With the growth in the Castleberg Outdoors range of Altra shoes and the arrival of the all-new Altra Lone Peak and Olympus, we thought the time was right to dig a bit more into the concept and the performance of these increasingly popular shoes…
What are Altra shoes all about?
Relatively new to us here at Castleberg (but long-established in the US) Altra shoes offer trail runners a zero drop platform and a Footshape™ toe box for a low-impact, natural running style.
Altra started out as a group of passionate runners and ultra-runners, looking for the perfect balance between the freedom of barefoot and the protection from shoes. After years of experimental ‘tinkering’ with existing running shoes, and with a goal of reducing injuries and enhancing running technique the idea of Altra shoes came about.
By reducing heel strike and promoting a natural stride through a lower heel and a wider toe box, Altra shoes promote a much lower-impact technique and so allow your feet to remain in a natural, relaxed position regardless of the terrain.
So what are the principles?
The toe box
Altra shoes are based around a natural footshape, and so have a Footshape™ toe box designed to encourage your toes spread into a natural position. This has many benefits, including keeping the big toe straight and strong, for greater stability and more powerful toe-off, and allowing the foot to naturally counter over pronation rather than relying on shoe structure for support.
Altra shoes all use a Zero Drop™ platform- which essentially means that your heel and toes are the same distance from the ground. This in turn ensures a better alignment of feet, back and body, as well as strengthening the Achilles and calf muscles which can be weakened by using elevated heels.
Overall, Zero Drop™ means up to 5 times less initial impact, better weight balance, and improved running technique.
As womens feet are anatomically different to mens, Altra make gender specific shoes. Altra were the first company to develop an separate line specifically for the female foot, using an entirely different last to the mens line. This accommodates the narrower heel and midfoot, higher instep, longer arch and unique metatarsal spacing specific to female feet.
What do we have here at Castleberg?
This season, we’ve got the great new Altra Lone Peak 2.0 and the Altra Olympus joining the original Lone Peak 1.5.
Take a look at our Altra Zero Drop Footwear section for more info on Altra shoes, and to see our full range for Autumn/ Winter. If you have any questions give us a call or drop us an email and we'll be pleased to help.