Altra Torin 4 review
I am, as always, a big fan of the zero-drop and wide foot-shaped toe box. The Torin 4 feels light and responsive. It is cushioned appropriately and has great aeration. The shoe seems durable and has held up nicely after 70 miles of roads.
At an MSRP of $120.00 the Torin 4 is a good value for someone looking for an all-around road running shoe that can hold its own on a racecourse as well. As I plan for a few ½ marathons on roads this fall the Altra Torin 4 will be my go-to shoe.
First impressions of the Altra Torin 4
The Altra brand was born on the trail and for years I've relied on their shoes for a lot of my running, which is consequently mostly on trails.
It being that my sister usually cons me into running a fall road ½ Marathon or Marathon I thought I might try a pair of Altra’s road shoes. The Altra Torin was my choice and these shoes did not disappoint.
The Torin 4 sold me in the store initially with how comfortable they felt. Altra’s textbook wide toe box and zero-drop technology just make your foot feel right at home.
The natural feel and ease of fit is a big selling point in my opinion. Of the three brands of road shoes, I tried on these were the clear winner.
First off, I went a half-size up in this shoe. My normal 9.5 just felt a touch too snug.
Altra is using a new Altra Quantic™ midsole that sheds 2mm worth of extra material that the Torin Plush uses. This results in a lighter weight.
When I first put on the Torin 4 it did have a light and airy feel to it and at 9.1 oz it is quite light for how durable it seems to be.
While it’s not as light as some of the racing flats on the market, the Torin 4’s construction is built to last for much longer than the 150-250 miles you would get out of a racing flat. The fabric of the upper is soft and pliable but smooth and abrasion-resistant.
The upper lacing system at first seemed overly complex but that feeling passed.
The reinforced eyelets are a nice touch and the lacing guides on the top of the tongue help keep things in place. The functionality of the lacing system creates a comfortable girdle around your foot.
The harder, inner green bands on each side of the foot connect to the base of the shoe creating direct lines of support from the lace itself, to the foundation of your shoe. The gusseted tongue helps it to stay put and keep debris out.
The tongue is appropriately cushioned. I like that Altra doesn't waste a bunch of stuffing in places that the shoe really doesn't need it or benefit from it.
The upper construction is light yet tough. With an excellent well thought out ventilation the shoe never made my feet feel hot.
While I didn't have a chance to test it in the rain, I suspect that the upper will drain nicely in wet weather. The shoe is not bogged down with excessive masses of bulky upper cushioning. It’s soft and pliable where it needs to be and strictly business in the other areas. I like that.
How the Torin 4 performs
The responsive feel of this shoe is what I like the best. When I run in the Torin 4 I feel more agile (and maybe faster) than I actually am. Altra describes the shoe as “ready for spirited miles” and I couldn't agree more.
The lacing system which belts your mid-foot snuggly in place combined with the wider toe-shaped forefoot create unique stability that is very welcomed on corners. The Quantic™ midsole offers a solid amount of cushioning.
Not so much that it detracts from the responsive, lightweight feel of the Torin 4 but just enough to forgive those unlucky heel strikes and normal road hazards.
The sole of the Altra Torin 4 has a nice flex to it. It's not so liberal as to feel sloppy but not so rigid as to be uncomfortable. The tread is simple, with ample channels to act as conduits for water and plenty of traction points for the road surface.
The Footpod™ technology is touted as following the natural bone and tendon structure of the human foot to mimic the natural been of the foot.
While I can attest to the shoes comfort and well-designed flex, I can't see whether or not it is due to this technology. I will say that the skeletal look of the sole is a pretty rad design and looks super cool!
Tip: see the best running shoes.