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Altra Lone Peak 6 - Women's Review

While not necessarily built for speed, you'll get a plush ride with all of the space your toes need to spread on long-distance days
altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review
Credit: Altra
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $140 List | $99.99 at REI
Pros:  Ultra-comfortable, lightweight, stable, protective, plenty of toebox space
Cons:  Packs out more quickly than others, zero-drop isn't for everyone, less arch support
Manufacturer:   Altra
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 20
  • Foot Protection - 25% 7.0
  • Traction - 20% 7.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 7.0
  • Stability - 15% 9.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 9.0
  • Weight - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The updated Altra Lone Peak 6 continues to provide all of our favorite features, plus a few tweaks to accommodate a wider variety of foot shapes and sizes. This superstar has long been a winning trail shoe for runners and hikers looking to tackle trails in a comfortable, zero-drop option. Altra continues to provide foot-shaped shoes that strike the optimal balance between plush and rugged. The weight of this iteration is slightly less, but the added midfoot lace loops provide a more customizable fit than on the Lone Peak 5. This version was put forth with a grippier outsole and stickier lugs to provide better traction on the trail. As is often the case for zero-drop shoes, this style of shoe will cater to the needs of midfoot and forefoot strikers as opposed to heel strikers.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award 
Price $140 List
$99.99 at REI
$180 List
$134.96 at Backcountry
$125 List
$100.93 at REI
$45.48 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$100 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Ultra-comfortable, lightweight, stable, protective, plenty of toebox spaceSuperior comfort, light on foot, protective cushioning, stable architecture, breathable upper, great tractionWell-cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high valueLight, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stableAffordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runners
Cons Packs out more quickly than others, zero-drop isn't for everyone, less arch supportLace pocket is difficult to use, tight collar can bite into the ankle, pricyStack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebedNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-inNot rugged enough for technical trails, less sensitive
Bottom Line While not necessarily built for speed, you'll get a plush ride with all of the space your toes need to spread on long-distance daysOur favorite shoe offers a well-balanced ride with one of the stickiest and most confidence-inspiring outsoles we've ever seenWith a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mileStable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alikeIf you are looking for an affordable shoe to run light trails and fire roads, look no further because this is the perfect shoe for you
Rating Categories Altra Lone Peak 6 -... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Foot Protection (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
7.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
9.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Specs Altra Lone Peak 6 -... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Measured Weight (per shoe) 7.62 oz(size 7) 8.68 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
7.41 oz (size 7)
8.6 oz (size 9)
9.45 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
8.0 oz (size 7)
Heel-to-Toe Drop 0 mm 8.6 mm 5 mm 8 mm 8 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 25 mm, 25 mm 26.8 mm, 18.2 mm 31 mm Not disclosed 20 mm, 12 mm
Upper Quick-Dry Air Mesh Textile/synthetic Engineered mesh Mesh, continuous nylon Synthetic mesh
Midsole Altra EGO Energy Cell, polyurethane foam EVA Feline SL midsole EVA
Outsole MaxTrac rubber Rubber Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer Rubber
Rock Plate? Yes Not disclosed None Not disclosed Yes
Wide Version Available? No No No No No
Sizes Available 5.5 - 12 4 - 13 6 - 11 5 - 11 5 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

Altra is known for their foot-shaped, zero-drop shoes that provide ample real estate for toes to splay as you run. The zero-drop design essentially means that the heel and the toe are held on an even level, versus the design of a more traditional running shoe, which uses a differential to lift the heel. With the release of the Lone Peak 6, Altra updated a ton of features that improve the overall wearability and versatility of the shoe. This time around, the changes made were more subtle but ultimately expanded to accommodate a wider range of anatomies.

Performance Comparison


altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - the stability of a zero-drop shoe makes technical trails feel more...
The stability of a zero-drop shoe makes technical trails feel more like playgrounds than potential deathtraps.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Foot Protection


The base of the Lone Peak 6 is stacked with 25mm of cushion, which provides plush underfoot cushion — something that we really start to appreciate as mileage mounts. The rock plate and thick heel collar provide lateral protection that comes in handy as you fly over technical terrain.


