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Altra Torin 7 Review: Their Moderately High Cushioned Neutral Trainer
By Andrea Myers

Altra started back in 2009 with the purpose to build around zero drop, anatomically wide toe box shoes. The company's name was modeled after the Latin word for Altera - "to fix or mend something that is broken." The Torin 7 is a bit deceptive, as the shoe has been around for a full decade (Altra used to use a .5 model yearly model update system to indicate how the size of the changes biannually). The Torin first dropped in 2013 as lightweight, cushioned model that for a long time acted as their highest cushion shoe until the recent Olympus release dethroned the Torin. The new Altra Torin 7 is no slouch though, now joining the 30mm+ stack club and gaining 2mm of Altra EGO MAX midsole foam over the previous version.

Altra Torin 7
Price: $ at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.8oz, 278g (men's size 9), 8.1oz, 230g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 30mm heel/30mm forefoot
Drop: 0mm
Classification: Zero drop daily trainer


The Altra Torin 7 is a moderate stack, zero drop daily trainer. Version 7 has gained an additional 2mm of stack from v6 and Altra redesigned the tongue and upper for what they say is a better fit. While I am a big Altra fan, including the Escalante 3 and Escalante Racer, the last Torin I ran in was the Torin 3.5 knit, which I ended up giving away because the thick tongue was so uncomfortable on the front of my ankle. I was really happy with the upper improvements Altra made in the Escalante 3 over the 2 and 2.5, so I was excited to see if they also fixed the Torin upper. I am happy to report that the tongue is a huge improvement over the 3.5 and I have largely enjoyed the fit and ride of the Torin 7 for easy miles. While the thicker midsole definitely provides more cushion and protection as compared to other zero drop shoes, this definitely rides like a zero drop shoe, so runners who are new to zero drop should proceed carefully.

: Topo Magnifly 4


The Altra Torin 7 fits true to size in my usual women's 9.5. I have a full thumb's width from the front of the shoe to my big toe, and the "Standard Footshape Fit" provides plenty of width for my forefoot, although the volume in the toe box is a little snug. The midfoot and rearfoot are normal width and I found the overall fit to be comfortable. The upper has enough stretch to it that the lower toe box volume was not an issue while running, but not so much stretch to cause friction on the plantar surface of my foot. I was very happy to find that the tongue was much reduced in padding and length as compared to the Torin 3.5 Knit. The non-gusseted tongue conforms nicely to the dorsum of the foot and stays securely in place thanks to a lace loop. There is a semi-rigid heel counter with a moderately padded heel collar. I did not have any issues with heel slippage or irritation in this shoe, and found it easy to dial in the laces to achieve lockdown. The upper is an engineered mesh that maintains its structure thanks to overlays in the medial and lateral midfoot and stiffer panels of material (the wavy lines in the photos) interspersed throughout the midfoot and forefoot. Altra did a great job updating this shoe and I was very comfortable in it during my test runs.


The Altra Torin 7 is definitely geared toward easy miles due to its thicker midsole and stiffer outsole. The high longitudinal bending stiffness was one of the first things I noticed about the shoe because I am more accustomed to zero drop shoes having more flexibility in the forefoot. In comparing the Escalante 3 to the Torin 7, the forefoot of the Escalante 3 is significantly more flexible, and I found myself preferring the ride of the Escalante because of this feature. The Torin 7 does have a mildly soft feel to it, which seems to come from its thick, soft sockliner. The Altra EGO MAX midsole feels firm at initial contact and it does not feel like it compresses much when loaded. I would say the 30mm stack feels protective, as there is not much ground feel in this shoe, as opposed to cushioned or springy. This is not a bad feeling for shorter, easy runs, but this shoe felt a little harsh when my feet and legs were tired from marathon training. I would not use this shoe for faster paced runs because of the midsole and outsole properties. This shoe feels very much like a zero drop shoe, but the firm midsole and stiff outsole kept it from feeling like my midfoot was dropping below my forefoot. Midfoot landings were very comfortable for me and the wide base and stiff sole also contributed to a mild feeling of stability.

