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?