Altra Torin IQ

8.0
8.0 score
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Altra Torin IQ Review Facts
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The Torin shoe family has been one of Altra’s best-selling  road shoes. That reputation may be well-protected after the release of the Torin IQ – essentially, a ‘smart shoe.’ With ultra lightweight cushioning and a light and flexible structure, Altra’s newest Torin shoe is one that gives runners everything they need to have a smooth and comfortable run… and more. A lightweight and responsive EVA and A-Bound cushioned midsole allow you to have the energy return you need while being stable and comfortable enough to last long into your runs. Your foot will lay in its most natural shape while working freely in the FootShape toe-box and laying flat along Altra’s Zero Drop platform. And with sensors inside the midsole that keep track of things like your foot’s strike zone, its impact and gives us feedback. The software gives the runner immediate feedback through audible cues that will help them adjust their movements to have a better run.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comfortable zero-drop design
  • All the technology is in the shoe - no need for additional sensors.
  • Voice coach intervals are customizable so your music is not repeatedly interrupted.
  • 360º reflective upper
  • Lightweight
  • High cushioning
Cons
  • Price
  • Voice coach's advice is not comprehensive
  • Not able to use smartphone's GPS to map your run
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Altra builds the Torin IQ by using their FootPod technology in the outsole. It gives the shoe an unfamiliar shape compared to most trainers whose outsoles are typically straight and narrow. The unique shape and canted lugs of the FootPod outsole chart the bones and tendons of your feet in order to provide more flexibility and response. With that, a variety of surfaces can be met with this shoe.

A disadvantage of the Torin IQ’s outsole is that has no hard rubber on the front, leaving cushioning more exposed. Some users found noticeable wear to the area and exposed cushioning. While the rest of the outsole is made with a hard rubber material, some runners thought the shoe could have benefited from having more.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Again Altra incorporates their own technology into the shoe with the addition of A-Bound cushioning mixed with ultralight EVA in the midsole. The EVA cushioning is built on the basis of keeping weight light while increasing energy return and can be found in some of the best cushioned shoes. Their A-Bound technology is constructed with recycled materials, therefore environmentally friendly. This layer of cushioning rests directly underneath the foot to return energy into the next stride as quickly as possible. It can reduce the impact felt from hard surfaces while still keeping ground feedback. In addition A-Bound foam compresses 2-3 times less than traditional foam - helping prevent it from deforming over time.

Included in the midsole are Torin’s razor-thin sensors built into the foam bed in order to track the runner and record information based on his technique. The Quad Accelerometers are what interpret that information and relay it back to the app on the runner’s smartphone where it will be finally delivered to the runner. However, some users found the app difficult to use due to trouble syncing with the shoe and/or limited or unspecific data from the so-called ‘running coach.’
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Torin IQ features a breathable mesh that has a reflective surface, all the way around the shoe. The 360º reflectivity will allow runners to run later into the day while remaining visible. Those who’ve ran with the Torin IQ’s believe the upper breathes very well during hot days while the wide forefoot allows for additional wiggle-room in the toe-box. The mesh, while being highly breathable and quick-drying, is made with a thick enough fabric to keep the foot protected as well. The laces are fashioned in an asymmetrical system, allowing the runner to comfortable with no pressure points after tightening his or her shoe. Users also found that a newly added groove to the heel counter helps prevent their heels from slipping, as they did during their use of earlier Torin’s.
Weight
Weight

Weight

After accounting for the technology, cushioning and rubber added into the shoe, one might be surprised it can still call itself a lightweight trainer at 9.3oz. With the amount of cushioning found in the midsole and the outsole, Altra assured itself that weight would remain low by including ultralight EVA foam and their own lightweight material A-Bound. And now that the Torin IQ has a built in coach that tells the runner to increase her cadence or reduce the amount of force she strikes the ground with, a lightweight shoe makes those on-the-fly adjustments all the easier.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Torin IQ’s breathe easily through the mesh fabric that wraps the upper portion of the shoe. The mesh keeps the inside of the shoe cool and dries quickly during wet conditions. The material is quite flexible and able to stretch to the shape of the runner’s foot.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Being comfortable during a run is what Altra customers are receiving with the Torin IQ. The dual-layered midsole made with ultralight EVA and A-Bound cushioning give the runner a soft and plush protective layer while remaining flexible and being responsive enough for the runner to feel explosive and light his feet. The heel counter has been found to give runners’ heels a nice bed to rest in securely during their workouts. One area of improvement that Altra made with the Torin line is removing a small strip of plastic built into the upper mesh that ran along the big toe. Runners found that their toe would often rub against that strip of plastic and was uncomfortable after extended periods of time. Luckily, Altra made this change for the better in this year’s model.
Style
Style

