Saturday, May 27, 2017

Altra Torin 3.0 Review



I started running in Altra shoes about a three years ago.  Finishing up the ”Week of Altra,” I will review one of Altra’s newest shoes, the Torin 3.0.  This lightweight, high cushioned shoe builds upon one of their most popular shoe lines.  I have written reviews for several Altra shoes in the past.  Click the links to read my past reviews:
Instinct Everyday

As with all of Altra’s shoes, the Torin 3.0 has the FootShape™ toebox, which allows your toes to spread out.  It helps eliminate issues resulting from compressing your feet/toes.  This is a common issue with most other company’s shoes because of their narrower toe box.  Altra’s zero heel drop (meaning that the heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground) promotes proper form, provides better propulsion, aligns your feet, back, and body, and is not weighted more heavily in the heel (like most shoes) which promotes heel striking.


I bought a pair of the Torin 3.0 to test out.  I really like the Instinct 4.0 and wanted to see how the extra cushion in the Torin 3.0 would feel.  Here is a comparison of the two shoes.


Weight
8.4 ounces
10 ounces
Stack Height
28mm
25mm
Outsole
FootPod (some exposed EVA)
Full Blown Rubber FootPod
Cushioning Level
High
Moderate
Midsole
EVA with A-Bound and Inner Flex™
EVA with A-Bound and Inner Flex™
Insole
6 mm Contour Footbed
6 mm Contour Footbed

The Torin 3.0 is 1.6 ounces lighter than the Instinct even with extra cushion.  Part of this is due to the Full Blown Rubber FootPod of the Instinct 4.0.  The shoes other than that are fairly similar in terms of specs. 


The new Torin 3.0 has taken one of Altra’s favorite shoes and made improvements to the upper by using a Quick-Dry Air Mesh to make it more breathable and comfortable.  It looks really sharp and appears to be durable so it should last quite a while.  The upper really locks down your foot without causing any constriction issues with your foot.  I ordered a size 10, which is my normal size, but it runs about ¼ size large.  I couldn’t quite fit into a size 9.5, but the 10 worked really well for me.  I would say they fit true-to-size when ordering them.


The midsole is made with EVA and an A-Bound top layer with Inner Flex™.  This is a grid-like network of flex grooves built into the midsole to allow your foot to flex and bend the way it needs to.  This will result in increased speed, performance, and ultimately will help strengthen the muscles in your feet.

Altra updated the FootPod™ outsole to better map the bones and tendons in your feet, which like the Inner Flex™ grooves, will allow the shoe to flex with your foot.  The sides are cut down around the ankle to prevent rubbing (my guess for this design feature).  I know several Altra shoes have this feature as well and I love it.

I know I just stated yesterday that the Escalante is not only Altra’s best shoe (in my opinion), but my favorite running shoes ever!!!  It really is only a few tweaks away from being perfect.  That was before I ran in the Torin 3.0.  While I like the EGO midsole of the Escalante better than the Torin 3.0, the Escalante had a lack of stability when trying to make quick turns but the Torin 3.0 provided that stability.  The Torin 3.0 is an all-around amazing shoe.  It had just the right amount of cushion while not feeling too squishy.  This is my new favorite shoe.  I took it out for 10 miles and out of the box, it I could have run another 20 miles in them.  They were so comfortable I almost forgot they were there.   It is so light and comfortable.  While I have only run 10 miles in them, it was on varied terrain.  I wanted to get the review out for the “Week of Altra” and will update this post when I get 50 miles on the Torin 3.0.

Pros:
Zero heel drop
Wide toe box.
Extremely comfortable
Plenty of cushion
Lightweight at 8.4 ounces
Decent price ($125 on sale at Altra.com)

Altra’s Social Media Links:

The Torin 3.0 is an amazing shoe for so many reasons, but the main one is that you can throw them on and head out knowing that your feet will feel great.  You can get the Torin 3.0 for $125 on the Altra website.   I hope you have enjoyed the “Week of Altra” and that you give them a shot.  Please let me know what you think of Altra or if you plan on getting a pair to try out.  I would love to hear what you think.  It has really helped my running and I am becoming more injury-free as a result of running in Altra shoes. 

Note:  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Altra Instinct Everyday Review

I started running in Altra shoes about a three years ago.  Continuing the ”Week of Altra,” I will review one of Altra’s casual shoes, the Instinct Everyday.  This light weight shoe is similar to the original Instinct and can help let your toes spread out, which promotes proper body alignment throughout the day.  I have written reviews for several Altra shoes in the past.  Click the links to read my past reviews:

I love the way Altra shoes feel and the benefits of the FootShape™ toebox that allows your toes to spread out.  It helps eliminate issues of compressing your feet/toes like many other shoe brands out there.  Altra’s zero heel drop shoes (meaning that the heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground) promote proper form, provides better propulsion, aligns your feet, back, and body, and is not weighted more heavily in the heel (like most shoes) which promotes heel striking. 


