Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Altra Running Torin 7 Review

Article by Sam Winebaum 

Altra Torin 7 ($150)


The Torin is Altra’s daily trainer class offering. The Torin 7 gets 2mm more stack height of Altra EGO MAX foam to a full stack height of 30mm heel and 30 mm forefoot, so of course zero drop. The upper is redesigned with a focus on the tongue, an issue for our Torin 6 tester Matt and others in the Torin 6 (RTR Review). It also gets new rear molded collars. 

Checking in at 8.7 oz / 247g US8.5 in my US8.5 sample in a US9 it will be about 8.95 oz in US9 so is light for its stack height.

I go way back with the Torin with the 2.5 version my favorite (and a shoe many years later I still have in my collection as it that good). It had an incredibly secure upper that allowed me to not only trail run in Utah but also pound out a fast downhill half. 

The Torin has always had a fantastic broad, stable and energetic forefoot, if you can stay up on it that is. I was curious what 2mm more stack height would deliver up front.  With zero drop the prior versions’ 28mm heel was increasingly low and it was felt as such, as shoe tech has evolved to higher stack heights with lighter weight foams not making shoes heavier. I often add a heel wedge made of a few inches of old sockliner at the rear  for some drop in Altra but haven’t seen the need yet with the Torin 7. 

I did not test the Torin 6 and did not enjoy versions after the 2.5 that much, with their sloppier uppers and a low feeling firm heel.  I was curious to see how the newish (launched with the 6)  EGO Max foam performed in what is now a more balanced front to back weight geometry (less zero drop feel in recent Altra as a result). The new upper also looked promising with a substantial mesh, that molded rear and as always the welcome front Foot Shape that looked both broad and secure.


Versatile daily trainer: well cushioned, energetic ride, especially at faster paces off the front: Sam

Good introduction to zero drop shoes that isn’t radically different feeling than higher drop ones: Sam

EGO Max foam has a good rebound without overdoing it or being sloppy: Sam

Strong weight to cushion ratio in its daily trainer category: Sam

Upper that balances front toe box room and overall lockdown well: Sam

Elegant modern styling. Altra improving in that department; Sam


Broad toe box is a bit low at the very front, thick sockliner can be removed or swapped for a thinner one  Sam

Not a great slower paces shoe for heel strikers: Sam


Approx. weight: men's 8.95 oz / 254g (US9) 

  Sample: men’s  8.7 oz / 247g US8.5

Stack Height: men’s 30mm heel / 30mm forefoot ( 0mm drop spec) 

$150. Available now.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

The upper is a fairly standard engineered mesh that is quite substantial and on the thick side if soft and pliable. The tongue is on the thin side (no plush or over thin as before) and is padded with some sniffer structure to it. There is no gusset elastic connecting to the midsole as many trainers now have. The mesh and side to rear overlays provide plenty of solid mid foot support so I don’t think the gusset is needed here 

The new molded rear is fairly rigid and has a good heel lockdown that is not super plush but is comfortable. 

The lower part of the achilles pressure relieving “elf” collar may taper a bit too quickly or could use a touch more padding there is needed for the rigid collar  as I had a touch of slip up high at the far rear but only on my narrower left foot. Not an issue, but super narrow heel runners may have more of an issue than others.

The foot shape toe box is broad and, except for the fairly short and low far front toe bumper, roomy yet secure even with the rest of the toe box being unstructured mesh. 

I do sense the front is a bit low when walking and when they were new but the sockliner seems to have packed down a bit or the mesh stretched so now the front fit is just fine. 

I was true to size.

If you have a high volume wider foott, especially upfront I note that below the 5mm thick Ortholite sockliner the lasting board is a nice leatherette feeling material which Altra tells us is a TPE foam.

I think one could remove the sockliner and potentially run directly on what is below (but not barefoot due to the stitching) or find room for an aftermarket orthotic that is not too bulky.  Or substitute a thinner sock liner for more volume.  This would increase toe box height and midfoot volume. Altra says this TPE sockiiner is used to marry the feel of sockliner and midsole together and not to run on it directly but..


The midsole is Altra’s EGO Max as before but now with 2mm more stack height to 30mm heel / 30 mm forefoot. The 30mm heel is, these days, relatively low in stack height while the forefoot at the same 30mm is at the lower range of max cushion shoes.

