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We Talk with Altra Running about Zero Drop Science, Wide Toeboxes, and Moving the Company "FWD"
Doctors of Running Podcast, Episode 177

Over the past decade, Altra has gathered a cult following, with their signature zero drop midsoles and anatomically shaped shoes. On this episode, Nathan and Matt interview Brian Beckstead, Co-founder of Altra, and Alex Lind, Senior Product Line Manager. They discuss the history of Altra and how it was formed from the ground up. They explore the place for zero-drop, "natural" shoes in the current world of max cushion everything. They also take a look at the future of the brand with the introduction of the FWD Experience (their first non-zero drop offering) and their new racing options like the Vanish Carbon and Mont Blanc.


Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify Anchor


0:00 - Intro 
1:54 - A brief history of Altra 
4:38 - Brian & Alex's roles 
8:14 - The state of the shoe industry regarding zero drop and anatomical toe boxes 
15:51 - Altra's goals designing shoes their way 
22:37 - Alex's perspective on Altra's mission 
25:01 - What Altra means by "natural" running 
29:29 - What went into releasing the Altra FWD Experience 
37:16 - Issues with creating zero drop shoes with new compliant foams 
42:02 - How Altra designs shoes to accomodate different foot types 
47:10 - Altra's innovation direction 
53:10 - Is Altra looking at more non-zero drop offerings? And what about racing shoes? 
57:39 - The science of Altra's Ego Pro foam 
59:08 - How Altra designed the FWD Experience's excellent heel bevel 
1:02:43 - Wrap-up

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#171: Best of 2023, Part 2 | Link
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#111: Mastering the Art of Running Over 40
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