Updated: Mar 30
I joined up with Altra Running, Salt Lake Running Co and some local runners to test out the new Altra Lone Peak 4. Overall, I was really impressed with the shoe and it felt great.
When I met up with the group, Altra had a variety of sizes. Usually, people recommend buying a half-size up with Altra, but this time I found the opposite to be the case. My true hobbit-foot size is an 8.5, but a size 9 usually give me a bit of extra room that I need for downhill. Altra can sometimes fluctuate a half-size either direction, depending on the shoe. The Altra rep said you should have a thumb's-width space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. They had a 9, but it was unusually long in the toes (like 2 thumb's-widths). Unfortunately, they did not have an 8.5 for me to try on. So I had to choose between a men's 8, blue and red, or a women's 9.5, black and neon yellow. Both shoes fit well and about the same (just shy of a thumb's-width), but I had to go with the women's shoe just because they looked so much cooler! However, keep in mind that Altra tailors women's sizes for a narrower heal and other features that are female specific.
As is always the case with Altra, the toe-box is designed for the shape of your foot and was plenty room for my hobbit feet. Similiarly, the ZeroDrop sole is intended to give you the benefits of a more natural bare-foot run, but with the perks of cushioning and protection.
For those that like more flex in their shoe, the Lone Peak 4 provides a stone guard that is flexible, yet still provides you with that added protection. I could not really feel the stone guard, which is a positive for those who prefer more flex. However, I like to fly down the mountain, bounding and sprinting and I like the surety that I'm not going to crush the arch of my foot on a rock when I land. I could feel the center of my foot more than I thought with the stone guard.
The tread and lugs on the shoes are beefy. The tread pattern is great and has great grip on all four sides. Occasionally, on hard dirt with dust and small pebbles on top they slipped a bit. The tread and lugs are more rubbery and flexible. These types of lugs concerned me at first on another pair of Altra trail shoes that I have, but so far they have not worn down hardly at all after 100 miles, so I would not worry about that.
I LOVED the laces and the center lace loops! The center lace loops keep your laces in place after you tighten the front of the shoes, whereas other shoes the laces in the front sometimes loosen up as you go to tighten the tops. These laces in general stay right in place. I rarely love laces, but these were awesome! Speaking of loops, these bad boys have gater grip loops/traps on all four sides, which is really cool.
A few times I tripped because my hamstrings were super tight from a race the weekend before and I wasn't lifting my knees as much as I should have up hill. One of these times I twisted and scraped the side of my foot and really felt it through the shoe. The shoes held up great and protected from scrapes and cuts obviously, but I was surprised that my foot hurt so much through the shoe itself.
Overall, these shoes are great and were a lot of fun to run in. I do not think that you could go wrong with a pair of Altra Lone Peak 4. But don't just take my word for it based on my review alone. See what other's have to say about these shoes as well below!
Beefy tread and lugs
Awesome foot lock with the mid loops and laces
Good overall traction
Gater grip loops/traps on all sides
Size runs 1/2 to full size too big (depending on your preference).
Some traction slippage on hard surfaces with dusty or small pebbles
Flexible stone guard
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY:
Spanish review too...because, why not?
ABOUT THE AVERAGE JOE RUNNER
Well, his real name is actually Dave...but "The Average Joe Runner" seemed like a catchy name for a blog. Born a sprinter, but converted to distance running in adulthood, Dave has run for more than 25 years. He is the father of four awesome kids and the husband to one amazingly talented, smart and fast-running wife. The Average Joe Runner blog and website was born after Dave continued to get questions from friends and family alike for running tips and gear advice. However, this blog is also meant to hear from other Average Joe and Jane Runners out there. You can contribute to the blog by clicking Submit or Request. Follow The Average Joe Runner on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @TheAvgJoeRun. Read More