My brother introduced me to Altra running shoes earlier this year. I am big fan of the shoe. They have the zero foot drop, which many “minimalist” shoes had over the years. Unfortunately, most of the other “minimalist” shoes did not have a wide toe box. Toes need room to spread out for best function. The idea is that toes in normal shoes get scrunched, and this is not considered natural and has been linked to foot injury. A podiatrist has even created a spacer for toes that have been scrunched due to their footwear.
I was in need of a trail running shoe, especially since I plan to run on rocky trails in an upcoming Colorado trip. I wanted something with cushion, but still had the zero foot drop that I had come accustomed to with my Altra Provisions 3.0 (shoes that I love for the road!). I also coveted the wide toe box. I purchased the Altra Olympus 2.0 online at runningwearhouse.com. You will notice these are an older model- these tend to be cheaper. When the shoes came out of the box, I was surprised by the stack. I also had to order a half size larger than my Provisions, due to the fact that the Olympus 2.0 runs smaller.
This past weekend, I gave them a test run at Sunset Hill Farm. I also sported a hydration pack in order to prepare for a Pikes Peak ascent in Colorado. The shoe worked perfectly. The wide toe box seemed a little narrower than the Altra Provisions 3.0, but still wide enough to fit my correct toes fitted feet. I made sure to run the hillier sections on the park multiple times in preparation for Colorado. The cushioning on the downhills really did minimize the impact of my footfalls. I was impressed.
The Altra running shoe has impressed. In the past, I have struggled with chronic Achilles pain. I believe the Altras have been pivotal in helping me maintain running with minimal pain (along with work on form, corrective toe measures, and yoga…but more on this later!) The Altra brand is a brand that will help your foot strike in a more natural position. I give the Altra brand 5 stars!