The King of the thru-hike is back and better than ever. Now on v6, this Lone Peak might be my favorite version yet. The upper keeps the forefoot space, but dials in the midfoot security, the zero-drop midsole delivers a dynamic ride for all-day comfort, and the outsole performs well on almost every surface.
I’ve worn various versions of the Altra Lone Peak dating all thew way back to v1 when the company first launched. My love for the Lone Peak has been hit-and-miss over the years, with some fitment issues and durability concerns popping up in-between some really stellar trail shoes. I can easily say the v6 is my favorite Lone Peak to date, and has been my shoe of choice over the past few months. I’ll share my impressions in this review.
Sizing and Weight
I normally wear a size 11.5 US shoe, but size up to 12 for most trail shoes. The Altra Lone Peak 6 fits true to size in my size 12, but might be a smidge shorter than the Lone Peak 5. My size 12 Lone Peaks weigh in at 11.06oz (314g), and feel like a mid-weight while running, but a real lightweight for hiking.
Fit and Build
The upper on the Lone Peak 6 has a tightly woven airmesh base panel underneath a combination of laminated and stitched overlays for structure and protection.
The stitched rand on the toebox is pliable to the touch, which helps keep the forefoot comfortable on long days while providing a little protection for toe bumps. I prefer a little more protection on the toes, but understand the reason for going with a softer material here. The width up front is traditional Altra, with a very slight volume reduction over previous versions.
The Lone Peak 6 has a minor taper through the midfoot. I have found some previous versions of the Lone Peak to feel a little sloppy on technical trails and insecure with heavier packs. The LP6 improves, but still performs best on less technical trails and lighter weight fastpacking.
The heel on the Lone Peak 6 is very comfortable and keeps my foot locked down on steep climbs. There is a short and rigid heel counter that keeps the back half of my foot secure on cambered trails. I’ve had some issues with heel lock down in previous versions of the Lone Peak, and am really liking the design on the v6.
The tongue on the Lone Peak 6 is fully gusseted, and does a great job of keeping dirt, dust, and debris out of the shoe. The lacing eyelets lay flat on the top of my foot, and have not created any hot spots or pressure points on hikes or runs.
The Lone Peak 6 is built on Altra’s traditional 0mm drop midsole geometry with 25mm in the forefoot and heel. Altra uses their EGO midsole compound which I’ve found to be fantastic. EGO has the ride and bounce of a soft road shoe, but provides the responsiveness and stability needed for light trail duty. The midsole has a lot of torsional movement, so I don’t like the feel here for technical trails or on backpacking trips where I’m carrying more than 25lbs. It is amazing though on smooth and rolling singletrack.
*Make sure to adjust slowly to a zero drop shoe if this is your first experience. Failure to do so can lead to lower leg issues and overuse injuries.
Within the midsole, Altra has placed a newly designed stone guard. I found this to work well for rocky trails and larger trail obstacles, but not so protective for repeated walking on jagged surfaces.
For the outsole of the LP6, Altra uses their MaxTrac, which utilizes multidiretions chevron lugs with a much improved compound. In previous version of the Lone Peak, I’ve experienced models with severe durability issues and serious traction difficulties. Altra has made some strides in this department, but still lag behind Vibram by some margin. I wish Altra would bring MegaGrip to the Lone Peak series, even if it increases the price by $10-$15. The MaxTrac is decent though, and has kept me planted on every dry surface I’ve tried it on. It’s only the wet and slick surfaces where I lose my confidence in the shoe.
At $140, the Altra Lone Peak has increased in price over previous models…but what shoe hasn’t? At this price, the LP6 is a very solid buy for almost every aspiring hiker and trail runner. If you’re looking for a shoe that will keep your feet happy, healthy, and blister free, you can’t really go wrong here. For 80% of the trails I hike, the Lone Peak 6 is the perfect tool for the job. With another Camino pilgrimage planned for this summer, the LP6 is currently my top choice, and should be yours, provided your needs are the same.
22 thoughts on “Gear Review: Altra Lone Peak 6 Trail Shoe”
Thanks Drew for another thorough review. Overall durability has been my and most people’s biggest concern with Altra, even when other things in one of their models feel fine. They simply don’t hold up. I regularly get 2-3x the mileage of an Altra with the other trail shoes I wear, which means they’ve offered very low value. I’m 175 lbs., so not particularly heavy, and carry a light pack. What are your initial impressions of overall durability – upper, midsole and sole? Do you really see these lasting even half as long as some of the more durable shoes you’ve used?
