Altra Lone Peak 4.0 - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Altra Lone Peak 4 stands out for its affinity to take you on the longest runs of your life. Loaded with a zero-drop profile, moderate levels of cushioning, and comfortable materials, it'll have you hiking and running in comfort for miles on end.
We have taken this shoe through all the grossest and gnarliest terrain to test foot protection. Wet grass, kitty litter, rocky terrain, fifth class climbing, zoomy single track and more! Conditions have ranged from stormy and cold to sunny and hot. In all our testing, the newly redesigned upper with the integration of a bomber rock plate in the outsole provides great protection from the elements. Our feet were comfortable even after tackling distances ranging from 5K to 30 miles. This fact has a lot to do with its numerous comfort features and protective elements.
The continuous upper keeps out pesky debris and fine particulate matter while the water-resistant overlay does an excellent job wicking away moisture at the surface. Newly integrated drainage holes will keep water out of the shoe if fording rivers or treading over super wet terrain. There are also many "breathable vents" that increases breathability throughout the shoe. While there might be a fear that this decreases weather protection, that is not the case.
The new StoneGuard integrated into the midsole of the shoe provides ample protection from the unsuspecting sharp stone underfoot. The responsive A-bound and EVA midsole stacks 25mm high for a responsive and protective trail journey from rocks or sharp objects underfoot. In our eyes, the Lone Peak 4 has many updates that make it just as protective as past models with a few added comforts. Take it up mountains, on your daily run, or to tackle your next 100-mile distance.
You can feel the trail with the Lone Peak 4. Even with 25mm of stack height, the experience is still intimate, but not painful. The outsole and midsole combine to form a platform that offers a great balance of protection and sensitivity. However, it's not to the most sensitive shoe out there. If you instead seek an option that offers a "barefoot running experience" where you feel every lump and undulation, you may need to seek an option with a thinner outsole.
This shoe features a newly designed outsole, making traction better than previous models on most surfaces. It features a sticky TrailClaw outsole, updated this past year. The lugs seem more durable, and they grip better to uncertain surfaces like slippery steeps littered with rubble. They are multi-directional and fairly aggressive. As a result, we would recommend this shoe for running on pretty much any surface. They can get the job done.
While this shoe is a wonderful all-terrain warrior, it does have its limits. When testing on the wet grasses and through super steep terrain, we found ourselves slipping out more than usual. The lug length on this shoe is long and does grab on less steep slopes, though when the angle gets higher, the shoe can lose traction. We also notice that the traction hasn't quite figured out lateral traction, so it slips out quite a bit in super sloppy terrain, side to side.
That said, it does well on similarily angled slopes with surfaces that provided better friction such as dirt, sand, or rock. Overall, while it doesn't boast the best traction out, it will undoubtedly get the job done, whatever the medium you're running on.
This shoe is quite stable, as it features an ultra-wide platform and even more room in the forefoot than previous versions. The wide toe box allows your toes to spread laterally, and the enhanced upper provides more room for wriggle. The outsole is flexible, allowing your shoe to flow with your foot. That great stability of this shoe makes it a Top Pick.
Even though the stack height of the Lone Peak 4 is around 25mm, ankle-rolling does not seem to be an issue. The outsole is seemingly wider than the midsole, providing an even broader platform to stability. Also, the upper features a static webbing cinch strap in addition to a well-designed overlay that tightens around the foot for a specific fit, increasing the stability of the shoe. The only reason it doesn't score higher is that it doesn't have stability elements built-in like other options in this review.
Comfort & Fit
Our testers love the comfort of this shoe, which allows your toes the freedom to wiggle free. The stacked 25mm midsole is incredibly responsive and provides all-day comfort for those in need of a shoe that will keep up with them for literally hundreds of miles! In addition to the basic comforts of cushioning, the new upper is thinner and allows your toes more freedom than the previous model. This model is reminiscent of the ever and early versions of the Lone Peaks that were more minimalist, simply because there seems to be more foot freedom in the toe box.
When it comes to fit, Altra designs its shoes with a women's specific fit that provides a tighter fitting heel cup. On this particular model, the shoe stays in place for the most part with a little bit of movement in the heel. There is no additional arch support as this shoe features a zero-drop design (no extra heel or arch support). However, it does an excellent job hugging the area around the arch to stay in place. That said, those with super narrow feet may prefer a shoe with a slimmer toe box and may find this shoe to be a little bit bulky. However, those with a broader foot will appreciate a little extra space in the toe box.
In addition to these fit features, the Lone Peak comes with a gaiter adaptor velcro strap on the back and a hook-in point at the base of the laces. This feature is a specific place that you can attach the gaiter if you plan on running in sandy environments or if you encounter tall grasses regularly. Overall, this shoe is comfortable with a women's specific fit.
Weighing in at 9.90 oz per shoe (size nine), it is a fairly lightweight option. On the trail, it feels light, even after running for hours! When soaking the shoe in our water tests, it only held 3.2 oz of water, which is a lot less than the previous model! As a result, it's not too absorbent and does a great job wicking away water. The new drainage holes also help to get water out of a shoe if it's drenched.
This price is only the lower end of the scale. Most trail running shoes will go for this price with a lower performance rating. While the Lone Peak's have become more and more durable over the years, they are still known for packing out after the first 50 miles and eventually breaking down after a couple hundred. In all the iterations that we've owned, this has happened. Currently, we are at about mile 200 (with a 145 lb runner). They have seen a lot of crazy, technical terrain, and are about ready to be retired. If you decide to invest, it's a matter of performance as they perform well while they are good. However, you won't get as many miles out of them as many other more durable options.
This moderately cushioned trail runner is perfect for all types of terrain. If you seek a trail runner that is built to take on long races, this is it. The aggressive outsole performs on all surfaces while the overlays offer decent protection. If light cushioning isn't for you, enjoy the comfort of the Altra Lone Peak 4 that boasts a zero-drop profile, with an inch (25mm) of cushioning underfoot.
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