All of Altra’s shoes are based on two key design principles that set them apart from most other shoe companies’ lineups. (1) Altra’s shoes all have a zero-drop heel-to-forefoot platform, and (2) a wide, “foot-shaped” toe box. Many runners love this combo, but for people coming from shoes with higher heel-to-toe drops or narrower toe boxes, it may take some getting used to.
Since debuting their first shoe in 2011, Altra has gained popularity with both trail and road runners of all levels. The brand now offers shoes with a wide variety of cushioning, support, and traction.
As a general rule, Altra shoes have a wider and higher-volume fit than shoes from many other brands. While this can cause problems for some people with narrower feet, many runners love the comfort that Altra’s platform provides, particularly when it comes to letting your toes splay out. And several of their models still feature a pretty snug fit through the heel and midfoot, so that some runners with low-volume feet can still get along quite well with them.
All of their women’s shoes also feature the brand’s “Fit4Her” design, which essentially means that they modify the fit of the shoe to accommodate the slightly different shape of women’s feet.
Altra started out as a trail-running brand, but has expanded into the road-running world in the last few years, as well as hiking-oriented footwear.
In this guide, we’ll present Altra’s road shoes and trail shoes separately, and will order these lineups from the most cushioned to least cushioned.