Hey there, Don't forget to log in and join the conversation Log in

Photo credit: Altrarunning.com

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 running shoes review

19-Apr-17

By James Eacott

The Lone Peak 3.0 are the latest (fifth) version of Altra’s original flagship trail running shoes. Designed for trail running, hiking, fastpacking and trail racing, Altra’s presence in the ultra running world is growing rapidly, and for good reason.

RUNULTRA_Altra-Lone-Peak-3_0-review

Photo credit: Altrarunning.com

Features

  • Designed for: improved running form, foot splay, push-off, comfort
  • Midsole: EVA with A-Bound Top Layer
  • Upper: Quick-dry mesh
  • Outsole: Altra MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw
  • Insole: 5mm contoured footbed, with a non-slip sock liner design
  • GaiterTrap technology
  • Weight: 275g
  • Stack height: 25mm
  • Drop: 0mm
  • Price: GBP RRP £115. 

Straight out of the box, all seemed well - the colour scheme works well and they’re surprisingly light for their size. However, once they’re on your feet, I couldn’t help feeling I looked like a platypus…the toe box is so wide they could be misconstrued as flippers. I did immediately wonder if I’d made a mistake with the sizing. I always buy running shoes half a size bigger than normal to allow my feet room to swell over long distances.

RUNULTRA_Altra-Lone-Peak-3_0-review

Photo credit: James Eacott.

Perhaps stupidly, I didn’t consider that the Altra’s are designed to cover this base with their super-wide toe box anyway. They certainly felt big but Altra say “proper fitting will result in the shoes feeling “too loose” around the toes. This is ok! It may take a few days for your feet to relax and adjust to spreading out naturally”. So, with that I decided to crack on and get some miles in.

A typically glorious Spring day in the UK meant I spent the first nine miles in the shoes on the treadmill. Not ideal, but it’s worth noting how good they felt. I subsequently completed sprint sessions on the treadmill with no problem – the combination of a cushioned shoe and soft treadmill makes for a very plush ride and great for those whose joints are aggravated by the constant pounding of running on road and hard-packed trail.

The fit did take some getting used to. They really did feel too big in those early few runs, but my toes are the correct distance from the end - it’s just the space out to the sides makes them feel too large. Still, they were super comfy and I got used to the feel. Interestingly, the blisters I get 24/7 between my toes have all but disappeared after five weeks in the Lone Peaks.

RUNULTRA_Altra-Lone-Peak-3_0

Photo credit: James Eacott.

The reasoning behind the larger toe box is that it’s designed to help people run better, and reduce injury rate. I agree that, in general, shoes are too narrow for our feet and Altra let your toes splay naturally, which I believe allows you to run with a better, more natural form.

They have zero drop, which I like, because I’m a mid-foot runner, but heavy heel-strikers may struggle. I enjoyed the cushioning and never felt sluggish in their size – energy transferred well from impact to pushing off from the toes.

The Lone Peaks are designed for trail running, hiking and fast packing, and I think Altra have hit their target market very successfully. I haven’t done much fastpacking or hiking recently, but I can see they’re be totally competent in these events. Although I don’t use gaiters, there is a GaiterTrap at the heel onto which you can secure a range of compatible gaiters (this may explain why Altras are appearing more and more at sandy races like the Marathon des Sables).

I’d put the grip towards the more aggressive end of the spectrum – they’re not super-aggressive, but there’s plenty to hold your positioning on most well graded trails. They’ll cope with all but the most hardcore fell running and winter conditions, but they’re not designed for that so I don’t mind.

RUNULTRA_Altra-Lone-Peak-3_0-review

Photo credit: Altrarunning.com

Pros: What’s good about the Altra Lone Peak 3.0

The fit, albeit slightly odd to start, is good. The ride is plush and having the freedom in the toe box is indeed lovely. They’re light enough for shorter races and the cushioning will make ultras much more comfortable.

Durability appears to be good. There are very few signs of wear and tear after five weeks.

