Altra Superior Review

All of us have our standard post-long-run practices. Beer. Calorie-rich food. Maybe a shower. And, of course, that wonderful moment where you take your feet out of the shoes, peel off the sweaty socks, and spread your toes across the floor… stretching those tired and bruised little buddies. The feeling is so good that a large number of runners have started clamoring for more space in the toe box, so that their toes can enjoy a little more freedom during the run.

Altra has been leading the market with shoes that not only provide more-than-ample toe room in the toe box, but also a diverse offering of “zero drop” shoes. Their latest offering, the Superior, offers a truly lightweight (7.9 ounce), zero-drop shoe for those of us who live on the trails. The Superior is the second trail shoe from the growing company and takes a full two ounces off their previous trail shoe, the Lone Peak.

Altra Superior

The Altra Superior.

Upper
There are two notable points on the Superior upper. First, there are the string/cords running from the reinforcements to the lacing-points. It isn’t the first time that a company has employed some kind of connection between the two pieces to help create a secure fit. What is unique to the Superior, is the weight of the cords (relatively light) and their connection with the sides of the upper (they aren’t connected). The design is a bit more exposed than I tend to like on a shoe. Since it’s winter, I didn’t have the opportunity to snag a stick through the cord. Through snow, ice, and snowshoes, the cords proved to be durable and did a fine job of cinching down around the midfoot.

The second is the large toe box. Comparing insoles between the Superiors and a few other brands (Brooks, New Balance, Scott, and Vasque), the toe-box on the Superior is dramatically different. Beginning near the ball of the foot, it is broader than comparable shoes by up to 3/4″. The additional width is towards the medial side of the foot, providing more room for the big toe. Of course, the additional room was noticeable, but it was also effective. During the first week of running in them, I took the Superiors on my long and short runs, trails and mixed course. My toes have never felt better after a run.

The remainder of the upper is pretty standard fair. The mesh is very open. Reinforcements are durable. And, the toe bumper is on the small side of things.

Altra Superior - medial upper

The Altra Superior’s medial upper.

Midsole
The Superiors have a multi-layered approach to the midsole. They include an insole, a removable rock plate, and then an EVA and “Abound”-based sole. With all three pieces, they have an approximately 14 millimeters stack height. With the rock plate removed, the stack height is a slim 12 mm. And, you can remove everything and go down closer to 10 mm. Personally, I enjoyed leaving the rock plate at home. I found the insole and EVA layer (and the solid outsole) provided enough protection and ground feel for me. Regardless of where you land on it, being able to dial in your ride is a great feature. The three-piece system offers a lot of options without being over-designed.

The EVA/Abound midsole is not the softest material out there. If you are looking for spongy cushioning, you won’t find it here. However, Altra prides itself in producing shoes that have longevity and a durable midsole is certainly a large part of that goal. The midsoles on my Superiors show almost no compression after three weeks of regular training. And, although they don’t compress much, the materials have above-average flexiblity (especially with the rock plate removed).

Altra Superior - removable rockplate

Altra Superior and its removable rockplate (and insole).

Outsole
Altra picked some durable rubber for the Superior’s soles. While you don’t usually see a lot of wear on soles during the winter, the Superiors have some of the densest rubber of all the shoes in my closet. The tread is composed of ramps laid in alternating directions. This design provided average traction on ice, snow, and frozen dirt. While the design does pick up a lot of small rocks in the tread, it does shed snow very well and, I suspect, would ditch mud just as easily.

The Superior still has the mysterious “Trail Rudder” design on the heel. I agree whole-heartily with Tom Caulghlan’s comments from his review of the Lone Peak: I didn’t notice a difference. I am very curious to hear your opinions of if you have found this design to be useful. I suspect my rudders will meet the utility knife here soon.

Altra Superior - outsole

The Altra Superior’s outsole.

