Expert Review: Altra Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe

This review is my honest opinion of the shoes, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.

The Lone Peak 6s on the edge of a cliff

All photos courtesy of Hunter Reed

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the shoes, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.

My take

The Altra Lone Peak 6 shoes are the perfect running shoe for anyone who has been running for a little while and is getting serious about longer distance days. They are lightweight, have awesome traction, and are designed with a wider toe box to be better for one’s feet.

Top down view of the Lone Peak 6 shoes.

About the gear

  • Model: Altra Lone Peak 6
  • Size: Women’s size 6
  • Width: Regular
  • Fit: Runs a bit large. I am usually a size 6.5 - occasionally a 6 - but a 6 in these is perfect. The 6.5 felt huge.

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: May 2022
  • Days tested: 15 days
  • Terrain: Rocky trails, dirt trails, loose dirt/rock trails
  • Used for: Trail running, day hiking
  • Where I’ve used these: Wasatch and Uinta Mountains, Utah
  • Seasons I’ve used them in: Summer

About me

  • Height: 5’3”
  • Weight: 115 lbs
  • Usual shoe size: 6.5
  • Foot Width: Regular
  • Foot Arch: High
  • Experience: 25+ hiking/backpacking

How they perform

Breathability
5/5
Comfort
5/5
Durability
5/5
Support
2/5
Traction
5/5
Versatility
4/5
Waterproofing
3/5
Weight
5/5

What I was looking for

I bought these shoes a few months ago because I was looking for a new running shoe. I had used the Salomon Sense Rides for years but have been getting into more long-distance runs and wanted something lighter, and that is better on those high-mile days.

Why I chose this gear

I chose this gear because it is the shoe that pretty much every ultrarunner wears. Going to an ultramarathon is funny because you can look around and see Lone Peaks in almost every color that has ever been made. They are the best in their category because they have great traction, are breathable, light, and have a wider toe box. The wider toe box is a good feature in long-distance shoes because it allows me to spread my toes while running, which feels great for my feet. For most people, being able to spread toes while running is a more “natural” movement for their feet.. In my experience, it gives me a better grip, and in the long run, it helps me avoid some foot pain issues that come when putting long miles in with my toes more bunched together.

I did not look at any other models. If I talk to anyone who runs long distances, these are the only shoes they wear.

Top of the Altra Lone Peak 6 Shoes.

