Two long years ago I made the switch to trail runners from my heavy waterproof leather boots. My first pair of trail runners were a pair of La Sportiva Wildcat GTX. While these are pretty awesome in spring snow, they are rather bulky, waterproof shoes. During a Presi Traverse I quickly learned that I wanted something lighter and something that was super breathable, not waterproof. Waterproof barriers are great for keeping out snow and keeping your feet warm… but not so great for hot summer days (imagine wrapping your feet in a plastic bag).
Long story short: I eventually read about the Altra Lone Peak 2.5 . I purchased the 2.5 model for warm weather trail running and hiking. I kept my La Sportiva for the winter months.
The Old Lone Peak 2.5’s
I loved the Lone Peak 2.5’s. They were super comfortable for long days and left my feet happy. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The durability of this shoe lacked considerably.
At about the 250 mile marker my Lone Peak 2.5’s blew out at the sides near the widest point of my foot. The tread is still in decent shape with the exception of the front toe area where I did most of my steep climbing on sharp granite.
I tried to tape the shoes with no avail… they tore further with every hike and the large holes allowed dirt and rocks to accumulate in the shoe.
I decided to retire the 2.5’s to local trail runs and buy something new for big mountain days.
The Lone Peak 3.0
While I was bummed at the durability issues of the 2.5, I couldn’t migrate away from the comfort I was used to with the wide zero drop platform. This led me to the new Lone Peak 3.0!
- All New Upper Design – Thick Protection Fabric Around The Toe and Sides
- All New Super Aggressive “Trail Claw” Outsole Design
- Maintained Lightweight Design (10 oz per shoe for my size US10.5)
- Medial Side “Stone Guard” Rock Plate
- “GaiterTrap” Velcro Heel Gaiter Mount and Toe D-Ring
- 25mm Stack Height For a Cush Ride
- Zero Drop Platform
- Foot Shape Toebox
Comparing the 2.5 to the 3.0
Here’s a few pictures comparing the 2.5 (blue/steel) to the 3.0 (orange/black)
First Impression – Lone Peak 3.0
So far I only have about 30 trail miles on my pair of Altra Lone Peak 3.0’s. Here’s how it stacks up in my opinion so far.
Overall, I was impressed that Altra was able to beef up the materials of the shoe without making it heavier. How do they defy physics like that?! The material is comfortable and it’s nice to have a little extra protection when you accidentally stub your toe on a rock.
The upper material is a thin mesh reinforced with heavier suede like material. It feels about 100 times more durable than the Lone Peak 2.5’s which were made of all mesh. It’s a little concerning how heavy the material feels… I don’t want to give up breathability. There’s even a rubbery waterproof looking material covering the mesh toe which I probably could have done without.
Here’s an important piece of information. The Lone Peak 3.0 runs SMALLER than the 2.5. I needed to move up to a 10 1/2 from my usual size 10. I probably could have gotten away with an 11 but I don’t like having a bunch of extra material in the toe box.
When I remove the insole of my Size 10 LP 2.5 and compare it to the 10 1/2 3.0 they’re nearly identical.
I’m wondering if they did this to save weight? In either case – size up a bit.
Once I got the sizing right the shoe was extremely comfortable. A nice cush in the midsole is a plush ride when running and a nice stable platform for hiking. The heel cup is slightly narrower but for me that was a good thing. The toe box is super wide as all Altra’s are and allows some level of “toe splay”. When I paired these with my InjiInji Run socks the combination is magical.
The “Stone Guard” may be a bit of marketing hype. I know it was on the older model. But these shoes do feel a lot more “protective” from sharp rocks. They’re also a bit stiffer which will probably loosen up with more miles.
The new outsole design is AWESOME. I love the hexagonal lugs and added aggressiveness (is that a word?). The shoes grip incredibly well on just about anything. Steep slick wet rock? sure… Muddy roots and logs? Sure… Loose dirt and gravel? Sure!
There’s not much else to say here… the traction is top of the line in my opinion.
Here’s where my main concern was: How fast can these dry out after being submerged in a river? How hot will these get?
Well this is still a little foggy for me. During a hike up Cannon Mountain and the Kinsmans I did accidentally dip my foot in a stream or two. Water got into the shoe and it did eventually dry out. I’d classify these shoes as “acceptably breathable”. For me it’s worth the sacrifice of the super thin mesh for a little added durability.
The shoes do breathe well though. I didn’t find my feet getting super hot or clammy during my time wearing them.
So far the Lone Peak 3.0’s seem like tanks. I’ve grinded the upper against some sharp granite, mud and other abrasive areas without showing any signs of damage. The sole’s also seem very robust. They still look brand new after a big hike and a few trail runs.
The only minor thing I’ve noticed is the rolled up toe outsole seems to be peeling away a tiny bit. I’m hoping it doesn’t affect the shoes lifespan or performance.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? I like the new shoe’s looks. I originally purchased the Black/Yellow variation but when I needed to size up that color was no longer available. So I went with what Altra calls “Orange”… it’s more of a red. And the “Black” in the orange is more of a deep brown. I originally didn’t care for the “Orange” color but it’s starting to grow on me.
The new graphics on the side are very cool and of course the footprint on the outsole… always loved that.
These shoes seem like real winners. If you’re contemplating upgrading to the Lone Peak 3.0’s from an earlier version of the Lone Peak – DO IT! Just keep in mind that there are some sizing variations. Buy from a reputable dealer that has a lenient return policy or go try them on at the store.
I can’t wait to put in some more miles and longer days in these shoes. My hopes are high!
By the way I bought these with my own hard earned dollars. No sponsorship or give away here.
Support This Site!
Buy your Altra Lone Peaks using the following link and help support this site.