It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Altra running shoes. The company’s foot-shaped design and zero-drop approach have been a perfect for for my running style and and feet. Over the past few years I’ve tested multiple shoes from Altra and have always come away very impressed and happy with the footwear. So much so that it is actually very difficult for me to switch to another brand when testing shoes these days, which was why I was eager to give the company’s new Lone Peak 4.0 model a try.
All of that said, I do recognize that shoe reviews can be very subjective in nature, particularly when it comes to running shoes. What works great for me, may not work as well for you. And what feels great on your feet may be uncomfortable and irritating on mine. So, keep that in mind when reading any footwear reviews, bot on this blog and elsewhere.
With all of that out of the way, I have to say that the prospect of a new edition to the Lone Peak line-up was an exciting one. This shoe isn’t just a popular with runners but is a big hit with thru-hikers too. In fact, the Lone Peak is reportedly amongst the most popular shoes on the Appalachian Trail, which means it is a nice blend of weight, durability, cushioning, and comfort. It also offers a high level of versatility, which is always appreciated too.
I’m happy to say that the Lone Peak 4.0 lives up to the legacy of the former models, with some very nice updates that improve on them as well. For starters, this version of the Lone Peak seems more durable than ever before, with an upper that shrugs off abuse with ease. After putting more than 150 miles on these shoes, they still look –– and perform –– like new. The shoe also comes equipped with a rugged toe cap that keeps your little piggies safe from accidental bashes against rocks, roots, and other obstacles. This is something I was definitely happy to see, as I have a propensity for doing just that from time to time.
The Lone Peak’s aggressive outsole got an upgrade too, adding an even grippier base that is noticeably more efficient and effective on both climbs and descents. That sole provides a nice boost to the runner’s confidence as well, allowing them scramble through mud, sand, and even snow and ice without missing a beat. If you’re a trail runner (or thru-hiker for that matter), you’re going to appreciate the extra grip that the 4.0 brings to the table.
There is a price to be paid for the new outsole however and it may not be one that everyone likes. The Lone Peak 4.0 feels a bit less cushioned that previous models, providing a stiffer ride out on the trail. Personally, I don’t mind the trade-off, as it helps me to feel a little more connected to the ground, which is something I appreciate when trying to maintain balance and speed on a variety of different types of surfaces. On longer runs, that stiff ride could cause additional strain and fatigue for some runners if they aren’t prepared for them.
While previous versions of the Lone Peak felt great on my feet, it seems Altra has updated the fit on the latest model too. They still have the foot-shaped design that Altra has always championed, but in this case they feel a bit more snug and form-fitting on my feet. That’s a good thing, as the shoes don’t move around quite so much and hold the heel in place better. The loose fit of earlier models weren’t an issue for me, but the 4.0 version definitely feel better all around. That’s good news for runners and hikers alike.
Priced at $120, the Lone Peak 4.0 is a lot of shoe for the money. In terms of fit, function, and durability, this is one of the best all around trail runners I’ve tested, making the price quite a bargain from my point of view. I’m a larger, heavier runner who tends to be tough on shoes, but these models held out well against many miles of pounding. They were also responsive, comfortable, and agile on all kinds of terrain. If that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for in a trail runner, than these are just the shoes for you.
Buy them here.
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