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You’re probably asking yourself what a shoe has to do with a toaster. Well, for Altra, this kitchen appliance marked the beginning of a success story.

It was the curiosity of Golden Harper, the brand’s founder, that sparked an eccentric investigation. As a shoe nerd (that’s what he calls himself), he researched in the most unique ways what he could accomplish with a shoe. And with that came a toaster.

One day he stood in his kitchen and heated existing shoe models in a toaster. Then he removed the midsole and leveled the platform. This in the full belief that a natural position of the feet should improve gait.

A lot of test miles on these shoes later, he decided that the shoes could be a gap in the market. And so Altra was born.

“Starting on the road, grown to the trail,
evolved into a versatile brand of shoes for every runner.”

The odd duck among running shoes?

Yes. But in a positive way. Altra shoes differ from other brands in several ways. Others often claim to have the best cushioning, the fastest performance…. But that doesn’t worry Altra. Altra places particular emphasis on natural positioning of the foot and body, which should improve comfort and running posture.

Consequently, the experiments in Harper’s kitchen resulted in a number of unique features that we see in all of Altra’s models.

Balanced cushioning

Also called the zero drop . This puts your heel and toes at the same height from the ground. You experience a natural feeling – like running barefoot, with, of course, the added protection of the shoe around your feet. This principle is said to promote running efficiency and reduce the impact on your joints.

Wider toe box

The natural posture is carried through to your toes. In fact, Altra’s shoes have a wide toe box., giving your toes the necessary space to settle into a natural position. This not only improves comfort on your feet, it would also support stability.

Experience it yourself

Runners’ lab is giving you the chance to test out Altra shoes! In our test wall in Deurne there are regularly a few models. Pick a pair and head into the beautiful Rivierenhof for a run in the shoes.