I am not stranger to Altra shoes, but I have not paid attention. Following my blog, you know I am brand loyal. I have worn the same style of racing shoes since 2012. I had a few months were I tried another brand and quickly moved back to my original brand.
In the past, I have to wear Men’s style. My toe box needs are wider than the average female shoe, plus Men’s color of shoes are more my liking. I
As you know, I was an invited blogger to the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in PA, in October. One of the many wonderful gifts was a pair of Altra shoes. I received mine days before the trip, so I had not tested them out on a run.
Back it up a bit. I am surrounded by Altra lovers, but still I thought they were for trails, only. My brother ran the Disney 5k in them, that’s doable in trail shoes. I have friends who swear by them, but they are 100% trail runners. So, I never entertained the thought of looking into them and besides I was happy with my current shoes.
I tried on the shoes, and my toes were happy. Much wider, but I was not convinced I would like these shoes. I wore them to the first day of blogger duties and after listening to Golden Harper (who is the founder of Altra shoes) on his philosophy of a foot-shaped shoe and zero drop, I had to speak with further about my road racing goals.
My goals are to BQ in 2015 but to increase my speed so I need a shoe that can serve both. I learned he designed the One2’s for marathons but they are great for speed. I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
Golden switched me to a women’s shoe and a size bigger than I typically wear. And they are purple. I love purple, but on shoes? At that point, I didn’t care.
One slip into my newly fitted, I had found my new shoes! They say you find when you are not looking. That was me. I had no intentions of leaving my shoe brand. I have been a faithful user since 2012 and I was happy.
For the first time in 4 years of running, my foot felt relaxed. I was almost giddy with excitement.
Since that time, I have trained exclusively in my One2’s. I feel lighter but more supported. I feel my feel are doing what they do best, relax. It took me a few days to transition, since I wear minimalist anyways. The hardest part was to relax my toes and let them splay.
A few days after wearing my One2’s I put on my old training shoes and I felt like I was wrapped in an ace bandage and I said, “ouch!”
I have not worn my previous brand for running, since that time.
This past weekend, I ran the Disneyland Inaugural Half Marathon in Anaheim, CA. If you have not heard, we had to tackle the fury of Santa Ana winds. Staying upright was often impossible and yet, I was able to keep myself running and foot planted the entire way. Through the winds, flying debris and dust I was able to pull of a 3rd in my Age Group, when I typically finish in the Top 15 in my AG. This was my best Disney finish, ever!
How did my feet feel? Incredible. Despite the leg pain I experienced from being tossed around by the wind, my feet felt great. I was able to tackle the inclines (on my toes) with ease. That was not possible in my previous shoes. Having a wider toe box has proved to be the winning ticket for me.
Here I am in my One2’s at the end of the race. (I am waving at my mom and brother) and again with my brother, post race. You can see he is wearing his green Altra’s.
Thank you Golden Harper for fitting me with these shoes and I look forward to a long and successful relationship with your brand. P.S. I am hoping Santa brings me another pair!
Have you tried the Altra shoes? If so, what was your experience?
*Although I received a complimentary pair of Altra shoes, the opinions are mine and not influenced by Altra, Runner’s World or any other source.
Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by RobKellerMD.com, KT Tape and Island Boost
*Team Super Hero Master’s Elite 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
Certified Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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