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Altra Torin Zero Drop Running Shoe Review

The Altra Torin is the second shoe I am reviewing since coming back from a broken foot. The “extra” cushioning made me feel safer as I increased my milage and effort.

Here is what Altra says about the Torin


Experience cushioned, comfortable run with the Torin™–our highly cushioned neutral training shoe. Two-layer AltraBound™ cushioning returns energy back into each stride and reduces impact on hard surfaces. The well-cushioned ZeroDrop™ platform and foot-shaped toe box work together for natural foot positioning. This combination places your places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground and allows proper toe splay to help you run the way you were born to. Run with relaxed feet, less impact and better technique with the Torin.

Technical Stuff

  • Ideal Uses: Road Running, Light Trail Running, Fitness
  • Designed to Reduce: Shin Splints, Knee Pain, Forefoot Pain, Bunions
  • Platform: ZeroDrop™ Platform with Maximum Cushioning, Foot-Shaped Toe Box
  • Weight: 8.6 oz
  • Stack Height: 28 mm
  • Midsole: Two-Layer EVA/AltraBound™
  • Outsole: Blown Rubber MetaPod™
  • Insole: (2) 5mm Contour and 3mm Strengthen
  • Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh

The Good

The cushioning on the Altra Torin is a really nice mix of soft cushion and firm bed. The foot strikes were softer but not sloppy. The fit of the Torin is very pleasing. I was able to get a snug fit over the mid-foot while maintaining the wide open toe box. With the look of the shoes, I did not think I would have fast runs, but many of my runs were in the 7:30 minute pace per mile range. That is a good pace for me. The weight of the shoe at 8.6 oz. felt light on the foot, especially for such a well cushioned shoe. The cushion was a great change of pace from the minimal shoes I have been wearing. Coming back from injury, I felt confident in the Torin.

The Bad

I know when your buying a shoe function has to come before form. You’re not buying a prom dress. The shoe has to perform. While Altra continues to make better and better looking shoes, the shape of the shoe does not look fast to me. I was surprised when I had fast runs in the Torin. Psychologically the shoe looks like it should not be a fast. I had no issues with the shoe over heating during this colder than normal spring. I do wonder with the overlays that cover large areas of the shoe if they would breathe well in the Summer months. The trade off for the 1″ cushioning is a loss of flexability. The flat cushioned bottom felt “clompy” on my first few runs as I got used to the Torin it felt less so. Finally, I had a little heel lift on only the right shoe. I am not sure if it was a sign of the shoe fit or my mechanics in this shoe.

altra-torin-bottomOverall Conclusion

Altra continues to bring a unique product to the market that has been growing rabid fans. The Altra Torin will continue to grow their fan base. Most companies have one or two zero drop shoes in their line up. Altra only does Zero Drop, and they do it for a variety of models. The Torin is for the runner that wants a zero drop running shoe with cushion. The shoe delivers. after many miles on the Torin the wear to the sole was minimal. You could put a lot of miles on these shoes, and those miles would be done in comfort. The Torin is a great addition to the Altra collection. I give the Torin high points on the toebox, cushioning, and fit. If you have been avoiding zero drop shoes because they often fall into a more minimal shoe category, give the Altra Torin a shot. Your feet will like them.

Dollar per Mile


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. John Shepard says:

    Curious if your shoe had 6 eyelets or 7?

    I also found the same thing with the Torins, as I have put more and more miles on them, they are getting less and less stiff. It took about 50 miles thought to get them worked in.

  2. J-Abs says:

    Great review! I really like the Altra Instincts, and based on your impressions I’ll be keeping the Torins in mind if I need a more “substantial” shoe but still want zero drop. It has gotten to the point for me that anything over a 4mm drop feels awkward.

  3. Stuart says:

    Torin vs Virrata – what are your thoughts?

    1. I wish I could give you a good answer. Stein reviewed the Virrata while my foot was broken, and I reviewed the Torin. Here are two things that I can say. One, Saucony has a much sexier design. Two, the Altra Torin will out last the Saucony in durability. Hope that helps a little? Oh wait, the Saucony will not accomodate a wider foot, while the Torin will.

  4. Stuart says:

    Thanks. I have a 13 Kinvara (which i love) and 12.5 Instincts, so i’m down w/ both brands. i’m in the mood for a trail worthy shoe – which neither tread seems to be – that’s 1/2 the thickness of Hoka’s for medium dist runs. Any thoughts based on your expertise? I know there’s a Lone Peak 1.5 just released too.

    1. Hi Stuart, I have not tried the Altra trail offerings, I have heard good things about them. We will be posting a review of the Pearl Izumi N1 next week. It is a pretty nice trail shoe too.

  5. Stuart says:

    Nice, thanks for the hit back.

  6. Kayan says:

    I think Altras shoe tech come from tennis shoes. Grab a pair of tennis shoes and compare. I believe whoever designed and picked the shoe materials is heavily influenced by tennis shoe designs.

  7. David Burns says:

    How is the heel slippage, I like a locked down heel feel

  8. JP Sanders says:

    How does the Altra Torin and the Skechers GoRun Ride 3 compare? Thank You

    1. Totally different shoes. I can’t really compare them. Altra Torin is a Zero drop shoe with a large stack height. GOrun ride with the insole is an 8mm drop, light trainer, with a average stack height.

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