Altra Lone Peak 5 Review

The Altra Lone Peak 5 ($130) is the next iteration in the Lone Peak lineage, a go-to, iconic, trail running, and ultrarunning shoe that’s now become a favorite in the thru-hiking world as well. Many choose this shoe for good reason; the Lone Peak has always had a very comfortable upper, dependable cushioning and rock plate, and what some of us would describe as a glorious toebox. At the start line of any trail race, there is always a large portion of runners wearing the latest model, which thankfully for them, hasn’t changed a lot since the Lone Peak’s inception.

I will say that the last few models have felt mostly the same, which is usually a good thing. While I loved the 4.0 and 4.5, I started to gravitate toward other shoes in my stable as the Lone Peak’s cushioning started to flatten out after about 50 to 100 miles in different models, creating an almost concave feeling. I didn’t mind putting them out to pasture too much as the Lone Peaks always are my hanging-out, camping, yard-work shoe of choice.

It seems that Altra finally granted my request from my October 2018 Lone Peak 4 review. In this review, I begged the question as to why Altra chose to continue using their A-Bound midsole foam rather than switching over to the more resilient AltraEGO midsole foam found in models like the Escalante. Personally, I think putting the AltraEGO midsole into the Lone Peak 5 has created the best Lone Peak model yet.

We’ve named the Altra Lone Peak 5 one of the best trail running shoes!

Altra Lone Peak 5

The Altra Lone Peak 5. All photos: iRunFar

Altra Lone Peak 5 Upper

The Altra Lone Peak 5 upper has a dialed-in fit that will accommodate folks who love wide toeboxes and a locked-in heel and midfoot that keep the foot in place on steep terrain. The Lone Peak 4 had drainage issues and turned into a sponge in wet conditions, whereas I felt the Lone Peak 4.5’s upper almost felt tough and brittle after it got saturated with sweat and dust. The Lone Peak 5 is a great balance of effective drainage due to laser-cut holes around the toebox and rand, and breathable and soft mesh windows in all the right places.

The heel cup is malleable which works well in this zero-drop shoe, and the heel collar and gusseted tongue work very well together and I never felt the need to readjust. The Lone Peak 5 is compatible with Altra’s gaiter trap which works phenomenally, though I haven’t used gaiters on this model. Really, there’s nothing to complain about with the Lone Peak 5 upper.

Altra Lone Peak 5 lateral view

The Altra Lone Peak 5 lateral view.

Altra Lone Peak 5 Midsole

It’s in the midsole of the Altra Lone Peak 5 where the company has made some intelligent design changes while continuing to maintain the overall feel and heritage of the Lone Peak. Let’s examine stack heights and corresponding weights of the last three iterations in this handy chart:

ModelLone Peak 4Lone Peak 4.5Lone Peak 5
Stack Height (zero drop)25mm21mm28mm
Weight (men’s US size 9)10.7 oz10.6 oz10.4 oz

So, what Altra has managed to do is create a lighter Lone Peak with a higher stack height and a much more resilient and protective AltraEGO foam. The ride is more nimble and responsive than past versions of the Lone Peaks, and it’s hard to tell if it’s the StoneGuard or the increased midsole height which is providing more protection on technical terrain.

Altra Lone Peak 5 medial view

The Altra Lone Peak 5 medial view.

Altra Lone Peak 5 Outsole

Altra continues to use their tried-and-true MaxTrac outsole, and the Altra Lone Peak 5 has lugs placed under the metatarsals for better traction, which they call TrailClaw. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference, as this shoe has traction like a lot of all-around trail running shoes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the outsole on wet rocks or roots, but for dry and rocky conditions the traction was fine.

The trail rudder continues to exist, hanging off the back of the shoe, taunting me. Although it continues to diminish in size I have trouble believing that this feature does anything other than aid weight to the outsole. Maybe Altra has done extensive research and development on this feature, but after cutting it off of several Altras I haven’t noticed a difference. Give us the research Altra!

Altra Lone Peak 5 outsole

The Altra Lone Peak 5 outsole.

Altra Lone Peak 5 Overall Impressions

I think the Altra Lone Peak 5 is the best all-around trail shoe that Altra has ever created. I’ll even go so far as to say that I like it more than my beloved Timp 2! The combination of dialing in the upper even more than it had been, combined with the AltraEGO midsole foam makes for a winner. If my past experience with this midsole in other Altra models is a predictive indicator, then runners won’t have any problem getting a full 500 miles out of the Lone Peak 5. With a 2021 welcoming back some semblance of racing and group runs, I’m sure that we’ll see this model heavily represented.

Altra Lone Peak 5 Other Versions

For those looking for a wide sizes, rejoice! The Lone Peak 5 comes in a wide version. And if you’re looking for water resistance and extra warmth, you might be interested in the waterproof version of the Lone Peak 5.

Call for Comments

  • Are you running in the Altra Lone Peak 5? If so, share your thoughts about the shoe overall.
  • Have you also run in past editions of the Lone Peak? What do you think of the updates made to this version, especially the new midsole foam?

