they need on both long and short runs.

Founded in 2011 by Golden Harper, Altra grew from humble beginnings to become the popular, respected and reliable shoe company it's become today. Harper created his first shoes by melting down outsoles to decrease extra elevation in the heels in his home toaster oven. Once his idea was born, he grew a following one individual runner at a time. Since these grassroots beginnings, Altra has grown to receive rewards and recognition from such publications as Runner's World, Competitor Magazine, Gear Junkie, UltraRunning Magazine and Women's Health.

At, there's nothing we love more than getting out and exploring the world around us. Sometimes that takes the form of running, walking, hiking or simply kicking back in the great outdoors. There's no denying that wearing the right shoes for your adventure makes the difference between going the distance and calling it quits because of foot pain or blisters. We appreciate the research and thought that goes into every pair of Altra running shoes. They truly believe that you and your body perform and feel best when you're connected and in your most natural form, and their minimalist zero-drop shoes put less between your feet and the ground beneath them. We recommend Altra running shoes because we love its commitment to improving performance through molding a shoe to fit your feet, rather than the other way around.

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