Whether you're floating down groomed single track or tackling the steepest switchbacks in the highest mountains, the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 is a quality trail running shoe that can take you anywhere you please. We logged over 200 miles in the high rocky mountains and the humid lowlands of the Bruce Trail in Ontario, Canada to see how they stand up to the rest of the competition. Featuring a robust combination of stand-out protection, a zero drop from the forefoot to the feel and an ultra wide toe box that doesn't compare to any other, this is our Top Pick for Wide Feet (and has been for the last three years).
These combined features make this shoe a great option for those seeking out a shoe that allows them to spread their toes or for those looking to transition to or from barefoot running. If you're interested in a wide shoe but you prefer a little extra cushion in the heel, be sure to check out the Saucony Peregrine 7 - Women's. It has a 4 mm heel-toe drop with a toe box that is wide in comparison to the rest, but a little narrower than the Altra Lone Peak 3.5. Because there is limited cushioning in the heel, it is highly recommended for forefoot and midfoot strikers, otherwise, injury can ensue.
To add to this sweet, sweet package, the MaxTracTM rubber outsole is durable and aggressive, providing average trail running traction on most surfaces - with the exception of super slippery rocks. While the traction is great, it doesn't compare to the burly and aggressive lugs of the Salomon Speedcross 4 - Women's that is best for soft surfaces and has a narrower fit, but it still does well over most surfaces. To put a cherry on top, the Lone Peaks feature a comfortable 25 mm of cushioning that keeps feet comfortable on long days while the sandwiched StoneGuard rock plate provides additional protection on sharp, rocky terrain.
If you liked the Lone Peak 3.0, you're going to absolutely fall in the love with the Lone Peak 3.5. All the updates have made this shoe more comfortable than last year's version making it fit and feel better on the trail. Updates are primarily made to the upper and collar of the shoe. Below is a short list of the updates made:
- The upper mesh material is lighter and stretchier making the upper feel more comfortable and the fit is more versatile.
- Breathability is better in this model because of the lighter upper.
- Drainage holes were added that makes the shoe more breathable. It also holds less water during our dunk tests and while trudging through rivers or puddles.
- The gaiter trap (velcro) on the back of the shoe is a little bigger.
- The overlays on the upper changed location, providing less constriction in flex points on the shoe.
The Lone Peak's are a unique trail runner with many 'barefoot' features and more protection. In addition, this year's model added a more breathable fabric that is stretchier and silkier than last year's model - bonus! In all, whether you like to tackle just three miles at the end of the day or if you're an ultra-distance champion, the Altra Lone Peak 3.5, our Top Pick for Wide Feet, is a comfortable option that frees your forefoot through the foothills to the mountains.
An exciting addition to the Altra lineup is the new Lone Peak 3.5 NeoShell Mid, a mid-rise, water resistant, hiking boot-esque Lone Peak variation. With the same base as the Lone Peak we love, the NeoShell Mid has a "taller, waterproof upper" and "enhanced toe cap protection," all for the increased price of $160. While we haven't tried these out ourselves, we think they may be a great fit for thru-hikers and fast-packers alike.