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

Altra Lone Peak 5 top view

The Altra Lone Peak 5 top view.

Tom Caughlan

is iRunFar's Minimalist Gear Editor. Tom’s passion for trail running and specialty running retail experience shine through in all of his highly technical reviews, which do range outside minimalist shoes.

There are 12 comments

  1. John Vanderpot

    I’m not affiliated with anything, although a friend’s an Ambassador for them and gave me a discount code, I bought several pair and frankly there’s nothing to complain about as far as I’m concerned! (With the discount they were under 100 bucks, which made them feel like a steal!) They’re comfortable, hold up well, and maybe I’m a bit less picky about some things but I get well over 500 miles, probably upwards of 1,000 (I don’t keep good records) or more before they’re ready for the Dumpster…very happy with them!

  2. Adrian Salter

    Hope they have sorted the poor quality material on the toe box!! Bought a previous iteration and it split where forefoot flexes after just 2 months low level use (because of pandemic). Not value for money at all!!!

  3. Rich Myers

    I can’t wait to try them. I like the wide feel but if the heal is tighter than more the better. I’m with John too, I typically get at least 700 or more miles in my previous version of Lone Peak’s before retiring them.

  4. Nigel Plant

    This is my second pair of Lone Peaks and I too managed 1,200 km out of v4 so they are robust. The new shoe feels much the same as previous, good cushioning but still responsive, I would say the v5 feels less “sloppy”. Without a doubt they are a much better trail running shoe than other UK brands which always seem squashed in the toes

  5. bill

    Wife has 4.5’s. She hikes in them, has about 500 miles and area above big toe is developing a hole. She likes them. My issue with LP is the almost complete lack of stability. They have almost zero heel or torsional stability. But even though there is zero stability it remains one of the best fitting shoes i have ever tried.

  6. Trekker Dave

    My wife and I have hiked and backpacked in Lone Peaks for many years (my wife and I have done three week, high altitude, rough terrain backpacking trips in Altra Lone Peaks. We each stash an old pair of LP’s in our packs as “camp shoes”… and “just-in-case” spares on our long trips in the rocky Sierras and on soggy New Zealand trails). I’ve only been hiking locally since getting the Lone Peak 5’s, but so far I’m very impressed! My wife and I are in our seventies, and before wearing Altras we had all kinds of foot and ankle issues. We credit our Lone Peaks for helping us stay on the trails. I have but one complaint/plea: PLEASE RETAIN THE EXTRA WIDE OPTION for all of us that have very wide feet. For many of us, Altras are the ONLY shoe that works. The Lone Peak 4’s and 4.5’s were too narrow and I left them home and had to wear my old, worn earlier versions when I backpacked those two years. I’ve bummed out until Altra released the Lone Peak 5’s! I was overjoyed when Altra provided the ultra-wide option in the Lone Peak 5’s! My plea: Altra, please continue to think of your loyal fans that that rely on Altra’s u-l-t-r-a w-i-d-e options!

  7. Tony F.

    I’m shocked at how many miles people say they get out of their shoes. I’ve had many different pairs of Altra’s over the years and when 250 miles comes around they are ripping and tearing apart. And for whatever it’s worth, I am about 6ft tall and 150lbs, and my feet are not wide at all. 100% trail running in western Oregon, so the terrain is pretty soft and forgiving. I’ve switched to Topo’s and they are way better for me and last longer. I just wish they were always on sale like Altra’s.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Fabric blowouts in western Oregon? Is mud caking to your shoes, drying, and then being run in again? If so, a quick rinse might greatly prolong your shoes. Dried mud on fabric is essentially sandpaper abrading itself.

      (Personally, I’m shocked when folks say they don’t get big miles out of their shoes. I can put 500+ trail miles on a pair of road flats with no issues. For reference, 5’9″, 150-165 lbs.)

      1. Tony F.

        My shoes aren’t always caked in mud. I do rinse them quite often though. Maybe it’s all the water that is breaking them down, but I’m pretty sure there are other Western Oregonians who get big miles in their shoes. I wish mine lasted longer. Oh, and I do rotate between more than one pair too.

        1. Bryon Powell

          Got it, Tony. Just checking on a possibility, as I’ve seen plenty of people do this awesome. :-) Models with more robust mud guard (generally thin film TPU overlays these days) might help. Good luck!

  8. Roman Almeida

    I bought the new ones (in red obviously) as soon as they were available and have nothing but good things to report. I did a 30k long run in my 4.0 which brought them to 500miles and my feet were really aching at the end. Enter the new 5.0 and I already did a 37k and 52k long run with zero foot pain in them. They for sure are the best Lone Peak I had in the 5 years I been using them. For me the sizing is really unchanged to the 4.0.

    I only wish the Superior would move to EGO as well. It is the most perfectly fitting shoe for me. The last must look exactly like my foot but the Quantic midsole is just not as good.

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