Facts

  • Terrain

    Road

    Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

    Trail

    Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

    Good to know

    As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

  • Arch support

    Neutral / cushion / high arch

    Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

    Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

    Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

    Good to know

    - Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
    - More about arch support in this video.
    - Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

  • Use

    Daily running

    Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

    Competition

    Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

    Good to know

    If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

  • Price
    $125
  • Weight
    Men: 8.4oz
    Women: 6.5oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 0mm
    Women: 0mm

    The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

    There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

  • Heel height
    Men: 28mm
    Women: 28mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 28mm
    Women: 28mm
  • Release date
    May 2017
Show more facts

Summary

We spent 7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The customers believed that the Altra Torin 3.0 provided the ‘right’ kind and amount of cushioning; it was neither too squishy nor insufficient.
  • Many testers confirmed that the shoe stayed in a good condition, even after many miles of running.
  • The majority were happy with how firmly the latest version of the Torin held their feet inside the shoe, thereby preventing wobbling during the running session.
  • A few people decided to get extra pairs of the Torin 3.0 since its cushioning system helped speed up recovery from injuries.
  • A runner was satisfied with how this shoe assisted in maintaining the natural running pattern.
  • A user described the experience in these lightweight shoes as ‘walking on clouds’.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Most testers complained about the blisters they had due to the shoe’s apparently narrow toe box.
  • A few runners mentioned that the shoe’s outsole started to come off after only several miles of running.
  • One user talked about its upper not being breathable enough to allow a cool and dry experience throughout the day.
  • Another individual wasn’t able to feel the much sought-after ‘springiness’ in these shoes.

Bottom line

The Altra Torin 3.0 has certainly acquired many fans worldwide through its remarkable cushioning and firm grip both inside and outside the shoe. It was deemed excellent on inclines and the asphalt; however, based on the users’ experiences, the pair can use an improvement to the design of its forefoot region.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

89 / 100 based on 7 expert reviews

  • 95 / 100 | Ilsuk Han

    Altra Torin 3.0 - Ugly but fun!

    You Make Loving Fun by Fleetwood Mac (Replace "Loving" with "Running")

    Sweet wonderful you
    You make me happy with the things you do
    Oh, can it be so
    This feeling follows me wherever I go

    I never did believe in miracles
    But I've a feeling it's time to try
    I never did believe in the ways of magic
    But I'm beginning to wonder why

    I never did believe in miracles
    But I've a feeling it's time to try
    I never did believe in the ways of magic
    But I'm beginning to wonder why

    Don't, don't break the spell
    It would be different and you know it will
    You, you make loving fun
    And I don't have to tell you but you're the only one

    You, you make loving fun
    It's all I want to do
    You, you make loving fun
    It's all I want to do
    You, you make loving fun
    It's all I want to do
    You, you make loving fun
    It's all I want to do

     

    Apologies if you now can't get that song out of your head but it's the song that came to me every time I went for a run in Altra Torin 3.0! Read on for more on why.

    Zero Drop and Foot-Shaped

    Torin 3.0, although my first Altra road shoe, wasn’t my first encounter with Altra. That was back in Spring of 2015 when I acquired a pair of Superior 1.5, their trail offering with minimal cushioning.

    While I was hardly enamored with the shoe (it was a bit too minimal yet heavy) I did note several innovations, including the removable Stone Guard, and Velcro Gait Trap, not to mention zero drop and the distinct foot-shaped toe box, which suggested this was a young company thinking outside the box – or rather, obsessed about the (toe) box.

    Now still less than a decade old, the company continues to innovate while sticking to its twin hallmark features of zero drop and foot-shaped toe box.

    So, when a chance came up to test and review a pair each of road (Torin 3.0) and trail shoes (Timp) courtesy of OSC Ltd, Altra’s UK distributor, it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.

     

    Love the colorway

    But not necessarily minimal

    First off, all Altra shoes, regardless of whether they are minimal, moderate, or maximal cushioned, are zero drop, meaning no height differential between toe and heel – much like your foot au naturel.

    The key point to note, particularly for readers inspired by the seminal book 'Born to Run,' is that unlike the huarache sandals were worn by Tarahumara Indians (or Vibram Five Fingers), Altra shoes are not necessarily minimal. Torin 3.0 is in fact rated as high cushion on the Altra scale with a stack height of 28mm, along with a 6mm footbed.

    For comparison, Hoka Clifton 5 carries 24mm stack height in the forefoot and 29mm in the rear.

    Many runners, myself included, may have had a negative experience while running on zero drop (and, often interchangeably, minimal) footwear.

    The tendency is, in the absence of any heel cushioning, to try too hard to both land and take off on the forefoot, with result that all that "tiptoeing" puts excessive demands on the lower leg, leading to calf strains and tears. This all too often brings a premature end to the experimentation with zero drop (and interchangeable, again, with barefoot) running.

