Living so close to the Pacific Crest Trail, I get to see a lot of the footwear chosen by thru-hikers. This year, the two biggest hits were the Altra Lone Peak 1.5 and the Brooks Cascadia 8/9. It’s easy to see why the Altra Lone Peak works so well for through hikers, with a wide toe box, breathable upper, and versatile outsole. The only knock on the Lone Peak that I heard from hikers had to due with the shoe’s durability, with some reporting blowouts of the upper and pre-mature wear of the outsole. It’s hard to judge a shoe based on the reviews of a through hiker, as they’re putting 20+ miles on a shoe daily though some pretty rough stretches of the PCT. I picked up a pair of the 2.0, when I saw that they were changing the outsole, and increasing the stack height of the midsole to offer more cushioning. My initial impressions have been positive overall, with only one major gripe.
Note: I wear a size 12.5 in the Lone Peak 2.0 which is true to size for me.
The new design of the Lone Peak is incredible, gone are the days of the subdued early models from Altra. This is a huge step in the right direction, as the Paradigm, and Olympus models that I run in look equally good. The material used on the upper is very soft on the feet, and does a great job of keeping the foot cool, while keeping out dirt and debris. These shoes handled perfectly on a really hot day out at Claremont Wilderness Park. The lacing system works well and keeps the midfoot snug without any overlays. The toe guard has not been called into action, but it’s nice to know it’s there without having to be reminded. Just like all of Altra’s offerings, the zero drop and footshaped toe box fit my foot perfectly with no alterations.
Altra hit another homerun with the midsole of the Lone Peak 2.0. Running on hardpack, loose gravel, and a few rockier areas, I really appreciated the rock plate and substantial cushioning. The Lone Peak offers great protection without feeling soft or mushy, it’s the perfect balance. I’ve been running in these and the Olympus, and ‘hands down’ prefer the ride of the Lone Peak. The Olympus is just too soft and too much cushion.
The outsole is where the shoe really bums me out. The traction was great on all of the surfaces I ran on, and I never felt a loss of confidence. The downside is that the durability is terrible, after only a few miles on very tame hardpack in Claremont Wilderness Park, pieces of the outside chevrons went missing. Each run, I find more and more of the shoe missing. I’m going to contact Altra about this and see if it’s just a defect with my pair. I’ve read a few reviews from other runners and it seems I’m not the only one, but there are others who haven’t noticed this as a problem.