Altra Lone Peak 3.5 – First Look

A few days ago I posted my thoughts on the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 shoes, which I had been wearing for the past 5 months. The gist of it was that I loved them, however, in a half-size larger than my normal size, the 3.0’s weren’t necessarily what I was looking for to wear on my JMT hike later this year. The Lone Peak 3.0’s are just a little too big in the toe box for me… But, based on the reviews I had read on the updated Lone Peak 3.5’s, they were now a little smaller in the toe box… A lot of folks seemed to be unhappy about this change, but it sounded like just the thing I was looking for!

Then I noticed the Altra Lone Peak 3.5’s were marked down to $84 on Amazon a few days ago, so I picked up a pair.

They new 3.5’s showed up yesterday, and at this point, I feel pretty sure that these will be what I will wear on my JMT hike this summer… Here are some of my initial thoughts when comparing them to the 3.0’s I recently reviewed:

1. Most importantly, sizing. To be honest, I don’t get where other folks are saying that the 3.5’s are so much smaller than the 3.0’s. In fact, the actual foot bed feels the same to me, and when comparing the insoles for both the 3.0’s (red inserts with yellow graphics) to the 3.5 insoles (black and gray) they ARE the exact same size (see the photo’s below).

The fit difference that I notice is not in the lower, but instead in the uppers. The uppers on the 3.5’s seems to fit a little tighter across the mid foot than the 3.0’s. When comparing them side by side (out of the box), the laces were definitely farther apart on the 3.0’s than the 3.5’s, so I don’t know if this is why the 3.5’s feel tighter (that they are just laced tighter).

The reinforced toe box (which is reinforced by adding some sewn lines – photo below) does seem to hold my foot a little more stable, but more importantly for me, it seems to take up a little more room in the toe box! But, I wonder if after these shoes see some miles, if this reinforced area will relax…

All in all, I do not agree with the assessment that the 3.5’s are “smaller” than the 3.0’s, but I do feel like due to the redesigned upper, it has a closer, tighter fit. Because of this, I feel like this shoe could be a better shoe for me to hike in than the 3.0. At this point, I am open to giving these a try, in the size 12.5 (US Mens).

2. I am not near as impressed with the drainage holes as I thought I would be. They are much smaller than I had hoped, and still not located at the bottom of the shoe bed. At its lowest point, the bottom of the lowest hole is still ~1/8 inch (0.32 cm) from the bottom of the shoe bed. Sure, maybe a little more water will be able to drain from these tiny holes than on the 3.0’s, but without any actual use yet, I am unimpressed by these “drainage holes.”

3. The shoe strings appear to be the exact same shoe strings as on the 3.0’s. As I mentioned in the review, these were great for the first couple of weeks, but then they would not hold a knot for me. I will likely change these shoe strings out before I use them on my JMT hike later this year.

4. These have the side gaiter traps on them. I use Dirty Girls, which do not make use of the side gaiter traps. I am fine that they are there, but I most likely will never use them.

So, the biggest change that I was looking for in the 3.5’s from the 3.0’s is a slightly smaller toe box, and while it didn’t happen the way I thought it would (an actual smaller foot bed), it does feel like it is a little smaller (due to the newly designed upper). As I mentioned in the 3.0 review, I loved the way the Lone Peaks ride, so as long as the newer 3.5’s give that same ride, just with a little smaller toe box, well, I may have just found my new favorite trail shoe!

I’ll be able to report back later this year… until then, thanks for stopping by!


Disclaimer: I bought these shoes with my own money. The statements above are of my own opinion. I am not sponsored by Altra, and they are not paying me for this review (they will probably never even see it…lol!) However, the link above in the text is linked to my Amazon Affiliate page, so if you click on it and by something, I may get a little change for that! 

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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2 Responses to Altra Lone Peak 3.5 – First Look

  1. Steve M says:

    BEFORE I read this or any other reviews, I ordered size 12 Altra Lone Peak 3.5’s to replace my worn size 12 Altra Lone Peak 3.0’s. When I tried them on I knew something had changed. I could barely squeeze into them. THEN I checked the reviews. My foot is very wide and thick too, so the wide toe box of the 3.0’s worked, but not the 3.5’s. The good news is size 12 1/2 seems to fit as well or better than size 12 in the 3.0’s, so my Altra Lone Peak use can continue!
    Thanks for your blog Stick…


    • Stick says:


      This just goes to show how much each of our feet are different, and another reason I somewhat chuckle when folks ask what shoes to get and just want suggestions! For me, I find the opposite to be true with the LP 3’s and 3.5’s… To me, they both fit almost the same, but it does feel like the uppers are a little less volume. I could see how this would make folks say that the 3.5’s are smaller in general. For me, I found that both the 3 and 3.5’s fit me better in my normal size… now I just wished I hadn’t went with a size 12.5 in the 3.5’s… Oh well… I am wearing them as my everyday shoes, and they are fine for that! Glad to hear that you were able to keep this model working for you though…

      I will also add that I recently got a pair of Inov-8 Roclite 305’s in the mail, and they fit me a bit better… I will be using these on the JMT this summer!

      Thanks for stopping by!



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