Our verdict

The Altra Torin 7 is a zero drop daily trainer that can tackle pretty much whatever challenge we throw at it. The midsole is energetic enough to pick up the pace for tempo sessions with ease while also being well cushioned and protective enough to keep us going during longer efforts. It’s also pleasantly padded, lightweight and breathable to boot, making the Torin 7 a comfy yet reliable workhorse of a shoe that bridges the gap between barfoot minimalism and max-cushioned comfort.

Pros

  • Pleasantly lightweight
  • Versatile enough for tempo session, long runs, or easy days
  • Responsive and energetic midsole
  • Good impact protection
  • Flexible and comfortable ride
  • Very breathable
  • Feels stable underfoot
  • Solid midfoot lockdown
  • No lace bite
  • Great traction over various surfaces
  • Suitable for wide feet
  • Can go sockless

Cons

  • Not ideal for heel strikers
  • Outsole lacks durability
  • Upper feels snug despite being wide

Audience verdict

81
Good!
  • Top 26% most popular running shoes

Who should buy

We recommend the Altra Torin 7 as a great choice for:

  • More experienced runners looking for a zero drop daily trainer
  • Runners with broader feet who prefer shoes with a more natural, foot-shaped silhouette 
  • Forefoot strikers whole want a good balance between ground feel and protective cushioning

Altra Torin 7 1

Who should NOT buy

Individuals with pre-existing calf or Achilles tendon injuries should steer clear of the Torin 7 and other zero-drop shoes. For those runners, we recommend a shoe with a stable base and a higher drop like the similarly versatile Brooks Ghost 15

Pronating runners in need of a mild-stability shoe that also sports a zero drop should consider the Altra Provision 7 instead.

Altra Torin 7 cut

Breathability

We pumped the Torin 7 full of smoke to get an idea of how well heat vents from the shoe. As we can see from the video, smoke immediately escapes the shoe evenly through the upper and the tongue. This stellar performance earns the Torin 7 a perfect 5 out of 5 for breathability, making it a great choice for hot summer runs or runners based in warmer climates. 

Compare that to how the much less breathable Adidas Runfalcon fared in the same test.

Shining a light through a cross section of the Torin 7’s upper, we can clearly see how easily it peeks through the many pores in the upper mesh. 

Our closeup shots of the upper mesh show us how the more fluffy and dense weaves give way to more minimal, less compactly braided sections that form the shoe’s wavy pattern and allow heat to escape quickly and easily.

Altra Torin 7 cu1

Altra Torin 7 cu2

Test results
Torin 7 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

To simulate extreme wear and tear on the Torin 7’s toebox, we subjected the shoe to our dremel’s grinding element at 5K RPM with a force of 3.2N. The tool seems to have trouble biting into the upper mesh at first, but eventually starts shredding away. Once the four second test was over, we were pleasantly surprised to find relatively minor damage in its wake. With only a small hole and no major snags or rips going beyond the contact area, we give the Torin 7 a toebox durability score of 3 out of 5. 

Altra Torin 7 Toebox durability

For context, have a look at the aftermath of the same test on the ASICS GT 100 12's toebox which took much more damage.

Test results
Torin 7 3
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Firing up our dremel to the same parameter as our previous test and set upon Torin 7’s heel counter for another four seconds. While it initially sent some shreds of material flying, by the end of the test we found that we had only torn through the lining and a couple millimetres of padding. This earns the Torin 7 a heel padding durability score of 3 out of 5. This means that going sockless shouldn’t result in too much friction wear on the Torin 7’s heel padding. 

Altra Torin 7 Heel padding durability

For an example of a not so durable heel counter, check out how the Altra VIA Olmypus held up against our dremel. 

Test results
Torin 7 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We used our durometer to measure the hardness of the Torin 7’s outsole and got a result of 74.5 HC which is softer than our current lab average. This level of hardness on the one hand means that the shoe is soft enough to really bite into surfaces and provide us with good traction while, on the other, sacrificing overall durability.  

Altra Torin 7 Outsole hardness
Test results
Torin 7 74.5 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

We again turned to our trusty dremel to test the durability of the Torin 7’s outsole; firing it up to 10K RPM and applying it to the shoe with a force of 3.2N. While it doesn’t seem to have much effect at first, the shorn-off material soon begins piling up next to the tool’s relentless grinding element.

Once the twenty second test was over, we found that we had lopped off 1.14 mm of material from the outsole, making it less durable than our current lab average. Thus, while we still predict that the shoe should last 400 miles, we expect to see significant signs of wear at that point. 

