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Non-Zero Stance: Altra Launches First Shoe With Drop — FWD Experience

Altra breaks new ground in an effort to reach more runners — its very first shoe with heel-toe drop.

altrafwd experience(Photo/Adam Ruggiero)
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Few brands have shucked the norms as much Altra. Its wide-toe, zero-drop shoes looked and felt distinctly different than almost any other running shoe out there. And while it proved a turnoff for some, the Utah-based brand earned a passionate cult following within the trail running community.

In the last couple of years, Altra took heed of some of the aesthetic feedback and softened its stance on the wide-or-die profile — streamlining its splay-friendly toebox to look more like typical running shoes. And today, the brand takes another step (literally) toward winning over even more runners, this time with a 4mm drop running shoe: the AltraFWD Experience.

“The AltraFWD Experience is all about brand expansion, product evolution and continuing to create shoes that work for more and more runners,” Altra co-founder Brian Beckstead said in a press release. “We’ll never stop catering towards the Altra loyalists that are all about zero-drop, but we are super excited to expand our line-up and create a low-drop shoe that helps make Altra accessible to more runners –especially those that haven’t wanted to take the full leap into zero-drop.”

Here are the specs and details on the AltraFWD Experience shoe, which will go live for purchase on October 3.

altrafwd experience shoe orange

AltraFWD Experience: Shoe With Drop

The AltraFWD Experience carries a 4mm stack height. For the men’s shoe, that translates to a 32-38mm heel-toe stack. And for women, a more modest 30-26mm stack.

In other words, these aren’t maximal shoes, but they carry plenty of midsole foam.

The last uses Altra’s “standard footshape fit” — not as pronounced a toebox as the brand’s original, but also not a slim profile.

Rebound and cushion come from compression-molded EVA foam. And the upper comprises breathable mesh.

altrafwd experience women's shoes

Combined with a rockered geometry, Altra says its focus with adding drop was to facilitate “a smooth and quick roll through any stride.” The brand also noted that from both consumer feedback and athlete testing, it targeted runners “for whom performance is a given, and style is a must.”

The AltraFWD Experience will retail for $140 in both men’s and women’s styles when it goes live on October 3. GearJunkie received an advance sample — so stay tuned for a full review with a link to buy.

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