Average Weight: Men's 318g / Women's 260g
Heel-to-toe drop: Zero
Stack height: 26mm
Well-cushioned zero-drop running shoes for muddy or hard-packed trails. FootShape toe box allows your toes to spread in comfort and helps keep feet stable. Suitable for running or hiking. Upgrade of the Altra Lone Peak 4 and 4.5.
Upper: There are some minor updates to the upper design, but it still retains its sturdy almost traditional appearance. Where many companies have gone seamless or apply heat bonded seals on the uppers, Altra have kept with stitched upper components for now, which they feel enhances durability.
- The upper is made of a durable Quick-Dry Air Mesh with a rip-stop finish.
- It maintains the trademark wide FootShape™ toe box that allows the toes to spread out naturally.
- There are enhanced overlays in the midfoot and through to the heel to hold the foot securely.
- There is a slightly taller heel collar, which helps improve a snug rearfoot fit and subtle changes to the mid-foot overlays.
- The shoe also includes gaiter straps at the heel and below each side of the ankle. Together with the loop at the foot of the laces, gaiters will help keep dirt out on dry trails.
Midsole: The midsole of the Lone Peak 5 has also seen an upgrade, as it now features Altra’s higher-rebounding Altra EGO compound. This is slightly softer and more responsive than previously. It also features a revamped engineered rock-plate, which as well as helping protect the foot from jagged stones and the like, also helps engender a smoother transition through the forefoot phase of the gait cycle.
Outsole: Altra’s MaxTrac™ rubber compound gives great grip, traction, and durability with 4mm deep lugs. The Trail Claw grip has been updated from the version 4.5. The hexagonal lugs, which were used along with the chevron shaped lugs, have been ditched. Apart from the 3 square studs either side of the mid-foot, the forefoot and rearfoot are now 100% chevron lugs: forward facing in the fore front and rear facing in the heel to allow superb traction both ascending and descending. They are also slightly more spaced out, which should allow better “quick release“ of any accumulated mud.
- The zero-drop of all Altra shoes ensures your heel and forefoot are the same height from the ground. This has been shown to encourage more mid- and forefoot landing that reduces impact forces.
- Although zero-drop, it is far from a minimal shoe. With a 26mm stack height it has plenty of cushioning for miles of trails. The stack height, simply put, is the amount of cushioning under your feet. In this case 26mm.
- Excellent grip on grass and hard-packed trails.
- Altra’s wide Footshape™ toe box really does allow the toes to splay and spread naturally. As well as obvious advantages for runners with bunions and neuroma issues, Altra totally believe this allows for better forefoot stability though toe-off.
- Although wide in the toe box it is not essentially a wide-fitting shoe and the mid-foot and ankle fit is snugger and similar to other brands.
- Some would say it is still heavy and slightly clumpy compared to other shoes with this level of protection, however the pay-off in durability will be worth it for most runners.
- While many Altra lovers love the wide high-volume toe box, some runners will struggle on first feel if they have been used to having their toes compacted and squashed for several years of running.
- If you are considering Altra for the first time, the zero-drop may take some getting used to. If you have worn 4/5mm drop shoes before it will not feel too different. If most of your recent shoes have been on a higher drop like 8-10 mm they can take a few miles to get used to. Calves and achilles can feel a little tight, but as long as you stretch these areas well post-run, and build up the mileage slowly, all will be well.
- Grip is absolutely fine on hard and soft trails, but if deep mud or bog is to be encountered regularly, a deeper-lugged shoe as mentioned in the verdict below is possibly more practical.
Having put a lot of miles on a pair of Lone Peak 4.5’s the last 12 months on Scottish hill paths and trails, in lowlands and highlands, I was looking forward to trying the updated version 5. First thing I can say is, it is still looking incredibly durable.
As for the upgrades, you are certainly aware of the softer “EGO MAX” midsole, but it is a nice softness without being too squidgy. The heel and midfoot fit feel slightly snugger, and the altered lug pattern on first few miles seems fine so far.
Altra’s Lone Peak has become somewhat a classic shoe for many trail lovers.
I have worn a lot of lower 4-6mm drop road and trail shoes over the years, as well as the traditional higher drops of many road shoes. I personally didn’t find the zero-drop an issue at all. As mentioned in the Cons above, if you haven’t had a low-drop shoe before, a transition period is needed, maybe alternating with your existing shoes for a while to enable you to adjust.
Despite the wide toe-box, they are snug around the midfoot and ankle making for an incredibly good fit. Although it is not a stiff heel collar, the strategic placing of the heel overlays gives you the feeling of an element of control that some softer heel tabs don’t give you.
We all know that there is no perfect trail or fell shoe for every run or race, but the lugs of the Lone Peak seem totally adequate on hard-packed and muddy trails. I would probably opt for deeper fell-shoe grip of the Altra King MT or similar for open hill and moorland runs, which have serious mud and more technical sections.
If you loved previous editions of the Lone Peak, the latest update won’t disappoint. If you are a runner who likes to “feel the trail” in a low profile shoe, while still feeling protected for many miles of impact, the latest Lone Peak is well worth taking a closer look at.