    With the incorporation of cushioning into zero drop, Altra appears to have hit upon a sort of “sweet spot” where a degree of mid-foot and even heel striking is allowed for, while still enabling the foot to roll through the gait cycle onto the big-toe at take off.

    The biggest benefit to the runner, of course, is that due to their zero drop nature (and therefore lack of built-up heel landing area), the gait – almost unbeknownst to the runner – becomes low-impact, with the foot landing underneath the bent knee and the cadence higher, to compensate the absence of over-striding.

    Other shoe brands have also made use of this holy grail combination, most notably Hoka, whose models tend to be by and large highly cushioned and while not quite zero drop tend to be at lower drops. The popular Hoka Huaka, for example, came in at 2mm. Even Inov-8 is now entering the fray, with the new Terraultra G 260 being offered at zero drop.

    Altra, helpfully, include a comprehensive booklet with all their shoes to help with transitioning to zero drop running. In the case of Torin 3.0, a transition plan is hardly necessary and I was able to enjoy running longer distances in them almost instantly, thanks to ample cushioning.

     

    You can tell from the packaging

    The Foot-Shape Toe Box

    Let's be brutally honest here: the shoe is not going to win any prizes for looks.

    It may be that our (read: the wider society’s) view of what makes a good-looking shoe is firmly and perhaps irrevocably defined by the majority of shoes out there, e.g. conventional looking shoes with narrow foot-bed and pointy toes and that any deviation from that is going to raise eyebrows.

     

    Foot-shaped toe box

     

    But the irrefutable fact is that the shoes are comfortable, with no scrunching up of the toes into a pointy toe box.

    When you think about it, this makes perfect sense since the foot, the marvelous feat of engineering that it is, is meant to perform at its best when given the room for the arch and toes to do their job, as nature intended. And we know that the foot does its job best when toes are given the room to splay, particularly the big toe, which plays a major role in an efficient gait cycle.

    It’s enough to make you wonder why the Altra concept is not more widely accepted.

    Discussion on the merits and otherwise of zero drop and foot-shaped toe-box could go on (and on) and much of it is outside the scope of this review. Let’s just say form certainly determines function in this case and raised eyebrows or comments of “duck feet” are a small price to pay for a fun and low-impact running experience.

    Quality shoe build

    As for the materials and build, Torin 3.0 is quality. The upper has an embossed look which I quite like and keeps the shoe breathable. Altra’s website has a much better-sounding term for the upper material: quick dry air mesh with TPU overlays.

     

    Yup – Quick Dry Air Mesh with TPU Overlays

     

    The midsole consists of EVA with Altra’s energy return compound called A-Bound top layer. A technical feature called Innerflex (grid-like flex grooves in the midsole to allow your foot to flex where it needs to for more speed and improved performance, per Altra website) is also in there somewhere.

    A feature which is discreetly present but possibly one of the most important as far as the run experience itself is concerned is the Footpod technology. Apparently, this “unique outsole and midsole pattern maps the bones and tendons of your foot to let it flex where it naturally wants to.” Impressive stuff.

    At 238 grams per shoe, Torin 3.0 belies its bulky appearance and is a surprisingly light shoe.

    The Fit

    With such a roomy foot-shaped toe-box, the fit in the heel is crucial to avoid any feelings of sloppiness.

    Altra’s guideline is that the shoes should feel loose around the toes and that this is OK since it’ll take a few days for your toes to revel in their newfound freedom and spread out naturally. But I’ve found that as long as the heel feels locked in, a sense of too much room in the forefoot to not be an issue at all.

    I found with Torin 3.0 (as I had to with Superior 1.5) that I had to go up ½ size to US11 (EUR45, UK10) in order to give myself enough length. Volume was never going to be an issue.

    Once the right fit is found, you’ll find yourself wondering about the run experience, since the feeling of Altra on the foot is likely to be unfamiliar to most people.

     

    Good heel fit is critical

     

    One design feature of Torin 3.0 which I love: I don’t know about you but I often have problems with the sliding tongue.

    It’s always slipping towards the lateral side of the shoe, and quite often require mid-run adjustments. The Torin 3.0 upper pre-empts this potential problem by being permanently fixed on the medial side. Genius.

    Other reviewers have commented on the shallower than usual toe box. Not the width, obviously, but the height/volume. I did not find this to be the case at all but I’m aware that I did upsize and that perhaps is the reason I had no issues.

    At any rate, the fit is spot on and I knew as soon as I slipped them on that Torin 3.0 and I was going to get along just fine.

    The Run Experience

    Now, back to that Fleetwood Mac tune. It sounds trite and perhaps not quite believable, but Torin 3.0 really do make running fun. The cushioning strikes just the right balance between soft and responsive.

    And in conjunction with zero drop, makes for a more, for lack of a better word, “holistic” running experience. It’s as if the body becomes aware that it is out for a more natural, low impact run. It feels as if the cadence has picked up a touch, and the run becomes more of a bouncy one than a plodding one. It’s just more “fun.”