Thanks, EJ! I’ve had some of the same durability issues in past models. There were a few years where lugs would just break off of the outsole early on. A few other models had quick wear through the uppers. So far, I’m not seeing any premature wear on the LP6 at around 60 miles. The midsole is a little packed down, but still has enough pop to go 250-300 miles. Like you, this is below my standard 400 from La Sportiva and Salomon.
What is that odd fabric remnant-like element (looking semi-detached) on the back of the shoe, below the pull loop?
Love those backdrop pics of Little Harbor’s west point–a fave place, nice setting!
That is a Velcro patch to attach trail gaiters.
My biggest issue with Lone Peaks are (1) width and (2) lack of foot support, specifically arch support. I generally find Altras do not work as well for those who have narrower feet or those who need more support.
Working retail footwear, I find that at times there is an obsession over Altra because of comments they saw online – and that honestly concerns me since using the wrong shoe can lead to issues like plantar fasciitis. So, the caveat of “provided your needs are the same” is essential.
The Olympus is an exception and the only Altra shoe that I’ve found may work for me. But generally I prefer the La Sportiva Wildcat, especially on rugged terrain.
Good points, Chris. I can imagine a narrower foot sliding around like crazy in an Altra shoe. I have a narrow heel and wide forefoot, so find the fit to work well.
Interesting to hear the Olympus works for you. I’ve found that tall stack height shoes lack stability, have you worn them with a 20lbs+ pack?
The poor grip on these shoes in the wet is not only a deal breaker it’s a genuine threat to safety. I love the design of these shoes but the lack of decent wet grip is madness. I don’t see how you can give such a high score with such a critical design flaw.
I love my Altras for running and am looking for a shoe for the Camino Portugues. I’ve read in some places that a trail shoe may not give enough arch support and that it isn’t good on pavement. As you well know, the Camino has a mix of surfaces. I would be curious what your thoughts might be on those two issues.
Hi Kat. Trail runners like the Lone Peak are perfect for the Camino, provided you pack light (under 15lbs). I walked the Frances and Portuguese in trail runners, and will wear trail runners on the Ingles this summer. The Portuguese has a lot of cobblestone which can be hard on the feet, but the Lone Peaks should handle that well. If you go on the Camino Forum, you’ll see that Altras are one of the most popular shoe choices alongside Hoka. If you feel you need a little more cushion, you can try the Altra Timp or Olympus. If you plan on packing a little heavy, you can add in a Superfeet Trailblazer insole for arch support.
Thanks, Drew. That’s really helpful. I’m headed out to buy some Lone Peak 6s today and will let you know how it goes. Yes, definitely packing light. But that was excellent information as I’m planning the Camino Frances in two years.
I’ll second the durability issues about Altra shoes but I really came here to complement you on your site. What a beautifully laid out/organized site. Your gear reviews got me thinking. I don’t want to do full blown reviews but I think it may be helpful for each trip to list my key gear, i.e.pack, shoes, etc. Anyway, rally nice site.
Drew, just bought a pair of these from REI (using your link!) after I realized Saucony changed their Peregrines radically since my old version. For whatever reason, the Peregrine 12 is much tighter than my five year old pair, and so I’m looking for something with much more room up front. I’m thinking these Altras are the answer. I’ll be sure to report back on my experience. In the meantime, thanks for such a thorough, helpful review!
Hi Charles. I tried on the Peregrine 12 at REI and also found the toebox to be a very snug fit. Sizing up didn’t seem to help me either. I hope you enjoy the Lone Peak!
Just a few short hikes in the Lone Peak’s so far, but I am really liking them, and have relegated by almost-new Peregrine’s to the donation pile. It took a few days to feel secure in the LP6’s, with all that room midfoot and around my toes, but now I trust them. Brilliant in the wet, too. They dry super-fast. Thanks for the excellent review!
Great to hear, Charles! Nice that you were able to dial in the fit on the LP6 after a few days of wear. Happy trails!
I got my first pair of these a couple months ago to use as a general purpose fitness walking & hiking shoe – I use them for rock scrambling, off trail in the forest, on 4wd forest roads, and lately concrete sidewalks.Very comfortable shoe.I added “better” insoles, but I’m starting to question the need for special insoles.One thing’s for sure, my socks get a lot dirtier in these.
Hi Drew – I tried on a pair of the Lone Peak 6 shoes, and I loved the toe room, but don’t think the zero drop is for me though. Do Altra (or anyone else) make a shoe with the roomy toebox but without the zero drop?
Topo Athletic is probably the closest. They have wider toe boxes and a little more drop. I really like the MTN Racer 2. They’re also releasing the new Ultraventure 3 soon.
Hey Drew, would you mind telling me the pants you’re wearing on the second picture? They look awesome!
Hi Raul. They are the Patagonia Terrobonne joggers. A little pricey, but amazing pants.