(KUTV) OREM -- A local running shoe company has raced its way into the top 10 specialty running stores in the country, and they're not stopping there.
Altra shoes says their footwear can not only fix your running style, but could make you faster too.
Golden Harper, founder of Altra Shoes, started making his own shoes with a friend less than 4 years ago, and says it all started with a toaster oven.
It started when he was working at his familyas shoe store. He and his father noticed many people coming into the store had pain in their joints and were looking for more comfortable running shoes.
aWe started filming our customers, we realized they had really well without shoes on, and really well in flats or spikes,a Golden Harper explained. aAnd then we would put them into a traditional running shoe that we're selling in the store, they ran with much higher impact, and not nearly as well.a
When he was just 25 years old, Golden started altering shoes using a toaster oven.
aI had a toaster oven where I was at,a he said. aWe heated them up until the glues would separate, and then we'd pull the outersoles off.a
Along two others, Brian Beckstead and Jeremy Howlett, they got rid of the thick heel, making the shoe flat, and equal from toe to heel.
aTaking the excess height and weight out of the shoes so to allow people to run the way they naturally run,a he said.
Golden says Altra shoes actually teach people to run better. He says when his dad was in college, he suffered an injury and needed to learn to run with low impact to his legs. Golden learned that from a young age, but says many people arenat taught to run correctly, and instead run with a high impact, causing injury.
For Golden, that running technique was taught from an early age. He started running marathons as a 10-year-old, following in his parentas footsteps.
aMy mom actually won the St. George marathon twice,a he said.
And his dad won it once as well. When Golden was 12 years old, he ran the St. George marathon in 2:45 hours, which was a world best time for a 12 year old.
Altra Zero Drop shoes have been on the market for less than 4 years, and theyare already in the top 8 of running shoes. Ashleigh Jameson says she switched over to Altra shoes when she saw a demo while working at a womenas specialty shoe store.
She says she was originally taught to run with a longer stride. But when she switched to Altra shoes, she says she turns over faster from one foot to the other.
aI feel like I could go for hours, you know, running in proper form,a she says, now working for Altra.
And she says, itas made her faster. aMy half marathon time when I ran with a regular running shoea| was 2:10,a she said. aAnd then the last couple of half marathons I've done, I've been in the 1:40s.a
Golden says speed wasn't the goal in creating this flat footwear, but helping people run better.
aMy passion with this was to fix injured runners. It was all about helping people run better and not get injured,a he says.
And with his shoes in over 700 running stores nationwide, he says the message is getting out there.aOur shoes teach people,a he said.
The shoes even come in a box with advice for improving your running technique, but Golden says just running in Altra shoes make the big difference.
For more information about Altra shoes, visit:altrarunning.com/?gclid=CM3Q2bOO8L0CFcFlOgoddHIAwA
By Lana Medina
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting)