Altra Torin 3.0 Zero Drop Running Shoes Review
Altra Torin 3.0 Review (Womens)
The Torin 3.0 is the latest version of Altra’s highly cushioned road training shoe. I have owned and ran plenty in the previous two versions of this shoe. The Torin 2.0 I would describe as a very soft, relaxed ‘plodding’ recovery shoe for me. The upper was very roomy with plenty of comfy toe space. The next Torin 2.5 was a little firmer but still felt like a heavily cushioned recovery shoe. The upper of the Torin 2.5 was narrower with less volume and despite the improved heel fit, the snugness in the upper was a bit too restrictive.
How does the Torin 3.0 compare?
Immediately you notice the fit is broader than the Torin 2.5 but doesn’t have as much loose material as the Torin 2.0, so it still feels a good fit. The midsole material feels a bit firmer, which combined with the altered the geometry of the outsole, delivers a better ride from heel to toe. This has definitely worked as now the shoe feels far less bulky, much lighter and more responsive.
Firmer, more responsive shoes are not necessarily less comfortable, but encourage you to be more efficient and lighter on your feet. The Torin 3.0 is now not a plodding recovery shoe but, much more of an all round training shoe. I could happily do steady runs or fartleks (steady mixed with interval training) in these shoes.
Altra’s Fit4Her – Not Just a Different Colour
All Altra women’s shoes are specifically anatomically designed to fit the ladies foot shape, which is unique to men. A lot of brands product essentially produce smaller mens shoes in ‘women’s colours’. That helps explain why as a woman looking for great running shoes, I find they have such a comfortable fit. As with all Altra running shoes, the Torin 3.0 is Zero Drop, which means that it is the same height above the ground at the heel as it is at the toe. This promotes a more natural mid-foot landing and encourages a better posture than the classic high heeled running shoe.
Typically high heel (and drop) running shoes encourage a heel strike which kills your momentum and increases the forces your body has to deal with.
FootShape Toe Box – Importance of Foot/Toe Splay
Altra shoes also have a different ‘Foot Shape’ toe box unlike most other brands. The toe box is rounded, like the natural form of your foot, rather than pointy. This gives your foot the room to splay when it hits the floor, improving your foot’s natural cushioning. Your foot then stabilises you better and improves the function of your planta fascia (a natural spring in the bottom of your foot). If you don’t have enough room in your shoes then everything can’t function as it should (with no shoes on!). Furthermore as your foot expands as it gets warm, you need to be sure that you have a thumbs width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This will usually mean that even after a long run you still have enough room in your shoes for your feet to function.
A Note on Transitioning to Zero Drop
If you are used to higher heel and drop running shoes then it is advisable to get used to Altras gradually. This is done by using them for shorter runs to start with and alternating with your old shoes. To start with they may well feel different but, after a short amount of time you will usually notice the heel in your old shoes getting in the way.
It is easier to make the transition in more cushioned shoes like the Altra Paradigm or the Altra Torin.