An image of the ALTRA WOMENS TORIN 4.5 PLUSH

Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Review



Altra rejuvenated the Torin 4’s in this recent model, taking many of its premium features and reimplementing them in this new package for a softer ride, designed with midfoot and forefoot strikers in mind. But can it work for you? See the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush review below to decide.

What’s New in the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush?

First, I’ll tell you what’s not new: The Torin 4.5 Plush features the premium Quantic™ midsole and outsole infused with FootPod™ technology that you’ve seen in previous models. These are excellent features that stand to prove that you don’t need exclusively new things to make a fantastic updated model. For one, the Quantic™ foam is ideal for maximal shock absorption without adding too much weight to the overall shoe. The FootPod™ tech caters to a more customized feel, as it works by mapping out your foot’s bones and tendons to ultimately create a support system conducive to your natural bend and range of movement. Another thing that’s carried over from the model 4 is the roomy Footshape™ Toe Box, promoting an optimal toe-off. The Torin 4.5 Plush is also supportive of your natural gait, thanks to the Balanced Cushioning™. This is the main factor responsible for the zero-drop design, as it keeps the heel and forefoot equally elevated from the ground. Now, the newest feature? The engineered breathable knit upper. This conforms very nicely to the foot and simultaneously enhances ventilation, keeping your foot cool mile after mile. The second change between the previous version, the Torin 4 Plush, and 4.5 is the shoe’s weight, which is roughly an ounce lighter for men’s and women’s, now 9.1 oz and 7.4 oz, respectively.

Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Shoe Review: Notes on Ride and Performance

A few key features in this Torin model may play a huge role in whether you decide to get these shoes. Here’s a more detailed Torin 4.5 Plush review to discuss how they might affect the ride and overall experience.

Roomy Toe Box

Altra’s toe box is distinguished by a very wide design, allowing your toes to relax and spread out as much as they need for a natural gait. Plus, this also encourages your big toe to rest straight, contributing to maximum stability in your strides. With the big toe sitting so comfortably, you’ll be better able to follow-through with a powerful toe-off. This is supported by just enough space in front of the big toe and the toe spring offered by the slight upturn at the front of the shoe. This is critical. A toe box that is too narrow will increase the risk of developing calluses and cause pain for those with bunions and similar conditions.

Soft, Optimal Cushioning

You’ll find that the Torin 4.5 Plush offers a very cushy ride. Altra’s design rivals many max-cushioned models out there, primarily because of that amazingly soft Quantic™ foam midsole and 28 mm stack height. It’s not too much, though, as the ride is still pretty bouncy, which can help improve your speed. The Balanced Cushioning™ design encourages a more natural posture and alignment, enabling these benefits to pair with the strengths of your natural mobility. (Keep in mind that you’ll need to give yourself time to adjust to the zero-drop shoes. If you transition to these shoes from a bigger drop too quickly, you might increase your risk of strain or injury.)

Best of Both Worlds

This shoe has an interesting mixture of features characteristic of both minimalist and maximalist shoes. While it certainly maxes out the cushioning, as mentioned a few times thus far, it doesn’t subject you to a severe heel-toe drop. This is one of the prime reasons why some experts say minimalist shoes are ideal for better running efficiency (especially for midfoot and forefoot strikers) and reducing ground contact time. At the same time, you reap benefits similar to that of a max-cushioned shoe, so it’s a win-win.

Who Would Do Best with the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush?

If we’re looking at a specific group, the 4.5 Plush is best for people with low or no arches since it’s a zero-drop design. However, if you want to run with your natural gait and allow your foot to support more loading, then you can adjust to the Balanced Cushion with enough time. Overall, this Altra Torin 4.5 Plush review shows that this neutral shoe would really be best for any midfoot and forefoot strikers looking for plush softness, stability, and multifaceted support from their running shoes.


New engineered knit upper for excellent breathability
Zero drop design increases running efficiency
Great cushion while still providing great rebound
Wide toebox allows for excellent toe-splay
Lighter weight for enhanced long runs


High stack height can decrease stability for some
Tongue is a bit short
Needs some time to break-in
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