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83 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 70 / 100 |

    Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh running shoe: From John O'Groats to Lands End

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    In 2018, I completed John O'Groats to Land's End (JOGLE) in 21 days. And, one of the reasons why I struggled was because I was wearing an Inov-8 Terraclaw 250a trail shoe.

    Personally, I prefer trail shoes rather than wearing a running shoe just because of the zero drop. However, in 2019 I attempted JOGLE again.

    But, this time opting for a running shoe with a zero drop, and Altra is one of the best running shoes. A fellow ultrarunner recommended the Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh.

     

    Specifications

    • Brand: Altra
    • Model: Torin 3.5 Mesh
    • Fit: Standard Fit
    • Pronation: Neutral
    • Size: 7.5 (UK); 8.5 (US); 42 (EURO)
    • Colours: Blue; White
    • Weight: 220 grams

    The Altra Torin provides three key areas: foot shape, zero-drop and comfort/durability.

     

    The foot shape

    When you run, your feet expand rather than staying in the same position when you walk. Traditional running shoes feature pointy toe boxes that squeeze the toes out of their natural position.

    Altra's foot shape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally and the big toe to remain in a straight position. This reduces over-pronation, enhances stability, and creates a powerful toe-off to maximize running performance.

    Unfortunately for me, my gait is a supinator, so I need a wider forefront outsole to prevent me from rolling my ankles too much.

    As you would expect, my worn out Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh shows a wear pattern on the outer side of the sole. Having said this, I did not experience the rolling of my ankles.

     

    Below are pictures of the wear pattern

     

     

     

    Zero drop

    Most running shoes feature elevated heels that promote poor form by encouraging high-impact overstriding. We were born without an elevated heel, so why have this in a running shoe?

    The Torin 3.5 Mesh allows you to maintain a natural foot position throughout your run. In essence, the zero drop platform places the heel and forefront the same distance from the ground. This naturally aligns the feet, back, and body, and encourages a low-impact landing.

    Well, that's the theory anyway. In reality, I felt the impact on my feet. I would have liked more cushioning. I also hear a loud noise when running on the road.

    Comfort and durability

    As mentioned previously, the comfort was less than expected from Torin because I did experience loud noises when running on the road. This made my toes painful where the proximal phalanges meet the metatarsal bones.

     

     

    The durability was consistent with a running shoe—JOGLE was 882 miles, so using three pairs each pair lasted roughly 294 miles.

    However, I was alternating each pair after the end of each day to prevent hotspots. I did not come across any hotspots, which can lead to blisters just because I brought three pairs and alternated the pairs of running shoes on different days.

    The actual mileage was:

    • Pair 1 = 311 miles
    • Pair 2 = 304 miles
    • Pair 3 = 267 miles

    I also experienced a wear pattern on the outer side of the sole, but this was more to the fact that I have a supinator gait.

    When I bought three pairs (January 2019), they were £130 each, so they were expensive. Nowadays, you can nearly get them for half that price in a sale.

    Pros

    • Lightweight
    • Comfortable
    • Allows you to 'feel the road'

    Cons

    • Cushioning and responsiveness
    • Value for money
    • Loud noise when running
    • Zero drop
    • Limited colour choices

     

     

    Thanks to the Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh, I completed JOGLE in 17 days.

  • 90 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    The Torin 3.5 updates the upper of its predecessor, for the better. Altra now offers a choice of Mesh for speed or Knit for comfort in the Torin, its flagship neutral daily trainer. Both versions, in comparison to the Torin 3.0 and especially so for the Mesh, are a touch softer, less slappy, and transition slightly more smoothly.

  • 83 / 100 | Gear Institute | Level 4 expert

    The Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh provides flexibility, cushion and zero drop in a lighter weight package. While the new mesh upper and Nubuck Heel hold the rearfoot and midfoot well, the forefoot suffers from being a bit too wide and slightly short due to the toe guard. The Torin 3.5 will protect runners for long miles and recovery runs while keeping feet happy. However, don’t expect to break any land speed records due to the soft cushion. This shoe is best for longer miles and recovery runs.

  • 80 / 100 | Running Warehouse | | Level 3 expert

    The main appeal of the Altra Torin 3.5 is the amount of impact absorption it provides. For runners coming back from an injury, or for those who simply want a plush shoe that won't leave them feeling beat up, the Torin definitely fits the bill. This shoe doesn't have a great deal of pop to it, so it's best used easier efforts where picking up the pace isn't part of the plan. Our testers appreciated the Torin 3.5's soft feel and lightweight package.

  • First look | Altra Running

Become an expert

  • The Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh is a road running footwear that is specially made for those who have neutral foot motion. The new Torin 3.5 features an updated upper unit with integrated tongue to provide enhanced breathability. Breathability is essential in absorbing and releasing perspiration and moisture quickly throughout the running session. The volume in the midfoot area has also been reduced to deliver a more locked-down feel.

The Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh runs true to size. The shape of the footwear is sure to follow the natural shape of the foot. With the utilization of the foot-shape toe box, it offers a more comfortable fit to those who are medium-footed.  The available widths are D and B - Medium for the men’s and women’s respectively.

The FootPod outsole is integrated into the Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh. This updated material offers flexibility throughout the gait cycle. It also provides added traction. When compared to the traditional rubber in the market, the FootPod is carefully made to follow the natural curves of the foot. It literally maps the bones and tendons of the human foot. As a result, a more responsive ride is encouraged.

The Inner Flex flex grooves system delivers additional flexibility. When we say flexibility, it is defined as the range of movement in a series of joints. Every individual's flexibility varies because of the difference in the length of multi-joint muscles. The goals of these flex grooves are to increase the performance and improve the speed of the platform.

The NRS or Natural Ride System design is utilized in the Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh. This design is made up of the more natural and foot-shaped last, metatarsal-specific shapes of the outsole and zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. This component of the shoe assists in the proper use of foot mechanisms. It is also essential in allowing the foot to move naturally and comfortably.

The Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh utilizes the A-Bound midsole compound which aims to provide additional underfoot protection. This material uses a recycled and environmentally-friendly material.

Additional underfoot cushioning is encouraged by the removable 6mm Contour Footbed. This is significant in delivering a more comfortable ride.

A durable cushioning system is offered by the Dual Layer EVA midsole foam. This material is described as a two-layered EVA foam that is flexible. As a result, a comfortable underfoot experience will be enjoyed by the runner. With the utilization of this kind of foam, possible effects of the continued and prolonged use of the footwear are sure to be reduced.

Utilized in the Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh is the Quick-Dry Air Mesh. Its primary focus is to deliver a more breathable coverage. This material aims to keep the foot cool, dry and fresh throughout the running activity. As a result, a dryer and healthier interior foot environment are offered.

Allowing the toes to spread out naturally is the responsibility of the footshape toe box. A more comfortable, stable and speedy ride is experienced by the runner because the big toe is maintained in a straight position.

The Strobel Last is used in the Altra Torin 3.5 Mesh. The material is specifically-stitched to the upper unit with the full-length fabric. The purpose of which is to ensure a more comfortable in-shoe feel.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com