|Altra Torin, a Zero Drop, Maximal Running Shoe|
The FactsThe Altra Torin is a Zero Drop, high stack (aka maximalist), neutral running shoe. Like all Altra brand shoes, the Torin is made on a foot-shaped last, giving it their signature FootShape toe-box which allows natural toe splay. The Torin has a stack height of 27mm and weighs about 7.5oz. The shoes come with two insoles, one labeled contour that is 5mm and the other labeled strengthen that is 3mm. This version originally retailed for $115 but can now be found for as low as $50.
The Down and Dirty
|Image credit: AltraRunning.com|
I didn't start tracking my shoe mileage until I had already been running in these for a couple of months (while rotating with other shoes), so I'm not sure how many miles are on them. If I were to guess, I'd say around 200 miles. I've rarely used them for short runs as I feel they are just too much shoe for that, but I did almost every long run while training for my first half marathon in the Torin. Most of my runs were on asphalt and concrete, but I did do a 12 miler while in New Orleans that was mostly on the hard-packed dirt of the streetcar lines and the slightly rooty trail around Audubon Park. My feet still felt pretty good in the Torin near the end of my long runs, making it my choice shoe to wear for my first half marathon.
|Altra Torin clownish?|
|Altra Torin outsole wear (bottom of picture is lateral edge)|
I think what impressed me most about the Altra Torin was how well the outsole has held up. I typically have noticeable outsole wear on the lateral forefoot early on and in these you can see that is not the case, they've worn fairly evenly.
ConclusionThe Altra Torin was my first experience with a shoe that could be considered "maximal," and it performed as I expected. It was great for long runs and Altra's FootShape toe-box gave my forefoot the extra room it likes. The Torin is cushy without being too soft, it is still responsive but not a fast shoe. I would recommend it for long, easy runs or recovery runs.
For well groomed, hard-packed dirt, or grass trails the Torin will be fine, but for softer trails I'd look for another shoe (like the Altra Superior, review coming soon). On pavement, however, it rocks and kept my feet more comfortable than any other shoes I've worn on long runs before. The downside is that it has a chunky, clown shoe look which makes it seem heavy, when at 7.5oz for a maximal shoe, it's really not. While the Torin may feel sloppy at first, after some time it breaks-in and holds to the foot better, though I do wish it cupped my heel more.
If you are a heel striker, any zero drop shoe is going to have an adaption period and you may need to slowly add a shoe like this to your running rotation or you will experience some calf soreness. I'm a forefoot striker already, so this was a non-issue for me.
While I wouldn't call it a favorite, the Torin definitely has me interested in trying other shoes by Altra.
I bought the Altra Torin out of my own pocket and while this review contains affiliate links, I have not been otherwise compensated to write it and all opinions are my own.