I had decent traction in this shoe on wet roads and wet grass thanks to the extensive rubber coverage that runs the entire length of the shoe. The rubber outsole shows a little wear at the lateral midfoot and at the front of the shoe near my 1st and 2nd toes. I would expect average durability of the outsole based on this and knowing the past performance of other Altra outsoles.


The Altra Torin 7 is a neutral, zero drop shoe that does not have any traditional stability elements. There are a few features that make this a mildly more stable shoe as compared to truly minimal zero drop shoes, like the Xero HFS or the Altra Escalante Racer. The high longitudinal bending stiffness may reduce the work required of the 1st MTP joint for pushoff. The thick, firm midsole does not compress much, which helps keep you moving forward. There is a late forefoot rocker, but I did not really notice it much at push off. The wide base also provides mild stability, regardless of where a runner lands. Runners who need a little more guidance might consider the Paradigm 7, which has the same 30mm stack height, but features guide rails and a little more medial support.

Thoughts as a DPT: High Stack Strategies
By Andrea Myers

Running shoes with thicker midsoles typically require alterations to the geometry of the shoe to stabilize the greater volume of foam. While the Altra Torin 7 now has a 30mm stack height, the firmness of the Altra EGO MAX foam allow Altra to avoid making the Torin 7 a heavily rockered shoe. The midsole is not particularly compliant, meaning you do not get a sense of sinking into the midsole, and it also is not particularly resilient, meaning you do not get a feeling of the midsole returning much energy to assist with push off. Instead, the high longitudinal bending stiffness of the outsole provides the most significant assistance from initial contact to push off. A recent systematic review found that shoes with higher longitudinal bending stiffness reduce energy loss and the required motion at the 1st MTP joint, but also that shoes that are excessively stiff may cause discomfort or hinder performance. These features of the Torin 7 may make it work well for those who do not like a heavily rockered ride and/or those who have reduced range of motion at the 1st MTP joint, but prefer the ride of a zero drop shoe. 


Sun, X., Lam, W. K., Zhang, X., Wang, J., & Fu, W. (2020). Systematic Review of the Role of Footwear Constructions in Running Biomechanics: Implications for Running-Related Injury and Performance. Journal of sports science & medicine, 19(1), 20–37.


Altra did a great job improving the upper and specifically the tongue of the Torin 7. I think to further improve the fit, they should consider giving the toe box a little more volume, to make it fit more similarly to the Escalante 3. I also think they should give this shoe a touch more flexibility in the forefoot to make transitions feel a little smoother. 


The Altra Torin 7 is a higher stack, firm riding, zero drop daily trainer. Altra has greatly improved the fit and comfort of the tongue with v7. This shoe will be best for runners with neutral mechanics who prefer a firm, non-rockered zero drop shoe. Due to the stiffness in the forefoot, this shoe could also work for those who have limited 1st MTP mobility. I also found the firm midsole to make the Torin 7 very comfortable as a standing or walking shoe. Those who prefer a softer, more flexible zero drop shoe will likely do well in the Escalante 3. If the Escalante 3 was too flexible or soft for you, the Torin 7 could be your ticket.


Fit: A- (fits true to size, much improved tongue design, comfortable engineered mesh upper with good structure, but volume of toe box could be improved for comfort)
Performance: B+ 
(Firm, stiff sole limited use to shorter easy runs. Comfortable for midfoot landings.)
Stability: (neutral) B- (minimal guidance elements besides high longitudinal bending stiffness and a late forefoot rocker)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Altra EGO MAX foam feels firm and non responsive)
Personal: B/B+ (happy with improved tongue design, performance okay for short easy runs, but I like it more for walking/standing than I do for running)
Overall: B+


Altra Torin 7
Price: $149.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Altra Running for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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