Altra Lone Peak 4.5 vs 4 | Zero Drop Trail Running Shoes Compared

The Altra Lone Peak is Altra’s original and most popular Zero Drop trail running shoe. It has developed a lot over the years and has become one of the most popular trail shoes that we sell at Northern Runner, with a mid/boot version and a waterproof version also available.

The current version is the Lone Peak 4.5, which like all Altra shoes is Zero Drop, with a broad rounded toe box (aka FootShape) and as such is designed to allow the foot to function naturally and encourage movement through a more natural gait. The latest version has had a few minor tweaks from the Lone Peak 4, which we’ll discuss.

The Lone Peak 4 has some tapes that are attached to the midsole, run up the side of the upper and the laces go through them. They are designed to pull the upper in snuggly to the forefoot. Altra decided that the upper of the Lone Peak fitted so well that these tapes weren’t needed. This has reduced the weight of the Lone Peak 4.5 a fraction and makes it feel lighter because it isn’t strapped so snugly to your foot. The Lone Peak 4.5 also feels more flexible and your foot less hindered in the forefoot. The heel cup still pulls in snuggly like the Lone Peak 4 and it has no plastic heel cup.

The more noticeable change is to the Lone Peak midsole material. The midsole got a total compound change to make it more resilient, responsive, and much more durable. The Lone Peak 4.5 still has the same feel for the ground that the Lone Peak 4 has and the cushioning is therefore not soft and pillow like. This is so that your feet can react to the surface you are running on, to spread out on impact and perform as they were intended. This is a complete contrast to the Lone Peak 3 and 3.5, which were much stiffer with a more cushioned ride.

If you preferred the Lone Peak 3 and Lone Peak 3,5 versions then you might prefer the ride of these couple of alternatives:

Altra Timp:
Topo Ultraventure: 

The Lone Peak 4.5 has the most volume of all the Altra trail shoes. It is designed to be worn for Ultra’s, so has room for warm and tired feet to expand and not get crushed. The last is broader in the midfoot than the Superior 4 or the King MT 2. The Timp 2.0 has the width in the midfoot but has a more fitted upper that won’t accommodate a high volume foot. The Olympus 3.5 has the volume in the upper but, it doesn’t have quite the same width as the Lone Peak 4.5.

Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle

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