Altra Latest: Lone Peak 3.0 Trail Running Shoes

The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is due to arrive in the UK very soon, in fact we are expecting to have delivery to our shop and warehouse by early September and are taking pre-orders for those wanting to get in quick.

“…versatile enough to cope with everything from a bit of tarmac to a muddy farmers field.”

The concept for the Lone Peak 3.0 is the same as the previous Lone Peak models. It is a ‘medium cushioned’ trail running shoe and as Altra is an American brand, the trails it seems to be designed for are predictably those found in most of America. They tend to be dry and hard packed trails, which are typically very different to the conditions that a trail shoe could have to cope with on a typical British trail run. That said, the Lone Peak 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 have all been popular shoes for us as they are versatile enough to cope with everything from a bit of tarmac to a muddy farmers field.

altra-lone-peak-shoes

Q
In Britain what do we require from a trail running shoe?

A
Grip: All Lone Peak iterations have had a grippy outsole that doesn’t feel too bad at all on tarmac, so you can run the short urban route to you local trail OK. The grips tend not to fill with mud in all but the most extreme muddy conditions. The studding is long enough to give traction in most muddy or snowy conditions but not so long that it feels like ‘running on jelly’ when you are on the firmer tracks. You can see the difference in outsoles of the three previous versions; the Lone Peak 1.5 is at the bottom and has little wear on the outsole, which was deemed a bit too hard. It was very durable but, a little slippy on wet rock or road (not a major issue unless you are racing hard in the shoe). The Lone Peak 2.0 went a little too soft and the lugging at the toes wore off quickly. Then the outsole of the Lone Peak 2.5 was firmed up a bit. The small lugs at the toes still wore quickly, although none of this wearing was a problem to me. It’s the lugs further back under your midfoot that provide most of the grip after all.
Altra is looking for perfection so the Lone Peak 3.0 outsole has been completely re-designed. It is now made from a sticky rubber to give better traction on wet rock and the lugs are larger under the toes to reduce wear.

Stability: Altra shoes are all made on a ‘foot shaped’ last, which makes them broader and more rounded in the toe box area, and they are zero drop. This means they are ‘flat’ where most shoes are higher in the heel than the forefoot, often to encourage the right movement when running. In trail shoes this isn’t so much the case anyway as when you are running over broken ground an elevated heel would make you more unstable and prone to injuries. Zero drop then is ideal for trails.

Cushioning: This is tricky as you want to have less cushioning on softer ground so you get more of a feel for the floor yet a bit more on the hard packed trails or roads. The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is a well cushioned shoe. The mid-sole is 25mm thick, a bit more than most other trail shoes. It is designed to give you some comfort on even longer ultra trail races. However, the mid sole is split. It has a firmer material called A-Bound at the top and a softer EVA at the bottom. The EVA flexes with the ground to soak up some of the camber and rocks where as the A-Bound gives your foot a positive feel. So, your foot gets the feedback it needs to a) spread out upon impact and then b) spring your foot from the floor. This is something that doesn’t happen as readily if the shoes are too narrow or soft. Cushioning isn’t just about shock absorption, it provides useful protection. The Lone Peak 3.0 also includes a stone guard sandwiched between the two densities of mid sole to give a bit of extra protection against sharp stones like its predecessors.

Toughness: The Lone Peak 3.0 upper has been completely redesigned. The heel in particular is a much snugger fit than previous models. There is also a bit less volume in the toe box compared with the Lone Peak 2.5, although it keeps the foot shaped last and there is enough width for the toes to spread out upon impact. The toe bumper has been beefed up a bit. The upper materials are designed to be light and flexible whilst highly durable. Look out for our wear test coming soon to find out what we think.
“Look out for our real life wear test coming soon to find out what we think.”

Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell
As the Lone Peak (in its various iterations) have been such a success for our customers we are also going to be stocking the Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell, which adds a Neoshell waterproof upper. This means it’s ideal for particularly wet winter runs.

Lone Peak 3.0 Mid
In addition to Neoshell we’ll also be stocking the Lone Peak 3.0 Mid. This is a lightweight waterproof boot with all the popular features of the trail running shoe, zero drop, foot shaped (wide toe box) and lots of cushioning. This will be a rival to the popular Inov-8 Roclite 286 GTX.

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