I wish that I could say that I was an early adopter to Altra shoes. That I was there at the beginning. About three years ago I met the folks from Altra while attending a media summit, and I have been wearing them ever since. While I’ve tested many of their shoes, I keep coming back to their Lone Peak series. I have to admit it, I’m a bit of a fanboy. When they announced the release of the Lone Peak 4 at this year’s Outdoor Retailer show, I knew that I was in for trouble. My assumptions were correct. I put them on about three weeks ago, and haven’t taken them off since. What follows is my review of the Altra lone Peak 4 trail running shoe, and more so my love affair with them.
First things first – if you’ve never tried on a pair of Zero Drop shoes, there’ll be a learning curve. The Altra Lone Peak 4 feature a Zero Drop, meaning your heel and toes are the same distance from the ground. We’ve found that transitioning back and forth between a zero drop and a more traditional hiking shoe leads to the feeling of walking in high heels…and an extremely unnatural foot position. Speaking of foot feel, the Altra Lone Peak 4 boasts Altra’s Footshape Toe Box….wait, what? Looking down onto your toes, the shoe is noticeably wider in the toes. This allows your toes to relax in a more natural position, rather than being squeezed into a point. We’ve found that this shape makes hiking and trail running a more stable exercise, and a feeling that you aren’t being jammed up.
Next, let’s step outside of the shoe – to where the rubber meets the road. The material and makeup of the sole are built for the trail. Large lugs exactly where we need them, and Maxtrac grip provide stability and traction even on wet and slippery surfaces. In the past, we’ve taken earlier iterations of the Lone Peak on week-long adventures, and they have continued to perform time after time. We can honestly say that they’ve only improved the functionality of the sole in the new Lone Peak 4.
Next – styling. I wish that I was in a position to buy a pair of shoes for every activity that I participate in…but that’s simply not the case. The Lone Peak 4’s look great. I wore them for a week tromping around on the Ice Age Trail, and followed it up with a trip to the office and happy hour the next. Altra continues to reach outside of the box with their colors, and the selections that are available in the Lone Peak 4 are fantastic. Sure, they’re bold – but they’re also great looking.
Lastly, don’t be intimidated. Altra is sold through many running retailers around the country. Whether you’re a runner or not – the Altra Lone Peak 4 is a solid shoe that deserves your consideration. At the very least, you need to go and try a pair on. For us, we’re sold.