I love/hate Altra. Once upon a time, I fell in love with the Torin 2.0. It was joy and bliss on my trail mutilated toe nails, until one dark day when Altra “updated it” aka made it narrower and with a upper that could only be described as bunion hell.
Desperate to reclaim that lovely happy toe feeling, I literally tried every single shoe that they made and became Goldilocks. The Escalante was too soft, the Paradigm was too much stability, the Torin was too narrow, and the Intuition was too small. I somehow stumbled upon the men’s Instinct 4.0 and for some weird reason, found a men’s 8.5 fit (I’m a women’s 8.5) a glitch that has left me unable to find a second pair since the 8 ended up being a full size bigger than the 8.5.
When I heard the Intuition 4.5 was now sized in the land of reason, I promptly ordered it. HUGE sigh.
First of all, they added a stiff toe cap inside the material to “protect the toes”. However, the sides are rather sharpish and I found my baby toe kept getting a bit too close from time to time. The ride was also VERY soft, it was similar to the feel of the Paradigm 2.0 but with a shorter stack height. This made my arches hurt immediately into my first run. The final deal breaker was the new side material. Their updated new midsole design looked like this after 3 miles.
The inner side warped and looked like a wrinkled Shar-Pei puppy and they looked horrible on my foot as well as off. I always liked the firmer ride on the previous generation, these flexed so much that my arches were killing me. I have a wide forefoot (bunions) but a normal mid foot and narrow heel. These were a completely different shoe. I returned them and saw that gasp….the Torin 3.5 now came in two flavors knit and mesh. Squeee!
The left shoe is the Torin 2.0, my ride or die. The right is the 3.5 which has apparently mated with a high top and now has a ridiculously high heel cup that hits me right on the achilles. Supposedly, they have a snugger mid-foot (cough cough). This shoe fits huge. The length was the same as the 2.0, but the mid foot was sloppy and the high backing made it uncomfortable just walking around the house. While not as high as the Duo, it was reminiscent of what happened the few times I attempted to wear high top Chuck Taylor’s in high school. I am not blessed with super lengthy gams. I’m short and that extra inch+ of padding and foam made this an instant deal breaker.