By Austin Bonds
After running numerous times in the Altra Paradigm 2.0, the Torin 2.5 felt like a racing flat. Though I’m only kidding, the weight difference of 1.4 ounces is discernible for sure. Currently, the number one selling road shoe by Altra, the Torin has a vocal fan base. Said one proud owner: “All other shoes are dead to me.” While I don’t intend to dig a grave for the non-Altra shoes I currently own, I am gradually understanding why this runner (and others) are excited to don the Torin for training.
According to Running Warehouse, the Torin 2.5 has a stack height of 24 mm and a weight of 9 ounces (for a men’s size nine). After running in the Paradigm, with a stack height of 31 mm and 10.4 ounces of protection, the Torin provides a more responsive ride. But softness is still central to this model too. Based on the weight alone, I recommend the Torin for daily runs and longer runs. I picked up the pace in the Torin during a few runs to gauge foot turnover, but I wouldn’t use it for a tempo or track workout (the One 2.5 might be better suited for this).
I usually wear a size 12 but bumped the Torin to a 12.5 to accommodate my long feet. I figured the size increase might create too much width in the midfoot, but the Torin stayed secure through every mile. The upper is soft and provides adequate breathability. Underneath a layer of EVA is A-Bound, included to “reduce ground impact and add a spring to each step.” The second layer of EVA under the A-Bound contributes to the higher stack height. Finally, a FootPod outsole provides for natural foot flexion.
Though the Escalante is garnering widespread praise at the moment for Altra, I suspect that the Torin will not diminish in popularity – not for a moment. The transition from one step to the next was simply stellar. The Torin is a versatile shoe too, a worthy consideration for both road and trail.
The first Altra I owned in 2012, the Instinct, was quickly dubbed a “clown shoe” by my wife. The FootShape toe box accounts for this perception by people who see the brand for the first time, but this evolution (or is it a revolution?) in footwear construction is major – and very beneficial for runners who benefit from shoes with a wider with or are battling sesamoiditis or metatarsalgia. In my first few runs in the Torin, I clipped the opposite leg a few times. I attribute this to the wide toe box and the wide base. The clipping was minimal, but worth a mention since it occurred.
All running shoes are under scrutiny from a color and aesthetics standpoint, and the Torin is by no means an exception. Personally, I didn’t care for the colors, but the design is highly subjective from one person to the next. Hoka, for instance, has been widely criticized for their shoe design in the past, but their models are looking better and better with each passing year. Color notwithstanding, I’d increase the lace length a bit more.
The reviews for the Torin 2.5 on the Altra website are telling. “Plush and responsive.” “Best shoe ever.” “Unbelievably comfortable.” “Amazed.” While there are dissenters, the positive feedback overwhelmingly exceeds the critiques. I fall on the side of those who favor the Torin 2.5. At $125, this is a lot of shoe for not much money (I see it competing with the Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph, or Asics Nimbus, among others). Value goes a long way for runners when they open their wallets or purses. Speaking of which, runners who invest in the Torin will surely go long as it is well-suited to go the distance.
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