As many people know, Altra Running Shoes are a zero drop brand. That means the heel and forefront are the same height from the ground. It’s a type of shoe runners either work well with or don’t. Over the past few years, the Altra Torin has been one of Altra’s most popular models for the roads.
The Altra Torn is designed to be a solid jack of all trades shoe. Great for running longer or speed workouts. That being said, I think the Altra Escalante is slightly better for faster workouts.
This year it seems as though Altra has divided and conquered. There is now the “Altra Torin 4.0” and the “Altra Torin 4.0 Plush”. The Altra Torin 4 Plush has about 2 mm of cushion from the shoe. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, in the running shoe world…it is. It’s lighter and more springy but does have less cushion.
If you like previous versions of the Altra Torin, you’ll probably prefer the Altra Torin 4.0 Plush. If you like the Altra Escalante or want a firmer more responsive (“fast shoe”), you’ll probably prefer the Altra Torin 4.0. Probably, but you have to try the shoes for yourself.
Altra Torin 4 Plush Quick Facts:
Weight: 8.5 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 0 mm
Altra Torin 4 Plush Fit:
Like many running shoes, the Altra Torin 4.0 Push upper is an engineered knit upper. The knit upper is breathable and dries quickly when it gets wet. I appreciate there is no plastic or seams in the toe box of the Altra Torin 4 Plush.
I haven’t run in every model of the Altra Torin. It depends on my injury history for that particular year, but I have tried on most versions of the Altra Torin. This year, the Altra Torin 4.0 Plush is much more snug in the midfoot. Typically Altra is known for its “FootShape Toe Box.” The Footshape toebox is still there, but it will hug your midfoot more.
New to Altra? What is the Footshape Toe box? Altra’s FootShape Toe Box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally. The big toe remains in a straight position for maximum stability and power.
A few years ago, I met the founder of Altra Golden Harper, and what I learned is not to say, “Altra is wider.” The toe box of Altra is FootShaped. While Altra has a wider toebox than most brands, they aren’t wide. Many brands that come in the wide or double wide width are wider than Altra.
Anyway, compared to almost every other Altra shoe, the Altra Torin 4 Plush is snugger in the midfoot. They aren’t tight, but they are snugger.
Finally, another thing I appreciate about Altra is they talk about how they build their shoes differently for women. Altra uses “Fit4Her technology,” which caters to the specific form of the female foot. There is a narrower heel and midfoot, a higher instep, a longer arch, and unique metatarsal spacing. You want a shoe to feel secure in the heel but have plenty of space in the toe box.
Typically I wear between a women’s 9.5-11 wide and the women’s 10.5 of the Altra Torin 4.0 Plush fits well.
Altra Torin 4 Plush Ride:
The midsole of the Altra Torin 4 has completely changed. That’s why Altra created the Altra Torin 4 and the Altra Torin 4 Plush. If you are looking for a more responsive and “faster” shoe, you might prefer the Altra Torin 4 with 2 mm less cushioning. If you prefer more cushioning, you might prefer the Altra Torin 4 Plush. Since I’m reviewing the Altra Torin 4 Plush, you can tell I prefer more cushioning.
So anyway, to the new sole: Altra’s Quantic midsole and their FootPod outsole. According to the Altra, the Quantic midsole pairs with an all-new Perf-X insole to give the premium combinations of softness and spring.
What does that mean, exactly?
Altra has done a complete overhaul to the sole unit of the Altra Torin 4.0 and Altra Torin 4 Plush. That means it’s going to feel different. The sole unit of both models of the Altra Torin is now made up of “Quantic Cushioning.” It’s less soft and more responsive. Is it bad? No. Will it feel different than previous models? Yes. The Footpod outsole allows the shoe to bend naturally.
Together, the FootPod Technology and Altra Quantic Midsole Cushioning provide a fast but smooth ride in the Altra Torin 4 Plush.
What makes the regular Altra Torin 4 different than the Altra Escalante, is the 26mm stack height. This means there is more cushion underneath your foot. You’ll still feel the ground but your feet will be more protected. The Altra Torin 4.0 is better for someone who needs or wants more cushion in their running (like me). In terms of cushioning, you have the Altra Escalante, Regular Altra Torin 4, followed by the Altra Torin 4 Plush.
Altra always does a great job with the outsole of the Altra Torin. There is plenty of traction for rainy and inclement weather.
Finally, if you’ve never run in a 0 mm drop and have no idea what that is, it takes time to get used too. The Altra Torin 4 Plush, or any 0 mm drop shoe, isn’t the type of shoe you can purchase and then all of a sudden run 10 miles in.
Altra Torin 4.0 Plush Conclusion:
So far, I’m happy with the Altra Torin 4.0 Plush. There is plenty of cushion. The Altra Torin is also more versatile than in previous years as well. If you are looking for that extra cushion, I suggest the Altra Torin 4 Plush. The lightweight but plush feel of the Altra Torin 4 Plush cushions every step of your run. As someone who has suffered from a few foot injuries, I appreciate the extra cushion for my bones and tendons.
For me, the Altra Torin 4.0 Plush fits well into a daily run shoe. I prefer more cushion for a long run, but it’s a shoe I could keep in the car when I’m not entirely sure what kind of run I’ll do for the day. I also like the Altra Torin 4 for the sandy roads in New Jersey. With the 0 mm drop, I don’t feel as though I’m going to trip over roots.
Easy/Daily Runs: Saloman Sonic 3 Balance, Brooks Glycerin 18, Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3, Nike Pegasus 37, New Balance 1080 v10, Diadora Mythos Blushield Blushield Hip 5, Asics Cumulus 21
Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike Pegasus Turbo 2
Long Runs: Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review, New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Altra Torin 4 Plush, Hoka Cavu 2
Trail Running/Hiking: Saucony Peregrine 10, New Balance Hierro v5
Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280, Nike Next%, Reebok Run fast Pro
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Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook I talk about why you need a good running shoe, the anatomy of a shoe, neutral vs stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried Altra Running before? Have you tried the Altra Torin 4 Plush?
What are your favorite running shoes?
I really need to get a pair of Altra Torin Plush just to see what they feel like. I’m a big fan of Altra overall just from the toebox in 90% of their shoes and I don’t need a wide. Let those toes wiggle!
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