Overall

The Altra Superior is a relatively simple and effective zero-drop trail shoe. While still being a durably-built model (aside from the questionable cords on the upper), it provides a lighter and less-cushioned alternative to its older brother, the Lone Peak. Those of you who are looking for ample toe room and a bit more protection than barefoot shoes should give the Superior serious consideration. They will stay in my shoe rotation for those days when I can avoid/afford wet toes, want to get personal with the trail, and am running under 15 miles.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Have you run in the Altra Superiors? If so, what do you think?
  • If you’ve tried both the Lone Peak and the Superior, what say you about their similarities and differences?
  • The concept of cushioning and zero drop is still unique in trail running shoes. Have you or would you try this kind of ride?
Adam Barnhart

discovered from an early age that he loved running , but didn’t like starting guns. As a result, he is frequently found wandering the area trails around Anchorage, AK, but only at races after considerable peer-pressure is applied. When not trail running, Adam keeps pace with his wife and kids, works as a pastor and, with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group.

There are 60 comments

  1. Cody C

    I have yet to try the superiors but I run all my miles in Altras. I have used the Instinct, Provision, and Lone Peak shoes for runs up to 50k and love the feel of zero drop + protection.

  2. OldGoat

    After many happy miles in the Altra Lone Peak, my experience with the Superior is more of a "love-hate" relationship. The love; fantastically comfortable, lightweight shoe. The wide toe box, foot-shape design, and zero-drop give a refreshing, natural feeling to running. The zero-drop requires a bit of biomechanical stride adjustment, so if you have been in a more traditional shoe, give yourself time to adapt. Now the hate; the Superior's big advantage over the Lone Peak is lighter weight, 7.9 oz vs 9.9 oz. But this weight reduction seems to come with significantly less durability and quality of construction. After less than 200 miles in the first pair of Superiors, the sidewall mesh separated from the soles at the flex points. Altra did replace the shoes at no cost. Time and miles will tell on the second pair. I see my review on the Altra web site was removed, but check out some of the other reviews on the web site and you get the idea. As to the funky sidewall strings, they seem mostly cosmetic and detract from the ruggedness you would expect from a trail shoe.

    1. David

      It is very interesting to hear they removed your review from the website. I always wondered about that and didn't want to believe they would take those measures – but it was suspect only seeing glowing reviews on the website. I am a fan of Altra, but I believe the company should have the integrity to leave all reviews as they came. Not cool.

      1. otter

        I too, had my review removed from the website, though it was not particularly scathing,just objective. The sidewall strings on my shoes detached at less than 100 miles and the stitching came loose at the heels as well. They were replaced free of charge. I did find them comfortable and do enjoy the wide toebox from Altra (also own the Instincts and Lone Peaks) but found the traction to be lacking on trails covered with either leaves or gravel. The Lone Peak soles provide me with much more secure footing.

    2. @geek_fit

      I just hit 71 miles on my Superiors and had them crumble. Contacted Altra and they basically told me that it's a known issue and that I should buy a new pair that will be released in January. They also gave me a 40% off coupon

  3. Norma

    I've been running in Superiors for several months and comfortably finished a rainy, muddy 50k in them back in December. I've found them to be stable on wet, muddy surfaces, and they drain well. I find them cushy enough to run on roads as well and I prefer them on roads when it rains or snows. Overall I think they are comfortable and I would say I am 90% pleased with them.

    Problems:

    1) One of the cords on the outside of the right shoe broke off during my last trail run. Actually, the cord didn't break off; the leather strip up by the laces that was holding the cord in place actually came unstitched. So the cord is just hanging there now. I haven't noticed a difference in the way the shoe feels at all.

    2) My right shoe has a noticeable hump in the stitching under the right toe. I had to put extra padding there so that I couldn't feel it while running. (This is the third pair of Altras I've bought that have had problems with the right shoe. One pair I had to exchange.)

    Note:

    I've found the fit to be considerably different from the Intuition/Intuition 1.5. I asked before I bought the Superiors if the sizes were the same and I was assured they were. However, the Superior is much wider than the Intuition–so much so that when I lace them up the eyelets are touching in the middle. The length is about a centimeter longer as well. Obviously this hasn't prevented me from running long distances in the shoe, but it might bother some people.

