Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Comfortable, protective, spacious and wide toe box, flexible, zero drop design, excellent breathability.
Cons: Poor durability.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
What has changed from the previous version? It still has a spacious toe box, with fit feeling pretty similar to the previous version. The outsole is also the same. Here's what's different:
- New upper with better drainage holes and breathability.
- Upper is less absorptive of water.
- The heel cup seems to be more narrow.
- New colors and support skeleton.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is a trail running shoe loved by ultra-runners, thru-hikers, and any runner that appreciates a wide toe box, cushioning underfoot, and a zero-drop construction. You can easily slip it on, right out of the box, and hit the trails for a long run. We've tested this model for 65 miles (so far) and haven't observed any serious wear and tear other than some underfoot compaction. Unfortunately, Altra shoes are known for their poor durability (wearing out after 200 miles in our experience), so we hope this trail runner fares better than previous designs. Time will tell.
We appreciate the 25mm of cushioning underfoot that integrates a rock plate. Running over sharp rocks and treacherous terrain is no trouble for this great shoe. It's one that many ultra-running marathoners love for a reason. It's also a top pick for hiking and thru-hiking because of its great cushioning and protection.
The toe cap is quite flexible but protects from accidental stubs. We also appreciate the breathable mesh that doesn't allow particulates through, which makes this shoe a great choice for sandy adventures. The velcro gaitor strap makes putting on a protective sleeve a little easier as well. We also ran this updated Lone Peak in the snow. The previous version tended to absorb water, but this easily wicked it away. It also drains well, so stream crossings are a go in this classic trail runner.
While there is quite a good amount of cushioning underfoot, it's a softer (but responsive) cushioning that still allows you to feel the trail. It's not as sensitive as some of the ultra-thin contenders, but it allows you to feel all you really need. When running over snow and rockier terrain, it provided enough sensitivity to adapt easily to the trail, thus keeping you healthy and happy to keep logging miles.
Out of the box, traction is totally awesome. The outsole offers great purchase, even on snowy trails. The lugs are spaced out well to shed mud and rocks well. That said, if this outsole is anything like its predecessor (and it looks exactly the same), expect it to wear down after running on dirt-packed and rocky trails after a couple of hundred miles (this was our experience).
We've tested this outsole through mud, steep terrain, summer mountaineering adventures, and while fastpacking through the mountains. Overall, we'd say it's all-terrain shoe given it's the excellent outsole. Since the lugs aren't super long, this shoe is a good choice for fast singletrack, roads, and super technical terrain. It's not one we'd chose if you have to kick steps into the snow because the body itself isn't very rigid, but quite soft.
The wide toe box in conjunction with the relatively low stack height has you feeling like you're flying close to the ground. The extra width around the forefoot allows you to spread your toes, which offers better balance and stability overall. This is another reason this shoe is a great choice for carrying a heavy pack or running long distances.
Comfort and Fit
This is one of the most comfortable shoes that you'll find out there if you love a wide toe box. This is our main tester's (who's been reviewing for over 7 years) go-to shoe for all uses. wearing it to work, out with friends, on the trail, and more. This is largely because of its exceptional fit that works for all types of feet.
The forefoot features a spacious toe box that allows your toes to wiggle freely. The spaciousness is concentrated at the widest part of your foot, so even after many miles of running, and your feet swell, there's still room. The heel cup is a little more narrow than it has been in the past, which our testers appreciated. The cushioning underfoot is quite responsive which offers a great ride for many miles. We've worn previous iterations on 50K and 50 miles races, and this shoe stayed comfortable throughout.
If you've got a super narrow foot, you might find the room in this shoe to be a bit much, especially if you prefer a tighter fit. The lace eyelets don't offer a ton of room for cinching because they are quite close together. So if you've got very narrow feet, expect a "boatier" fit. But for those with regular to wide feet, you'll find this shoe to work for you.
This isn't the lightest trail shoe out there, but it doesn't feel heavy or bulky either. A size nine shoe weighs 9.65 oz. We think it's light enough for wearing for super long distances or even trying to get your personal best on your favorite training run. Though, if you're seeking the lightest shoe out there, there are other better options.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. Many devoted Altra fans budget for purchasing these shoes almost every year, simply because of its longtime known durability issues. Our main testers are one of those people. The price is about the same as any other trail shoe out there, but this brand (and model) is renowned for breaking down a few hundred miles before other trail shoes.
That said, our main tester still sees that value, because when this shoe doesn't have holes in it, or the cushioning hasn't compacted, it's one of the best options for a wider foot. However, the poor durability might sway others not to buy it. That said, after 60 miles tested on this new model, we don't see any problems. But, we will continue to test, and report back once we get to our 200-mile mark. We think this shoe is definitely worth the price, but if you're not sold on it, there are more durable options out there.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is a nicely cushioned shoe with a super wide toe box. It is quite popular because it allows your toes to splay out and has a zero-drop architecture. That said, it didn't win our Top Pick for Wide Feet because of its historical durability issues. This is our main reviewer's favorite shoe because of its excellent level of comfort and performance that's fit to hit all trails on your bucket list.
— Amber King