The Altra Torin is the most comfortable running shoe I have ever owned. It's a great shoe for marathons and general training, and it is the perfect introductory shoe for anyone looking to “get their feet wet” with ZeroDrop.
The Torin was my second Altra road shoe. When I tried it on at the store my immediate response was, “Whoa.” It was literally the most comfortable shoe that I have ever tried on and purchased. So much so, that I immediately took my wife to the store to try on a pair. Her response was identical to mine.
The comfort was key for my wife. Prior to running in the Altra Torin she suffered from severe Plantar Fasciitis for a few years. Her plantars hurt so bad that she couldn’t walk or even stand barefoot without pain. She tried everything: really expensive inserts, specialty sandals, daily stretches, massage balls—you name it. The only thing that provided some relief were the oofos sandals. However, after two months of running in the Altra Torin—without inserts—her Plantar Fasciitis was all but gone! No joke. In her own words, my wife said, “I think that I finally found ‘my shoe.’”
Between the two of us, my wife and I have run multiple races in the Altra Torin and put more than 1,000 miles on them. We both started with the Torin 2.5 and my wife is currently running is the Torin 3.0 as her main trainer. She plans to purchase the Torin 3.5 next, but the Torin 4.0 also hits the market in May 2019.
The Torin is one of the highest profile shoes that I have run in. They measure anywhere between 27mm and 29mm depending on the model. Altra is the creator of “ZeroDrop,” where the sole’s forefoot is equally high from the ground as the heel. This is supposed to allow runners to have a more natural, barefoot-style run (along with the trademark "Foot Shape," wide toe box), but with the protection of a shoe. While 27mm may not seem high for the heel of a shoe, it is for the forefoot of as shoe. However, I believe that is part of why they are so stinking comfortable!
There is not a huge difference in the sole, tread or upper from the 2.5 to the 3.5, other than improved durability. The sole of the Torin 3.0 and 3.5 are about 2mm lower than the 2.5 and have a different sidewall design--but still the same thing. In fact, the tread pattern is virtually identical on all three versions (see pic below). However, Altra did make changes to the sole, tread and upper of the Torin 4, which is highlighted in Road Trail Run's preview in my "What others have to say" section below.
Initially, I felt like the thickness in the forefoot made the shoes feel a bit sluggish and heavy when sprinting or running up hills. My wife disagreed with this and said that she did not notice this at all. Keep in mind though, men’s shoes are generally bigger than women’s, requiring more material. However, after a few more runs, I never thought of my initial complaints again. In fact, I loved using the Torin so much that I ran the Big Cottonwood Marathon in them. They performed wonderfully. In fact, the Altra Torin 2.5 NYC version (featured below) that I used for my marathon was designed specifically for the New York City Marathon.
My wife did complain that the padding of the upper material on the Torin 2.5, around the heel and ankle, wore off in the back and starting rubbing. However, I did not have this issue. Newer models have improved in durability and she did not have the same problem with the Torin 3.0.
The latest iterations of the Torin have both mesh and knit upper options. Several shoe companies are starting to provide these dual options. The mesh upper is your classic running shoe material and support. The mesh version of the Torin also has a thin, firm material over the toe that adds a nice protection I really like (I hate stubbing my toes!). The knit material however, feels and fits more like a firm and comfortable sock, which I also like. It’s simply a preference thing.
Overall, you really can’t go wrong with the Altra Torin when training for a marathon or testing out what ZeroDrop feels like to run in.
Great toe protection
Excellent introductory shoe to ZeroDrop & Foot Shape
Magical healing powers (but they give you “no eagle powers!” Sorry Nacho)
Could improve on color options
Prior iterations had poor durability in the upper material around the heel
High overall profile
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY
Altra Torin 4.0
Altra Torin 3.5
Altra Torin 3.0 - Women's Version
ABOUT THE AVERAGE JOE RUNNER
Well, his real name is actually Dave...but "The Average Joe Runner" seemed like a catchy name for a blog. Born a sprinter, but converted to distance running in adulthood, Dave has run for more than 25 years. He is the father of four awesome kids and the husband to one amazingly talented, smart and fast-running wife.
The Average Joe Runner blog and website was born after Dave continued to get questions from friends and family alike for running tips and gear advice. However, this blog is also meant to hear from other Average Joe and Jane Runners out there. You can contribute to the blog by clicking Submit or Request. Follow The Average Joe Runner on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @TheAvgJoeRun. Read More.