    1. Adam Barnhart

      Norma,

      Thanks for your comments! Sad to hear (but not entirely surprised) that one of the cords is no longer functional. No change in how the shoe fits, though? That's positive news. It may be worth chopping all the cords off to see if the cords are simply an aesthetic feature.

      1. Norma

        I keep meaning to cut it off. The cord isn't stretchy at all, so I'm not sure their function is anything more than cosmetic. It is somewhat disheartening that the cord is perfectly fine, but the stitching failed. O_o

        Honestly, I had a hard time deciding between the Superior and the Lone Peak. While I do like the Superior overall, I will probably choose Lone Peak when they die. (which hopefully doesn't happen too soon)

  4. dogrunner

    I like my Superior's so far. Decent weight, good underfoot protection (I do not use the rockplate), ok traction, much much better flexibility than the Lone Peak or Instinct (both strap on bricks IMO) just-right cushioning (yes I like a little cushioning but not squishy), and #1: best toe box available for those with wide feet. LOVE the shape. Nearly all other running shoes are too tapered toward the toes.

    p.s. I'm with you on the rudder – that's gotta go.

  5. Anonymous

    Less than 200 miles into my Superiors and the sidewall stitching of the inside forefoot of both shoes began to tear away from the sole. Their durability is quite questionable. Overall, the shoes are quite buttery and I enjoyed the roominess the toebox offers, but the fact that they couldnt hold up to 3 weeks worth of semi-technical trail running is a sad, really. I think the extra roominess in the toe box allows the forefoot to "slide" around a bit more, putting pressure on the weak sidewall stitching and compromising its durability.

  6. Thomas

    I am a big fan of the last in this shoe. It has been the first trail shoe that I didn't feel like my arch was hanging over the side of the shoe. Along with removing the tail flap, I had to change laces because the were way too long.

    I've been a little skittish about taking them beyond 13, so I'd be interested to hear from folks that have run long (50m?) in them.

    1. Darthrunner

      I blew out my first pair in less than 200 miles. I ran HURT 100 in my next pair with absolutely no shoe or sock (Drymax) changes. My feet felt fantastic (relatively) and the shoes didn't seem too beat up (relatively). Will they hold up for another rugged 100? Maybe. They ride great but it would be prudent to have a backup.

  7. Kirk

    Isn't the "rock plate" actually a stability wedge? If you look at the wedge, it's higher on the medial (inside), which they claim offers stability.

          1. Adam Barnhart

            If you keep in mind what it is and how it is made, it works pretty well. It's not a hard-plastic plate. It's not anywhere near the outsole. But, as a semi-flexible plate near the foot, it helps spread-out the pressure of a sharp rock fairly well.

            Again, have to keep the expectations reasonably dialed to its construction.

  8. jess

    After two 20 mile runs the shoes mesh material began to tear. I am 5 foot 10, 152 pounds so i am not a large runner. The tread is pretty much useless in mud. The build quality is very sloppy. There was glue splattered all over the logo on the outside of the shoe.

    I do love the wide toe box,rock plate and overall feel of the shoes but I question how a shoe could have made it to production with such a poor choice of materials? I am not alone in having these shoes tear/break down in a VERY short period of time. So i know it was not just a fluke regarding the pair that I purchased.

    Hoping the next version will be a bit more tested with regards to durability.

  9. Jorge

    I'd like to hear other's people opinions on long runs too, after seeing the incoming reviews I don't feel confident switching to the superiors from the lone peaks. Its disappointing to see that the shoes seem to be made for shorter runs (less than 15 miles?).