Altra has focused a lot in recent years on Balanced Cushion. It is both another way of describing zero drop but also through the design of the platform they try to balance the weight of the shoe back to front.  I can clearly feel this in the newer Altra and certainly here in the Torin 7. Yes, the heel feels “lower” than a 6- 8mm drop shoe would feel.  But it is not so low that if you are not running up on the mid to forefoot you have a sensation of a negative drop or back weighting with the heel notably lower feeling than the midfoot., as many early Altra felt. Bottom line at most paces, except at the very slowest for me say 11 min mile jogging pace  it feels like a 4mm or so drop shoe. The midsole and especially the broad and decently long flexing  and stable forefoot gets increasingly energetic as the pace picks up.

The EGO Max foam is decently energetic and reduces shock vibration very well. It is not a super light and lively supercritical foam as far as I can feel it. It resembles Saucony’s PWRRUN with a touch more rubbery bounce. It has more “energy” than Nike React but less than ZoomX.  The midsole is decently soft but the foam itself, platform, and outsole help make the ride stable and consistent.


The outsole has plenty of coverage and is well matched to the midsole in feel, providing some quick final response in the mix to go with the moderately soft and rebounding EGO Max. I do not see big differences in the outsole design and expect as Matt Crehan found in the Torin 6,he reviewed at 400 miles,  excellent long term durability. The outsole contributes to the very decent flexibility up front for the 30mm stack and as most always in most Altra the rubber is aligned as the foot bones are. This arrangement stabilizes the front without making it overly stiff. So you have a fantastic platform for push off. 

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

The Torin 7 has a well cushioned ride that at faster paces would make you wonder if it is in fact a zero drop shoe. Get up on the broad and quite flexible forefoot platform therewith its quite energetic EGO Max foam and moves along lively. No plates here but the combination of geometry, lots of energetic foam and outsole up front has a really fine toe off impulse. 

The heel at slower paces does feel “lower” given the zero drop and 30mm of rear stack which is not exactly high by today’s standards. I tend to heel strike at slower paces but as I focused on a bit more forward strike I noticed more height just ahead of the far back heel area and even at slower paces.

If you have never tried a zero drop shoe it is the one to start with. Mixing drops and the amount of cushion is a really good idea to work the feet in different fashions. Our Matt Crehan, a 2:18 marathoner does much of his training in Altra, and all of his faster pace work and races in high drop plated super shoes. As always if you have never run a zero drop shoe, start cautiously although I must say and this has been the case for several years now and with infrequent Altra to test I just jump in and have had no issues and unusual soreness in any model whereas earlier I did.   

The Torin 7 is an excellent daily trainer with a great midsole and outsole,  a secure well designed and Foot Shape upper, and a lively and energetic front of shoe ride that favors, no surprise a more forward strike pattern and somewhat faster than “jog” paces. 

My score and more comparisons to come in our full multi tester review.


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Altra Rivera 3 (RTR Review)

With a lower 28mm stack of regular EGO foam and Altra’s “Slim” Foot Shape, the Rivera 3 is lower stack, firmer, less dynamic, snugger fitting upfront yet not as secure and weighs about the same as the Torin 7. Torin 7 is without question a better shoe for me all around.

The Altra Torin 7 is available now

Running Warehouse US SHOP HERE


Fleet Feet SHOP HERE

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes.RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Ante said...

Look forward to the full review!

Anonymous said...

Really looking forward ti this shoe! Had the Torin 5 for two years. Loved it but felt it could do more with a bit more stack and yes it does have that lower heel feel that Sam mentioned. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this is a very useful and detailed review.
I noticed you said you really liked earlier torins.
Could you post photos or measurements vs Torin 2.5?
I have particularly wide ( not fat) feet, later torins have much narrower toe boxes than earlier ones, curious if they have gone the other way again with the new ones… torin 5s certainly were narrow enough to cause me foot pain.

Anonymous said...

How do these compare to the tempo vanish

Anonymous said...

How do they compare to the tempo vanish

Sam Winebaum said...

@anoymous the Tempo Vanish is a bit lighter 8.75 oz / 248g (US9) with a supercritical foam midsole. It is 3mm lower stack height and has a more uptempo ride if a soft one upfront to the Torin 7 more daily trainer ride. It's for sure more fun to run mainly due to its foam.!
Sam, Editor