Altra Lone Peak 5 Review
Weight: M10.6oz, W8.3oz
Altra’s burly trail shoe, still the luggy stalwart it has always been, cleaned up nicely with a livelier midsole, lighter, more flexible stone guard, and some upper refinements.
The look is decidedly different in a more polished, refined way — as in laser-cut upper drainage ports. The new midsole uses Altra’s higher-rebounding AltraEGO material and a mapped, engineered rock-plate to provide both push-through protection and a smoother, springier, more flexible ride.
This is the shoe for you if…
You are looking to feel the trail without feeling the impact of the trail. Those who welcome a zero drop, toe splay and agility but don’t want to forfeit traction and protection will want to lace up the Lone Peak 5.
Old school Altra aficionados may be off put by the spiffy new look, one that could even pass as “corporate” compared to the earlier days of the rough-hewn appearance of the brand’s iconic shoe. But, fortunately, the optics of the Lone Peak 5 translate well to the shoe’s performance on the trail: it is one smooth vehicle on all surfaces.
The zero drop and wide toe box that one expects from Altra are, of course, there to shine for runners accustomed to those defining qualities. And, with a 25mm stack height, the Lone Peak 5 is neither minimalist nor maximalist, although the calling-card, aggressive outsole puts them towards the max end of that spectrum; Don’t forget to pick up your feet to avoid tripping over these toothy treads. One tester described them as having a “go for it” aesthetic and being “a bit clunky.”
Fortunately, the ride of the Lone Peak 5 is decidedly not clunky. On the contrary, it is quite fluid. The new high-energy-return midsole compound (such as found in the Escalante) and engineered rock plate allow for a subtle and delicately-balanced blend of underfoot protection while allowing enough sensation for almost immediate proprioceptive feedback that translates to quick feet. The MaxTrac outsole and stable, neutral, balanced cushioning helped our testers with trail confidence. The package may provide too much trail feel for some terrain, or some runners, but others – like much of our test team – will really appreciate what Altra did with this round of the Lone Peak.
The sizing may be a little off, as testers found the fit high in volume, so consider trying them on before your purchase. They are also available in wider women’s and men’s versions, should you require even more expansive fit. The toe box, as wide as it is, felt a bit insecure for steep descents or scrambling, which is consistent with prior versions of the Lone Peak. The sewn-down, reinforced toe cap, however, worked admirably. Testers said they didn’t notice a lot of difference in fit between the Lone Peak 4.5 and the 5. The upper received tester praise for its out-of-the-box comfort, security (“lock-in”) and adaptability to accommodate the natural shape and motion of the foot.
The Lone Peak 5 will be available in January 2021.