Creator & Founder, Product Development | Altra

Golden Harper ran his first marathon at age 10 (3:08:05) and holds the world’s best for a 12-year-old in the marathon at 2:45:34. He went on to become an All-American Cross Country runner. After college, he won his first 50-mile race — the Alpine to Slickrock 50 — by nearly an hour. He grew up working in his family’s running store and has been driven to help people overcome injury and accomplish their goals since a young age. He did his collegiate studies on running technique and running injuries and continues to study foot problems and running injuries extensively.

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Exercise Science-Fitness & Wellness with Business Management emphasis, Brigham Young University

I COULDN’T DO MY JOB WITHOUT: Great people. Prayer. Luck. Willingness to think outside the box. Persistence. Genuine desire to make the world a better place.

MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Do the right thing and don’t give up. If your motives are pure, everything will eventually work out.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Our first investor, Xango Founder Joe Morton, always told me that if you have a unique product and message, and if you differentiate from your competition, it will be successful.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Having our funding fall through at the same time we were experiencing manufacturing problems that had us on the verge of going under before we ever sold our first shoe. Somehow persisting and getting through the dozens of times we were on the brink of destruction was huge.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: Just having validation that our shoes do what I designed them to do. I’ve received thousands of letters, emails, etc. along the lines of “Your shoes and education helped me to overcome this injury and accomplish my goals.”

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: An undying belief in our product being the most healthy running shoe a person can put on their foot. That said, without my father Hawk Harper and Xango Founder Joe Morton, we never would have made it. Their mentorship has always been absolutely invaluable.

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: One, that I changed the face of the running shoe industry for the better with foot-shaped, cushioned, zero-drop shoes. Two, that I always tried to do the right thing, regardless of money or business pressures.

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Serving a two-year, self-paid mission for my church. Putting others before yourself and continuously trying to become a better person, results in ultimate peace and joy.