What I love about it

  • Durability: Though I haven’t had them for long, they seem to be pretty durable. Two of my roommates who are ultrarunners (ultrarunning is running anything over 26 miles) and regularly run 40-60 miles a week have several pairs and buy a new pair just about every year or twice a year. However, because they are running 1,500ish miles a year at minimum and most trail running shoes have a life of 400-500 miles, that’s not too surprising that they need to replace them every year. They still put over 500 miles on each pair before replacing their shoes, which is impressive.
  • Break-in period: The first two runs I had in these were a little painful, but it wasn’t due to the shoe. It was just that I needed to adjust the lacing and tighten them in some areas and loosen them in others. Everyone I know who wears these has said a similar thing, but it’s not a “break-in” issue as much as just calibrating the laces to fit feet perfectly.
  • Comfort: The Altra Lone Peaks are so comfortable. They are what’s called a zero drop shoe or minimalist shoe. Zero drop refers to the angle between the heel and toe of the shoe. Many shoes have the heel a bit higher than the toe of the shoe to help with cushioning. This is helpful for many people, particularly people who just started running and are working on their form. However, for people who have good form, have been running a while, and run longer distances, it's better to have zero drop shoes. It basically helps keep feet in a more natural position when running, avoiding injuries better in the long run. Shoes with a drop between the heel and toe do more of the work while running, which is nice when just getting into running or for short distances, but is harder on joints long-term. This is because when the shoe is doing all the work, the muscles are not as engaged while running, so the joints take more of the stress. These are the most comfortable shoes I have run in, largely due to the zero drop feature and the wider toe box I mentioned earlier.
  • Fit: I usually wear a 6.5 in shoes, sometimes a 6, but in these, the 6.5 felt huge, so I went with the 6. The Altra Lone Peaks fit a bit differently than many other shoes I had worn because they have a wider toe box, so they almost felt too roomy when I first tried them on, but I just had to remind myself that’s part of this particular shoe. The toe box is supposed to feel roomy, and as long as there isn’t a ton of room at the end of my toes and my heel fits in the heel cup, they are the right fit!
  • Weight: These are the lightest trail runners that aren’t a “barefoot running sandal.” This is largely due to the zero drop. Shoes that have more cushioning are obviously a bit heavier, and since these don’t have that, they are really light. That is also one of the features that makes them popular among ultrarunners. When running long distances like 26-100 miles, every step counts. I am more efficient and faster with lightweight shoes.
  • Material: The outer sole is made of MaxTrax Rubber. This rubber is light but durable and has great traction to handle any terrain. The upper section is a Quick Dry Air mesh, which keeps my feet from getting too hot and dries incredibly fast if I have a stream crossing or come in contact with any light rain!
  • Day Hiking: I have done a few day hikes in these, and they have done really well. Two of the hikes I have taken have involved a lot of scrambling and loose rock, and the Lone Peaks did really well in that type of terrain!
  • Trail Running: Trail running is the main reason I got these shoes, and they do their job well! It feels like I am not even wearing shoes because they are so light and comfortable.
  • Arch support: There is no arch support in the Altra Lone Peaks. That being said, I have high arches and have struggled with plantar fasciitis on and off throughout my life and have not had any issues with these shoes so far. I have not used any insoles in these, as I have with my previous shoes. I have done some research on this, and I think because of the zero drop and wider toe box, my foot can run in a more natural way that doesn’t end up causing me arch pain, which is incredible.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Waterproofing: These shoes are not waterproof but have a Quick Dry Air Mesh on the upper section. I have gotten them a bit wet, and they have dried so quickly. So far, I have just used them in the summer, so it helped that it’s also been hot out when this has happened. They would probably soak through in really wet conditions quickly and stay wet. Before these shoes, I had worn the Salomon Sense Ride 4 GTX shoes with GORE-TEX to keep my feet dry. I found that the GORE-TEX on those shoes didn't work that well, so my feet still got wet. However, even though GORE-TEX isn't in the Lone Peaks, my feet stay drier than in the Sense Rides because they are more breathable and dry faster.
  • Insulation: These are not insulated.
  • Ankle support: There is no ankle support since it’s a trail running shoe.
  • Toe protection: The upper on this shoe is pretty thin, so if I kick a rock or a branch, I can feel it more than I could in previous shoes.
  • Versatility: The Altra Lone Peak is a great shoe for avid runners, especially those looking to get into longer distances. However, without the knowledge of proper running form, the zero drop could cause injury or problems, so for that reason, I wouldn’t recommend them to people who are looking for their very first pair of trail running shoes.
Bottom of the Altra Lone Peak 6 shoes.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with these shoes was doing a run up the Pfeifferhorn in the Wasatch Mountains. It’s an 11-mile, 3.5K of vert run, and I was with two friends who are in really good shape and run more than me. I was a bit nervous because I had never hiked or run this particular trail and knew there were some sections of exposed scrambling on loose rocks. But my Lone Peaks did a great job. I felt like I had awesome traction and honestly wasn’t even sore or too tired after we finished this run, which I totally attribute to these shoes.

There were all sorts of terrain on this trail, from scrambling, dirt trails, loose rock, loose dirt, muddy sections, stream crossings, etc., and my shoes excelled in all of these types of terrain! At one point, I stepped in a stream and was stressed that my feet would be wet for the remainder of the hike, but the Quick Dry upper dried so fast that I had forgotten I had stepped in it within 10ish minutes. The top of this hike is beautiful, with 360-degree views of the Wasatch Mountains. I’m glad I did it and was hyped that my shoes kept up!

Value for the money vs. other options

I picked these up for around $130, which isn’t too bad for running shoes. I would have purchased them even if they were more expensive because of how much I love them. They are seriously the best shoe in their market category, so they are worth the money!

Final verdict

The Altra Lone Peak 6 trail running shoes are the top shoe on the market for longer distance, serious runners. They help me avoid injury and soreness while making my runs running more efficient and easier. I feel like these shoes have helped my arch issues, and so far, I am just really impressed with them. They are my favorite running shoe on the market and will be my go-to from here on out.

Selling Altra on Curated.com
Altra - Lone Peak All-Wthr Low - 12 Regular Black/Yellow
$170.00
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Growing up in Utah makes it hard to not fall in love with camping and hiking! Lucky for me my parents got me out at a young age and I've been enjoying trails and campsites all across the west since I was little girl! There's just something special about making some dinner over a fire and going to sl...

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