Friday, September 12, 2014

Product Review | Altra Torin

I'm happy to review the Altra Torin running shoe.
Highlights:  Lightweight, Zero Drop, neutral, cushioned, comfortable.  My favourite running shoe of all time.

Altra Torin running shoes are lightweight and comfortably foot-shaped to accommodate your toes as if you were barefoot.  When your toes aren't squished up like they are in a dress shoe, your toes can spread out for more power and stability.  It's just easier to maintain your balance, helping you run more efficiently.

Altra makes zero drop shoes.  You can see in this image that the distance under the ball of the foot is the same as the distance under the heel.  The stack height is 28 mm and this is highly cushioned shoe, great for long distance training.

On the Altra Torin, the cushioned sole wraps up over the front to protect your toes from getting stubbed on rocks and roots.

The laces aren't long enough for me to tie them in a heel lock loop but they stay tied and I haven't needed to cinch them down around the heel.  They don't rub me the wrong way.

The cutaway around the ankle bones is just right for me.  Not too low and not too high.  I have never had any issues with blisters or rubbing in the wrong place.  

There is a handy loop on the back for pulling the shoes on and off, although I don't really use that.  It's lime green so it's just "sassy."

My training for spring ultramarathon #2 involved my Altra Torins, sunshine, flowers and showers...

Because we live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada... of course, my training the next day involved a big dump of snow!  No problem.  I ran home from work in the snow.  My feet weren't cold and the Torins dried quickly.

The snow melted and I went for a 42 Km training run from Calgary to Chestermere and back.  There were some muddy sections on this run but even so, the fabric resists looking dirty.  

There was some hill and stair training.  You can see the metatarsal mapped outsole for support where you need it:

I love the colour combination and already had a number of run shirts and jackets in this colour. I'm wearing my Altra Torins here in my Calgary Marathon 50K ultramarathon.  The lime on the shoes is picked up in my CEP compression calf sleeves and Nathan Hydration race vest.  

Later in the summer, these Torins made an appearance at the Strathmore Women's Triathlon, where I did the bike and run portion with a friend doing the swim.  Our team placed first.  :)  

Since switching to Altras, I have found my landing transition naturally move away from heel striking toward landing on my whole foot with a faster turnover and less jarring motion.  I did safely transition gradually from an 8 mm to a 4 mm to a 0 mm/zero drop over a few months and these are now my favourite shoes of all time.

Now that I have purchased a number of pairs of Altra shoes, I find it hard to go back and run in my "other" heavier, more restrictive traditional running shoes.  Below left to right: Altra Torin (long distance), The One (race), 3-Sum (triathlon), Delilah (everyday), Lone Peak 1.5 (trail).

Try on a pair of Altra Zero Drop shoes in Calgary at Gord's Running Store or Strides Running Store.

If you LOVE this shoe or have any COMMENTS or FEEDBACK about this shoe, please leave a comment below!

For more information:

*In the interest of disclosure, this pair of Torins I reviewed were provided to me under no obligation to review them and these opinions are mine alone. 

Related Post: I trained for my first ultramarathon on packed snow and ice in my Altra trail shoes with good traction.  If you missed it, here's my review of the Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe

Bonus "FEETure"

Here are some other models of Altra shoes so you can see the foot-shaped design and zero drop...

I ended up buying these super lightweight race shoes as well and after one RUNcommute training run, I rocked them in the Canmore Rocky Mountain Half Marathon.  These are "The One."

The Altra Delilah are great for everyday and I even did some commuter cycling in them:

I'm so convinced that the foot-shaped toe box is key to comfort, I returned a pair of cycling shoes and bought a pair of Bont cycling shoes (silver and black below) because they also have the foot-shaped toe box.  I only buy foot-shaped shoes in all my dress shoes, boots, hiking boots now too.