Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Mens Shoe-First Impressions

Discussion in 'Reviews & Previews' started by Tim Savage, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

    First Impressions
    For those of you with a keen interest in the big three American long trails (the Pacific Crest, the Appalachian and the Continental Divide Trails) you will be aware of the never ending debate on equipment including hiking footwear. For a number of years the most regularly talked about hiking shoe was the Brooks Cascadia but over the past couple of years this shoe has lost some of the gloss associated with it and a range of other footwear has emerged.

    One of the up and comers, at least in Australia, is the Altra Lone Peak 3.0. While this shoe has been around for a while it never quite managed to tick all the boxes going through a number of reincarnations before finally coming up with a formula that has grabbed the imagination of many long distance hikers. As someone planning to do some long trails over the next few years, I was willing to at least give this shoe a try to see what the fuss is about.

    Over the next few months I will put these shoes through their paces and do a full review but having worn these now for just on two weeks, including on a 29 km walk, I thought I would provide my first impressions so here goes.

    Good points

    • They’re light! At 736 grams for a pair of size 14 US they make my current go to shoe the Salomon XA 3D Pro look heavy
    • They have loads of cushioning which makes it feel like you are walking on air. Even after doing a 29 km walk on concrete and bitumen my feet were happy
    • The shoe shape matches as far as it is possible your foot shape so they tend to be square shaped and a bit broader at the front but snugger at the back allowing your toes room to move and expand
    • ‘Zero Drop’. Traditional running shoes tend to be higher at the back than at the front, typically 12-15 mm. These shoes provide a level platform. It felt strange when I put these on because they noticeably changed my walking style. I felt much more upright. The manufacture recommends wearing these shoes in, the shoes are fine but you need to be able to get used to the shoes from a biomechanical perspective so in reality you are wearing your body in. It took me about a week to get used to them
    • They have been built to take Dirty Girl Gaiters, having a small loop at the front and built in velcro at the back. If you’re going minimalist then this is the type of gaiter you are likely to be wearing
    • They have very good traction on dry unstable slopes and reasonable traction in muddy conditions
    • They breathe well so you feet don’t overheat
    Possible issues

    • The sizing is all over the place. If you compare the size charts of Altra shoes compared to other manufacturers such as Merrell, Keen and Salomon its almost impossible to work out the sizing. The websites suggest buying one size larger than you normally would but I purchased a size 14 US (my normal size) rather than a size 15 US and as far as I can tell they are 1/2 size smaller and so far they fit me reasonably well
    • Breathability has a down side regardless of the manufacturer. I did a short hike in heavy rain and ended up with damp feet but I can say the same for any shoe that provides breathability
    I hope these first impressions have been helpful. Over the next few months I will give these shoes a flogging and see how they stand up to long multi-day hikes in a variety of conditions.

    Possible suppliers

    Wild Earth At the time of writing this article Wild Earth had the cheapest Altra lone Peak 3.0 shoes

    Wildfire At the time of writing this article Wildfire had the best range of sizes (up to size 15 US mens) for the Altra lone Peak 3.0 shoes. They also have an excellent exchange policy which means if you get the sizing wrong they will gladly exchange them at their expense (the first time)

    Altra Lone Peak 3.0 side view

    Altra Lone Peak 3.0 viewed from the top

    Altra Lone Peak 3.0 bottom view
    Teepee, gixer, paul and 6 others like this.
  2. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Mine had their first outing over Easter. They are unbelievably comfy under foot. Also, the heel cap seems to hold the rear of my feet really well. My only issue is the wide toe-box area. I know they are designed to be that wide and 'foot shaped' but I am still making up my mind whether I like it or whether it means there is excess shoe flapping around when I am picking my way on rocks. However, on the walk over Easter I did 600m of descent straight down off an Austrian mountain and they really came into their own on the descent with the wide toe area feeling great.