RUNULTRA_Altra-Lone-Peak-3_0-review

Photo credit: James Eacott.

Cons: What’s not so good about the Altra Lone Peak 3.0

They’re expensive. The pricing puts them in the same region as competitors such as Hoka One One. I can see why they’d align themselves here, but £120 is just a bit much. It’s not a personal gripe with Altra - I resent the ever-increasing price across most brands.

On technical trails they’re not so flash. I struggled to get that proprioceptive feedback which is all-important when moving efficiently over tricky terrain. They’re very cushioned and while that’s welcome in some environments, this will always decrease the feedback available from the terrain you’re running on. I rolled my ankle twice in them because I couldn’t feel the ground very well.

On sharp descents, I noticed my feet weren’t held are securely as I’d like. On a camber, too, my feet would slide ever so slightly within the shoe, regardless of how tight I tied the laces. These are certainly a no-no for those with narrow feet (I have wide, flat feet).

I’m torn on the looks. They’re not attractive, and thin calves exacerbate the platypus-resemblance issue and although aesthetics really shouldn’t come into it, who doesn’t take notice what they look like? Having said that, if you don’t look directly from above (as you will as you look down!), they’re not so bad.

Conclusion

If you’re eyeing up 50 mile, 100km and 100 mile ultras, then these immediately throw their hat into the ring for contention. The comfort, cushioning and natural feel I have no doubt will increase enjoyment on long days. The same goes for hiking too.

For short, sharp, technical races, you’ll need something that will provide constant feedback and these just don’t do that. For me, I doubt I’ll use them to race but for logging miles with comfort and reducing the impact on my joints, they’ll get a thumbs up.

Score  
Design 7.5/10
Features 7/10
Performance 7/10
Value 7.5/10
Total 7.5/10

Other trainers you may want to consider:

Hoka One One Mafate Speed 2 Trail Shoe
La Sportiva Mutants
Sketchers Go Trail Ultra 3

Have you used the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 shoes? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

Not a member yet? Sign up here to be part of the RunUltra community and share tips and stories with thousands of fellow runners around the world.

All images James Eacott except when stated.

We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown.

Disclosure:

We use affiliate links in some of our reviews and articles. This means that if you purchase an item through one of these links we will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through our links but the income will help us to keep bringing you our free training guides, reviews and other content to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your support.

Review Altra Lone Peak 3.0 running shoes review

You must be logged in to add your review, click here to login or click here to register

Comment Arrow

David.Tilly

09:37 23-04-17

I love these shoes and the 2s before them, apart from one problem I constantly trip in them during races; this resulted in 5 falls during the recent MIUT Ultra including a painful face plant. I have had no blisters with either shoe (ran the UTMR 3 stage etc last year with the 2s) the 2s had poor lateral stability downhill, these are better, the sole rubber is now much better on wet rock but not so good on wet grass. They are the most comfortable trail shoes that I have ever worn but have reservations about racing fast in them because of the trip risk, would be interested in finding out if other members have had this problem?

Avatar
Comment Arrow

UltraBoyRuns

07:12 05-05-17

As a runner with wide fitting feet I've spent the last five years trying to find a shoe that works and the Lone Peak are almost perfect. I disagree a little with the reviewer about the feedback on technical trails - yes they aren't going to give you the same kind of contact as your average Salomon but they'll protect you that bit more.

Also reading the trip problem encountered by David at MIUT I can say I also fell (three times, including a nasty face full of rock fall) at MIUT. However, I put this down to my jelly legged running rather than the shoes as at the UTBCN which had some really rocky, gnarly trail they performed brilliantly.

For my money the LP3.0 are one of the best trail shoes I've ever worn, albeit with a hint of concern about durability.

Grip is improved over the 2.5 and the fit is much improved. I'd also say that over muddy conditions or dry trail they do allow you to go at a fair pace - something that the 2.0 and 2.5 wouldn't as they weren't as secure on the ground, but you're probably not going to be running lightning pace in them as they're built for endurance rather than the track.