  10. Mike

    I find the trail rudder holds debris and flips it on the back of my calves and eventually down into my shoes. I noticed this when hiking in So. Utah through the sandy desert. Not a fan of gaiters because my feet get hot and sweat to much. Was interested in trying these new Altras but might wait because of the durability problems. Love the lone peaks but the tread (little triangles) wear away after 200 miles and then they become my road shoe

  11. John Knotts

    I'm only 60-70 miles into my pair, but so far they've been great. Loads of room for my toes, but they hold my foot securely enough that I'm not jamming my toes on the downhills. So much room I wonder if I'd get blisters on the bottom of my feet on something really long, but I've done a long run of 16 miles in them so far with no problems. I like them so much I wear them all day long in addition to my runs — so comfy. I'll post again when I have a few more miles in them.

  12. Jenn @ Run It My Way

    These shoes are so cute, I want a pair of the womens version so badly!! I appreciate the detailed and honest review :)

    I'm a huuuge Altra fan- I am in love with the Provisioness for distance running and have a pair of Instincts on the way that I can't wait to try!!

  13. Andrew

    I ran Lookout Mtn 50 M in these the day after I got them. Sounds stupid I know but I just knew they were perfect for me the minute I tried them on and didn't want to ware anything else. They were great and are my favorite shoe to date. No durability issues. I do feel the rudder gives me a little more confidence on really steep descents with loose footing but it could just be in my head.

  14. Michael Hodges

    I'm a huge fan of the Superiors. My favorite shoe to date, though I'm very excited about the updated version of the Lone Peaks coming out soon. Altra is a truly revolutionary shoe company and it definitely shoes with this 2nd generation of their shoes. One thing that doesn't get mentioned much about the zero drop aspect is that since switching to the Lone Peaks last February I haven't rolled an ankle once in the thousand + miles of running… Not as important for road runners, but this is huge for trail runners.

    The superiors are a stripped down version of the lone peaks. And they drain well enough, I don't even mind getting my feet wet in them. They are dry enough only minutes later.

    Anyway… I'm a huge fan and really don't like wearing other brands now.. my feet go numb and my heels hurt. I'll stick with the Altra's!

  15. PepeLp

    I picked up a pair when they first came out. I had high hopes, but ultimately they didn't work well for me. Good: tons of toe room, cushioned, but give good ground feel. Bad: huge through the mid-foot, poor traction. I'm really hoping they streamline the new Lone Peak. I like the originals, but they're clunky.

  16. Dan Sears

    Thanks for the review Meghan! I'm a fan of the Altra concept and the Superiors in particular. I'm 5'7", 145lbs and a neutral runner. I run ultras up here in the lovely Pacific NW. Prior to the Superiors, was running in the NB MT101 and MT110 and the Brooks Pure Grits. I still mix it up but often choose the Superiors unless it's super muddy (Hagg Lake style) or super technical (The Enchantments) where I need more grip or cushioning. My experience:

    Pros:

    – Super roomy toebox is not only more comfortable then a traditional toe box shape but enables the foot to splay out and that translates into feeling like a more anatomically natural foot placement and less stress on the plantar fascia (just my opinion). No hammered toes or blisters yet.

    – Light weight and breathable upper

    – Drains water well

    – Tread pattern seems to be a nice balance between minimal and aggressive "enough". It has worked really well in nearly all normal trail conditions (except deep mud…and haven't tried snow yet but then I'd toss on the YakTrax anyway)

    – Comfortable for short and middle distances (have run up to 50K in them)

    – They're so comfortable that I forget that I'm wearing a zero drop shoe

    – No rolled ankles even in the most gnarly, rooted, technical terrain I've encountered

    Cons:

    – Light weight and flexible sole (see Pros above) may be not enough "shoe" for me to comfortably run beyond 50K where I often find I need just a little more support or cushioning

    – The string things…purpose? (After snagging on a branch I cut them off with no noticeable change in shoe feel or performance)

    – I was skeptical of the "rudder" too, until I hit some crazy sticky clay mud in the Santa Cruz Mts and that goofy rudder appendage prevented my shoe from repeatedly sucking off while it helped to eject the gloppy mud so my feet didn't feel like 5lb snowshoes. It worked as advertised. I plan to keep them. But if you don't encounter shoe-sucking mud very often then what's the purpose? Doesn't seem to provide any benefit as a "rudder" but then again it's so unusual that I haven't noticed if my biomechanics actually need me to have a shoe "rudder" or not. Jury is out on that one. (glad to see they are trying new things though)

    As to build quality, mine have performed very well with no problems yet. Have about 200 miles on them so far. Quite happy so far and plan to get another pair from Altra.

