Altra Running's Story
After years of tinkering and testing prototypes Altra has brought innovative improvements including FootShape, ZeroDrop, and Fit4Her.
Altra founders Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead met in high school in 1992. They've been running together ever since. Even as young kids, these two pursued the sport with passion and commitment, both for fun and in competition. Golden ran his first marathon at age 10 and then set an age group world record two years later.
Golden was raised in his family's running store, where he was always trying to improve the running experience. Curiosity and research led him to create ZeroDrop technology in 2009—by heating existing shoe models in a toaster oven, cutting out the midsoles, and leveling the cushioning platform.
After exhausting every financial resource and mortgaging Brian's dad's house, Brian and Golden continued to push forward in launching Altra. In 2010, Brian laced up the first trail shoe sample for a make-or-break test run on the Wasatch 100 race course. At mile 94, he was several hours under his previous year's time and blister-free. At this emotional moment, Brian broke into tears, realizing Altra would succeed.
Following years of tinkering and testing prototypes, Brian and Golden were ready to share their innovations and present a new option to the running world. Altra's unique core technologies—FootShape, ZeroDrop, and Fit4Her—made their debut. The first shoe hit the market in 2011.