Trail Tested: Altra Lone Peak 5
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The Altra Lone Peak is in its 10th year of production and holds its own as Altra’s most popular shoe, loved by trail runners and through-hikers alike. The zero-drop staple underwent a major overhaul, here’s where it shakes out for our tester.
Overall, the 5 provides a smoother, springier and softer ride than previous Lone Peaks. One of our favorite additions is the addition of a layer of springy and resilient proprietary AltraEgo foam, which adds zip and pep to your stride. With 25mm stack height, the Lone Peak 5 is neither minimalist nor maximalist, although the aggressive outsole puts them towards the max end of that spectrum. An internal rock plate has been upgraded for improved push-off, responsiveness and protection. The 5 feels a bit more flexible than previous iterations without sacrificing durability or protection.
The fit and feel is very fluid given the decked-out features and outsole. The engineered rock plate and re-tooled foam give the shoe a balanced feel that’s right at home in mountain ultras or desert speed sessions.
The MaxTrac outsole has sticky rubber lugs (not quite as grippy as the Vibram equivalent, but still great in wet and muddy conditions) that are a bit toned down from previous shoes, which make the shoe feel more versatile overall.
Our tester liked the balance of protection and trail feel this shoe provided, though it could be a bit too much feel for very rocky terrain.
There are some obvious aesthetic updates to this classic trail kick. Laser-cut holes and a refined look give this cleaned-up shoe a bit of a glow-up. The upper on the Lone Peak 5 feels softer and more supple than previous iterations. Increased drainage holes add breathability and make this a great shoe for runs where water is a given. The toe bumper is now stitched directly onto the upper for increased protection and durability.
The upper felt excessively roomy, even given Altra’s preference for wider lasts to accommodate toe splay. There seemed to be just a bit much volume in the top of the shoe, even given our tester’s narrower feet. (The 5 also comes in a wide). This led the shoe to feel a bit sloppier than our tester would prefer, especially for more technical trail that requires a bit more precision. The toe box, as wide as it is, felt a bit insecure for steep descents or scrambling, which is consistent with prior versions of the Lone Peak. The sewn-down, reinforced toe cap, however, worked admirably.
The Bottom Line
Our testers dug the improved comfort and durability of this shoe. Even if it feels a bit roomy, die-hard Lone Peak fans can work around sizing weirdness by dialing in their fit in-person. You are looking to feel the trail without feeling the impact of the trail. Those who welcome a zero drop, toe splay and agility but don’t want to forfeit traction and protection will want to lace up the Lone Peak 5.