  17. Jason

    I've run a 50 miler and a 50k in these along with lots of shorter runs without any issues. Tried the rock plate once, don't need it as the out sole is thick enough to protect from rocks.

  18. marco denson

    Thanks for the review and all the comments. You all helped me make a decision about not purchasing the Altra. They are not cheap and with all the durability issues there's no way I'm buying a shoe that will not last 400 to 500 miles.

    Marco

    1. Mike B.

      I think that people that are unhappy with their shoes are much more likely to post on a review like this one. Just to give you an opposing view I have put 192.5 miles on my Superiors and they look like new. I live and run in Golden, CO so the trails I run on are very rocky. I have had no issues with durability.

  19. Emil

    Nice review! Since so many that have posted own both the Lone Peaks and the Instinct could someone please compare fit/sizing for me. I have the first gen Instinct, which I got on liquidation. I have always been interested in the Altras but did not take the leap because I typically wear a size 7 and the smallest they run are 8. I recently took a chance on the Instinct in a size 8 at half price and they are very close to being too big but are definitely wearable and I love them for work and infrequent road runs. Can someone tell if an 8 in the Lone Peaks or the Superiors will be too big.? Thanks

    1. David

      Hi Emil,

      I haven't tried the Superior yet, but if you are having trouble with the sizing being too big you could try the ladies version. The color on the ladies Superior doesn't look to feminine, and that would solve your size problem.

      Just a thought!

      1. Norma

        I mentioned sizing in my review. The female version of Intuition and Intuition 1.5 fit the same. The Superior is about a size larger. I bought my superiors from Natural Running Store and if I had thought of it, I would have had Patton take a picture of the Superior sizing under the tongue and send it to me before I bought them. The Altra people obviously gave me wrong information about the sizes being the same.

  20. Jason C

    Ran a pair of Superiors for 7 miles of rugged Texas Hill Country trails a few weeks ago. been looking for something with a bit more underfoot protection and durability than the 1010 which has been my go to shoe since August. By comparison the Superior felt like putting training wheels back on the bike. The increased midfoot stability felt awkward and controlling after being spoiled by the proprioceptive freedom of the 1010. Returned them the someday. Can't wait for 1010v2!!!

  21. John Knotts

    Crap. A day later and now I have the same tear in the upper that @OldGoat and @Stefan mentioned above. Really like these shoes otherwise… maybe the replacement pair will last longer and/or I'll try the Lone Peaks.

    Had the same problem with the NB MT1010's, great shoes, but they fall apart. Makes me think shoe companies have gone overboard with the lightweight thing.

  22. Jacques

    Addidas used virtually the same rudder design on their earlier trial shoes. It's not a new idea, but I could never figure out it's purpose. It might offer some guidance on loose surfaces, but then we aren't suppose to be heel striking in zero drop shoes are we? This has always been a mystery to me, I hope someone knows the answer.

  23. Mark Norfleet

    I love my Superiors. I bought them, tried them out on a hilly trail near home then took them to a flat snowy 100 miler where they served me well. No blisters or hot spots and no durability issues. I'm guessing I have close to 200 miles on them at this point, half of which was on hilly semi technical trails, often on snow. The only time I dislike the tail rudder is when I'm driving…

  24. Jonnifer

    Used the Superior for the first 62K of H1, a 100 mile trail race with 10,000 meter elevation gain (http://frontrunnermagph.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/3093/). Fit is satisfactory/feels good and flexible but the protection underfoot is wanting. So I had to change to Inov8 Roclite 245 to finish the race. Note to myself: must get 1/2 to 1 size larger. So Superior is good for short trail races but even then traction is something that needs some improvement. One should cut the "rudder" as it tends to pick up dust/grime which all ends up on the calves. Cheers.

