Are you considering a pair of Altra running shoes? Here are my honest thoughts!
People all around me have been raving about Altra running shoes, so I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and test them out. I wanted to try Altra for a couple reasons, but the big one was an extremely wide toe box.
After a bit of research (there are tons of Altra running styles to choose from!), I decided on the Altra Footwear Torin 4.5 Plush Running Sneaker. I got the Dusty Rose color, which I love, and is great at concealing Hawaii’s red dirt.
My Thoughts On Altra Running Shoes
Like I mentioned, I was eager to try Altra sneakers, because of the wide toe box. Altra calls this ‘Foot Shape Technology’, but basically, their sneakers are made to give your feet space to rest naturally. It goes hand in hand with their Balanced Cushioning technology that I talk about later on, which mimics running barefoot. I have horrible bunions, so this was a huge selling point for me.
I went with the Torin style, because they are road running shoes that are lightweight, but still offer Altra’s trademark ‘Balanced Cushioning’ zero-drop design.
What is zero drop in running shoes?
Zero drop in running shoes mean that the shoe’s design features heels and toes that are the same distance off the ground. It is helpful, because this allows the shoe to mimic how your foot would naturally move if barefoot.
I also liked that the Torin is built for road running. Lots of Altra sneakers are built for trail running, but all of my runs are through my neighborhood, so I stuck to road running designs.
Altra Running Shoes Women
I read a ton of reviews and everyone said they ordered their true size, instead of one size up like many do for running sneakers due to Altra’s design. I ordered my true-to-size 8.5, but in retrospect I wish I would have gone up to a 9 like I normally do. More on that later.
I’ll be the first to admit, Altra sneakers aren’t sexy, so if that is the look you’re going for, these sneakers may not be for you. That said, the very first thing I noticed about them was how light they are (WOW!) when I pulled them out of the box and how supportive they felt on my foot when I put them on and stood up.
True to advertising, my entire foot felt like it was comfortably resting and my toes were able to expand naturally, all on the same plane. I paired them with my go-to running socks: Bombas.
I did a short, 3-mile inaugural jog and my first thought was that is felt like my feet were running on buoyant clouds – the cushioning is SERIOUS, which is surprising given how light they are – even though the shoe itself looks a little orthopedic, in my opinion.
Halfway through, I loosened the laces and that helped a bit with how tight the shoe itself felt against my bunions and arch. They are true to fitting like barefoot – it’s a sneaker skin – so there is a bit of a learning curve there if you’re used to a true sneaker fit.
When I got back from my run, one standout things I noticed right away – there was no heel rubbing, which is something I sometimes struggle with in a new pair of sneakers. Overall, the sneaker is great and I feel like accurately advertised – everything I was promised, I was given.
Are Altra sneakers good for bunions?
This is where I need to point out that, the toe bed is wide, but cut like a foot, so there isn’t a true space for bunions and when I slid these on, it was snug. That’s sort of why I wish I would have gone with the size 9, instead of my true-size.
Would I recommend Altra sneakers?
Yes, but two things to keep in mind:
1. I think sizing plays a key role here. I would absolutely do a half size up. For this reason, I also think there is a period of getting used to how these shoes feel on your foot. My toes have wiggle room, which I’m not necessarily used to, but it is absolutely the closest you will get to the sensation of running barefoot while still wearing a sneaker.
2. I feel like they wore out pretty fast. I’ve had my sneakers for 2.5 months now and I have worn them about 3-4 times per week for runs and walks (nothing more than 6 miles at any given time), and I will need to get new sneakers soon. I can only speak for the Torin 4.5, but just keep that in mind!