Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Review Facts
The 5th installment of Altra’s Lone Peak series introduces us to a neutral trail running shoe that could well end your search for the perfect ride for that upcoming mountain marathon or any other adventurous trail you are looking to explore. Designed with some of the most rugged terrain in mind (Utah’s Wasatch Range), the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 features its standard 0mm drop with just the right amount of cushioning and TrailClaw™ lugs for admirable handling in technical trail conditions. Altra has aimed to provide comfort and ensure confidence in its newest shoe and the result will impress even the most avid trail runners.
The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is a well-cushioned, higher profile shoe that provides a comfortable base for a trail adventure on any terrain. One of the most praised changes to this edition of the Altra Lone Peak is the new outsole. It has been redesigned with MaxTrac Sticky Rubber technology to offer better grip on those more rugged excursions. The new rubber compounds are molded into more aggressive lugs and provide an impressive level of stick that can make all the difference in the success of a trail run or race.
The Lone Peak 3.0 is moderately cushioned with a blend of dual layer EVA foam and Altra’s own A-Bound™ technology. The A-Bound™ layer sits directly below the foot and above the midsole. It is made from recycled materials that Altra claims compress 2-3 times less than traditional running shoe foam, effectively making it more durable and alleviating some of the rigidity one might otherwise expect. The springy-ness of this material also reduces impact and retains some groundfeel. The layering of the EVA foam and A-Bound™ materials provides a smooth, comfortable ride over even the toughest terrain without weighing you down.
The 3.0 features a redesigned upper comprised of Quick-Dry Air Mesh for better breathability but also, due to its less flexible nature, ended up yielding improved durability. Along with the new mesh, more protection in the form of a stitched wrap covers the shoe from heel to toe. Unfortunately, this wrap hinders the airflow through the shoe which can impact drainage and temperature control. In addition, Altra has continued its use of GaiterTrap™ technology on the upper. This systems features a loop in the lacing system and a velcro tab on the heel for easier attachment of gaiters. Gaiters
are fabric that cover the top of the shoe for protection from loose debris and rocks on those runs that take you into the thick of things.
With all its cushioning, it is surprising that this shoe falls in the median range of trail shoe weight. It is not a minimalist shoe lending itself to speed and agility but also not a heavy clunker suitable only for hiking and bouldering. It rather seems geared toward the middle of the road finding its niche in consistency and confidence of step. With the decreased stack height from 25mm to 20mm using less material and changes to the upper material, the Lone Peak 3.0 is a half pound less than the Lone Peak 2.5, and weighs in at 8.0 oz. /227 g (for women) and 9.7 oz. /275 g (for men).
Having a shoe that doesn’t allow air to circulate around your foot would slow any runner down. Altra aims to help you keep your cool with its new Quick-Dry Air Mesh. Despite being a little stiffer for the purpose of durability, this new system aims for more breathability than prior Lone Peak versions. This would be ideal in most conditions. However, for the additional protection it provides, the stitched wrap covering a good part of that mesh upper may inhibit drainage on significantly wet trails and hamper temperature control in warmer weather. THis leads some users to be disappointed by its less than stellar drying time.
In previous models there was some complaint over heel slippage and sloppy movement within the shoe, especially on the descents, and it seems Altra has addressed this concern with No-slip Sockliner Protection in the 3.0. The improved heel cup and cushion combined with Altra’s asymmetrical lacing help cradle the foot in the shoe creating a more comfortable and secure fit for moving over rocky and uneven terrain. With its Natural Foot Positioning: FootShape™ Toe Box , there is plenty of room for toe splay and is said to be excellent for those with bunions
. Altra claims that the natural positioning of the toes provides a more powerful toe-off (leading to more efficient form) because the toes can rest come comfortably. However, a larger toe box, though it may be easier on the feet, can be a hindrance when descending steep hills that jar our toes. Additionally, Altra has customized the 3.0 for the unique shape of women’s feet with Fit4Her technology. This system accommodates a narrower heel and higher instep among other female-specific concerns.
It is a common theme among runners: the brighter the shoe, the faster the runner... but there are many of us who also like to remain a little more understated. While some claim that Altra falls short on exciting design, they do offer different colors and combinations that should please most runners.
Their available options include four color schemes for each gender specific shoe.
Men: Black/red, black/yellow, blue, orange
Women: Pink/orange, red/deep sea, blue, purple
The upper’s material was upgraded from a less than ideal mesh in the 2.5 model to what we see now in the 3.0’s. They have proven to be slightly less flexible - requiring a little more “breaking in” - but are said to be considerably more durable. Some have reported that the 3.0 can provide upwards of 400-500 miles of trail running excitement though others claim that the wear is considerably less, possibly at about 200-300 miles, but it seems to be widely accepted that this mileage range is a reasonable expectation. Altra is on the right track here though, as the 3.0 is still an improvement over past models and is comparable to other trail shoes.