Altra Torin 7 Outsole durability
Test results
Torin 7 1.1 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 146 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Altra has a long tradition of producing shoes with a more foot-shaped silhouette as opposed to the less natural, narrow fit that squeezes the toes together that other brands tend to go with for the sake of aerodynamics. The Torin 7 is no exception with a toebox that measures 90.4 mm wide at the big toe. This is significantly wider than the average road shoe and means that our toes have plenty of room to splay out naturally during landings; thereby removing any risk of developing hotspots or blisters in that area, even at the tail end of longer runs when our feet have a tendency to swell up. 

Altra Torin 7 Outsole thickness
Test results
Torin 7 3.1 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Weighing in at 9 Oz (255g), the Torin 7 is only 0.04 Oz (1g) heavier than its previous iteration despite boasting a higher stack. This makes the Torin 7 lighter than the average road shoe means that it isn’t too burdensome for tempo sessions or long distance efforts. 

Altra Torin 7 Weight
Test results
Torin 7 8.99 oz (255g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

We measured the Torin 7’s heel stack to be 27.6 mm thick. While this is quite a bit shorter than our current lab average, it’s still enough to provide enough cushioning for well protected landings while providing us with a good amount of ground-feel during our runs. 

Altra Torin 7 Heel stack
Test results
Torin 7 27.6 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

As a zero drop shoe we expected the Torin 7’s forefoot stack to match the heel, but curiously we measured it with our caliper to be 28.4 mm. This is thicker than the average shoe and 3.3 mm more foam underfoot than the shoe’s previous iteration. 

Altra Torin 7 Forefoot stack
Test results
Torin 7 28.4 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

As mentioned in the previous section, while officially advertised as a zero drop shoe, the difference in our stack measurements leaves the Torin 7 with a negative heel drop of -0.8 mm. This difference is very small however, so only very attuned runners will notice as the Torin 7 does feel like a zero drop shoe for all intents and purposes.

Altra Torin 7 drop

Zero drop shoes do feel more natural as they mimic the motion of our bare feet, however they can lead to calf or Achilles tendon injuries for those unused to them while many of the purported benefits are purely anecdotal. We don’t recommend that beginner runners or heel strikers used to running in high drop shoes jump straight into the deep end with a zero drop shoe, but rather transition down gradually from shoes with lower heel drops. This helpful guide goes through the pros and cons of different drop heights. 

Test results
Torin 7 -0.8 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

At 4.7 mm thick according to our caliper, the Torin 7’s Ortholite sockliner is right around the average range for road shoes. What’s more, below the  insole is a lasting board made of TPE foam which acts as a soft transition between the midsole and the insole. Both these features serve to complement the shoe’s midsole cushioning and further contribute to the shoe’s soft and protective cushioning. 

Altra Torin 7 Insole thickness
Test results
Torin 7 4.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

We pressed our durometer against the Torin 7’s midsole to measure how soft it is and got a reading of 16.8 HA. This is significantly softer than our current lab average and means that the shoe’s cushioning is plush and comfortable underfoot. While many proponents of zero drop shoes enjoy a more barefoot running sensation, we found the Torin 7’s midsole to be a good balance between cushioning and ground feel during our test runs. 

Altra Torin 7 midsole

In spite of the softness of its midsole, we found the Torin 7’s EGO Max foam to have a lively bounce that is comparable to other supercritical foams like Saucony’s PWRRUN. This meant that whether we pushed the pace during tempo sessions or buckled down for long distance efforts, the Torin 7 had our back with a ride that is protective as well as responsive.

Test results
Torin 7 16.8 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

To see how the shoe’s midsole reacts to cold conditions, we let the Torin 7 chill in the freezer for twenty minutes. We then re-applied our durometer to the shoe’s foam and got a reading of 24.9 HA. This is softer than the average shoe under similar conditions and means that the Torin 7 won’t freeze into ice blocks and should still provide a balanced level of cushioning even during the most frigid winter runs. 

With the shoe’s midsole becoming 48.5% firmer in the cold, the Torin 7 is less consistent than the average shoe depending on the surrounding temperature. While this means that the shoe will certainly feel different between warm and cold days, it’s important to note that the shoe’s post-freezer durometer reading is on par with the average shoe’s level of softness at room temperature!

Altra Torin 7 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Torin 7 48.5%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

When shifting our weight from side to side in the Torin 7, we found the shoe to feel quite well planted on the ground despite its relatively high (forefoot) stack and plush midsole foam. 

Torsional rigidity

The Torin 7 put up a mild level of resistance as we bent and twisted it in our hands, leading us to give it a score of 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale for torsional rigidity. This level of rigidity effectively offsets any tippiness associated with plush midsoles while still having enough give to allow the foot to bend and contrast naturally within the shoe. 

