There’s no feeling quite like finishing a 10-mile day hike and realizing your feet don’t even hurt. That’s probably a rare occurrence for a lot of peopleand was for me until I got my feet into some Altra Lone Peak Hiker boots. In fact, I don’t think I ever finished a long hike without aching feet until I started wearing these hiking boots.
Between the wide footbed, 25 millimeters of responsive cushioning, mid-height ankle collar and supreme breathability, the Lone Peaks quickly became my go-to for almost every type of hike. In my Altra Lone Peak hiker review, I’ll explain why, as well as help you decide if these are the right boots for you.
What is the Altra Lone Peak Hiker?
The Altra Lone Peak Hiker is a hiking boot spin-off of the extremely popular Lone Peak trail running shoes. Altra is on iteration two of the Lone Peak hikers while the trail runner version is now in its eighth iteration. Lone Peak boots are mid-height, zero-drop, moderately cushioned hiking shoes intended to tackle most types of terrain with ease. These boots are known for their comfort and flexibility, as is the case with most of Altra’s lineup.
We Tried It
Altra Lone Peak Hiker
If you’re already accustomed to zero-drop shoes or willing to put in the time to become accustomed to them, get the Altra Lone Peak Hiker.
Altra Lone Peak Hiker Features
Here’s a look at some of the most prominent and important features of the Altra Lone Peak Hiker boots.
Wide Toe Box
The most notable feature of the Lone Peaks is the wide toe box. Altra’s patented FootShape footbed is designed to better mimic the natural anatomy of human feet, hence the wide toe box and plenty of wiggle room.
Many people remark that the Altra Lone Peaks run large; they actually run true-to-size, but the wide footbed feels very roomy compared to traditional boot footbeds. In the Lone Peaks, your toes have room to splay and grip, which feels a bit funny at first but quickly becomes a welcomed attribute of the boots.
This part is really important. Zero-drop shoes can bring a lot of benefits to the table, but they aren’t for everyoneand they’re certainly not the type of shoe to take on a 10-miler without previously wearing them.
The 0-millimeter heel-to-toe drop on Altra Lone Peak hikers will require an adjustment period if you have never worn zero-drop shoes before. I recommend wearing them on short walks on pavement before graduating to trails, and gradually increasing the length of your hikes while wearing these.
For what it’s worth, I didn’t wear zero-drop shoes before Altra (and, still, none of my other shoes are zero-drop), and it didn’t take long to feel perfectly comfortable in these shoes. On my first couple of short hikes with them, I felt some discomfort in my heel, but haven’t experienced any pain since thenand I’ve taken them on day hikes as long as 15 miles.
When I was on a hiking trip in Big Bend National Park, my partner stopped, looked at my feet and said, “I can see your boot moving with your foot. Man, I wish I’d gotten some of those.” And it’s true: The sole of the Altra Lone Peak Hikers is ultra flexible and it moves with you.
That’s a big part of what makes these boots so great for rocky hikes that require careful and sometimes awkward foot placement. As cheesy as it may sound, these boots make me feel closer to the ground and more connected with the trail, thanks to their flexibility.
The Lone Peak hiking boots feature a mid-top height. They rise just above the ankle and the lace closure sits at the front of the ankle joint, offering ankle support on most trails and terrain. I say most because I have encountered terrain on which it didn’t feel like my ankles were supported at allthe ruts, rocks and angles just proved to be too much for the Lone Peaks. I still felt comfortable, but definitely had to be very careful about my foot placement, and I would have appreciated a more rigid ankle collar in those situations.
Extended Crash Pad
If you purchase the Lone Peak Hikers, you’ll notice that the crash padan extension of the rubber outsoleextends quite far past the heel cup. This helps tremendously with balance on trails with rough terrain. It’s one of my favorite features of the shoes.
Reinforced Toe Box
The Lone Peaks feature a reinforced toe box, which is clearly visible just by looking at the shoes. Without this reinforcement, you’d quickly punch a hole through the top of the toe box, particularly if you tend to take steep descents. That said, I do think the reinforcement could be stronger. I’m nearing 200 miles on my Lone Peaks and already seeing some significant signs of wear on the toe box; I expect these boots to last me 400 to 500 miles of hiking, so I’m not thrilled about that. They’re still going strong for now, though.
Deep Outsole Lugs
Hikers who love trails with slippery terrain, such as loose soil, sand or shale, will appreciate the deep lugs on the outsole of Lone Peak hiking boots. They dig deep into loose terrain, such as rocky soil and sand, and I found them to be very sticky on smooth exposed rock.
Breathable Mesh Upper (or Waterproof Upper)
The Lone Peaks are some of the most breathable hiking boots I’ve owned. They’re so breathable, in fact, that they actually drain water really well, too. While living in Florida, I took these boots through some serious slog and the water drained out quickly, which is ideal on swampy trails.
I wouldn’t, however, recommend the Lone Peaks for winter hikes in snow. In these lightweight boots, your feet will most definitely get wet and cold. But in warm weather or in scenarios where water drainage is necessary, they excel.
There’s also a waterproof version of the Altra Lone Peak called ALL-WTHR. However, many customer reviews suggest that the waterproofing isn’t ideal or even good. In this case, you’d be better off buying the regular Lone Peaks since they drain and dry so quickly, or purchasing a different pair of waterproof boots. We like the Columbia Newton Ridge waterproof boots.
