Updated: Mar 30, 2021
The Altra Lone Peak Mid is not what it seems at first glance. I often get asked if they are “hiking” boots. Nope. They’re a legit trail running shoe. However, if you bought them for hiking, they would be the lightest and most comfortable hiking shoe you could probably buy.
I have been running in the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Mid Neoshell for the last two winters. These waterproof bad boys are light and warm during the snowy winter runs and great during muddy, wet runs too. The added ankle support is also extremely nice when barreling downhill in slippery winter conditions.
Identical in every way to its sibling, the Lone Peak 3.0 Low, the Mid version of this shoe provides additional ankle support that I love when I am bombing it downhill. Like its sibling, the Mid comes in a mesh or a "Polartec" Neoshell material. Neoshell is essentially Altra’s version of Gortex. Although, Altra is now using a newer material they call, “eVent" and "RSM.” There is a new Lone Peak 4.0 Mid version (read a review of the 4.0 low here), but this review should give you a good idea of the distinct benefits of the Mid Neoshell, regardless of which version.
The traction is good, with medium-height lugs that provide lots of grip. My first time running in these were in icy, muddy conditions--and I loved them! I literally felt like I had dirt bike tires on my feet--in a good way! In really icy conditions you may still need spikes, but that is the case with most trail running shoes where there is ice.
I have run nearly 130 miles in these shoes so far. I was worried about the durability of the material at first, because I didn't want something to puncture the waterproofing, but the Neoshell seems to be holding up quite well. I was also a bit worried about the the soft rubbery nature of the lugs. While the toes seem to be a bit more worn than the rest of the tread (I love fast downhill), overall the lugs have worn down reasonably compared to other shoes with the miles that I have on them. Sidewall and toe protection is decent. The heel locks in great.
This past spring I tried to run in the Neoshell Mid’s on the trail, but I found that as soon as the temperatures got past 70 degrees the Neoshell was too warm for running. You are still fine hiking with these, especially if you are hiking through mud and water. However, I think the mesh version of the Mid’s would provide much more breathability if you are not as concerned about the waterproof feature.
Speaking of waterproof, they are. The only time water gets into these babies is when snow or water drips down the ankles, which can be easily prevented with gators. In fact, one of the main reasons that I initially bought this shoe was because I wanted a waterproof trail running shoe that I could easily use for snowshoeing.
The Stone Guard is okay. To be honest, I didn't think it had a Stone Guard at first, but when I read other reviews online several sources said that it has a stone guard. In other words, I think the stone guard could use some work. From what I understand Altra did make an update to the stone guard for the Lone Peak 4.0. However, I was not that impressed with the stone guard on my demo, which you can read here. I think Altra should use whatever stone guard they used in the Altra King Mt. trail shoe. I have never had complaints about that shoe's stone guard (the King Mt. review is around the corner).
With all that said, I think that these are actually my favorite Altra running shoe. I’ve gone back and forth about which Altra shoe is my favorite, but every time I run in these shoes on wintery trails I remember just how much I absolutely love them. So much so that my wife even bought a pair (the women's grey and purple featured above) and loves them just as much for the snow.
Awesome ankle support
Good cushion, but not so much that you are running on stilts like some trail shoes
Good heel lock-in
Toe and sidewall protection is decent.
The fit of the 3.0 feels like the arch is a bit too narrow, which made it hard to determine which size I should get, but I got my standard size in trail shoes and after breaking them in I never thought about it again (same with my wife)
Too hot for running warmer in weather, but fine for hiking in warm weather
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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