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Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Women's Review

The most comfortable wide shoe out there with some durability issues.
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Price:  $120 List | $119.95 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Comfortable, protective, spacious and wide toe box, flexible, zero drop design, excellent breathability.
Cons:  Poor durability.
Manufacturer:   Altra
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 18, 2020
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 15
  • Foot protection - 20% 7
  • Sensitivity - 20% 7
  • Traction - 15% 6
  • Stability - 15% 8
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 9
  • Weight - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 allows your toes to wiggle free with its ultra-spacious toe-box. What's more, the additional cushioning underfoot will keep your feet protected while you rack up the miles. This shoe is well known in the ultrarunning and backpacking community for its excellent comfort that doesn't sway, even when you're chugging onto mile 90. It's a favorite of our main reviewer and one she uses for work and hiking, as well on the trail. While it ties up scores with the Topo Ultraventure, it doesn't win our Top Pick for wide feet because of its durability issues. Aside from that, it's a high-quality option for ladies that want the ultimate toe splaying freedom.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Update: Altra Lone Peak 4.5 Changes
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.

We took a look at the differences between the new Altra Lone Peak 4.5 (left) and the Altra Lone Peak 4 (right). We notice the biggest changes in the upper and at the heel.
We took a look at the differences between the new Altra Lone Peak 4.5 (left) and the Altra Lone Peak 4 (right). We notice the biggest changes in the upper and at the heel.

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.

Performance Comparison


The Altra Lone Peak series is becoming a classic for any trail runner that appreciates a wide toe box  zero drop design  and moderate cushioning. We've used this shoe as a reliable choice while running 5K to 50-mile distances on trail.
The Altra Lone Peak series is becoming a classic for any trail runner that appreciates a wide toe box, zero drop design, and moderate cushioning. We've used this shoe as a reliable choice while running 5K to 50-mile distances on trail.

Foot Protection


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 reinforced. We also appreciate the new drainage holes that make this update better for river crossings.
The toe cap is reinforced. We also appreciate the new drainage holes that make this update better for river crossings.

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.

Sensitivity


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.

Feel the trail while you run! While there is moderate cushioning  you can still feel things underfoot.
Feel the trail while you run! While there is moderate cushioning, you can still feel things underfoot.

Traction


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).

A look at the awesome outsole. It features multidirectional lugs that grab in all directions through all types of conditions. Be it rain  mud  snow  or dry  rocky goodness.
A look at the awesome outsole. It features multidirectional lugs that grab in all directions through all types of conditions. Be it rain, mud, snow, or dry, rocky goodness.

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.

Out of the box  this outsole is pretty amazing. It holds stone-cold tight to everything. However...after a couple of hundred miles  you'll get an outsole that looks like the one below.
Out of the box, this outsole is pretty amazing. It holds stone-cold tight to everything. However...after a couple of hundred miles, you'll get an outsole that looks like the one below.

The outsole of the Lone Peak 4.0 (same one) after 200 miles of running. Notice the cracking and worn down lugs. Many other shoes we tested did not wear this much after this distance run.
The outsole of the Lone Peak 4.0 (same one) after 200 miles of running. Notice the cracking and worn down lugs. Many other shoes we tested did not wear this much after this distance run.

Stability


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.

We compare the toe box of the Altra Lone Peak (left) to a narrower contender. This shoe offers better stability because it is lower to the ground and wider  making it easier to balance amongst technical surfaces.
We compare the toe box of the Altra Lone Peak (left) to a narrower contender. This shoe offers better stability because it is lower to the ground and wider, making it easier to balance amongst technical surfaces.

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.

Not only do we love running in this shoe  but it's our goto for hiking  exploring  approaching rock climbs  and wearing to work (when we can). This is because of its great comfort underfoot.
Not only do we love running in this shoe, but it's our goto for hiking, exploring, approaching rock climbs, and wearing to work (when we can). This is because of its great comfort underfoot.

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.

The new heel cup is more narrow at the Achilles. We didn't notice a huge fit difference  but one of our reviewers mentioned this kept the shoe in place better than the past. Other online reviewers are not a fan and say it pinches the Achilles...we didn't have this experience.
The new heel cup is more narrow at the Achilles. We didn't notice a huge fit difference, but one of our reviewers mentioned this kept the shoe in place better than the past. Other online reviewers are not a fan and say it pinches the Achilles...we didn't have this experience.

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 shoe is neutral in fit and doesn't have any arch support or additional heel cushioning. It offers the same amount of cushioning from heel to toe (zero drop technology), which is really best for those who are not heel strikers.

Weight


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


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.

The past Altra shoes we've tested do this...a lot. We've had them blow out one the seams  with cushioning fully compressed after just 200-300 miles of use. Since a good quality shoe should last at least 500 miles (in our opinion)  this is one of the reasons you should consider whether you're sold on its value. Know it probably won't last that long  but when its good....it's an excellent shoe.
The past Altra shoes we've tested do this...a lot. We've had them blow out one the seams, with cushioning fully compressed after just 200-300 miles of use. Since a good quality shoe should last at least 500 miles (in our opinion), this is one of the reasons you should consider whether you're sold on its value. Know it probably won't last that long, but when its good....it's an excellent shoe.

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.

We enjoy an after-work run in wintery Colorado. We've tested this shoe on plenty of trails  roads  and snowy surfaces and think it's an excellent choice for those that appreciate a neutral shoe with a wider forefoot.
We enjoy an after-work run in wintery Colorado. We've tested this shoe on plenty of trails, roads, and snowy surfaces and think it's an excellent choice for those that appreciate a neutral shoe with a wider forefoot.

Conclusion


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