I bought a pair of the Instinct Everyday so I could have the benefit of Altra shoes while I’m at work.  I found that the premium black suede upper material looks extremely sharp and does work with my dress clothes.  They probably are too casual for a suit, but not bad for slacks and a polo.


The Instinct Everyday comes with the same midsole and outsole as the original Instinct and is extremely comfortable, all day long.  It has a stack height of 23mm and weighs in at 10.3 ounces.  I found that it fit true to size and appears to be very durable, so it should last for quite a while.


The Instinct Everyday has a 5mm sculpted insole that hugs your foot and provides a really comfortable experience.  Even though it comes with laces, it feels more like a slip-on.  I really enjoy the feel of the shoes and tend to keep them on all day, not taking them off when I get home from work like I did with my past dress shoes.  My one wish is that they made it in a black leather that could be polished.  It would work better with more dressy clothes.

Pros:
Zero heel drop
Wide toe box.
Extremely comfortable
Plenty of cushion
Lightweight at 10.3 ounces
Decent price ($130 on sale at Altra.com)

Cons:
Not dressy enough to wear with a suit

Altra’s Social Media Links:

For me, regular dress shoes have always been uncomfortable.  They compress my feet and they start to ache after a few hours of wearing them.  The Instinct Everyday allows your toes to spread out and provides a comfortable experience all-day-long.  You can get the Instinct Everyday for $130 on the Altra website.  I just got a pair of the Torin 3.0, which just recently came out, so tomorrow will be a bonus review to finish up the “Week of Altra.”

Note:  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Altra Escalante Review



I started running in Altra shoes about a three years ago.  Continuing my week of Altra, I will review one of the newest shoes in the Altra lineup, the Escalante.  This light weight shoe just received the “Editor’s Choice” award from Runner’s World in their Summer Shoe Guide.  I have written reviews for several Altra shoes in the past.  Click the links to read my past reviews:

The Escalante goes in a different direction than some of Altra’s other shoes.  They decided to go with a new midsole material called Altra EGO.  This midsole compound is extremely light weight, but is responsive and provides even more of an energetic rebound than the A-Bound™ midsole in their other shoes.  If you’ve heard of Adidas’ Boost midsole, this return of energy is what Adidas was trying to accomplish.  I feel that Altra’s new EGO compound was able to accomplish this return of energy unlike any other brand out there.  The ride is so comfortable mile-after-mile.


Altra also redid the upper material with a new engineered knit material that provides a sock like fit.  It is extremely comfortable and fits well.  My one complaint is that it can be difficult to completely lock your foot in.  That means that if you are trying to cut sharp turns, your foot will slide a little.  Not a deal breaker by any means, but it’s an area of improvement. 

The shoe sits on a Metatarsal Mapping Performance Last (PFS Last), utilizing Altra’s FootPod Technology.  It also has blown rubber on the entire outsole. This allows for a very flexible and responsive outsole that is designed to move the way your foot was intended to move and will be more durable.  Like the Instinct 4.0, the Escalante has a decoupled heel, but it’s unstructured, so it just conforms to your foot.  I absolutely love the heel in this shoe!


Similar to all Altra shoes, the FootShape™ toebox allows your toes to spread out and will eliminate issues of compressing your feet/toes like many shoes out there.  The Escalante also is a zero drop shoe, meaning that the heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground.  This promotes proper form, provides better propulsion, aligns your feet, back, and body, and is not weighted more heavily in the heel (like most shoes) which promotes heel striking.  They are super light weight as well at only 8.2 ounces.


I went out and bought the Escalante because I read so many good reviews.  My favorite is the review by the GingerRunner who puts out awesome reviews.  I had to give it a try and report back to everyone.  I got the Escalante mainly because it would be an awesome daily shoe.  Unlike many of Altra’s early shoes, the Escalante looks very sharp and could easily go with a pair of jeans.  I tried them out on a 10 mile run and was simply amazed from the start.  I knew I had found Altra’s best shoe to date.  They felt so comfortable that I wanted to keep running.  I love everything from the cushion to the knit upper and everything in between.  The fact that I couldn’t lock down my foot wasn’t that much of an issue.  I just needed to remain aware that I couldn’t make sharp turns as easily.  After 50 miles in the Escalante, they have held up wonderfully and I love them more now than I ever have.

Pros:
Very comfortable knit upper
Zero heel drop
Wide toe box.
EGO midsole provides energetic rebound
Plenty of cushion
Lightweight at 8.2 ounces
Good price ($130 on sale at Altra.com)

Cons:
Not as easy to lock your foot in

Altra’s Social Media Links:

The Escalante is not only Altra’s best shoe (in my opinion), but my favorite running shoes ever!!!  It really is only a few tweaks away from being perfect.  Altra hit it out of the park with this shoe and I can’t wait to see how they build upon the Escalante.  I hope they use the EGO midsole in some of their other shoes in the future.  You can get the Escalante for $130 on the Altra website.  Be sure to read my review of The Instinct Everyday tomorrow as I finish out the “Week of Altra.”

Note:  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.