First of all, it’s the 10th anniversary of the Lone Peak. I actually had an original pair (still do in my closet). So amazing and congrats Altra!
Second, I have been running in the Lone Peak All-WTHR Low ($160). Having worn a lot of models of the Lone Peak, I have a good sense for how they compare. Let me start by saying that, under foot, these are the best shoes since the original Lone Peak. Perfect amount of cushion, nice stiff outsole (for now, I hate when shoes are too flexible out of the box), and fantastic fit around the mid-foot and forefoot. In all honesty, this is probably my favorite Lone Peak I’ve ever worn . . . . almost. I wish I had the normal version instead of the All Weather, but we will get to that.
I haven’t checked the specs of the shoes in comparison to previous models, but I get the sense that the stack height on these shoes is lower than, like, the Lone Peak 3. It just feels more sensitive to the ground, yet probably has better protection because it isn’t as soft. It feels more like the original version than anything since. And that’s AWESOME! One of the things I love about Altra is that in most of the their models they have a nice, squishy tongue. I don’t like it when tongues are too thin because the laces dig into the top of your foot and I find that to be uncomfortable and super distracting. The tread pattern seems to look and work like previous models. It’s fine, I wouldn’t say there is anything special about them, but I would say that about nearly every trail shoe (there are a few exceptions). I’ve worn these shoes twice in the rain, with puddles everywhere, and the grip on the rock we have here was good and they didn’t really pick up any mud, so that’s a big plus.
Overall, I loved nearly everything about them. But see below, I do have some concerns. While a couple of them are just personal opinions, one is an objective analysis of all-weather shoes vs not.
If I’m being honest I would have to say that I just don’t like waterproof low-top trail shoes. I think they are pointless. The second your socks get wet, your whole foot is wet. And once that happens, they stay wet. Unless you have a waterproof shoe with a built-in gaiter to keep your socks dry, there is nothing to stop this from happening. And the argument that the shoes are great for those rare rainstorms and small puddles doesn’t really work. Why buy a pair of shoes for something that happens 5% of the time, in most places. And if you live in a rainy place, then my first point applies. Additionally, waterproofing a shoe inherently changes the structure of the shoe. I’ve probably owned a dozen pair of waterproof shoes in different brands/models in my career (all given to me, I wouldn’t buy low-top waterproof shoes) and ALL of them fit differently then their non-waterproof versions. In the case of the Lone Peak All_WTHR Low, the upper is stiffer and the heel cup doesn’t lock as well. Now, it’s not bad, but it definitely isn’t as good as the normal model. Finally, waterproof shoes in warmer weather just means HOT. Even on 60 degree days my feet were roasting. While I love doing shorter training runs (6-10 miles) in these shoes, I don’t think I could do anything long in them if the weather was hot. Finally, and this has nothing to do with the performance of the shoe, but if you’re going to send out a pair of shoes for promotional review, don’t send a pair in black. Go with something colorful that pops in photos.
But I don’t want it to sound like I hate the shoes, I don’t. I love them, actually. They are amazing, my favorite Altra’s in the last 8 years. I just wish I had the normal version instead of the all-weather. What are your thoughts on all weather / waterproof shoes?
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An interesting review of trail sneakers. It was interesting to read about them, as I’m just going to change my sneakers for the trail
Hey Craig, thanks for your article, thoughts and impressions. I’m a hiker, not runner and my latest are lone peak 4.0 rsm. I live in Ukraine and hike mostly in Carpathians, here even during the summer temperature in the mountains mostly stay between 50 and 60 and I never experience “roasting” ), yes, feet sweat, but if I walk for 20+ miles a day, they do in the sandals as well. But what I do appreciate it is that when there is morning dew (almost daily occurrence), drizzle or occasional mild rain, my feet stay dry, opposite to what I experienced when I used Salewa train lite K, which soaked thru immediately upon any contact with water droplets, being a membrane-less shoe. I just came back from 4 days hike, May temperatures 32-40, constant humidity and daily rains and I felt nothing but appreciation for my all weather Altras 🙂