  25. Kev

    i do most of my miles on the road and bought these as a winter boot/shoe to deal with snow, slush, rain, ice etc. they work alright for that, but i'm not sure i'd like them off-road. i can't seem to get them laced just right to keep my feet from sliding around inside the shoe. that's all right though, i have boots for that!

  26. Trent

    I love mine, I've put alot of miles on them and will wear them in my next race. It has been quite a step down from the Brooks Cascadia 7 and in my opinion a small step up from my MT110. I used to love my Books for longer runs and was excited to put on my MT110's when it was time to go fast. But honestly I think Altras have wrecked me…I mean that in a good way! They feel so good and natural that when I put on any other shoes all I want to do is scream and rip them off. The only thing I would change is the sole pattern. Its quite terrible in sloppy mud, snowy, or sandy conditions. But for cruising around out here in Colorado where its usually dry as a bone they work great. The problem is getting me to take them off. Absolutely Great and Durable Product. I tell someone at least once a week to try them.

  27. Jose

    I'm really skeptical to purchase another pair of Altras. I had the instincts and the lone peaks. I put the instincts through about 40 Miles and my feet would hurt after every run. I then traded them in for the Lone Peaks for the trails and, I don't know if I was fitted wrong(I wear 10.5 regular shoes, fitted for 12.5's) and after about 30 miles, it felt like the shoe was trying to run me. Constant forefoot pain, shoes felt clumsy and way TOO big. I can't find another shoe that has a wide toe box like the Altra's and I would love to give these superior's a try, but……I just don't know. :(

    1. Norma

      I think proper fit is a problem across the board. It's quite difficult to find an actual retailer that stocks the entire line–I've never been in one. I even went to the NYC marathon expo hoping to try on a few different pairs and the Altra guys only had a couple of models. So if you want to try a pair you have to depend on word of mouth and what information you can get from Altra and online retailers.

      I was able to buy my Intuitions in an actual store after trying them on and subsequently put 800+ miles on them. That sold me on the brand, and despite a defective pair of 1.5s that I had to return, I've been happy with the 1.5s. My current pair are going on 300 miles and they're perfectly fine. However! As I said in my review higher up, even though I was told the Superior fit the same as the Intuitions, they totally don't and they are even marked with a different European size.

      I think getting a good fit with these shoes isn't as straightforward as with other brands.

  28. Jason

    If your forefoot is sliding around you're probably wearing a size too large. The toes should have lots of room to spead but the ball of the foot should be secure.

  29. Jason

    You should never have to go up two sizes in a shoe to fit them. Any more than a half size in either direction is just not right, and any shoe salesperson telling you otherwise is entirely incompetent. You should have about 1 cm of room between your longest toe and the front of the shoes. I haven't worn the lone peaks myself but most reviews indicate they fit true to measured size for an average foot, while the instincts tend to be a half size small. I'd go back to where you were fitted and demand an exchange and a refitting.

  30. Alan

    I've put about 400 miles on my superiors and they've held up well. One of the side strings broke within the first 100 miles or less it made no difference. I had to size up 1 1/2 sizes from my normal size 9. I love the wide toe box and stability. First I took out the rock plate to reduce weight but ended up putting it back in and I'd still like a bit more protection. I'd like to see the shoe lightened up a bit and I find the sole to be slippery on wet rocks but overall it's one of the best shoes on the market of the dozen or so I'm currently using. The shoes have held together for about 400 miles and are probably in need of replacement now. I found them to be a good value and to treat my body well.