Test results
Torin 7 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The Torin 7’s heel counter is also moderately stiff based on squeezing and pushing at it with our hands, thus also earning a score of 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale. This level of stiffness in the heel collar means that we were able to achieve a good rearfoot lockdown that is both comfortable while also mitigating much side to side movement of our foot; further contributing to the shoe’s stable underfoot sensation.  

Test results
Torin 7 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Like previous iterations of the shoe, the Torin 7 sports a broader than average midsole at the forefoot measuring 116.0 mm wide. This ensures stable and well-cushioned landings and toe-offs for forefoot striking runners. It does come at the expense of smooth cornering as the wide base up front makes the shoe feel a little blocky at high speeds. 

Altra Torin 7 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Torin 7 116.0 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Measuring 103.3 mm at its widest point, the Torin 7’s updated toebox is 4.8 mm wider than the previous model and more accommodating than the average road shoe; making it a more suitable fit for runners with broad feet. Runners with narrow feet, on the other hand, will likely find the combination of the shoe’s wide base and roomy toebox a little too spacious. We suggest sizing down as we found the shoe to run a little long for its size, or, failing that, checking out the Brooks Ghost 15 with its more snug toebox instead. 

Test results
Torin 7 81.6 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We secured the Torin 7 to our workbench and measured how much force is required to torque the shoe to 90 degrees. With a result of 20.4N, the Torin 7 is much more flexible than the average road shoe. This contributes to the shoe’s comfy ride as the Torin 7 easily bends with the movement of our feet during our stride without forcing it into unnatural positions and shapes. 

Test results
Torin 7 20.4N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

We repeated the stiffness test after leaving the Torin in the freezer for twenty minutes and got a result of 29.3N of force needed to bend the shoe 90 degrees. This is much more flexible than the average shoe is under similar conditions, and means that the 

Stiffening up by 43.7% means that the Torin 7 is more consistent than the average shoe, with its flexibility not being as affected by cold weather as the shoe’s midsole. This means that the Torin 7 should deliver a comfortable and flexible ride all year round. 

Test results
Torin 7 43.7%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Grip / Traction

Despite its lacklustre result in our durability test, the Torin 7’s outsole is one of the unexpected highlights of the shoe. From the way it’s patterned, contributing to the shoe’s overall flexibility, to its grippy nature that bit into and gave us great traction over various surfaces during our test runs. If it was made of more hardy material, we would even say that it’s fit for mild trails.

Altra Torin 7 grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Measuring 103.3 mm at its widest point, the Torin 7’s updated toebox is 4.8 mm wider than the previous model and more accommodating than the average road shoe; making it a more suitable fit for runners with broad feet. Runners with narrow feet, on the other hand, will likely find the combination of the shoe’s wide base and roomy toebox a little too spacious. We suggest sizing down as we found the shoe to run a little long for its size, or, failing that, checking out the Brooks Ghost 15 with its more snug toebox instead. 

Altra Torin 7 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Torin 7 103.3 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Altra has a long tradition of producing shoes with a more foot-shaped silhouette as opposed to the less natural, narrow fit that squeezes the toes together that other brands tend to go with for the sake of aerodynamics. The Torin 7 is no exception with a toebox that measures 90.4 mm wide at the big toe. This is significantly wider than the average road shoe and means that our toes have plenty of room to splay out naturally during landings; thereby removing any risk of developing hotspots or blisters in that area, even at the tail end of longer runs when our feet have a tendency to swell up. 

Altra Torin 7 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Torin 7 90.4 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Toebox feel

While roomy, the Torin 7’s toebox feels a little snug. Not on the sides however, but rather the top of the unstructured mesh upper feels a tad low. This can be mitigated by swapping out the insole for one that’s a little less thick.

Altra Torin 7 Toebox feel

Tongue: gusset type

The Torin 7’s tongue is non-gusseted but features a lace loop that helps to prevent it from slipping from side to side. 

Altra Torin 7 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Torin 7 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The Torin 7’s tongue is a little more padded than the average road shoe, measuring 6.3 mm thick according to our caliper. This helped us achieve a good midfoot lockdown while providing good comfort around the instep and avoiding lace bite. 

Altra Torin 7 Tongue padding
Test results
Torin 7 6.3 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

The Torin 7’s midsole is removable, making it compatible with custom orthotics where necessary. 

Test results
Torin 7 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The Torin 7 features reflective elements at the rear and rear/lateral side of the shoe. While this means that we are technically visible at night, we recommend sticking to well lit routes when going for nocturnal runs in this shoe. 

Altra Torin 7 ref 1

Altra Torin 7 ref 2

Test results
Torin 7 Yes