Altra

At DEKA we're pretty keen on innovative running shoe designs, particularly those that allow the foot to retain a natural shape and motion. We've run everything from short, fast road routes to 2-day off-road ultras in Altra shoes and found them to be supremely comfortable without adding weight or sacrificing speed.

Altra are very clear about what sets their shoes apart:

Traditional running shoes feature pointy toe boxes that squeeze the toes out of their natural position—increasing risk of bunions, hammertoes and plantar fasciitis. Altra's FOOTSHAPE™ TOE BOX allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally and the big toe to remain in a straight position. This enhances stability and creates a powerful toe-off to maximize running performance.

Years ago, Altra founder Golden Harper began melting off outsoles and removing the excess heel elevation from their traditional running shoes. It was ugly, but it worked! The term " ZERO DROP™" was coined to describe the level cushioning and perfect weight balance from heel to forefoot. This natural balance aligns the feet, back and body posture for less impact. It also strengthens the Achilles and lower calf muscles that have been weakened over a lifetime of running on elevated heels.