The beautiful days of summer hiking are behind us, but ahead: beautiful fall and winter hikes! In the Pacific Northwest, that means you’re going to get wet and muddy. If you’re shopping for a new pair of hiking boots, I’d recommend giving the Altra Lone Peaks a try.
If you’re a reader of this blog, you know we love Altras and if you’re already a wearer of Altras, you know they’re great. For road or trail, their running shoes are awesome, so add a touch more waterproofing and a bit more ankle support and you’ve got a great hiking shoe (or a trail running shoe with some additional stability and support).
While these are not completely waterproof (don’t swap out your rubber boots for puddle jumping, that is), they are designed with a Polartec upper that has minimal seams to help keep you dry and warm. It is wrapped around the outside of the shoe to be proactively waterproof, rather than reactive, but is still breathable. Also, the upper has eyelets, rather than hooks, to really customize how snug you like the ankle support to be.
As with all Altras, theFootShape™ Toe Box with Fully Cushioned Zero Drop™ Platform encourages your feet to relax and spread out, for better stability throughout the foot. I’ll admit, these are my first pair of Altras and I felt a bit sloppy in them to begin with. I went to my favorite outdoor store to try on a size down and confirm the fit, but, as I should have known, I’m just not used to how roomy these are. It takes a bit of mind-coaxing, but once you get going, you’ll appreciate the goal of the extra space (and your regular go-to shoes will feel incredibly narrow!).
The sole of the shoe features the Altra MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw™, or in other words, decent grip for scrambles, mud, and other beloved trail features. They also have a Gaiter Trap in the back, if you’re in need of a bit of extra protection from debris.
I am really looking forward to doing some backpacking, fast packing, and day hiking in these. They are a lightweight and durable alternative to hiking boots, yet a more stable (but still runnable) version of a trail shoe. I’d recommend giving them a go, but keep in mind, they’ll feel completely unnatural if you’re not already in low / zero drop shoes with a wide toe box.
Technical Specs from the website (women’s):
- Weight: 11.4 oz. / 283 g
- Cushioning: Moderate
- Stack Height: 25 mm
- Sizes: 5.5-11, 12
- Ideal Uses: Hiking, Fastpacking, Cold Weather, Wet Conditions, Trail Running
- Designed to Improve: Running Form, Toe Splay, Stability, Push-off, Comfort, Traction
- Platform: Natural Foot Positioning: FootShape™ Toe Box with Fully Cushioned Zero Drop™ Platform
- Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed
- Other Features: StoneGuard™ Sandwiched Rock Protection, Natural Ride System, GaiterTrap™ Technology
- Last: SD6-M / SD5-W
- Midsole: EVA with A-Bound™ Top Layer
- Outsole: Altra MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw™
- Upper: Abrasion-Resistant Waterproof with Minimal Seams, Polartec®
A little more about Altra (you can also visit their Facebook page here):
Since the mid 1990’s, runners have come to my family’s running store in the Wasatch Mountains complaining of knee pain, shin splints, and recurring foot pain. As a competitive runner who ran a world best 2:45 marathon at age 12, I understood their issues. My college research on running injuries, combined with video analysis at our store, made it easy to see that the design of traditional running shoes promoted poor form and excessive impact.
For decades, virtually every running shoe has featured pointy toe boxes and heels that were twice as thick and heavy as the forefoot. While shoe companies claimed this design would protect your body from running injuries, the scientific research did not agree.
After unsuccessfully lobbying shoe companies for years to change their design, I decided to modify shoes into something that could encourage low impact running technique and prevent injury.
Zero Drop™ was just one of the steps we took to return runners’ feet to their natural position. The research made it clear that our shoe needed a toe box that actually mirrored the shape of a healthy foot—imagine that! We built the distinctive FootShape™ toe box specifically to help alleviate foot problems, including bunions, neuromas, and plantar fasciitis. It also enhances stability and comfort while providing a more powerful push-off.
Running is a big part of our lives, and I truly believe that our shoes can help people run better and realize that there are zero limits to what they can accomplish.
Thank you to Altra for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.