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Our Story

The story begins in 1998 when Altra founders, Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead, met in highschool and have been running together ever since. Running and outdoor adventuring have been a major part of their lives and continues to be today. Golden was reared in his family’s running store by two accomplished running parents. Naturally, he was a running nerd from a young age and was always trying to improve the running experience.

2009 Golden and the Toaster Oven

Research and curiosity led him to create Zero Drop by heating up existing shoe models in a toaster oven, cutting the midsole out and leveling the cushioning platform so they were equal or had zero drop from heel to toe.

Armed with 1000s of positive reviews from their “science experiment” shoes, they knew they had something with incredible potential and set off to create a new kind of running shoe.

2010 Brian at Wasatch 100”

After mortgaging co-founder Brian’s dad’s house and scrounging up all the money they could, Brian took their first trail shoe prototype and ran the Wasatch 100. At mile 94, with zero blisters and several hours under his previous year’s time, Brian broke into tears as it hit him that Altra was going to succeed. They had truly created a product that would change the running world. After years of tinkering and testing prototypes, our founders were determined to share their innovations and bring a new option to the running world. Altra’s unique 3 Core technologies: FootShapeTM, Zero DropTM, and Fit4HerTM were ready for their debut and their first shoe hit the market in 2011.