The Torin 6 road runner from Altra is my new go-to for both long and short runs — and lots of other runners agree.
I’ve never loved running on pavement — my feet ache and I often get shin splints. But I started training this summer for the Imogene Pass Run (10 miles up with 5,000 feet of elevation!) and needed some routes that weren’t just straight up or down trails.
Thankfully, even from the first run with the Altra Torin 6 shoes, I felt no foot pain whatsoever. Updated from its number 5 iteration, the Torin 6 shoes debuted this summer with an engineered mesh upper, an evolved molded heel collar, and superb foam in the midsole.
In short: If you are a fan of zero-drop shoes and Altras classic FootShape, the Torin 6s will feel like nothing on your feet — except support and comfort. We tested them out for miles on a variety of roads and trails this month.
Altra Torin 6 Review
Torin 6 Specs
- Weight: 9.9 oz. (men), 8.3 oz. (women)
- Drop: 0 mm
- Stack height: 28mm
- Price: $160
Testing the Altra Torin 6
Straight from the box, the Torin 6 looks sleeker than Altra’s other trail runners and hikers, but still holds true to the wider toe box. The engineered mesh upper covers most of the shoe, minus the heel and collar, and just a subtle pattern that blends into the shoe’s grooved design. The heel and collar fabric is soft and smooth, as is an improved, more plush tongue (compared to previous models).
After about a week of testing, I had taken the Altra Torin 6 on a few shorter runs and one longer 12-mile run around the foothills of Boulder, Colo. I used the Torins on pavement and sidewalks and on mostly flat road, though still with some elevation gain.
I also should point out that I have run or hiked in zero-drop shoes previously, including other Altras, though not recently. When minimalist and zero-drop shoes became more popular a few years ago, I had run in a few zero-drop shoes from Merrell for both trail and road.
More recently, I’ve hiked and run in Altra’s Lone Peak 6. I had taken a break from the zero-drops shortly into my training regimen, and was a little nervous about running longer distances in these Torins, but I had no pain issues whatsoever.
From the first time out, the Torin felt light and airy underneath my feet. Honestly, I don’t usually like road running — I’m much more apt to hit the trails — but these shoes gave me a new outlook on running on pavement. So far, I’m confident their cushion and stability will last miles and miles.
Design-wise, the breathable mesh upper and tongue have been upgraded to amp up the overall support. “For the tongue, we are backing it with a microsuede for a softer feel on top,” Altra told us. “And for the upper, we are using an engineered mesh that provides not only breathability, but support due to a midfoot underlay in the shoe.”
The higher tongue did rub into the top of my feet/upper ankle — so make sure to wear higher socks (no micros or no-shows).
Other than that, I had no hot spots or blisters and wore the shoes with both thinner and thicker socks in 70-80-degree sunny weather. My foot felt secure with the wide tongue and easy lacing to hold my foot in tight from all sides.
Plus, with the extended heel collar (the most noticeable difference in the new iteration), I never felt like my feet were slipping in, out, or around. It’s much higher for a lock-in feel, but didn’t end up adding too much extra weight (the 6s only weigh about an ounce more than the 5s).
Outsole and Midsole
This is where the Torin 6 shoes really stood out to me, as I often have some sort of foot or shin pain when I run on pavement. Even during a 10-mile run, I felt no pain. And from the first stride, the comfort felt solid — truly light and springy.
The shoes use the Altra EGO Max midsole foam, which aims to add a pillowy feeling and durability for each run. Altra pairs that with the outsole FootPod technology, which is said to encourage a natural movement underfoot.
Overall, you get a stable, lightweight platform for a soft-underfoot stride.
Other Features: Zero Drop and More
Altras, with the trademark zero-drop construction and wider toe boxes, aren’t for every runner; they definitely take some getting used to. But they can be ideal if they work for your feet.
You should be accustomed to zero-drop, meaning the heel to toebox are on the same plane (no forward-tilting “drop”), before logging any significant miles. It’s a running form that purports to help with a more balanced foot strike while running.
As for the wider “FootShape” toebox, this adds more room in the forefoot, to prevent toes from becoming squished. This can be most noticeable on longer runs when your feet start to swell.
The Torin 6 uses a balanced cushioning platform, which positions your heel and forefoot at an equal distance from the ground and is said to help with alignment and form. I’m not sure if I felt this with each stride, but I definitely felt like I had a natural and efficient stride.
Altra Torin 6 Conclusion
If you are looking to get into a zero-drop shoe or need more space for your toes, the Torin 6 provides that plus all the benefits of a supportive, responsive shoe. Other than the high tongue, the shoe’s comfort held up on shorter, faster runs and longer, hard runs. The new collar and fit locked my feet into place, and the breathable upper kept my feet cool even in hot and humid temps.
The Torin 6 shoes have everything you could want in a road shoe: comfortable toebox, natural feel, top cushion, and lasting comfort.