Style

The Altra Torin IQ is a high-end, high-tech, minimal running shoe. It’s look is unique and intriguing to most eyes and distinguishes itself from other trainers. It limits itself in colorways, so there may not be a lot of room to branch out if you’re thinking multiple pairs. Opposed to earlier models of the Torin, the IQ doesn’t look much different. The IQ features a very similar sleek and streamlined looking upper and a large (28mm specifically) stack height.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Torin IQ’s have been met with praise and skepticism of their durability by other runners and reviews. While the hard rubber that makes up the outsole is said to be a durable material capable of withstanding constant wear and abrasions, some felt there was not enough of it. Especially at the forefoot section of the outsole, where there is no hard rubber at all. Runners found that after a short time using the shoe, the front of the outsole rubber had worn down, exposing the inner cushioning. One reviewer noticed the damage after just 150 miles of walking.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The lack of hard rubber on the front of the outsole leaves room for improvement. For those of us who launch with our big-toes may seem damage sooner than others. The high stack height, 28mm of impact absorbing cushion, of the Torin IQ give the bottom of the foot a lot of protection from repeated impact. With the upper mesh able to dry quickly and breathe well, all while keeping the foot protected from foreign material, the Torin IQ will not leave your foot any more exposed than it should be.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Despite the electronic technology and great amount of cushioning in the midsole, the Torin IQ remains a highly responsive shoe. The ultra lightweight EVA foam cushioning is fairly popular among running shoes. As it should be, for its excellent energy-return qualities. The foam gives runners 3-4 times more energy return they get in shoes with standard cushioning. In addition, Altra’s A-Bound is a responsive foam cushioning that remains soft over time. The A-Bound material compresses 2-3 times less than traditional running shoe foam - which compresses 70-90% from its natural shape.
Support
Support

Support

Through the zero-drop platform and the FootPod technology built into the shoe, the Torin IQ does an above average job in supporting the feet. The dense and less-forgiving A-Bound foam located directly beneath the foot successfully supports the arch of the foot. The Zero Drop platform is also great for giving the needed support while runners take the time to strengthen their feet if they are not accustomed to donning shoes without a heel to toe offset. If runners are seeking a supportive Altra shoe, while avoiding the steep price that comes with the Torin IQ, they may be interested in looking at the Altra Provisions.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Torin IQ’s are not meant for rough and technical terrain. While they are capable of withstanding dirt covered surfaces and minimal off road usage, these shoes are best suited for roads and track surfaces. Runners who generally agree with Altra shoes and who are looking for a product they can take on tougher surfaces, enjoy checking out the Altra Superior 3.0, which uses a removable rock guard that can be used in tougher terrain and later removed for easier surfaces.
Price
Price

Price

A pair of Altra Torin IQ’s might run some shoppers out of the building, as the can be found in stores and online for right around $220. That amount is clearly more expansive than your average running shoe, even more than some of the high-end models from Asics and Saucony. Let’s consider what we’re paying for. Plenty of cushioning, a unique footbed that provides more comfort, and added safety measures in the reflective upper. And let’s not forget about the technology! For the first time in Altra’s history of shoemaking, they are giving runners an experience they never had before. Running in a pair of Torin IQ’s, you are able to receive tips and pointers that help you become a more efficient and faster runner.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Torin IQ by design is meant to be kept on roads and traditional running surfaces like tracks or light trails. The hard grooved rubber is effective in keeping the shoe planted on the ground throughout sharp and sudden movements. That being said, during wet conditions you naturally lose traction when encountering slick surfaces. According to other reviews and user feedback, the Torin IQ performed satisfactorily on wet ground.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

As for flexibility of the shoe, many of the parts that make up the Torin IQ are built to be flexible. The FootPod outsole flexes easily with uneven surfaces a runner may come in contact with. As you may be wondering, the electronic sensors built into the shoe are flexible as well. So no need to worry about them breaking into smaller pieces with each step. In addition to those highly flexible cushioning/electronic components, the upper mesh has no additional plastic or rubber embedded into the fabric, keeping the mesh as flexible as possible.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The foot-shaped outsole, or the Foot Pod, gives the runner added surface area that comes in contact with the ground. Therefore, the runner has a larger landing zone when his foot strikes, and an easier, more stable ride. The heel counter located in the rear of the shoe has been received well by those who have used the shoe. It is said to be comfortable and stable enough to securely hold the Achilles tendon in place during workouts. Altra also embraces its own technology with the FootShape toe box that keeps the big toe straight for greater stability and more powerful take offs. The toe box gives your toes room to relax and spread out naturally and evenly while the big toe remains in a straight position. The added stability and maximized power raises the potential to better your performance.
Drop
Drop

Drop

All of Altra’s running shoes feature zero-drop platforms, where there is no height differential between the rear and forefoot. Altra’s own Zero Drop platform places the heel and forefoot evenly off the ground to encourage a running technique that minimizes impact, align body posture to a more natural position and strengthen lower leg muscles. The platform also builds and strengthens the Achilles and lower calf muscles that usually degenerate over a lifetime of running on shoes with elevated heels, or higher drops. Altra’s prominent use of Zero Drop platforms in their shoes is what the company says sets it apart from other companies that make running shoes.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

•360º fully reflective upper
•Smartphone App compatibility
•Natural ride system
•BLE Wireless Communication
•Strike Zone Tracking
•Impact Force Measurement
•Audible Running Cues
•Stat Tracking
•Post Run Summary
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

When the software functions properly, this shoe can be in a league of its own. Mainly because the ‘smart’ technology has not been featured in many shoes. And if the tips and feedback given to us by the AI are helpful, we may ask, “will there be another shoe out there that can do it this good?” Therefore, the steep price may be justifiable. The line of Torin’s have known to be Altra’s best selling road shoe in large part from their comfort, stability and flexibility. Not to mention their prolonged lifetimes, as some have said to have had theirs for up to 400 miles. With that, more runners felt they could get all the qualities of this shoe, minus the AI, in a cheaper and older model. Overall, this will be a soft, comfortable and especially light ride for anyone who suits up in a pair of Altra’s newest Torin IQ’s.