Review: Altra Lone Peak 2.0
- Incredible Comfort
- Decent Versatility
- Outstanding Traction
- Great Ventilation
- Outsole durability not so great
- Tongue of shoe should extend slightly higher
I just finished backpacking a 56 mile section of the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico wearing my Altra Lone Peak 2.0 shoes. In 4 days, I never experienced any foot discomfort. From 7000′ to over 10,000 elevations, through sandy, rocky dry desert plains to pine shadow dappled forests and spongy wet high alpine meadows, my feet were happy!
Earlier, these same shoes took me on a delightful hike to the Trampas Lakes and Truchas Peaks region with similarly good results. They have also been my go-to for various trail runs and shorter hikes locally as well as a 1 day, 24 mile transect of the Sandia Range from south to north. Oh yeah, and a precipitous class 4 scramble up el Cabezon!
Based on my experiences, I can heartily recommend the Lone Peak as Strongility-approved outdoor footwear!
The Lone Peak
The Altra Lone Peak is a lightweight, extremely comfortable trail running shoe that crosses over perfectly to backpacking and everyday wear. (I picked up a pair of the Lone Peak 2.5’s and wore them pounding the pavement in Manhattan for several days.)
In November, 2015, I bought the Lone Peak 2.0 on Amazon for $55 in a rather garish canary yellow color. (The cool colors were much more expensive. )
As of this writing, the original pair is still going strong, albeit somewhat ratty looking and with the tread substantially diminished especially in the forefoot of the shoe.
Altra the Company differentiates itself based on two characteristics of it’s footwear: Zero Drop and the Footshape Toebox. While both of these sound rather gimmicky, in the real world, they are quite advantageous.
Zero Drop means that the height of the sneaker stays the same from the front to the back. This is different from the typical raised heel on most athletic footwear. What I like about this feature is that it allows for a more natural stride and better balance especially when descending.
The Altra Footshape toebox is simply a wider forefoot area in the shoe that allows the toes to spread as they do when a person walks barefoot. While not “minimalist” footwear, the Altra Lone Peaks do provide for a more bionomic fit than what is commonly available.
I find that this added space in the toebox allows my feet to breathe better, retain less sweaty moisture, and experience less chafing between the toes. Finally, it seems that having added width at the front of the shoe and being able to splay my toes in response to terrain variations increases my lateral ankle stability and helps prevent rolled ankles and sprains.
The upper of the Lone Peak is constructed of a very durable tightly woven mesh type material that permits decent airflow and drys relatively quickly.
Room for improvement: As the pictures indicate, after about a year of use, the soles are substantially worn. Particularly in the forefoot was this wear immediately noticeable. Compared to 2 pairs of Salomon XA Pro’s that I put through the wringer, the Altra’s outsole has been much less durable. Despite what I consider to be premature wear, the traction of the Lone Peak has been and continues to be excellent.
One other minor quibble has to do with the height of the tongue. While finding a nice sweet spot of being properly padded without seeming like a stuffed monstrosity, it should extend a bit further up. It is not a real issue, it just requires a bit of fiddling/tugging on the tongue of the shoe when tying it.
I can heartily recommend the Altra Lone Peak as a trail running all-rounder and a viable alternative to heavy hiking boots. Out of the box comfort is excellent, traction on varied terrain is outstanding, ventilation is great. The durability of the outsole could stand improvement, but is not so bad as to negate the value of the aforementioned attributes.