The Quick-Dry Air Mesh upper serves myriad functions but really shines when it comes to foot protection. Because of how minuscule the mesh holes are, particulate sand and dirt can hardly infiltrate unless you kick it over the heel collar when not wearing gaiters. The toe bumper is softer than many of the other trail running shoes we tested, but we found that it served its toe-protecting purpose. After running miles in shoes with far more rigid and restrictive toe bumpers, we grew to love the softness and comfort of the more pliable toe bumper on the Lone Peak 6.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - the flexible toe bumpers strike the perfect balance between soft and...
The flexible toe bumpers strike the perfect balance between soft and strong for comfortable protection.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

This version of the Lone Peak comes equipped with its recently-updated drainage system. However, because the drainage holes are condensed at the upper of the toe bumper, we don't find this system to be the most effective after river crossings. However, despite its protective plushness, the upper mesh of the Lone Peak allows the interior to dry fairly quickly, especially when compared to other trail shoes. Whether you want to tackle long-distance runs on rocky terrain or beat these shoes up on a grueling thru-hike, your feet will be comfortable and protected in this version of a zero-drop favorite. The fit is not slender by any means, but it feels pretty svelte when compared to some other zero-drop shoes.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - the above-average traction and updated trailclaw technology make...
The above-average traction and updated Trailclaw technology make rock scrambling even more fun.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Traction


One of the things we love most about the Lone Peak is that it combines function and comfort in a really balanced way. Unlike some of the other shoes we tested, this one is neither reminiscent of crampons nor cleats, which ups its versatility, general comfort, and cross-over prowess. Standard chevron-shaped lugs are strategically placed beneath the heel and toe beds, but the advent of Trailclaw lugs beneath the metatarsals provides added traction and control. We have tested shoes with far meatier lugs but found the spacing and placement of those on the Lone Peak 6 to be above average in the world of trail shoes.


The MaxTrac outsole adds an extra element of grippiness to help you race over muddy, slippery, or loose terrain. We tested the Lone Peak 6 during a rainy spring and found that it grips decently well on muddy surfaces. The mud shed is adequate, but since we tested this shoe on drizzly coastal bluffs, we had the opportunity to discover that it does not shed loose, wet sand as readily. We reached for these shoes often when looking to tackle fire roads that lead to scree-laden climbs, though they were never our first choice for muddy mountains since shoes with longer lugs generally performed better.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - the addition of trailclaw lugs beneath the metatarsal pad makes for...
The addition of Trailclaw lugs beneath the metatarsal pad makes for great control and traction.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Sensitivity


Time and time again, we found the Lone Peak 6 to be the shoe we reached for when we wanted a smooth ride combined with sensitivity. Because of the zero-drop profile, we felt very connected to the trail during each run we took these kicks on. The low profile and appropriately flexible sole lend themselves well to genuinely feeling the trail beneath your feet, whether you opt to hike or run.


Though the arch support in the Lone Peak is lacking, the midfoot cushion makes up for this in a well-balanced way. We expected the ample cushioning to detract from this shoe's sensitivity but were surprised to discover that it simply muted the intensity of stepping on sharp rocks and sticks. The space provided for optimal toe spreading combined with the rigid yet flexible sole allowed the midsole to evenly distribute the impact of stepping on a rogue rock or other trail feature.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - the dampening effect that the plush midfoot has as we step on spiky...
The dampening effect that the plush midfoot has as we step on spiky organic matter improves comfort and wearability of these shoes.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


We tend to look at stability from a few different angles. We take into consideration the stability of the actual shoes we are running in, which includes how susceptible we feel to ankle rolls and how much control we feel we have over the platform of the shoe. But we also think about stability from a biomechanical viewpoint in which we consider the stability and patterns of muscular engagement that each shoe encourages in our bodies.


The low profile, wide footbed, and comfortable side wall all contribute to the stability of the Lone Peak 6. Even though this shoe sits slightly higher, at 25mm, than many other trail runners, the zero-drop construction combined with a perfectly flexible sole help create added stability. The new and improved eyelet pattern across the upper allows for a more customizable fit than in previous models. Utilizing the eyelets to create a snug fit also improves stability since your foot is less likely to slide laterally inside the shoe.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - the updated eyelet pattern provides more options for customizing...
The updated eyelet pattern provides more options for customizing your fit, which ensures a more comfortable and stable running shoe overall.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

One of the attributes that we love most about zero-drop shoes is the biomechanical stability they can create. Of course, if you are new to running in this style of shoe, it can take some getting used to. However, once your body adapts, you will likely find that zero-drop shoes can lead to more stability within your body as you run. By dropping the heel to be on the same plane as the toes, we encourage more complete use of the rear chain of muscles in our bodies. Additionally, the iconic Altra toebox space allows for our toes to splay as we run, which can lead to strength gains in the small muscles of our feet.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - the wide toebox and foot-shaped profile allow our small muscles to...
The wide toebox and foot-shaped profile allow our small muscles to work as they are intended while on the move.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Comfort and Fit


This version of the Lone Peak is one of the most comfortable trail running shoes out there, in our opinion. Not everyone feels that way about zero-drop shoes, so our enthusiasm about the comfort of these shoes should be taken with a grain of salt. But our glowing review of the comfort is more about the structure of the shoe than it is about its level platform. With this in mind, if you plan to spend long, long days on the trail, the underfoot comfort of the Lone Peak might be just what you are looking for.


