Opening up a new box of running shoes brings with it some magical motivation. Maybe it’s just me, coming off an extended post-pregnancy running hiatus, but when I had the chance to review Altra’s new Torin 6, I felt a surge of motivation upon arrival.
It wasn’t until later that I saw the shoe’s slogan: “It doesn’t matter where you run. It doesn’t matter how you run. Every run is worth it.” I needed to hear those words, and I felt them in my soul and my sole.
But, back to the Torin 6. I took them on their maiden run the morning after unboxing. Then, over the course of six weeks, I tallied 70 miles of walking (daily 2-mile stroller walks) and 20 miles running (1- to 4-mile runs). Those are humble numbers compared to my typical marathon training mileage, but it was enough to put them through their paces and was a major win considering the various baby wake-ups and life interruptions.
When I first laced up the Torin 6s, my initial impression was: comfort and cushion.
I eased into it with a one-mile run. I ran the Great Lawn loop twice. If you run New York City’s Central Park, you know this path surface is unforgiving at best. The stones seem to amplify every bit of impact, and it’s a true test of cushion performance even for a short distance.
The Torin 6 passed with flying colors. I was definitely not flying, but I kept up a reasonable stride and felt no joint pain from the jolts in the loop. Now for the nitty gritty details…
As far as fit goes, you may want to size down.
The Torin 6’s run about a half-size large. I consistently size down from my usual 9 to an 8.5 in any Altra style. I’ll admit that it gives my ego a boost and feels supportive without cramping my toes or cutting off circulation. The 6s feature a standard footshape, so they’re a tad slimmer than the original fit. Still, my toes had plenty of room to wiggle. The new, performance-focused Torin 6 features Altra EGO™ MAX midsole foam. This plush cushioning is designed for any road with a responsive underfoot feel.
In terms of functionality, the positives are plentiful.
Cushion: What I loved most about the Torin 6 right out of the box (and long after) was the cushion. It held up through walking, running, and traveling tests. The Torin 6 is made of the brand’s trademarked, Balanced Cushioning platform, which elevates your heel and forefoot to an equal distance from the ground. The goal is better alignment and better form. I’ll admit my form isn’t the best at the moment (working on it!), so I’ll gladly take any boost I can get.
Laces: The elastic-y laces have more stretch and give in the material than what I usually encounter in sneaks. My feelings about the laces were lukewarm. I initially loved the feel, getting the upper tightened just right to hold my foot. When the lace pulled loose mid-run, I didn’t love it so much. But I simply double-tied them to avoid a repeat. So! And after a long travel day in the shoes, and no need to adjust or re-tie between 4 am and 1 pm, going from car to plane to train to car, I was sold. I was exhausted, but my feet were happy.
Outsole: The FootPod outsole gripped through a post-rain run and zig zags to avoid the many puddles on the road. Likely a combo of the outsole and cushion, I felt an extra spring in my step, especially when I pushed my pace. I did the gravel path around the Reservoir in Central Park and surprised myself by passing runner after runner. My watch even gave me a +7 performance rating for the effort.
Tongue: Once I flattened the material deep in the shoe, I’d slip my foot in, and it didn’t fold or bunch up. I pretty much forgot about it. I even wore low-profile socks to really test the feel around the ankle of the redesigned tongue and the new molded heel collar. I have zero scrapes or blisters. Comfort city.
FYI: The Torin 6 became my go-to walking AND running shoe.
In order to review running shoes, one must run, of course. I definitely didn’t need to swap them for my daily walking sneaks but I did. I slipped them on for way more than just runs and ended up logging a lot of mileage at a walking pace. I’ll keep that up… at least until the next box of shiny new sneaks arrives at my door.
Overall, the Torin 6 is a supportive, comfortable running shoe that would be an absolute delight to a variety of running styles and feet. I know it was for me.
Jennifer Nied is the fitness editor at Women’s Health and has more than 10 years of experience in health and wellness journalism. She’s always out exploring—sweat-testing workouts and gear, hiking, snowboarding, running, and more—with her husband, daughter, and dog.