As a runner, you understand the importance of finding the right pair of running shoes to keep your feet comfortable and protected. Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to help you find the right pair.

What is zero drop or balanced cushioning?

Zero drop shoes are designed to promote a more natural, minimalist running style by placing your heel and forefoot at the same distance from the ground. 

Why Consider Zero Drop Running Shoes?   

Zero drop shoes are designed to promote a more natural, minimalist running style by placing your heel and forefoot at the same distance from the ground. This helps to reduce impact on your feet and legs, reduce the risk of injury, and improve your running efficiency. By promoting a midfoot or forefoot strike, zero drop shoes also help to engage your muscles and improve your balance and stability. Additionally, zero drop shoes often have a wider toe box, which allows your toes to spread out naturally and improves your balance. 

How to transition to zero drop shoes easily?     

When transitioning to a new running shoe, trying it on and choosing the right pair is key. When switching to Altra, make sure you keep the same amount of support and cushioning as you did before. Use the trail running shoe guide or road running shoe guide to help you choose the correct model. Just like with any other shoe, between the first two days and the first two weeks, you may feel some tension in the calf area. The body is simply adjusting to the novelty of wearing Altra natural footwear. We recommend that you wear your new Altra every other day, alternating between them for the first few days with your old pair of shoes to help minimise any strain. As with any other shoe, it's important to stretch and recover after runs/walks. By following these tips, the transition to Altra will take place without any difficulty and in a way no different from any other experience with new shoes. 

Which size is right for me?

Although Altras have a wider toebox, they still provide a very locked-in feel across the rest of the foot, so in most cases our sizing will be in line with what you’re used to. However, to be sure you’re making the right choice, please make use of our size guide to ensure you find your perfect fit.

Which Altra model is for me?

Altra offers a wide range of trail and road running shoes to suit all types of runners. Whether you want to hit the trails, road or both we have a suitable style and fit for you. If you would like to know more about each model, refer to our trail running shoe guide or road running shoe guide where we have provided more details about each model.   


  Is there a difference between mens and women's shoes of the same size?

At Altra we design shoes based on the human anatomy. We develop our models based on thousands of scans of healthy feet. That's why we design models with specific fits for men and women. This allows you to create shoes that accommodate the many differences in female anatomy, such as a higher arch, a lighter body, and a different toe/heel ratio. However, nothing prevents you from buying a pair designed for the opposite sex, just don't forget that they fit differently. 

I use orthopaedic insoles. Are Altra shoes compatible?

We are a brand that helps people run healthier, not barefoot. In order to achieve this, an orthopaedic insole is sometimes necessary. That's why all Altra models are compatible with orthopaedic insoles and are sold with removable standard insoles. In reality, inserting orthopaedic insoles in shoes designed according to the shape of the foot ( FootShape™) and with balanced cushioning makes them perform well. The foot works in a more natural position and can become stronger and more dynamic without an insole. Just keep in mind that larger orthopaedic insoles will reduce the overall volume of the shoe and therefore you may need to size up.

What is FootShape™ technology and why is it important?

Altra shoes have the same shape as your feet. They are designed to allow your toes to spread out naturally and let your big toe stay straight. This promotes greater stability, strength and above all greater comfort. That's the secret behind miles of riding in maximum comfort, without blisters and with a stronger foot. Refer to our FootShape™ guide to help you choose the right fit.

Are Altra shoes good for heel strikers?

Altra shoes aren't just for midfoot or forefoot runners. In fact, in Altra shoes the cushioning is even more pronounced in the forefoot to obtain a balanced platform, while offering the same level of cushioning in the heel that other running shoes offer. Thanks to Altra's Balanced Cushioning technology, our shoes simply allow you to run/walk naturally, providing just the right amount of cushioning wherever your foot lands. With Balanced Cushioning our goal is to promote proper posture and alignment, not change them.

How do I clean my shoes?

When it's time to clean up your shoes, we recommend taking care of one component at a time. Start by removing the insoles and laces. Then, hand wash each part separately (insole, upper and sole) using a delicate cloth (and a brush for more aggressive dirt), neutral soap and warm water. After cleaning each shoe, you'll want to let it dry in a place with a mild temperature and low humidity. If you want to speed up drying, you can stuff your shoes with paper towels or newspaper. Never put your shoes in a dryer or near heat sources as the high temperature can alter the shape and modify the components.