  31. chris

    I have a over 200 miles on my superiors and haven't had a single problem with them. I have a wide foot and Altras are one of the few shoe companies out there that don't "sausage" my feet with their shoes. I haven't had any of the quality problems stated in the other reviews. They dry fast after running through water crossings (even in the winter months, which is a plus). The rudder on the Instincts is confusing to me. The only problem I've had with the rudder is that it catches on my floor mat while I'm driving.

    I run exclusively in Altras and all my different shoe models have held up well through road and trail running.

  32. Matt

    I love my Superiors – rotating my second and third pair now (depending on terrain). I've had issues with the interior sidewall of the toebox stretching and then ripping – but then I had the same issue with the NB 101's, back when I was going through those pretty regularly. For as much as I love the fit, the tearing is a minimal issue; I use newer shoes on the really rugged trails and older shoes on the gentler trails and, as the damage hasn't start to show until about 300 miles, it tends to work out.

    I've got fat feet, especially in the forefoot, and so I love the roomy toe box. I'm a big fan of the removable insole and rock-plate as well, as this allows me to use the same shoe (with changes in lacing and socks, etc) on a variety of terrains. For winter mountain runs, I can take out the rock plate and insole and have plenty of room for neoprene; for hard, rocky trails and longer trail runs I can put the insole and rock plate back in, and I'm good to go.

    I've run several long runs – 50k to 45 or 50 miles – in them, and my feet have held up well, as well as they've held up in any shoe I've owned. I still miss the 101s (yeah, I know they had their detractors, but I loved them), but these are probably my second favorite trail shoe of the last 5-10 years.

    I like what Altras doing, and I liked the Lone Peak when I tried it. That shoe, though, felt a) a bit too hefty for my taste, and b) the ankle felt a bit wide. The Superior fixed both those problems for me.

    Like others, though, I haven't really seen any effective justification for the rudder.

    1. Jason

      I like the shoes but am having the same issue with the interior sidewall ripping out. These are my favorite shoes for moderate terrain that isn't too muddy. Just hope Altra addresses some of their quality/durability issues as their brand continues to grow.

  33. Joshua

    Typically you do not want to try out any new shoes for a race. I tried on these shoes the weekend of June 28-29th while waiting for the Black Hills 50 Mile race in Sturgis, SD and decided to give them a try. First of all, they run small, so even though I typically run in an 11-11.5, I needed a 12 for this model. The fit was the exact same as the 11.5 through the heel and midsole (I felt equally supported), but to have the right amount of room in the toe box you will need to go higher. I was originally planning on only wearing these shoes for the first part of the race and then transitioning to my Lone Peaks to finish out the race. The shoes handled the technical mountain trails really well, drained fast (about 10 minutes, after crossing two above-ankle deep streams) and provided everything I was looking for in a trail shoe (cushioning, rock protection, grip, and support). After 51 miles of running in one go, these shoes have replaced my Lone Peaks as my primary go-to trail/mountain shoes. However, I believe that the Lone Peaks will handle the mud and any sort of "sticky" trails a little better. Overall, I am lucky to have found these at the time as they made a big impact on my performance in the race.

  34. Michael Horton

    I ordered a pair of Lone Peak 1.5's from Amazon a couple of months ago. I wore them one time. About 1/4 mile into a 5-mile hike on a sandy trail the very first time that I wore them, I got some sand in my shoe and I wondered why I was failing at dumping it out. Come to find out, the stitching had come lose from the inner sides of the shoe, so when I was trying to dump out the sand, it was simply emptying into the interior lining. Sent them back. A while later, I read several reviews of the Lone Peaks and Superiors online, and many people were complaining about the same thing. Finally, one reviewer said that they'd the same problem and had glued the inner liner in place–problem solved. Wow, wish I'd thought of that. So, I

    ordered a pair rush order from Zappos for an upcoming event. When I opened the box received from Zappos, I immediately checked the lining and while doing so, I found that the black material attaching the tongue to the body of the left shoe was already completely unstitched on one of the left shoe–the black thread was still there, but unattached. I had just taken the shoe from the box and it was already defective. I can't glue that. I doubt that order Altra shoes again.

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