This shoe provides ample protection for muddy, rocky, hilly, and mountainous terrain. It seems to be an all around good off-road shoe with nothing it cannot safely traverse. The stitched covering that wraps around the shoe offers protection to the top of the foot and heel whereas, the bottom of the foot benefits from Altra’s 20mm thick sole and the Sandwiched StoneGuard™ Rock Protection. This rock plate, strategically nestled between the midsole and outsole, protects the foot from dangerous jagged rocks or protrusions of the running surface.
Some users cited the 3.0 as lighter and more adept than previous models but overall, it is not exceptionally responsive. It does have an embedded rockplate that does not seem to hamper groundfeel, and the grip with the upgraded lugs keeps you secure on the off-camber single tracks while also allowing you to push uphill
and then safely negotiate the drops. The cushioning decreased from 25mm to 20mm for the 3.0 and this 5mm stackheight drop could well lend itself to a lighter shoe but it does not appear to have significantly affected turnover. As expected with this level of cushioning distributed across the entire length of the shoe plus the wider toe box, some users feel it is sluggish and clunky. But it appears that for what it lacks in quick response, it makes up for in comfort, ruggedness, and reliance. So despite its relative light weight, it may not be the speediest shoe but the consensus seems to be that the 3.0 is more than suitable for comfortably going the distance... making it an ultra runner’s dream shoe
While it may appear that there is an awful lot of material between the shoe and the ground with the consistent front-to-back stackheight of 20mm, Altra’s Lone Peak 3.0 really is not considered maximal cushioning
and is instead defined as moderately cushioned. To achieve this level of support, the sole combines EVA foam and Altra A-Bound™ technology. This and the combination of the new heel system and the asymmetrical lacing
pattern incorporated by Altra may also factor into the stability of this shoe as it secures the foot into position helping to eliminate the sloppy feel of previous versions of the Lone Peak.
This shoe is intended for trail running, racing, and hiking in the most rugged terrain and technical conditions. The Sandwiched StoneGuard™ Rock Protection buffers sharp rocks and debris without sacrificing much ground feel. For some, however, the issue of a wide toe box does introduce concerns over feeling where the foot is placed at any given moment, reducing confidence in stability over uneven terrain. The added bonus of a gaiter loop allows for more seamless addition of gaiter gear to further protect your feet and allow for even more adventurous trail experiences. With the exception of the reduced breathability in the upper making water crossings and wet conditions less ideal, this shoe is all around a comprehensive choice.
Altra also offers a PolarTech neoshell Lone Peak 3.0 with added optional ankle support and more durable fabric for increased breathability and protection from the elements
The Lone Peak 3.0 has a wide price range which varies from one retailer to the next; however, the cost is still in keeping with current market value of comparable shoes
The Lone Peak has produced its most acclaimed traction yet with its newest update. The TrailClaw™ lugs
are strategically placed hexagons and trapezoids molded from the outsole’s new rubber compounds. This promises to provide serious traction on whatever terrain you encounter. You’ll feel confidently sticky on slippery leaves and root-lined trails.
With a sole as thick as 20mm across the board, one might be quick to dismiss the flexibility the 3.0 can provide. However, the A-Bound™ material used in the midsole is said to be like a rubber ball - feeling bouncy and springy - offsetting this perception. The upper’s mesh is reported to be thicker than previous models but it doesn’t seem to appreciable effect overall flexibility.
With its fully cushioned outsole running the length of the shoe and an even weight distribution front to back, this trail runner seems to provide a stable base. The wide toe box allows the toes to sit more naturally creating additional stability.
Altra designs their shoes with a Zero Drop™ platform to promote better posture which can lead to healthier running form thereby potentially reducing injury. While many traditional running shoes tend to raise the heel further from the ground, Altra aims to level the playing field. Its shoes are designed so that the outsole is evenly balanced across the shoe and the forefoot and heel measurements are equal in their height off the ground. The Lone Peak 3.0 has a stacked height of 20mm in front and 20mm in back creating a differential of 0 - thus the zero drop
. Care should be taken in transitioning to zero drop shoes to avoid pain or injury.
-Evenly balanced 20mm cushioned shoe provides a smooth, comfortable ride
-FootShape™ Toe Box allowing for natural toe splay
-Altra’s Zero Drop platform promoting better alignment and more efficient running form
-Altra MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw™ lugs for superior traction in all terrains
-A-Bound™™ technology made from recycled materials to provide flexibility in the midsole
-Sandwiched StoneGuard™ Rock Protection that nestles the rock plate between the midsole and outsole
-GaiterTrap™ system to more readily attach gaiters for added protection
If you’re in the market for a shoe that goes the distance, the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is the one. Its superior grip and impressive stability will get you through some harsh terrain and conditions. And though it may not be the best option for running your fastest shorter trail race, it will never be a bad choice. Its clear strengths, and where you can expect it to really shine, is in the ultra arena. As I venture out to trail and ultra events
this year, I expect to see many 3.0s out tearing up the hills, descents, and mountains.