Altra Torin 7 Review: A Cushioned Foot Hugger With Natural Toe Splay

Altra's latest cushioned neutral road running shoe offers a spacious toe box and secure fit for runners craving a zero drop shoe capable of comfortably handling many easy miles.

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In this Altra Torin 7 review I’m going to cover everything you need to know about these road running shoes from Altra, including their key features, how they fit, the features I like, areas where I feel there’s room for improvement, and ultimately, whether they justify their $150 price tag.

Let’s kick off this review by going over what type of runner the Altra Torin 7 is for. These running shoes are Altra’s highly cushioned, neutral support road running shoes, that may suit you whether you’re running 5k through anything up to the marathon distance – and you may also enjoy them if you’re looking for cushioned zero drop trainers for walking, too.

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $150 at Altra Running and REI.com
  • Sizing and fit: True to size, foot-hugging fit
  • Weight: 8 oz for a US women’s 7.5 (my size)
  • Drop: Zero drop
  • Toe box width: Medium (there is also a wide version if you select the blue colorway)
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support added
  • Midsole Cushioning: Altra Ego MAX foam midsole – high cushioning
  • Best for: Daily runs on roads and paved surfaces, all distances up to marathon
A look at the side of the Altra Torin 7 zero drop road running shoes
A look at the side of the Altra Torin 7 zero drop road running shoes

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As I mentioned above, one of the first things that stands out about these Altra running shoes is their zero-drop design – one of the features Altra Running is well known for – that, and the wider than average toe boxes on many of their running shoe styles, which are intended to allow your toes to spread out in their natural ‘toe splay’.

Having a zero drop running shoe encourages you to land more on your midfoot or forefoot, mimicking a natural running style, almost like what you’d experience if you were sprinting barefoot across the beach. But unlike barefoot running, the Torin 7 wraps your feet in robust protection and cushioning.

Thanks to Altra’s EGO MAX foam, you’re looking at a ride that’s plush and ready to log serious miles, offering a high degree of cushioning that you can see from a look at the midsole.

A closer look at the new woven upper on the Altra Torin 7
A closer look at the new woven upper on the Altra Torin 7

Moving up to the upper, this iteration of the Torin features an engineered mesh that’s different from the upper on previous models. On closer inspection, you’ll notice perforations designed for breathability. They’re certainly not the most breathable running shoes for hot summer runs, but for most conditions they allow a reasonable amount of airflow.

The fit deserves a mention too. They remind me a lot of the fit experience I had with the Altra Timp 5 (a trail running shoe) – you slide your foot in, and it feels like the shoe just molds around it and immediately gives a feeling of security. The laces then add an extra layer of security rather than being the main show – I find I don’t need to use the laces to cinch the shoe onto my foot (something I have to do with other running shoes that start off with a looser fit).

Top down view of the Torin 7, showing Altra's Standard footshape toe box, the well-padded tongue and heel
Top down view of the Torin 7, showing Altra’s Standard footshape toe box, the well-padded tongue and heel

The Torin 7 has Altra’s Standard width toe box – they also sell running shoes with the wider, ‘Original’ fit, such as the Lone Peak 8 that I also reviewed recently, and a narrower, ‘Slim’ fit. The Standard toe box is wider than many other brands, offering room for toe splay. For those with wider feet, Altra does sell the Torin 7 in a ‘wide’ version – if you select the blue colorway on the product page of Altra’s website.

The Torin 7 is classified as a neutral shoe, meaning it doesn’t include Altra’s guide rail system or added stability features, so if you’re someone who needs extra support due to pronation, you might want to look at the Altra Paradigm 7, too.

The features of the Torin 7 that I really like

The upper on these shoes is very nice – very soft, immediately comfortable out of the box. It feels more like a snug fabric embracing your foot than some of the more rigid, plasticy uppers you can find on other running shoes. This level of comfort is important particularly if you’re considering these as a pair of shoes for longer distances such as half or full marathon training and racing.

Altra Torin 7 review 2

Staying with the upper, I appreciate the attention to detail around the ankle area. The tongue is luxuriously padded and rises to just the right height, paired with laces that secure well without needing to be overly tight and feature a loop to hold the tongue in place, too.

This is because the shoe itself offers such a fantastic fit; it envelops your foot in a hug the moment you slide it on. There’s also nice padding around the ankles and heel – the heel counter really holds your foot in place within the shoe, with no rubbing.

The cushioning in the Torin 7 is as advertised. With its zero-drop platform, it encourages landing on your mid to forefoot, but don’t let that fool you into thinking these are anything like those minimal barefoot running shoes. The Torin 7 has a high degree of cushioning that’s built to carry you through the longest distances comfortably, and you feel the benefit of that when you run on your mid to forefoot.

A closer look at the outsole on the Altra Torin 7
A closer look at the outsole on the Altra Torin 7

The outsole is also well-designed, with texture that provides reliable traction, both in wet and dry conditions. It features placement of more durable, grippy sections where you’re likely to land (for example, under each of the five toes and ball of the foot).

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

The features that could be improved for the next version

It seems many people looking for running shoes for wide feet may turn to Altra as an option. However, it’s important to note that while these shoes do feature a wider toe box, it’s primarily designed to facilitate natural toe splay rather than specifically catering to runners with wide feet.

If you want a running shoe for wide feet, you should either look at Altras with the Original toe box shape, or the Wide version of the Torin 7, to help ensure you get the wider shoe you’re looking for, rather than this Standard width version I’m wearing in the photos throughout this review.

For another option for wide feet, you might want to check out the Altra Via Olympus 2, which offers a more cushioned road running experience with Altra’s Original toe box shape.

Another area to mention in this section is the breathability of the upper. While it does offer a fair level of breathability, as mentioned earlier, it may not suffice for those extra hot running days.

The snug fit, while desirable for many aspects of performance and comfort, could benefit from increased air circulation and moisture evaporation to prevent feet from becoming overly warm and sticky. This could potentially be addressed by incorporating larger ventilation holes or a more widely woven mesh to boost breathability, especially for runs in hotter climates.

The Altra Torin 7 features Altra's Standard footshape toe box width.

Is the Altra Torin 7 worth buying?

Wrapping up this review of the Altra Torin 7, we’re looking at a price point of $150. This is a competitive price for well-cushioned road running shoes, especially when you consider their unique combination of zero-drop design to go with that ample cushioning. This setup is relatively unique, offering a distinct advantage for those looking to run long distances with a natural foot strike.

So, while you can comfortably run in these shoes for anything up to marathon distance, if you only ever run a couple of miles at a time in them, they’ll be very enjoyable, easy miles with this level of comfort and support.

Altra Torin 7 Video Review on YouTube

Did you know we also create shoe review videos on our YouTube Channel too? Click the image below to watch my Altra Torin 7 video review on YouTube next.

Altra Torin 7 review YOUTUBE

Altra Torin 7 review gallery

Helen
Helenhttps://www.trailandkale.com/
One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.

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