How We Tested It
I’ve worn the Altra Lone Peak hiking boots for about 200 trail miles, and they continue to perform wonderfully. I expect to get 400 to 500 miles out of these boots, based on the wear-and-tear I see on them at the 200-mile mark.
I have taken the Lone Peaks on all kinds of trails, from deep sand trails through South Florida scrub forests to hardpacked dirt trails in the desert to slick scrambles on exposed rock faces in the mountains. In every scenario, I have found myself thankful for the Lone Peaks in some way. In Florida, I was thankful that the breathable shoes drained water so well and didn’t leave my feet goopy with swamp stuff. With the heat of a Utah summer, I was thankful that the breathable mesh upper kept my feet cool and reasonably dry. And in the rocky, slippery canyons of southwest Texas, I was thankful for the deep, grippy grooves on the outsoles.
But mostly, I’m thankful for the comfort. It’s wonderful to have found a pair of boots that lets me hike double-digit miles regularly without any pain, aching or discomfort. From short two-mile jaunts to grueling 15-mile day hikes, my Lone Peaks have served me well.
Wide, comfortable toe box allows for toe splaySuper grippy outsoleExtended crash pad helps with balanceFlexible foot bed moves with your feetMesh upper is breathable and drains water wellLaces stay put and stay tiedLightweight, yet durable
Not waterproofAll-weather version has bad reviews regarding waterproofnessZero-drop soles are not for everyone and may cause pain in people who are not accustomed to them
Are Altra Lone Peak hikers waterproof?
There’s a waterproof version of Lone Peak Hikers called the ALL-WTHR (all-weather) model. I have not personally tried the all-weather version of these shoes, but customer reviews indicate that they may not be the best waterproof boot out there.
Should I size up or down Altra Lone Peak?
I found that the Altra Lone Peak runs true to size, but they may feel big at first as you get accustomed to the wide footbed and toe box.
How long do Altra trail shoes last?
How long any pair of hiking boots lasts depends on how often you use them and what kind of trails you hike. It’s not really about years, but about miles. In general, you can expect to get about 300 to 500 miles out of a pair of boots with a typical ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam sole (the same as running shoes).
The Altra Lone Peak Hiker boots feature a midsole made of a proprietary blend of cushioning agents, according to Altra, although online, multiple sources say the midsole is constructed from thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPU). TPU is a bit stronger than EVA, so Altra Lone Peaks should perform well to the higher end of that 300 to 500 range, or higher. I’m coming up on 200 miles on my Lone Peaks and they still perform perfectly.
What Other Reviewers and Experts Had to Say
The Altra Lone Peak Hiker is a favorite among trail runners and hikers alike. Still, shoes are extremely individual and everyone’s experience will differ due to differences in foot anatomy, terrain types traveled and more.
Customer reviews are generally positive, with buyers reporting that they have purchased the Lone Peaks time and time again when the need for new boots presented itself. Some customer reviews report issues with qualityas in the boots breaking down earlier than expectedbut I haven’t had any problems yet (I’m keeping my eye on the toe box wear and tear, however).
In-depth reviews by other hiking experts vary greatly. Some detailed reviews spew praise, calling the Lone Peaks the best hiking boots ever designed. Others are less positive, calling the boots out for lackluster performance on technical terrain. In general, though, it seems that all experts can agree on one thing: These boots are dang comfortable.
Altra Lone Peak Hikers are far from the only respectable boots available to hikers. In fact, I have a whole list of favorites that you can read about in my guide to the best hiking boots. As for zero-drop hiking boots specifically, I’d recommend no other pair than these. Based on product specs and customer reviews, the Altra Lone Peaks seem to offer the best blend of minimalism, durability and comfort.
If you’re looking for something waterproof, I have to steer you away from the Lone Peaks, though. Although I haven’t tried the waterproof version, numerous customer reviews indicate that they aren’t, in fact, very waterproof. The Columbia Newton Ridge is a quality waterproof pick for a good price (but doesn’t have zero-drop soles).
For breathability and drainability, the Lone Peaks are unmatched in my experience. They also feature some of the most effective outsoles I’ve tried. Those in search of supreme ankle support may want to look elsewhere. The mid-height ankle collar on the Lone Peaks works well in most scenarios, but if you’re going to encounter very rocky terrain or have specific needs for your ankles, something more rigid might be a better choice for you.
Another option worth looking into is the Hoka Speedgoat mid-top version. The Speedgoats have a deity-like status among trail runners, and the mid-top Speedgoat would make for a great lightweight hiking boot, albeit not a zero-drop option.
I fully, heartily recommend the Altra Lone Peak hiking boots to anyone who’s already accustomed to zero-drop shoes or willing to put in the time to become accustomed to them. Are they the perfect boots in every scenario? No, but they’re the best all-rounders I’ve tried. Despite my minor complaints about the lackluster toe box reinforcement and ankle support, I will be purchasing a new pair of Altra Lone Peak Hikers when it’s time for new boots.
Where to Buy the Altra Lone Peak Hiker
We Tried It
Altra Lone Peak Hiker
The sole of the Altra Lone Peak Hiker is ultra flexible and it moves with you.