For some, running on the road is what you do — pounding pavement and stuff. For me, it’s a means to an end with the end game being high-altitude singletrack trail running. But, during the winter months, pavement is often all there is. This winter, my road companion has been the all-new Altra Torin 2.0.

Altra Torin 2.0 features:

  • Fully Cushioned Zero Drop™ Platform with FootShape™ Toe Box
  • 27 mm stack height
  • Midsole features Dual Layer EVA with A-Bound™ Top Layer, InnerFlex™ Technology
  • FootPod™ Technology outsole
  • Quick-Dry Air Mesh upper
  • Weight: 9.1 oz (stated)
  • MSRP: $125

Roomy toebox and comfortable stride

Several years ago, I was in a local running shop with Altra founder, Golden Harper. This was prior to Altra’s public release. All he could tell me was that after years of modifying off-the-shelf running shoes, they were onto something. Soon after that, Altra launched and the rest, as they say, is history.

The original Altra Torin 1.0 was replaced with an updated model for 2016, but stayed true to the original in both cushioning and form training. The new Torin 2.0 aims to be more comfortable and more durable than its predecessor. Not having tested the 1.0 version, I’m going to just have to take their word for it.

From the outset, the Torin 2.0’s had me hooked. I was certainly hooked on the FootShape Toe Box — something that I can’t believe we’ve lived without — but I was quickly enamored by the ultra-squishy ride. As is typical, I wore these around for a few days as a break-in. That break-in had me so in love that I bought a pair for my wife (more on that later). With a snappy look and an ultra lightweight feel, I was anxious to get out on the road.

Winter testing on the Jordan River Trail here in Utah.

Winter testing on the Jordan River Trail here in Utah.

During the winter, I do hit the pavement with a little more regularity than other seasons. And, this past winter had me rehabbing a herniated disc (yeah, no fun). I could still run without much discomfort and needed to do it to keep my fitness level up and not lose my sanity. After having used my Altra Olympus 1.0’s on the road for awhile, I was grateful to get a proper road shoe in the Torin.

I’m not a blazingly-fast runner, but like to think I maintain good form and clip along comfortably at about an 8:00/mile pace on the pavement. With a Zero Drop system, it’s even more natural to maintain a mid-to-forefoot strike. The wide outsole provides amazing stability and the mixed rubber/foam outsole has delivered traction even when wet.

I love the cushioned stride provided by these shoes and the mesh uppers are very comfortable and breathable.

Durability with mine seems to be excellent with both the uppers and outsoles wearing in an appropriate manner. I will say that my wife’s shoes broke down after only a couple weeks of use — one tread started falling off and the heel cup developed holes, causing annoying blisters. It seems that other reviewers have experienced that same issue, but most have not. As mentioned, mine are holding up quite handily.

The Torin 2.0's outsole is wearing well and uppers are holding up great.

The Torin 2.0’s outsole is wearing well and uppers are holding up great.

I will add that for some reason, I’m experiencing a ghost bump under my right big toe. I say ghost bump because it’s not apparent when wearing them casually and doesn’t seem to become noticeable until after a couple of miles on the road. Upon inspection, there appears to be some sort of a small amount of material sandwiched in the midsole. It’s really small and seems a bit like “The Princess and the Pea,” but noticeable nonetheless.

The stride feels natural with a nice toe-off. I typically do prefer a fully-rockered sole and these don’t quite have that feel. Stability is solid and as mentioned, they do reward a runner with good form without feeling bogged down in the cushioning.

Sizing: I typically wear a size 11 running shoe and that’s what I went with here for a perfect fit.

The Good

  • Ultra-cushioned ride
  • Extremely comfortable toe box
  • Simple lacing pattern that cinches up nicely
  • Mesh uppers breathe extremely well
  • Surprisingly-good outsole traction

The Bad

  • Mixed durability — mine are fine, my wife’s not so much
  • Small “ghost bump” in the midsole (likely an anomaly)
  • Uppers aren’t as durable as I’d like, but they are super-breathable

The Bottom Line: Altra Torin 2.0

If you’re on the hunt for a pair of ultra-cushioned shoes that won’t slow you down, have a look at the Torin 2.0. They provide just the right amount of cushioning without slowing down your stride.

Buy Now: Available at

The Verdict

8.6 Squish and Stride

In need of extra comfort while rehabbing a bum back, I turned to the Torin 2.0. The result has been an ultra-comfortable road runner and wicked-awesome everyday shoe.

  • Cushioning 9
  • Comfort 9
  • Durability 7
  • Stride 9
  • Breathability 9

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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