Running is always more enjoyable with the right shoes! With Marathon season in full swing, I wanted to shed some light on my favorite running shoes for you guys.
Last year around this time I was training for my first ever marathon! It was kind of a last minute decision. One of my clients was signed up for the Jordan River Marathon, May 30th, as a trial race for a bigger one she had coming up. She ended up being out of town and since the race entry can't be refunded, she asked if I would want to take her spot. I jumped on it! I had been wanting to run a marathon but it was one of those things that I wasn't going out of my way to sign up for on my own. So this was the perfect time to go for it. (It's one of those things that you can't think about for too long haha)
My training was going great, I was increasing my long run mileage to 10 miles, 12, 15, and I eventually got up to a 20 mile run a couple of weeks before the marathon. I was only running about 3 times per week, and continued my weight training + HIIT workouts in between. With a few lighter runs leading up to the race I noticed the outside of my foot started aching again (I had this issue about 6 months before but it had gone away with some calf massaging and icing). It was right at the metatarsal joint of my outside toe. It hurt to walk more than it hurt to run, so I thought I would be ok. I expressed the issue to my co-workers at Altra and they suggested that I change shoes. This obviously made me a little nervous since it was the day before the Marathon! I didn't know what to do! I didn't have many options.
At this point I had been running in Altra shoes for almost 3 years, and I hadn't had any problems, my feet always felt amazing. I had a little calf soreness the first couple of months (which is totally normal when starting out with a zero drop shoe). One of the Altra co-founders suggested that the shoe I had been training in was becoming too broken in and now a little too soft for my foot, causing my metatarsal joints to sink in and strain a bit. He suggested a firmer shoe for the race, the Impulse. This was a brand new shoe, not even out to market yet, but I just happened to be the size of Altra's sample shoes so I had a pair. I took a quick jog around the parking lot in them and they felt great!
So without running more than .25 miles in the shoes, I laced up Saturday morning, made it to my 6am race check in, and hoped for the best. I was amazed! I only felt my foot pain in the last 8 miles, but I think everyone feels a little pain going into the final miles of a marathon. I didn't go into the race with any specific goals other than to just finish but I actually was very pleased with the results! 3:38. If I would've known that the boston qualifying time was 3:35 I would've pushed just a tad harder. But for my first, spur of the moment Marathon I was pretty dang stoked! And my claim to fame is I was the first women to run a marathon in the Altra Impluse, pretty cool right? haha I'll take it
I share this story to express the awesomeness of Altra shoes! How many shoes do you think you could put on the day of a marathon for the first time and have them feel great! Once you adjust to Altra shoes from your current brand, you will have a hard time going back :)
This is because of the natural fitting design of Altra's. They have a foot shaped toe box design. This allows your toes to splay out, releasing pressure that can cause bunions, arch pain, and other issues. Along with the foot shaped toe box, all Altra shoes are built on a Zero Drop platform. This means that your heel and toes are the same distance off the ground. There is no drop from how high your heel is to your toes. This encourages a natural foot strike, landing on the middle of your foot rather than striking hard with your heel. This decreases the blow to your knees and shins. I used to get shin splints all the time but never have with Altra's. They have an awesome line up for the light weight fast pace runners (like the One2.5), to the high cushion - trail blazing runners (such as the Paradigm, or the Olympus for trail). They even have a Neoshell Polartec shoe that is water resistant for those rainy days or snowy running.
Altra's Top selling shoe is the Intuition 3.5. It is an awesome all around shoe. Moderate cushion, Neutral support, built for road. I love mine in the gym or just walking around as well.
There second best selling shoe is the Lone Peak 2.5 which is seriously my favorite! Working iwth Altra, I was encouraged to try out trail running and I fell in love! These shoes are why. They have a great tread on the bottom, with a built in rock protection, so you can cruise up and down the mountain without a worry about slipping or rocks bruising your feet. Also I think they're the best looking with the best colors :) Very important
The Third most popular shoe, and my marathon training shoe, is the Torin 2.0. a higher cushion, neutral road shoe. So comfortable you won't want to take them off!
One of my favorites for light runs and cross training is the One 2.5. It is super light weight so it is always my go to for traveling as well. It won't add much weight to your bag!
There's many other options to explore with Altra but I wanted to highlight my top picks for you. If you've never given Altra's a try, I highly recommend them! They have a 30 day return policy, so you can't lose! And a little side note - fun fact, I managed their customer service office for a few years so I can hopefully answer most questions you may have so feel free to comment on this post if you want to know more! You can also check out this review from Runner's World about there up and coming gear and future innovations. HAPPY RUNNING!