Embrace the Space: My Altra running shoes

I didn’t post yesterday because I guess I was too busy working out.  LOL!  It’s launch week at the gym so it’s always a busy week and I like to try all the new classes too.  Yesterday I taught cycle twice and then I needed to go for a run.

First run since the. 50k and it felt good! I think it's the @altrarunning shoes. Should have worn them on Sat night! #running #runchat #fitfluential #sweatpink #iambft
It was my first run since the 50K and I felt good. It got me thinking, “maybe it’s the shoes?” I think I should have worn my new shoes to the race on Saturday night. I really think it would have made a difference.

A couple of weeks ago I made a switch in running shoes to the Altra Intuition 2.0. I was a little hesitant about making the switch but I wanted to try them out. No stores in my hometown sell them so I had to venture to Houston to get these bad boys. I wanted to try them on before buying them online. Why was I so hesitant? Because they are zero drop shoes. Zero drop shoes put your heel and forefoot on the same level.

Every Altra running shoe features a fully cushioned Zero Drop™ platform that places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground. 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.(Source: Altra Running).

I also wanted to try to shoe out because I have horrible feet/toe problems so I did research and found out a wide toe box is probably best for me. These shoes have a foot shaped toe box that allows the feet the sit in it’s natural position. The moment I put the shoes on, I was in love. My feet just felt better and that was really what I was after, everything else just came as a bonus. I usually wear a size 11.5 – 12 in other running shoes but in this shoe I wear and 11.  I was a little skeptical about it at first but I think it’s because my foot is able to spread out in the toe box and isn’t crunched up in the shoe.

What I like about the shoes:

  1. The shoes are light. I ran in Brooks Ravennas for a long time but the shoes was bulky. After I ran for a while I noticed I didn’t need so much support in my shoes so I decided to switch back to Asics Nimbus. Loved that shoe but compared to the Altras it’s like running with bricks on your feet.
  2. The shoe is colorful and fit for a women’s foot.
  3. I truly feel like I’m running faster in these shoes and my watch is telling me the same thing. I can’t believe how much easier it is to run in the shoes. I know a lot of that has to do with the foot shaped toe box and the mechanics that go with running in this show.
  4. It’s a zero drop shoe but the cushioning it out of control.  I expected something totally different when I put this shoe on but it’s comfortable and not stiff.  The Intuition 2.0 is a moderately cushioned shoe.  There is also a more stability shoe and more minimalist shoe.
  5. The price is right.  I paid $150 for the Nimbus and the Altras come in around $100.  I know people always say you get what you pay for, but I’m getting way more than I bargained for with this shoe.

What I don’t like about the shoe:

  1. Most stores don’t carry this shoe.  I don’t recommend buying the shoe without trying it on and doing the research behind it.  Running in a zero drop shoe takes some transitioning and may not work for everyone. Make sure to ask questions and really try the shoes out.
  2. The shoe strings are not what I’m use to in a running shoe.  The shoe strings are more lightweight and stringy OR maybe I’m just use to the other shoe laces.  This is easily fixable though by buying new shoe strings.

That’s it.  I REALLY like to shoe.  I wore the shoes on my short runs the past couple of weeks and I used them for the back half of my long run the first week.  I was really iffy about the size of the shoe so I wanted to put them on after I had been running for awhile and my feet were starting to swell to see how they would do in a situation like that.  I had no problems with the size.

When I first started wearing them my heels and calves hurt very badly, but the guy at Luke’s Locker told me to give it some time.  That was normal when switching to a zero drop shoe.  I did give it time and it started to bother me less and less.  Now it’s not a big deal.  What was a big deal was switching back to Nimbus this past weekend to run the 50K! It really sucked and hurt so bad and I couldn’t understand why until I went running in my Altras yesterday.  I just didn’t want to attempt a 31 mile run in my new shoes I hadn’t road tested that well, but now I’m starting to think that was a mistake.  It may have been a better experience for me if I would have just ran in my new shoes!

If you’re thinking about making a switch to zero drop I definitely think you should try out these shoes.  Embrace the space and run on!

What shoes do you run in? What do you love most about them? Ever thought about trying a zero drop shoe?

*This opinions are my own.  I purchased these shoes myself for my own benefit.  Paid or sponsored post will always be identified but this isn’t one of them.  I’m just a fan of the shoes.