    Jury is out whether they will come with me to the Pyrenees...
    WilliamC and Tim Savage like this.
  3. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

    I'd be interested it hearing how you go with them. The more I wear them the more I like them however I would use a tougher shoe on some of the more rugged hikes such as the Larapinta Trail.
  4. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Just back from my first run in these

    By far the worst running shoes i've ever used.

    On rocky hardpack the only description i can think of is, it's like strapping mini 2 x Reliant Robin's to my feet.
    If i place the inside part of my heel on any raised rock the shoe tips over

    IMO the sole at the ball of my foot is wayyyyyyyyyyy to narrow, add to this the extra stack height and it's a nightmare.
    The shape of the sole doesn't help, rather than bowing out it bows in giving a rounded profile to turn an ankle.
    Add to that zero upper shoe support and it all adds up to a terrible design for off-road use.

    Then there is the sole, these are supposed to be in the medium on the Altra cushioning scale, after all why else would you have the extra stack height.
    There is some cushioning, but the first few mm is really reallllyyy soft, after that there is zero cushioning.

    Admittedly at 90kg i'm no racing lizard, but i get a less jarring feel wearing my TrailRoc 255's, a shoes that's aimed more towards the minimalist end of the market.

    When running the feeling i had was that the shoes are really really heavy, it felt that way as my feet just crashed down every stride.
    On returning home i weighed them, ended up using 3 scales cause i didn't believe my eyes.
    I was sure they'd be up around 800g area (per pair)
    Surprised me to see they actually came in at 577g for a 42.5 size
    My Hoka Mafate speeds are 613, SC3's 602g

    Only my Hoka Challenger ATR's and TrailRoc 255's are lighter at 522g and 507g respectively.

    So the dead/heavy feeling is 100% down to the soles.

    After 1 run in these i will not wear them for off-road use again, they're THAT bad

    On the good side
    Grip is exceptional, from handpack, rocks and mud i felt like spiderman
    Ventilation, it's about 26c here today, no problem with my feet overheating
    They're a wide fit

    Not recommended for off-road use
    Hoka's offer wayyyyyyyyyy more stability AND more cushioning.

  5. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

    While I don't run and only use these as trail shoes I am leaning towards your point of view. I've been testing these shoes now for just on two months and did a walk on a trail that was very rocky underfoot and found that they didn't provide enough protection. Based purely on that walk alone I am likely to only use these shoes on groomed trails only. These shoes appear to be the dominant shoe on the Pacific Crest Trail this year based on a number of US articles and blogs that I have read so thought that i would see what the fuss was about. My main issue is that with a size 14US foot (13.5UK) I struggle to find shoes to fit me and while many manufacturers do produce this size we poor Aussies rarely see them in the stores. I know that I can order on the internet but am loathe to do so without trying them on first.
  6. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Glad it's not just me then Tim
    As you say the yanks seem to love em, so i was wondering if maybe i had a bad pair or just like me Mum says i'm "special" :whistling:

    Odd thing is i have never had a problem with my ankles, freediving with flippers tends to strengthen then up, as does cycling, plus i never wear boots and spend most of the summer in flip flops.

    I found the Salmon SC3's to be "tricky" on rocky terrain, the heel/toe offset is massive on them, together with the added height from the spikes i had to be careful when wearing them.
    The Lone Peaks are something else though, they're actually unstable.

    The last part of my usual run is downhill and rocky, i after rolling my ankle yet again i ended up walking the rest of the way back.
    Never had anything like that before
    My section time on Strava was slower than my last run in the rain, bear in mind that most of the rock underfoot is marble, so when it's wet it's really slick.
    Yet still running on wet marble was quicker than wearing these shoes in the dry.

