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The Fit

Having a proper fitting running shoe goes a long way when you are running long distances. This key reason is why we engineered our footwear the way that we did. It is imperative to have a proper fit for your feet to run as natural as they are able. When going around barefoot there is no constraint on the foot. The toes splay, the foot relaxes and more power is put into the muscles.

To maximize the benefits of Altra Footwear, we encourage you to follow these fitting suggestions:

  1. Please allow at least ½ inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
  2. Your Zero Drop Footwear should feel as relaxed and natural as possible.
  3. If fit is correct, it may feel “too loose” around your toes and may take a day or two for your feet to get used to spreading out.
  4. Fitting this way will allow your feet to become more STABLE, more COMFORTABLE, and more POWERFUL.

By following proper fit and footwear you then let your body do what it is naturally inclined to do. There is no need for additional stability, supports, airs, gels, shocks, or the other. You then have a running experience that will reduce injury while running longer and further.


Altra BareSole™

Build stronger feet and legs by wearing shoes without an insole. Designed to be worn without a footbed, these shoes allow for more room and offer less cushioning so you utilize more muscles.

Strengthen Footbed

Allow your feet to build strength and support with 3 mm of flat insole. For those new to Zero Drop™ technology, this footbed should be broken into slowly. Transition to the strengthen footbed by first wearing it on shorter runs and gradually working up to your regular mileage. For those with stronger feet, transitioning to the strengthen footbed should be easier.

Support Footbed

Providing some arch support, this 5 mm support footbed gives you the feeling of a more traditional insole. For those new to Zero Drop™ technology, this insole is a good place to start.

Stability Wedge

The Altra stability wedge allows for maximum stability without pressing into the arch and weakening the foot. Unlike traditional stability systems that only provide stability underneath the arch, the full-length 4 mm varus, angled from the outside to the inside of the shoe, runs evenly from heel to toe and accounts for both early and late stage foot collapse. The stability wedge sits underneath the insole of the shoe and can be used in both shoes or a single shoe for those who have collapse on just one foot.



Maximize proprioception with this minimalist sole. Crafted from siped performance rubber, this thin sole layer measures 3.4 mm.

TrailClaw™ Outsole

This outsole positions the strongest canted lug traction directly beneath the met heads with follow up ‘claws’ positioned near the front of the shoe. The combination of the unique uphill and downhill traction in combination with sticky rubber makes the TrailClaw™ Outsole a beast in any trail condition.

FootPod™ Outsole

For maximum flex and responsiveness, this outsole maps the bones and tendons of the human foot. With canted lugs mapping your foot, this unique outsole provides a natural, all-purpose traction system for a variety of surfaces from road to treadmill to dirt paths.


For runners with a wider forefoot, or those just looking for more space for their feet to relax, we’re sharing our customer preferred and personal favorite lacing system. This unique system allows the forefoot to expand and breathe while securing the heel and preventing “lace creep.”

  1. Start by running the lace straight across the bottom, over the tongue and downward into the shoe. Make sure both sides of the remaining lace are equal.
  2. Without crossing, skip under to the second set of holes, then over to the third set of holes.
  3. From the third holes to the fourth holes, cross the laces over the top of each other and insert downward into the holes on the opposite side. Continue this crossing technique until you reach the second-to-last set of holes.
  4. String the lace into the last holes upward from underneath. Create a small loop with each end by threading the lace back into the same hole.
  5. Slide the remaining lace from the opposite side into the hole.

      Other Recommendations:


  • We recommend that the laces over the top of the arch/instep are loose enough to comfortably fit your finger after the shoe is tied.
  • The lacing should fit snuggly at the heel, relaxed over the arch and roomy at the forefoot.
  • It may feel “too loose” at first. That’s good! Your foot will learn to spread out and relax.
  • At first, try lacing only one shoe and going for a run. After a few miles, you may notice that the newly laced shoe keeps your leg more relaxed than the other leg sporting the traditional lacing. If the foot muscles can relax, there is a chain reaction that affects the entire the leg.