Trail runners, Yup! I’ve gone through a few!
Over the past 3 years I’ve had an unhealthy addiction to Altra Footwear. I’ve gone through 5 pairs in 2 years… Youch! That hurts my wallet!
The “Lone Peak” has become my go-to trail shoe. My first pair of Lone Peak’s was the Lone Peak 2.5 model. After that, I knew the zero drop platform that Altra was famed for was for me and I could never go back to “normal” shoes.
While the Lone Peak has always been my trusty trail companion I’ve always had the same complaint. DURABILITY… These shoes always seemed to fall apart way too early.
Altra Lone Peak 4.0
That’s where the Lone Peak 4.0 comes in. Altra claims it’s much more durable in the long run… Pun intended. They’ve also thrown in a few more bells and whistles in the process. When I saw these pop up on Amazon I couldn’t hit “Add to cart” fast enough!
I’ve ran over 500 miles in my pair of Altra Lone Peak 4.0’s. In short, I’m happy to report the Altra Lone Peak 4.0’s are MUCH more durable than previous generations. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Lets get into the nitty gritty!
Features and Specs
- Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed
- FootShape™ Toe box with Fully Cushioned Zero Drop™ Platform
- Stack Height: 25 mm
- Midsole: Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound™ with StoneGuard™
- Outsole: MaxTrac™ Rubber with TrailClaw™
- Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh
- Weight: 10.2 oz. / 289 g (Size US Mens 10)
Looks and Design
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 still looks very “lone peaky” that is… it looks like an aggressive trail shoe. With its rugged lugged sole, over-stitched ribs, and mountain graphics etched on the side it exudes the “trail runner” vibe quite confidently. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course but I like what Altra did here. I also appreciate the color options of Black/Red, Gray/Red, Blue/Red, and Neon Yellow (I chose yellow!).
Aside from looks there’s a lot of function going on here. First off, There’s tons of drainage holes and mesh to facilitate sweat and water escaping the shoe in the event you accidentally slip and take a plunge in a puddle. Key areas of high stress have been re-inforced with overstitched leather-like material that make a note-able difference in how snugly the shoe feels laced up. Speaking of laces, Altra has added a strap in the middle of the shoe that cinches the entire upper snuggly while being laced up.
Altra has always used its signature “Gaiter Trap” which historically was just a velcro flap on the heel, and D-Ring on the toebox to keep gaiters in place. The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 adds to this with two additional mounting points on the sides of the shoe for gaiters to keep them even more securely fastened in place.
The outsole or “trail claw” of the shoe sees a small update in the design of the lugs moving to a chevron pattern rather than the previous hexagon lug design of the Lone Peak 3.0 and 3.5.
Fit and Sizing
Obviously everyone’s feet are different so I can only comment on how these shoes fit my feet and compare to other Altra models I’ve worn in the past. The Lone Peak 4.0’s fit quite similarly to the previous generation 3.0 and 3.5 Lone Peaks. If you were a size 10 in the older Lone Peak’s you’ll likely be happy with a size 10 in the Lone Peak 4.0 . Altra seems to have tightened up the heel pocket a bit more which is a good thing for me. The Lone Peak 4.0 just feels a bit more refined and slimmed down with less frivolous material around the ankle and heel pocket. The mid-foot feels securely snug thanks to the new lacing system. Of course the fore-foot of the Lone Peak 4.0 is quite wide which I personally like… However, some people may find all this width and material cumbersome or as a trip hazard. Overall I’m happy with the small tweaks Altra has implemented in the fit.
On The Trail
When I received the Altra Lone Peak 4.0’s I took them out for one training run and then a day later ran a 50K Ultra Marathon in them! Trial by fire I guess? They performed as expected with one strange issue. About 25 miles into the race the insoles of both shoes started to mash up into the toe box like a roll of pennies under my toes. I managed to finish the race like this but it wasn’t very comfortable. I have no idea what caused this. After I got home I used “Shoe Goo” and permanently glued the insoles down to the bottom of the shoe to prevent it from happening again. This solved the issue for me.
The Lone Peak 4.0 trail running shoe excels in almost any trail condition you can throw at it. Mud, sand, dust, sharp granite, wet slab, loose schist… this is a great all around trail running shoe. The outsole has a mix of different rubbers that seem to grab just about anything with confidence even when scrambling varnished greasy slabs on a steep mountain trail. the mid-sole has lots of “bounce” and makes running on hard packed rocky trails comfortable for long distances… unfortunately this midsole “bounce” doesn’t last forever (more on this later).
I’ve particularly been impressed with how fast these shoes dry out. Even after a full submerge in a stream it seems like they drain immediately and within a few minutes feel comfortable to run in again.
During the 500 miles I’ve put on these shoes I’ve ran 4 Ultra Marathons, and two self supported long mountain runs. At no point did get a single blister on my feet… that says a lot!
So here’s the elephant in the room! In the past the Lone Peak models haven’t been the most durable shoes. How durable are the Altra Lone Peak 4.0’s? Well I’m happy to say that the upper’s of the Lone Peak 4.0’s are quite durable! Even after 500 miles mine are free of holes and any major wear. Altra has finally answered our complaints and re-inforced key wear areas of the upper with thicker, more robust materials!
HOWEVER! There is one major issue with these shoes. The Mid-sole loses it’s ability to rebound quite fast in its lifespan. I started to feel degradation in the mid-sole after only 2 or 3 runs. After 150-200 miles these shoes had that “flat tire” feel and offered little shock absorption in my step. This was a pretty big disappointment for me as the rest of the shoe felt quite bomb proof! But what good is having a durable shoe if the mid-sole goes flat so quick? This is something Altra HAS to address in the next version.
Despite my issues with the insoles bunching up, and lackluster mid-sole lifespan I still love these shoes. So much so that I bought another pair to replace my now “flat” first pair of Lone Peak 4.0’s. For me, these shoes check all the boxes. Relatively light weight, quick drying, long distance support, unreal traction, Out of box comfort, and excellent upper durability. At the current retail price of $119 these shoes fall in line with a price that you’d expect. However, when you take into account how often they might need to be replaced due to the mid-sole blowing out the cost can escalate quite quickly!
These shoes will work for almost anyone whether you’re a casual trail runner weekend warrior, day-hiker, or an every day athlete training for 100 milers! Definitely check these out if you’re in the market for a do-it-all trail shoe.
Are you wearing the Lone Peak 4.0? Let me know what you think about them in the comments!