Back in August, 2017 I picked up my first (two) pair(s) of Altra’s… specifically the Lone Peak 3.0’s. I had shunned the Lone Peaks from years back simply because so many folks complained so much about how little traction they had. However, with my 2018 JMT hike drawing nearer, I knew that I would need to replace my dying Inov-8’s, so I started researching shoes again…
Now, I loved my (particular) Inov-8’s, but the one thing that I would change about them would be to have a little wider toe box. Inov-8 seems to go through a number of sizing/last changes, so trying to sort through them again is a bit of a nightmare (to be fair though, pretty much all shoe makers do this…) But, when thinking about wider toe boxes, the Lone Peaks quickly came back to mind. Altra’s are widely known for being a wider shoe, so I gave them a second look…
It seems that from the days of the older Lone Peak 1.0’s to the 3.0’s, there has been several changes made along the way, and according to a number of reviews I came across of the 3.0’s, traction seems to have been one improvement! This was music to my ears! And yet even more music to my ears was the fact that Altra had just released the Lone Peak 3.5’s shortly before my search, so I was finding deals all over for the (now older) Lone Peak 3.0’s!
I ended up picking up 2 pair of the Altra Lone Peak 3.0’s from Running Warehouse for less than $60 each, shipped. Below is a video I made to talk about what I think about them after wearing them for just over 5 months now. Below the video I will recap some of the features, and my thoughts on them.
So, as I said, I actually picked up 2 (TWO) pair of the Alta Lone Peak 3.0 shoes. But, this didn’t happen at first… Once I received the first pair I was so impressed with them out of the box, I decided to order a second pair, this way I could keep one pair to wear while at work, and the other pair for everything else. And while I was at it, I even picked up a pair for my wife!
Also worth noting, I bought a size (US M) 12 to wear while at work, and (US M) 12.5 to wear everywhere else. Out of the box, I could tell a little difference between the 2 sizes, obviously with the 12.5’s feeling a little more roomy, but still not too roomy. Besides this, the shoes were exactly the same.
To date, I have worn my size 12.5’s for pretty much everything: mowing the yard, running (on ground, pavement, treadmill, elliptical and even bicycles), training hikes, training ruck’s, as well as a 75 mile hike on the Florida Trail and most recently on a GoRuck Light event! This is the reason that I wanted the size 12.5, which is a half-size larger than my normal size (US M12). In past experiences with my other shoes the slightly larger size gave me a little buffer room for thicker socks, and swelling feet. It’s worth noting though that this is not always necessary… it depends not he shoe and the person wearing them.
So, here are my thoughts on the Lone Peak 3.0’s, and my thoughts on them after wearing them for the last 5 months:
FIT: This is the most important feature of any shoe, for anyone. For me, I found that the 12.5’s may be a little too big for me in the toe box, even when allowing for thicker socks and swelling feet when hiking. At this point I can only imagine I may have had better experiences wearing the size 12’s for hiking in. At this point, I cannot imagine doing any more hiking in my Lone Peak 3.5’s in a size 12.5…
COMFORT: Overall, these shoes (in both sizes) have been the most comfortable shoes I have worn. My heel locks in well, the underfoot cushioning is very comfortable and responsive, not to mention there is plenty of underfoot protection from sharp/bulky items. When tightening the shoes, the laces do not put too much pressure to the top of my foot, and the upper seems well padded. Overall, this is a very enjoyable shoe for me to wear.
TRACTION: As I mentioned, traction was the reason I stayed away from the Lone Peaks for so long. So I cannot attest to the level of traction on previous models, I can say that so far I have been quite happy with the traction on the Lone Peak 3.0’s. To date I have not lost my footing, and while I am still not completely trusting of these shoes when it comes to traction, I will say that I feel like I am getting there…
BREATHABILITY: Being that I bought these shoes last August, almost all of my use with them so far has been in cooler weather. Early on, during very hot days when walking I would notice that my feet got a little warm, but nothing that bothered me. On my cooler hikes, I haven’t noticed that my feet/toes would get abnormally cold either. At this point, I have used these shoes in more ideal temperature settings, so it’s hard to say how they will actually perform in extreme weather, but I can say that I have been fine with their performance so far in their ability to breath.
FEATURES: These shoes have several notable features on them. Most notably the wider toe box. As I alluded to above, this is a welcome feature, but like with any other shoe, one that requires a specific sized foot. For me, in the 12.5’s it may be a little too much, where as the size 12’s may be a better fit. Zero Drop is another feature worth noting, however, it was not a deal breaker for me. I can say though that it did take me several weeks to get used to it (on longer walks early on, I did experience some Achilles soreness). I will also say that since I like these shoes so much, I would prefer to stick with a Zero drop shoe to keep things the same. The Lone Peaks also offer Gaiter Traps on the back, and a hook on the toe box to help secure gaiters, which works well for my Dirty Girls. These shoes also feature a gusseted tongue which I prefer since it helps keep smaller rocks from falling into my shoes. The shoe strings are somewhat flat, and the first few weeks worked well, but in time have gotten slippery… Now they won’t hold a knot very well at all.
So, overall, for normal, everyday use, I absolutely love these shoes. However, I also want to hike in them… and in my experience, the 12.5’s are not the size that works best for me. So, what does this mean?
As I mentioned above, the Lone Peak 3.5’s have been out for a while now, which is the newest version of the Lone Peak’s. From what I have read, the 3.5’s fit a little smaller, which may be exactly what I am looking for. Besides this, Altra has also further improved the traction on them, as well as added a beefier front toe cap and even drain holes for improved/faster drying time when the shoes get wet. Considering all of these things, I will now be on the lookout for a pair of 3.5’s, at a good price of course. My plan is to pick up a pair in both sizes (12 & 12.5) and see which one I like better… If they fit me as I think they will, the ones I keep will likely be my trail runner of choice for this years JMT hike!
One other option that I am not throwing out is also picking up another pair of the 3.0’s in a size 12’s and giving them a go. At this point, while I don’t know if that will be the best option, based on my experiences with them so far, I feel like this may be a good enough solution for me. Plus, it is pretty easy to find deals on the 3.0’s pretty much all the time right now, so that is nice.
Either way, I feel like I want to stick with the Altra Lone Peaks, at least for the JMT hike and then go from there. I will also say that many people do complain about durability on the Lone Peaks, however I am confident that they will hold up fine for the 270 miles that I plan to use them for this summer.
So, that’s it. Do you have experiences with the Lone Peaks (specifically the 3.0’s or the 3.5’s) that you would like to share?
Thanks for stopping by!
Disclaimer: I am not being paid to write this review, however, the Altra link above should be to my Amazon Associate page, and if it works I could get a little money if you buy something through it. However, these thoughts are my own, which I formed after using these shoes for the past 5+ months.