|Rating:||8.6 / 10|
|Comfort||1.7 / 2|
|Durability||1.7 / 2|
|Support Stability||1.6 / 2|
|Weight||1.9 / 2|
|Value for Money||1.7 / 2|
Over the past six years the Altra Lone Peak trail runners have come and gone from my hiking rotation. In fact, my favourite model was previously the Altra Lone Peak 2.5 and was for me was the pinnacle of the range before tinkering in the name of ‘making improvements’ resulted in this model going astray, at least from my perspective. As a follower of the US long distance hiking circuit this wasn’t my view as I saw a number of other reviewers lament the direction Altra was taking with these shoes. My wife Gill has always been a big fan of these shoes so after skipping a couple of model updates I decided it was again time to give these shoes a try to see if this they were again something I should consider – I’m glad that I did.
Usually I do a review of a new pair of shoes after having used them for a minimum of 200 km in a variety of conditions. In the case of the Altra Lone Peak 6, I have been using them 3 months having covered 600 km in a variety of conditions.
Before I discuss the specifics, what’s so special about the Lone Peak model in general? For many years this shoe was the dominant model on the US long distance trails so Altra must have been doing something right. The Lone Peak is known for being a zero drop shoe which means that from your heal to your toes, the foot bed is level unlike most shoes that are higher at the heel. This zero drop feature makes you lean back ever so slightly which is noticeable the first time you wear them. Zero Drop won’t suit everyone; in fact many people struggle to wear these hikers because of this feature. The main issue is that Zero Drop shoes typically have minimal arch supported so if you spend all day in dress shoes with a decent drop, this can be a bit of a shock. The other main feature of the Lone Peak is the the wide squarish toe box which suits those of us with a broad forefoot. Unlike many wide fitting shoes, Lone Peak is narrow in the rear half of the shoe. So what’s changed with this the latest version of this shoe?
First let’s start with the negatives and for me there really are only three. First and foremost as someone who wears size 15 shoes, availability is a real issue so I grabbed a pair as soon as they were available on the Australian market. I also would have preferred the orange colour but I know I’m in the minority here so ended up with the Black/Grey option. The second negative is that they aren’t the best performers in wet muddy conditions not having the best traction. In itself this isn’t an issue but you do need to tread just that bit more carefully when waking on muddy slopes. The final negative is that with the mesh used on the shoe upper, they can be prone to getting dust and fine dirt into the shoe.
Now for the positives and there are lots! The fit and sizing of these shoes remain unchanged. Altra has been consistent with their sizing across their full range and I always know if I buy a size 15 they will fit me. These shoes also come in a size 16 but would need to be a special order. Weight wise these shoes have been trimmed, in fact my previous Altra Lone Peak 4.0 weighed 876 grams a pair but the Altra Lone Peak 6 weight is 730 grams which may not sound like a big difference but on a big hiking day it all adds up. This weight saving has mainly been achieved by using a lighter weight upper mesh but also by trimming small bits of weight across the shoe without sacrificing durability. Having said all this, the toe guard continues to provide good protection of those times you accidentally kick a rock.
In fact durability on the Altra Lone Peak 6 is excellent as far as trail runners go. Even after 600 km of use in a wide range of conditions this shoe still looks good and isn’t showing any signs of wear. One of the reasons I went away from the Lone Peak model was the lack of support on the sole and while they don’t provide as much cushioning as the Altra Olympus 4.0 or the Altra Timp 3.0, they are a vast improvement on previous iterations of this shoe model. As someone who currently weighed 105 kg at the time of this review, I’m a fan of the cushioning even on harder surfaces such as concrete, bitumen or compacted management roads.
Colour wise there is something for everyone with the main options available in Australia of Orange (bright orange) Grey/Black (won’t upset anyone) and a Red colour.
One minor change with these shoes is that the ‘gaiter trap’ system designed to be used with the lightweight lycra Altra Trail Gaiters has undergone a minor change. The hook at the small metal loop at the front of the shoe has been replaced with an additional small set of eyelets that do the same job without the use of a hook which means if you never use the gaiters you’ve saved some extra weight.
So how did I find them? In all honesty these shoes were a surprise as I had preconceived ideas about the outcome of my testing and I was very quickly proved wrong. With the exception of lack of traction in wet muddy conditions, Altra has made the necessary changes to once again make this shoe a real contender for hikers including those who do long distance hikes. They’re lightweight, comfortable, they breath well and even after walking through waist deep water, they dry quickly. They offer good support which has shown no sign of collapsing even after 600 km which for me is a weakness of many trail runners.
While I try to test around 5-6 hiking shoes a year, I always have a favourite that I will take with me on my longer hiking adventures. The Altra Lone Peak 6 has now become my go-to shoe and when it comes time to update my annual gear list, this shoe will make the cut; its that good.
I love these shoes and love the Zero Drop concept which may not be for everyone. If this is going to be your first foray into a Zero Drop shoe then they will be a good choice but just remember to ease yourself into them.
As at January 2022, these are now my footwear of choice for hikes both long and short!
You can purchase the Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s Trail Running Shoe at Wildfire Sports
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If you have used the Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s Trail Running Shoe or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below
AUD $249.90 RRP
Altra Lone Park 6 Men’s Trail Running Shoes in black/grey colour showing side view
Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s Trail Running Shoe front and rear view. The shoe on the left shows the velcro gaiter trap (at the lace) for use with the Altra Trail Gaiters
Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s shoe close up of inside shoe and shoe insert
Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s Trail Running Shoe close up of sole. This pattern and material used in construction of the sole provides a very durable and grippy shoe
Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s Shoe sole after 600 km
Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s Shoe close up of lacing. The small lacing section at the bottom of the image replaces the gaiter hook previously used and does just as good a job
Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s shoe drainage ports
Altra Lone Peak 6 Men’s Shoe close up of shoe tongue
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker