Opinion: Altras aren't for everyone, or even me, but I'm still gonna wear them.
It feels like it was only 2017 when I was visiting my, at the time, favorite problematic hikers YouTube channel and he was talking about a pair of hiking shoes inside of the van in which he lived.
Those shoes he was talking about were Altras. I had never heard of Altras and up until then I had never even heard of 'zero drop / minimalist' footwear, but you better fucking believe from that moment forward I was championing everything about them. You see, up until that day my shoe collection ranged from Vans Half Cabs, Air Max 95's, Jordan 1's, Osiris D3's and an assortment of Toms that I kept around from my high school days. I was comfortable in any and every shoe I ever wore....or so I thought.
It turns out I was a fucking dumbass and knew nothing about shoes, my feet or the balance of my own body in which I lived in for the 27 years prior to this moment. In my own pea-sized brain I just thought every shoe had a 'foot shaped toe box', cause you know, shoes are made for feet right? Wrong! Every shoe you've been wearing your whole pathetic life has been slowly suffocating each and every one of your 10 piggies. Ever heard of 'toe splay'? Yeah, me neither but you better believe that there is a man made gap being forced between each of my toes from the moment I wake up. Your god did a shit fucking job at designing us.
The initial period of getting used to them wasn't THAT bad. Sure, my kneecaps felt like they were caving in, my Gastrocnemius muscles felt like they were ripping away from my Plantaris Tendon but that's all part of the process.
Once you navigate the map work of the 36 different ways to lace your athletic shoes you are ready to hit the trail. I remember setting off on the Wind River High Route with a fresh pair of Lone Peak 4.76's (arguably not as good as the 2.3's or the extremely limited 3.11's, oh man, those 3.11's were god-tier) and how sloppy they felt while scrambling over Knapsack Col and skirting Knifepoint Glacier, but it's all up to your body to help stabilize YOU, the shoes are training YOU to be a better hiker.
Somewhere around 47 miles in the top cap came unglued and a hole developed near my pinky toe. Luckily I had cleaned Running Warehouse out of their stock so I wasn't too worried about it. It's true that the quality is absolute shit but what can you do, there's literally no other shoe out there for me, so don't even try to recommend me something else!