Here we are! Another version of the large stack height marathon road runner. And the answer everyone has been waiting for…… The Altra Torin 7 tongue is fixed!
Now we have that out of the way. Let’s focus on the rest of the shoe.
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Altra Torin 7
Version 7 sees some minor updates in midsole height and upper and subjectively feels closer to an older Altra brand than previous versions. It’s got a significant stack height, but I can feel my feet and toes working; it’s interesting.
In this full review, we will look at the shoe’s fit, feel, and durability and ultimately decide if this shoe is for you or if you should look elsewhere.
So let’s jump in with the fit because if it doesn’t match your foot, then there’s no point throwing it on!
In short, there’s little change in fit between versions 6 and 7.
The toe box is nice and wide, even though this is only meant to be the “standard” fitting Altra (I don’t believe that). And I even feel a little more depth in the toe box!
The width continues further into the midfoot in version 7. In the Torin 6, I mentioned the midfoot felt tight to me, even to the point where I’d buy the wide version next time. But this time, the Torin 7 feels somewhat wider and more forgiving. It may be because the overlay thickness is reduced, allowing a little more give. And I think that’s a good thing!
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The lockdown is spot on, but be warned, the laces are short! On the positive side, I laced up the Torin 7 on my first run and never touched them again. I used the second eyelet, which helped with the heel lock, but I only just had enough lace to create a good bow. So if you’re sure you’ll need a lace lock (runner loop), you may have to change out the laces for a longer pair!
The wide-toe box is excellent and the widest I’ve felt from Altra in a while. Some of the newer slim-fit models have been fitting relatively narrow, which is worrying. But I’m glad the Altra Torin 7 still accommodates us, wide-splaying weirdos! And if that’s not enough, there’s still the option of the wide version! Just make sure you click through all the colors on the Altra website because not all colors have wide choices.
We have a regular tongue again! Version 6 was “ok,” but as we know, version 5 was an appalling attempt at a unique tongue design. Who would have thought a sharp thin material would be a good choice for a flex point in the foot!? Well, the Torin 7 has done away with erroneous innovative design and stuck with a simple, thicker, soft tongue! And it works beautifully. There is no gusset to the tongue, but I also have no problems with it slipping around during my runs. Thank you, Altra! Keep it simple!
Altra Torin 7
I was pleasantly surprised after my first few miles in the Torin 7.
For a max cushioned shoe (in my eyes) that’s gained 2mm over the previous version, it’s remarkably supple.
Because there’s minimal rocker prominent, your toes do the work! I was surprised to feel my toes activating more than I expected. Altra shoes such as the Rivera almost removed any foot activation due to the stiffer midsole and rockered platform. But the Torin is still a true zero-drop shoe with a reasonable amount of flex. The slight taper at the toes occurs very far forward, forcing your foot to do most of the work.
I could pick up the pace, but the Torin isn’t a racing shoe. At 9.8oz (278g), the shoe is pushed immediately into the “daily training” category. It wasn’t the worst when I picked up the pace, but the softer form and heavier base would wear on your quickly. I’d be much happy throwing these shoes on for my long, drawn-out runs.
The higher platform can feel unstable when forced off-camber. Rolling your ankle in road shoes isn’t that common, mainly because the surface is flat. But a couple of times, my foot was forced over in any direction after stepping on uneven pavement, and it felt like I could roll my ankle easily. This could be me feeling uneasy coming from barefoot shoes, but whenever you add more height to your stilts (I mean shoes), you will tend to roll your ankle.
The heel feels stiffer than in previous versions. Although I wouldn’t call this a solid heel counter, some structure is present. This structure remains stiff around the ankle, and I even felt some pressure on my ankle bones when walking. But once I got running, I felt no issues at all. Just be aware, if you’ve ever had problems with stiffer ankle cuffs digging into your ankle bones, you’ll want to have a good walk around your house in the Torins before taking them out on a long run.
Altra Torin 7
Here’s a tough one. The outsole, the midsole, or the upper; which fails first?
Considering the Torin is a road shoe, I don’t expect the upper will take much of a beating. The thin woven material is good and bad in this case. It’s lightweight, flexible, and forgiving. But at that same time, it’s prone to ripping if you catch it on any surface. Like I said, I don’t expect this would happen with a road shoe.
The midsole packs down quickly to the point where I worry about longevity. This is always true for Altra foams, whether it’s the Ego or the Ego Max midsole. They don’t last as long as others in the industry. That said, if you’re happy with forgoing that new poppy feel later in the shoes life, you can still get 100’s of miles out of these shoes.
The whole outsole is covered with rubber, and I like it! All current Altra road running shoes use the same rubber outsole, and I’ve had great results. It wears down very slowly, and with the Torin 7 having nearly its whole base covered, it’ll far outlast other aspects of the shoe!
The inner, heel cup, and tongue all use a fine semi-silky material that will hold up well to any rubber. If you’re a chronic holy heel creator, fear not! This material will not catch rubber in a bad way. You’ll get plenty of miles without rubbing a hole in the heel. But a silky material is usually detrimental when it comes to heel lock, but I’ve not had such an issue. So it’s a win all around for fit and materials.
The first breakdown will be the midsole. But if you can push past the “flat” feeling later in the shoes life, you’ll get plenty of miles out of the Torin 7.
Altra Torin 7
If you’re looking for a high cushion, wide toe box, and wide midfoot shoe, you can’t go wrong with the Altra Torin 7.
The quality lockdown, durable outsole, and forgiving upper make it a joy to run in.
You do have to look past certain aspects, most notably the longevity of the midsole, but few other shoes on the market can compete in this area.
And always remember, if you have a super wide foot, this may be you’re only choice for a wide-cushioned shoe! Just pick the wide version found on the Altra website!
And if you’re looking for a shoe with slightly more ground feel and flexibility, I’d suggest looking at the Escalante 3.