The Altra Torin 3.5 Knit is a comfortable shoe that can do a lot of different things well out on the roads. Whether you’re running short and hard or long and easy, this versatile shoe will get the job done.
This shoe strikes me as a blend between the Altra Torin 3.0s and the Altra Escalantes in that it provides a smooth but cushioned ride with an upper that like you’re wearing little more than a thick sock.
Altra Torin 3.5 Knit General Info
The Altra Torin 3.5 Knit is the latest iteration of the Torin line, which has long been Altra’s most popular road shoe. This shoe is definitely different than the previous iterations in one very noticeable way: the knit upper.
In a sense, this shoe is a blend of two existing Altra shoes: the Torin and the Escalante. Basically, Altra took the sole of the Torin and attached it to the upper of the Escalante, and these shoes were the result.
My first impressions of the Torin 3.5 Knit were definitely positive. The shoe is true to size and comfortable right out of the box. I really like both the look and the feel of these shoes.
And as with all Altra shoes, the Torin 3.5 Knit is built on a zero-drop platform and features the foot-shaped toe box design.
Altra Torin 3.5 Knit Sole Unit
Not much has changed between the Torin 3.0s and the 3.5 Knits in terms of the sole.
The Altra Torin 3.5 Knit is classified as a highly cushioned shoe, and it is. That said, for a shoe with a 28 mm stack height this shoe is still quite light and very responsive.
The sole of the Torin 3.5 Knit is made up of an A-Bound mid-sole + Altra’s FoodPod outsole.
What does that mean?
The A-Bound mid-sole is (according to Altra via their website) a layer of cushioning that compresses 2-3x less than traditional running shoe foam. Ergo, it should hold up better over time than the foam found in other shoes.
It is also supposed to maintain a good ground feel while reducing the impact of striking the ground while running on hard surfaces.
The FootPod outsole is (again, according to Altra) the tread design that is very similar to the bones and tendons in the human foot.
This allows the shoe to bend and flex at the same anatomical locations as the foot, which allows the foot to function as naturally as possible.
The sole of the Altra Torin 3.5 Knit definitely delivers as advertised.
I typically prefer as little cushioning/material between my foot and the ground as possible, and even with the 28 mm stack (way more than I would usually select) I still am able to feel the ground with each step.
The shock absorption is evident and the Torin 3.5 Knit delivers a very smooth ride.
Altra Torin 3.5 Knit Upper Info
The upper of the Altra Torin 3.5 Knit is dramatically different than the previous iterations of this shoe. The upper is fully knit and completely seamless, and as such, it feels more like a thick sock than a proper shoe.
If you like/need some structure or support for your foot from the upper of your running shoes, the Altra Torin 3.5 Knit is NOT a good choice for you.
The knit upper envelopes the foot, and it fits snugly without feeling tight in any particular area. I have yet to experience any rubbing, hot spots, or other problems while running in the Torin 3.5 Knit.
While the knit construction of the upper provides a great level of comfort while wearing this shoe, it doesn’t provide much of a barrier to water. If the Torin 3.5 Knit gets wet, your feet will get wet.
The one issue I did have with the upper of the Altra Torin 3.5 Knit is the ease with which this shoe can be overtightened.
The lightweight and flexible material of the upper is great for comfort but provides little protection if you happen to tighten your laces a bit too much.
On more than one occasion, I had to stop to retie my shoes in order to relieve the pressure of the laces on the top of my foot.
Altra Torin 3.5 Knit Conclusions
This is a really good shoe.
Its mix of comfort and cushion is hard to beat, especially if you prefer a slightly thicker-soled shoe.
The only thing that is preventing the Altra Torin 3.5 Knit from becoming my favorite shoe in my rotation is the stack height. It’s not excessive by any means, but I do prefer a slightly thinner sole to my running shoes.
That said, I will continue to wear the 3.5 Knits on a regular basis, especially on some of those long runs during a marathon training cycle. And I can see myself buying another pair of these shoes once my current pair get retired.
If you’re looking for a highly cushioned shoe that can do just about everything, I would definitely recommend the Altra Torin 3.5 Knit!
We purchased a pair of Altra Torin 3.5 Knit from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.