    Just measured the width of my other shoes out of curiosity
    1st figure is the widest part of the forefoot, 2nd figure is the widest part of the heel, then weight

    Altra Lone Peak
    11cm 8.5cm 577g

    Hoka Challenger ATR
    12.5cm 10.5cm 522g

    Hoka Mafate Speed
    12cm 10cm 613g

    Salomon XA3D Ultra2
    11cm 9cm 729g

    Salomon XT Wings3
    11cm 9cm 677g

    Salomon SC3
    10cm 9cm 602g

    Inov8 Roclite 280
    10.5cm 8cm 512g

    Inov-8 TrailRoc 255
    10.5cm 8cm 512g
    lone_deranger, Tim Savage and maddogs like this.
  7. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    It's the scales - it makes them slippery
    edh likes this.
  8. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Dearie me :frown:
  9. widu13

    widu13 Ultralighter

    Just a quick one..(not picking holes here I am genuinely interested) I sell footwear amongst other outdoor equipment and I always advise not to bother measuring shoes or boots as unbelievably there is no international standard to say what size a UK10 (for instance) should be. Consequently, not only does the interior measurement vary massively from manufacturer to manufacturer but also the outside (sole measurement) often bears no correlation to the interior size. The same also applies to measuring the insole!

    How exactly are you measuring these shoes?

    I have a devil of a job getting footwear as I have wide feet in 9/9.5 . I usually end up wearing 11's. I tried on some Salomons on Fri and the UK 12 was VERY tight across the ball of the foot. Having just done a 30 miler this weekend in shoes that were just too small, I've decided that I don't give a flying fig what the grip is like as long as the bloody things fit!

    I reckon all manufacturers should use the Japanese method in mm with recognised steps in foot widths. However that will never happen :confused:

    Moan over (limps away to massage his feet!)
    Shewie likes this.
  10. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Well, @gixer I didn't have as many issues as you but with the laces cranked as tight as I could they were still really sloppy in the forefoot on my 2e width feet. I didn't find the cushioning too bad with the insole replaced with a 3mm inov8 one. Just a bit squishy compared to what I'm used to.
  11. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker


    Feel free to pick away mate :thumbsup:
    Be nice to find the cause of the problem, as it'll help me to not make the same mistake again with future footwear.

    Should be clear though.
    My main problem is the "tippyness" of the shoe, the internal fit is ok for me.
    As Craige said it is a wide shoe internally, i knew that before buying so am ok with it though.

    I measured the widest part of the sole in both areas (balls of feet and heel).
    Was curious because the shoes seemed soooooooooo tippy, i figured it'd be because the sole was narrow.

    After measuring other shoes i use that doesn't seem to be the "sole" :D cause of the problem though.

    As i say the best way i can think of describing it, is imagine you have a Reliant Robin on each foot, if you step on a rock with the inside heel section of the shoe it's akin to the Robin picking up it's outside wheel.

    Obviously that is a exaggeration but it's the best way i can think of describing the feeling :whistling:

    Been trail running for a few years now and usually end up on the same paths, so i know the terrain like the back of my hand.
    I've not felt so unstable in any other shoe at any other time.

    I don't think it's the width mate.

    My TrailRoc 255's are wide, but they're still supportive, i usually run with the shoe laces loose enough to slip my feet in and out without tightening/loosening.
    No problems with the 255's (support wise)

    I think the shoe lacks upper support, that might be why it feels so tippy

    Either way being a tight git i'll wear them out and about instead of for hiking, so i'll get my moneys worth out of them in the end.

    Disappointing though as the yanks rattle on about them like they're the second coming :wacky:
  12. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    It was just the way the felt on my feet more than anythong i really analysed tbh. You may be right about the support, as I said cranking the laces REALLY tight helped a little but it just felt as though I had too much room at the front. TOPO athletics may be worth a try for you? I really liked the runventure, they're actually footshaped instead of just being super wide at the front. Just a little minimal for high mileage days for me.
    gixer likes this.
  13. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I must say, what I'd heard about them had piqued my interest. I think you've just saved me some money.
  14. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    If anyone is an 8.5 or 9 I'll be happy to take them off you reeeeeeal cheap. Love mine :)
  15. widu13

    widu13 Ultralighter

    Flippin' heck guys. Some love 'em, some hate 'em. Help a chap out would you! ;)
    Tim Savage and WilliamC like this.
  16. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Tim Savage likes this.
  17. DuncanDo