    I have noticed that while running in Torin 3.0, I tend to use more of the outside half of my foot, the side away from the arch than I would in other shoes. At least it feels that way. It is not at all an unpleasant or uncomfortable feeling.

    If anything, it feels stronger to land on that half of the foot and to roll through the gait cycle onto somewhere between the big toe and second toe for takeoff. I suspect this may have something to do with the aforementioned Footpod technology and, indeed, the layer of rubber outsole pretty much matches the areas of the foot which tend to be most in contact with the ground while running in Torin 3.0.

    This would seem to support one of the many benefits of having a roomy toe-box, namely that it allows the foot to naturally stabilize excess pronation, this being a result of relaxed and spread out toes including crucially the big toe, which plays a major part in stability and powering of the toe-off.

     

    Footpod technology works!

     

    Although I can't prove it empirically until I video the gait from behind and play it back in slow motion (much as you'd see in the gait analysis offered by some of the better running shops, I could swear that my ankles feel straighter and resistant to any rolling inwards, or pronation, as the running experts call it.

    I have no doubt that this is a good thing, and perhaps what makes Altra shoes such a favorite amongst natural runners, and not just those with extra-wide "duck" feet, and why so many Altra fans claim Altra have both resolved their injury problems and prevented new ones.

    Either way, count me in as a convert. If nothing else, Altra Torin 3.0 makes running fun and for most of us that is good enough and all we can ask of a pair of shoes.

    Conclusion

    If you’re ever going to own just one pair of Altra, Torin 3.0 is a good shot.

    It’s got enough cushioning to be a daily trainer yet light enough to run a pacey 10k or half marathon in. If on dry, non-technical trails, the exposed midsole and Footpod outsole provide adequate grip as well. I have put over 100 miles on Torin 3.0 over past couple of months and barely any wear is discernible.

    My one and only caveat with Torin 3.0 (indeed, with all Altra models) would be in the inconsistent sizing since I’ve noticed that while I had to size up in both Superior 1.5 and Torin 3.0, the same size in Timp was way too much volume.

    As mentioned above, good heel lock is what you’d be looking for and seeking out a brick and mortar stockist might just be the shortcut to going out and having fun!

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 88 / 100 | The Ultra Running Company

    If you lilke that softer feeling type shoe, you are really going to like this one.

  • 86 / 100 | acaseofthejills

    All in all, I cannot tell you how satisfied I am with the Altra Torin 3.0.

  • 87 / 100 | Runner's World

    The last version was too tight, and the one before that was too loose. Now, the tension on the mesh is right in the middle, for a better fit all around.

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Updates to Altra Torin 3.0

  • The Altra Torin 3.0 boasts an updated FootPod Outsole with better traction properties and improved flexibility.
  • The midsole design is designed to deliver a smooth transition through the gait-cycle. It also provides the needed flexibility in order to allow natural movement and surface control.
  • The Air Mesh used on the Altra Torin 3’s upper is updated to allow for healthy circulation of air into the foot-chamber. The porous material accommodates airflow well, thereby maintaining a cool and dry environment.

Altra Torin 3.0 size and fit

The Altra Torin 3.0 is a neutral running shoe and fits true to size. It has the standard length. Also, the standard widths of D for men and B for women is applied here. Its semi-curved shape mimics the natural curvature of the human foot.

Outsole

The Altra Torin 3.0 uses the FootPod Outsole, which is updated to provide more flexibility and traction on the roads.

Midsole

The environmentally friendly, recycled A-Bound technology delivers an optimal combination of underfoot comfort and resilience to impact shock during the landing phase of the gait cycle.

A two-layered EVA midsole material establishes an underfoot experience that’s comfortable and resilient against the potential adverse effects of continued use.

In addition to the EVA midsole, the shoe boasts the 6-mm Contour Footbed for additional protection and cushioning. It follows the natural curves of the underfoot, therefore delivering some comfort to the arch and the spaces between the foot-pad and toes.

Along with maintaining high levels of comfortability, the shoe features the Inner Flex grooves for an easy transitioning of the foot from toe-off to landing. This smart technology improves the flexibility of the shoe, making it possible for the foot to move as naturally as possible.

The Natural Ride System (NRS) design in the Altra Torin 3 with zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop allows for natural movement of the foot. This is one of the Altra’s special features, which makes this brand stand out in the market.

Upper

The updated Air Mesh ensures instant cooling and drying of the foot, thereby maintaining a healthy environment for the user throughout the run.

The Strobel Last that’s attached to the Torin 3’s upper delivers further cushioning. It also accommodates the natural shape of the foot because of its semi-curved and foot-shaped construction.

The lightly padded tongue and collar give a bit of cushioning to the upper section of the foot. They also help in preventing interior wobbling and accidental shoe-removals.

A breathable fabric lining further improves air circulation.