The Altra Zero Drop Vs Vibram

With the growing awareness and consciousness in health and weight, everyone wants to walk, workout or perform a wide variety of activities just to get in shape and become vibrant. To do all this in a perfect way, we need great comfortable shoes.

Today, there are many organisations manufacturing world-class running shoes that can fit different people with different tastes. Among these organizations is Altra Running Shoes and Vibram. In this article, we shall review the Altra zero drop shoe and the Vibram to see which shoe suits you better according to your daily activities. Read on!

Our take on the Altra zero drop vs Vibram.

Altra Running shoes is an organization that has been active in the industry for several years after being founded by Golden Harper in his basement. Quite funny, right? Here is how it went. Harper was working at a running store in Utah that belonged to his dad.

He then started modifying some of the running shoes he had by cutting them and removing the padding out of the heel and finally sealing the sole using his toaster oven. At the time, the majority of his customers had injuries because of the running shoes they wore.

He wanted to correct this. Sometime later, he introduced his newly designed running shoes also known as the zero drop shoes and noticed a difference. It only took a short period for other runners to notice the shoes and start asking for them. Up to date, the Altra is among the most popular and best brands in the world. Today many companies make zero drop shoes for running and other activities.

The Altra is Unique

Every pair of shoes that have ever been created or designed by Altra has two unique features. They include the Foot-Shaped Toe Box and the Zero Drop.

Zero Drop

Zero Drop is defined as the difference of the height’s sole or the cushioning amount used beneath the heel and the ball of the foot. Before Altra was introduced in the market, running shoes at the time, had additional padding on the heels to make runners comfortable and prevent them from injuring themselves.

Most of the running shoes had a heel to toe drop of approximately eight to twelve millimetres. In other words, when a runner stood on a flat surface, his heels were eight to twelve millimetres higher than his toes. Altra is unique and different in this way. It does not matter how little or how much the shoe cushioning in the sole is so long as it maintains a zero heel to toe drop.

Altra Zero Drop

Foot-Shaped Toe Box

The other unique feature that Altra has is the toe box. It is a shoe that has been designed to fit the natural shape of the feet. When many people see this shoe, they consider it to be quite wide which is not the case. Here is why.

The foot-shaped toe box has one big benefit. And that is to allow your toes to spread out when running. Who wants a shoe that tightens the toes? Such a shoe is just uncomfortable! Spread out toes improve the stability of the runner, strengthens the feet’s muscles and increases the number of strides since the toes stay straight.

The shoe is very similar to a human foot thus enables the runner to bend or perform activities similar to the foot. This is not only comfortable but also helps the body maintain its biomechanics while increasing performance and reducing the risk of injury.

Altra Running Shoes Categories

Altra has been innovating and refining their existing models while adding newer models on a regular basis. Back in 2017, they introduced five models in the market and the majority of their models that are being produced have been refined.

All Altra running shoes fall under one of three categories. They include Trail, Neutral and Dynamic Support. Each category has its own unique amount of cushioning to fit a wide variety of consumers with their different tastes and preferences.

Some of the Trail shoes include the Altra Golden Spike, Altra Superior 3.5 and Altra Lone Peak 3.5. Neutral shoes include the Altra One V3, Altra Escalante and the Altra Torin 3.0. Dynamic Support shoes include the Altra Provision 3.0 and the Altra Paradigm 3.0.

Vibram Running Shoes

For a couple of years now, minimalist or foot shape shoes have gained traction in the market. The growing and popular trend embrace how our ancestors used to live now in a newer and comfortable way. Vibram embraces this unique and classical style every time they design their shoes.

Today, medical experts and professionals agree that foot shape shoes are not only comfortable but also improve how the body functions and performance, especially for runners. Vibram was founded back in 2004 when its founder Bramani met with Fliri, a researcher of foot anatomy and designer.

Bramani loved the five finger design because it could be on the ground and in water. Bramani introduced Fliri into the company that belonged to Brahmani, his grandfather to design a great shoe. And Vibram was born. The Vibram has its own unique features.


Five Fingers Fit Perfectly

Vibram designed the Five Finger so that anyone’s toes can fit in the shoe perfectly. How? The largest and the second largest toe has equal length. The other toes’ sizes decrease exponentially as you move down. This design works for a majority of people. There is also some space for your toes to spread out comfortably. The lacing system has toggle locks to prevent your feet from slipping outside the shoes.

Feeling Barefoot

Most runners have agreed that the Vibram is comfortable even in a short distance run. The shoe is light and makes your running experience fun. The shoe has a zero drop. You feel so close to the ground. Some people might not be used to the five finger shoe but it is so easy to fit in. You can also work out comfortably with the shoes.

The famous Arnold Schwarzenegger used to train using the barefoot to maximise his workouts and minimise interference from shoes. As you probably know, your workout success is dependent on how you position your feet. The barefoot design allows you to feel the force of your lifts. As Vibram’s saying goes, listen to your body. Once you transition to the barefoot design, you will feel how your body just feels great. Everything will be magic!

Vibram zero drop

Among Vibram’s models are the Classic, Sprint, Flow and many others to suit different kinds of people with different situations.


Which one is better? The Altra or the Vibram? Both shoes are great depending on what you want to do. At the end of the day, it all comes down to one’s tastes and preferences. Choose a shoe that gives your body pleasure. Choose a shoe that will last longer. Choose Altra. Choose Vibram!

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.
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