    DuncanDo Summit Camper

    Interesting comments. My experience has been the opposite: I started out a bit unsure of them with all the space in the toe-box and initially finding it all a bit 'flappy'. However, on Saturday I did a 24 mile hike with 5000ft of ascent over mixed terrain, which included running approx 5 miles of that in lashing rain over rocky terrain with flooded paths. I now love them! I couldn't believe how well they handled all of that and how stable and sure my feet felt. They were fine picking over the slightly more technical/pointy rocky parts (my main concern given the shape of the footbox) and the grip was unbelievable over the rocks in the rain. When the rain came we decided to run for a bit - I started off slightly cautious with them but soon was legging it full-tilt despite the path being rocky and flooded because the grip was so good. I also found the cushioning to be superb with just the standard insoles (whereas I usually swap out for Sole red insoles). Also, I have found (for my feet) the heel cup is perfect and holds my foot much more securely than my previous Sportivas.

    I *think* I've made the decision to take them on the GR11/Pyrenees trip but still time for a last minute change to the Saucony Peregrines...
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    Tim Savage, Mole, edh and 1 other person like this.
  18. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

    Thanks for that. My issue is that I can't get a pair of Hoka's to fit me as they don't bring my size into Australia. I'm loathe to buy from overseas without having tried the on. The joys of having a firm grip on the planet.
    gixer likes this.
  19. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

    Love them for groomed trails
  20. Alexey

    Alexey Day Walker

    Can anyone please measure the length of the insole of Altra Lone Peak 3.0 US12 and US13? So I'll be able to compare it with my shoes insoles to find out the appropriate size.
  21. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

    A size 14US insole is 31cm at its longest (measured on the top), sorry can't do the smaller sizes
  22. Alexey

    Alexey Day Walker

    Thank you, Tim.
    Have you ever worn Asics shoes? If yes,
    Can you tell me please, is there a difference in size between your Asics shoes and Lone Peak?
    And what about the difference between the shape of their insoles? Asics US12 usually fits me well. My foot length is 29.3cm but Asics insole's length is 30.3-30.5cm. So when I take Asics US12 insole out and put my foot on it, I can see a stock along the length of about 0.5-0.8 cm (attached image). And smaller Asics shoes don't fit me.
    What about the Altra insoles? Do they look and have a shape like Asics? The outer front side of the Altra's boot looks very different - like its insole length and shape should be equal to the foot.
    Haven't worn Altra yet and confused about my Altra size. So many different reviews about sizing.
    Tim Savage likes this.
  23. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

  24. Tim Savage

    Tim Savage Summit Camper

    sorry haven't worn Asics shoes. What I like about the Altra shoes is that they have a square toe box up front and an average width at the rear, and for someone like me that is ideal. Looking at that image I think that it should suit you as you also appear to be wide at the front. As mentioned in a previous response my insole on my size 14 Altra's are 31cm. I would expect (but don't quote me on this) that the size 13's would be 1cm smaller. Altra's sizing guide is not a great help and the advice i had read on these was that they ran small but i wear size 14in every other brand and these fitted fine If you go to my website www. i have done a full review of these shoes since this first impressions post which will provide more information.
    i reviewed these shoes as 'hiking shoes' and not as 'trail runners' so peoples posts above may or may not be applicable. My wife now has a pair and loves them but I found them do be a bit light on on foot protection on rocky trails (read the full review). I am in the process of purchasing the Altra Olympus and will see if the additional cushioning works.
    Hope this helps
  25. Alexey

    Alexey Day Walker

    Tim, can you tell here your foot length?
    I just can't understand correlation between the foot length, the insole length and the CM numbers from size charts - they are all different.

Share This Page