The latest iteration in Altra’s long-running and hugely popular line. Here’s how we got on with it...
Why we chose them: Excellent for long distances, smart new updates
Here we have the latest iteration in a long line of Lone Peak’s by Altra, a shoe that’s made for trail running but that has also earned the admiration of many hikers too. Compared to the last model, the Lone Peak 4.5, there’ve been a few updates to the design and to the materials as well, and from what we’ve seen there’s no doubt these have all taken this trail running shoe forwards rather than backwards.
Who Is the Altra Lone Peak 5.0 For?
The thing about the Altra Lone Peak series that perhaps makes it so endearing to trail runners is its last design. It features a close fitting heel and midfoot but then it also has what you could say is an unusually large toe box and this really comes into its own on days with big mileage where your feet will start to swell a touch. It’s kind of like breathing space for them, that’s what we’d call it.
“A heck of a lot of hikers on the Appalachian Trail will be wearing Lone Peaks”
This benefit also transfers to long-distance hiking as well and that’s one of the reasons why the Lone Peak is hugely popular amongst the U.S. thru-hiking community. A heck of a lot of hikers on the Appalachian Trail will be wearing Lone Peaks, that’s a guarantee.
The Sole Unit
This is a neutral shoe in that there’s no ‘drop’ – no slope or offset from the heel to the toe. Running in this, you’ll therefore find that the Lone Peak 5.0 promotes a mid to forefoot landing, thus reducing the amount of pressure and shock going into your heels. The stack height is still pretty high though. In fact at 28mm it’s the thickest midsole that we’ve seen so far on the Lone Peak model – 7mm more than the Lone Peak 4.5 in fact. Somehow this new version is still a few grammes lighter than the previous one, however.
They’ve swapped the midsole foam for this model too, by the way. Previous editions used Altra’s A-Bound, a foam which sometimes came into criticism for not holding its shape for long enough. Now, however, Altra have added their Altra EGO foam, which has a better reputation for longevity and responsiveness. To protect your feet from sharp rocks and roots there’s a hidden mesh that stretches across the length of the sole unit and this is carefully zoned in order to keep that overall gramme count down. What that means is you have a tough, dense weave construction in the places where your foot needs more protection and a looser weave in the places where it’s not so important.
As for the outsole, the lug pattern has been reshuffled a bit, with 4mm chevron’s lining most of it now. The spacing is slightly wider on this pattern compared to the last one as well in order to improve the outsole’s mud-shedding ability.
The main thing to note about the upper on the Lone Peak 5.0 is that it now features laser perforated holes to promote drainage. The previous version just used a mesh which wasn’t quite as hardwearing – or as smart looking.
Details include TPU reinforcements at the toes and around the heel for protection, a little finger tab to help pull the shoes on and off, and then, as on previous versions, there are hoops and velcro for attaching mini gaiters.
Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic
“I loved using these for running on defined trails, That roomy toe box is really quite wonderful to have when the miles are creeping up and your feet are starting to swell a little bit. The grip was impressive on trails too and I did find my midfoot and heel did feel locked in well. The drainage was good too – no issues there at all.
“Off trail, for fell race style running, I did find these had limitations, with my feet sliding about while contouring along steep, grassy slopes. For that kind of running, when you’re leaping between the kind of tussocks, divots and hoof marks you tend to find off-trail in Wales, I did also notice the slight lack of precision that the wide toe box engenders. “Still, I wouldn’t say these shoes were made for that type of running anyway. It’s on-the-trail stuff, whether that’s walking or running, that they’re made to excel on. I’d certainly consider these for my next long-distance walk this summer. I reckon they’d also be pretty handy for any ultra races along, say, a national trail or coastal path.”
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