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The Best Trail Runners For Hikers: Altra Lone Peak Review

If you’re considering getting a pair of Altra Lone Peaks and want to know the pros and cons, then you came to the right place! This unbiased Altra Lone Peak review shares my honest opinions about these popular trail runners after owning 3 pairs over the years.

I’m a huge fan of Altra Lone Peaks and believe they’re the best trail runners for hikers, but are they the best trail runner for you?

Keep reading for my honest review of Altra Lone Peaks and what you need to know before purchasing.

Woman holding a sign that says "San Luis Peak" while standing on top of a mountain with blue skies.
Wearing Altra Lone Peak 7s to climb 14’ers in Colorado.

NOTE: I want to acknowledge that while I’ve worked with other hiking shoe companies, I’ve never worked with or received product from Altra. My most recent pair of Lone Peaks are hand-me-downs from my mom (she wasn’t a fan of the zero drop heel, which I’ll discuss below), but I’ve purchased every other pair of Altra trail runners I’ve owned. I genuinely love this shoe, which is why I keep coming back!

Hiking Shoe Disclaimer:

While I personally believe that Altra Lone Peaks are the best trail runners for hikers (and many seasoned hikers and backpackers would agree), the “best” hiking shoe is incredibly subjective. Just because I love hiking in Altra Lone Peaks doesn’t mean that it’s the right trail runner or hiking shoe for you.

When looking for new hiking shoes, I always recommend going to a store, like REI or your local outdoor gear shop. Being able to try multiple pairs of shows on is the best way to find the pair that is most optimal for you. 

One of the biggest reasons I like shopping at REI is because their return policy allows you to actually wear your new hiking shoes out on the trail before fully committing. If you wear them a couple of times and realize that something just doesn’t feel quite right, you can easily return them and try a new pair.

Woman in a purple backpack and hot pink trail runners stands on a rock looking at a wavy sandstone rock formation in Capitol Reef National Park.

My Honest Altra Lone Peak Review

I made the switch from low-top hiking boots to trail runners in 2020 when I bought my first pair of Altra trail runners. The first pair of trail runners I bought were Altra Superiors, which are similar to the Lone Peaks, but with less cushion. I found them to be a little too basic, so I switched to Lone Peaks when they were ready to be replaced. I’ve gone through 3 pairs of Lone Peaks since (the 5, 6, & 7s). 

One reason why I’m such a big fan of Altra Lone Peaks is because they’re lightweight and easy to move in. I’m generally a fast hiker and like to be able to move nimbly on the trail, so I prefer a light trail runner over a bulky hiking boot. The biggest drawback to a light shoe is that since there isn’t a ton of cushion, my feet start hurting on backpacking trips where I’m carrying a heavy pack.

The wide toe box is another reason why I’m a fan of Altra Lone Peaks. I have bunionettes on my pinky toes, so having extra room for my toes to spread out is a really nice feature. I’ve found that this allows me to hike long distances without pain (I wore Altra Lone Peaks while hiking Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon).

A pair of hot pink Altra Lone Peak 7 trail runners.
I take full responsibility for the wear on the heels from slipping my shoes on and off…

Altra Lone Peak Review: Note on the Zero Drop Heel

One of the main features on Altra trail runners are the zero drop heel. If you’re not used to wearing shoes with a zero drop heel, it can take some time for your foot to adjust. A zero drop heel mimics your natural gait, but when you’re used to wearing modern shoes this can surprise your feet.

The biggest trick to helping your foot adapt to a zero drop heel (in my experience) is to build up mileage slowly. Going too far, too fast can lead to injuries (the most common injury I’ve seen reported online are Achilles tendon injuries).

Showing off my Lone Peak 7s while hiking in Grand Junction, Colorado.

About Altra Lone Peaks

Altra Lone Peaks come in both a regular and wide version. I don’t have particularly wide feet, but I do find that some hiking boot brands run very narrow. That’s not the case with Altra. The Lone Peak shoe has an original shaped footbed, which is the roomiest shoe Altra makes.

Altra recently released the Lone Peak 8, which is remarkably similar to the Lone Peak 7. It appears that the biggest upgrade that was made was to the material in the upper portion of the shoe. It’s now made from a ripstop mesh, which will hopefully make the new Lone Peaks more durable than their older counterparts. Altra also released new colors with the Lone Peak 8s.

In addition to the trail runner, Altra makes a mid and high-top hiking boot version of the Lone Peak. They also make a variety of other trail runners, so if you’re looking for a trail runner with more cushion, that still has a wide toe box and zero drop heel, you’ve got options.

Altra Lone Peak Technical Specs

  • Wide toe box.
  • Heel drop: 0mm 
  • Rock plate to protect from rocks and other trail debris.
  • Current color options for the Lone Peak 8:
    • Women: Black; Dusty Olive; Mineral Blue; Mint; and Navy (in my opinion, the Lone Peak 7s had better color options…)
    • Men: Black; Dusty Olive; Navy; and Tan
  • Sizes:
    • 5.5-12 (U.S. women); 7-16 (U.S. men)

How Much Do Altra Lone Peaks Cost?

A new pair of Altra Lone Peak 8s will currently set you back $140, which is actually $10 cheaper than new Lone Peaks 7s were last year. While you can find more affordable trail runners out there, Lone Peaks are competitively priced compared to most other well-known brands.

If price is a concern, you can typically find sales on Altra trail runners at REI and other outdoor retailers throughout the year. You can also use your semi-annual 20% off member coupons from REI towards a new pair. Since Altra typically puts out a new model each year, you can typically get Lone Peaks at a steep discount at the beginning of the year.

Purchase Altra Lone Peak 8s From REI

Shop Women’s

Shop Men’s

Woman sitting on a sandstone rock formation overlooking a verdant canyon while wearing hot pink Altra Lone Peak trail runners.
Wearing my Lone Peak 7s while hiking in Colorado National Monument.

Pros & Cons of Altra Lone Peaks

Pros of Altra Lone Peaks

  • Lightweight. Altra Lone Peak 8s weigh 1 lb 2 oz., which is much lighter than the average pair of hiking boots. 
  • Comfortable. Comfort is king for me when it comes to hiking shoes. I don’t want to have to endure blisters in order to break in a pair of boots. I want my hiking shoes to be comfy right out of the box. As I mentioned, adjusting to a zero drop shoe can take time for some people. Once your foot adjusts, it’s easy sailing on the trail.
  • Dry Quickly. While the Lone Peaks aren’t waterproof, they dry quickly if they get wet during a stream or creek crossing. I hate the feeling of hiking in wet shoes or boots, so it’s nice having them dry quickly.

Cons of Altra Lone Peaks

  • They wear out quickly. I’ve noticed the shoe portion of the Lone Peak begins showing signs of wear after a couple of months, particularly around the opening of the shoe. I get a few hundred miles of wear out of them before the tread wears enough that I start losing traction on the trail. It’s understandable that Altra updates the Lone Peak every year because that’s about how often they need to be replaced!
  • Not waterproof. Altra Lone Peaks are not waterproof. Depending on the climate where you typically hike in, this may be an issue. I live in Colorado and typically don’t hike during inclement weather, so this isn’t a problem for me, but it’s worth noting.
Woman wearing hot pink Altra trai runners in front of bare cottonwood trees and a desert canyon waterfall.
Wearing my Altras while hiking to Lower Calf Creek Falls. They’re great for hikes with water crossings because they dry quickly!

Shop Altra Lone Peaks!

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