Unlike many trail running shoes that have rigid, protective elements and less flexible architecture, the Lone Peak doesn't need a lengthy break-in period. Past versions of the Lone Peak have had serious durability issues, but Altra seems to have stepped up their game recently. While the cushioning of both the Lone Peak 5 and 6 get packed out more quickly than other shoes, we haven't seen as many issues with seams blowing out or the edges of the shoes just disintegrating. Since the value of a gear purchase is directly linked to how long it lasts, the updated durability makes these shoes a better value than they used to be. Even though our testing doesn't span as many miles or months as we would like, we go to extreme lengths to put our shoes through the wringer.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - we asked many of our friends, both runners and avid hikers, to try...
We asked many of our friends, both runners and avid hikers, to try on the shoes we tested. We all agree that the comfort and fit of the Lone Peak 6 is top-notch.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Ultimately, the Lone Peak 6 is an exceptionally comfortable choice if you are in the market for a zero-drop trail runner. As previously mentioned, these shoes are favored by thru-hikers and continue to be at the top of the list for hikers who want a lightweight and stable shoe that is less cumbersome than a traditional hiking boot.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - from running across tundras to hiking coastal trails, the lone peak...
From running across tundras to hiking coastal trails, the Lone Peak 6 can tackle it all.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

This version of the Lone Peak has arguably one of the most customizable fits. In past versions, the wide toebox has walked the line between feeling spacious and clownlike. The Lone Peak 6 has a new eyelet pattern atop the shoe that allows the upper to be cinched to accommodate your unique feet. With a more customizable upper, the plus-sized toebox gives our toes space to spread while still feeling like a secure, well-fitting runner. It is valuable to note that with the release of this version, Altra did away with the option for wide sizing.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - even though altra isn't making a wide option of the updated lone...
Even though Altra isn't making a wide option of the updated Lone Peak, the toebox and fit is wide enough to accommodate wide-footed runners.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The Lone Peak lacks the extreme arch support of some of its competitors, which has the potential to be a huge negative if you seek a structural arch in the foundation of your shoes. The arch support that it does offer is soft enough to be comfortable for a wide variety of foot shapes, adding to this shoe's wide-ranging comfort.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - for such a plush ride, the lone peak offers way more sensitivity...
For such a plush ride, the Lone Peak offers way more sensitivity than we expect of a well-cushioned shoe.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


If you are looking for epic comfort combined with a low weight, this is the shoe for you. This time around, the Lone Peak boasts one of the lowest weights in our collection of trail runners. When it comes to trail running shoes, we don't typically worry about a few extra ounces of weight since that weight often comes as a result of added protective or functional elements. But if you are looking to shed ounces without much of a sacrifice in other areas, this is a good choice.


Most notably, the Lone Peak offers great ratios. For example, it scored well for foot protection while being relatively lightweight. The same goes for traction; the Lone Peak scored above average in that metric due to its solid lugs and grippy MaxTrac rubber, but without additional weight.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - despite their cushion and traction, we never felt weighed down when...
Despite their cushion and traction, we never felt weighed down when running in the Lone Peak 6.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Altra Lone Peak 6?


The Lone Peak 6 is our top choice for zero-drop running or hiking comfort. It has 25mm of plush underfoot cushion, and when paired with its grippy outsole, trail-biting lugs, and updated durability, we can't recommend it enough. Though Altra discontinued their wide option, the added eyelet structure makes it a versatile and comfortable shoe. We recommend the Lone Peak for short and long distances alike, the only caveat being that zero-drop shoes might not suit everyone's musculature.

altra lone peak 6 for women trail running shoes review - we love the feeling of control we have when bombing down coastal...
We love the feeling of control we have when bombing down coastal trails in the stable Lone Peak 6.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


While durability has been an issue with the Lone Peak versions of the past, we are pleased to report that 50+ miles of trail time in, the Lone Peak 6 has yet to degrade in the lugs or outer structure. We continue to notice the cushioning getting packed out a bit more quickly than in other shoes, such as the ultra-durable and rigid Dynafit Feline SL. The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 is another shoe that offers a wide toebox, but since it offers less cushioning, it may not appeal to those looking for a plush ride.

Ally Arcuri
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