Altra Lone Peak 2.5 Review
With my sights set on completing my first Ultra Distance trail this year, it was time for me to find a shoe that could match the longer treks. The local trail scene has been buzzing about Altra and the Lone Peak 2.5 was the shoe that I flexed my wallet for.
Altra has been around in SA for a few years, gracing the shelves of speciality running stores and bringing a fresh philosophy of running shoe design that has won over lots of local fans.
This fervent advocating by its many supporters is what drew my interest.
I had tried the Lone Peak 2.0 a few months back and it didn’t shoot the lights out for me. The uppers were chunky and at the time it just wasn’t the right shoe for me. The coming of the Lone Peak 2.5 brought some great reviews from runners overseas with praises being sung about changes to the uppers as well as the overall fit – it definitely made the decision to grab these so much easier
Designed with the aim of anatomically matching the human foot, it was the first impressions that made me want the shoe badly.
The heel fit really well, the mesh uppers flexed with my foot and the toe box allowed so much wiggle room that I could immediately imagine running long and far in complete comfort. A few days later I did exactly that and headed out for a long run.
The zero drop platform promotes a forefoot strike and I was impressed that the shoe didn’t feel too heavy. As a longer distance shoe, the beefed up midsole kept me comfortable even after an 8-hour trail fest. Despite the thick midsole, you still get some trail feedback. However, you won’t feel very fast as the responsiveness isn’t great – something common with zero-drop shoes
Here are my thoughts about the Altra Lone Peak 2.5:
- Comfortable fit and ride over the long distances with a natural feel from the very first run – it does exactly what the taglines said it would
- The upper mesh is flexible and dries quickly which is perfect for both summer and winter
- A small tear developed on the upper (fynbos attack?) during one of my runs and the local agents replaced it with a brand new pair. Local dealers who stand by their product get a thumbs up from me! I’ll definitely be back for another pair of Altras now 🙂
- I am impressed by the TrailClaw outsole and have tested it on all types of terrain with great results even when wet. You feel reassured by the grip, hence why every now and then you will see photos like this:
What needs work
- Even though I had my shoes replaced, I am concerned whether the uppers are durable enough to withstand many encounters with fynbos. The uppers are also very soft, so there isn’t much protection offered against sharp rocks
- Maybe it’s my size 12’s, but I think it needs some help in the looks department to prevent it from looking like a clown shoe 🙂
- The trail rudder at the back needs to come off. You will have to change your running technique if you don’t want to get clipped up on rocks, especially on your way down steps. A few people have opted to just cut it off – sounds like a plan
- I’ve had to stop to re-tighten the shoe a few times during long runs. A change to the lacing system or how the uppers lock your foot down is needed – apparently this is something which is in store for the newer models from Altra expected later this year
- It’s not very responsive and feels slow. However, it is a long distance shoe so I can live with that
This is one comfortable shoe, designed for those long days out on the trails. I am a fan of the Lone Peak 2.5 and am willing to overlook its short comings purely because of how happy my feet were after every single run. I will recommend it to those looking for a longer distance shoe that works in all conditions.
My concern still remains with how well those uppers will cope with the really rough stuff – so keep the bushwhacking to a minimum
There are some serious changes coming to the Lone Peak in its next iteration (see this post) which makes for an exciting 2016, especially if a really good shoe is set to become even better.
Have you tried the Altra Lone Peak 2.5? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.
You can find the Altra Lone Peak 2.5. at Drifters