Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Review Facts
Altra has released the next version of their original trail running shoe. The Lone Peak line of mountain shoes are considered a favorite among trail runners and hikers. The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 is the latest edition of this popular shoe with some much needed improvements. Altra's focus with the 4.0 has been on improving the design of the upper, as well as bettering the general breathability of the shoe. Overall, the Lone Peak 4.0 improves upon the earlier Lone Peaks. However, there are a few persistent issues that have affected earlier iterations of the shoe. On top of this, a few new issues have also made themselves apparent.
The Lone Peak 4.0's outsole is made of Maxtrac rubber. It is a little more gripping and a little more firm compared to previous versions of the Lone Peak. Placed in the center of the bottom of the outsole is the Trailclaw. This unit is separate from the outsole. It is designed to improve your grip on hills and scree
. Unlike other trail shoes, the Trailclaw has multi-directional lugs. These non-uniform lugs give a versatility to the outsole's grip on the ground which provides it an extra edge over other trail shoes.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0's midsole has three layers of construction. Each of these has a unique function that aids in running on the rough terrain of a mountainside. The top layer of the midsole is made of Altra's A-Bound material. This layer is meant for cushioning the foot from the often hard ground, as well as adding some bounce to each foot strike. Sandwiched between the two other layers is another of Altra's proprietary systems. Called the Stoneguard, it is meant to protect the foot from the loose debris that is always being kicked up on the trail. Below this is the classic EVA foam that provides durability without sacrificing responsiveness.
The Lone Peak 4.0 is overladen with improvements to its upper. This is where the 4.0 cements itself as an improvement over the other shoes in the Lone Peak line. It is made of a quick-drying mesh that is housed in a flexible strap overlay for extra support. The strap overlay has been made with flexibility in mind so that feet always feel secure and comfortable. Adding to that feeling of security is the new integrated tongue that the 4.0 has. The tongue is firmly housed under the upper's frame to add pressure onto the top of the foot. Like the other editions of the Lone Peak, the 4.0 has some extra room in the forefoot. This allows the toes some extra room to stretch, which improves your stability when trying to get a grip on steep hills
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 comes in at a 289 grams, or 10.2 ounces, when a men's size 9. Many have commented on the lightweight feel of the shoe. This is interesting because it is actually almost a full ounce heavier than the Lone Peak 3.5 that came before it. The leading theory as to why the 4.0 is so much heavier is the different quality of rubber used in the outsole
. On the other hand, it feels lightweight because of the improvements in upper. Specifically, the breathable mesh and extra room in the forefoot.
One of the biggest selling points of the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 is the improved breathability. Unlike other shoes, there are elements that contribute to better airflow for your foot in both the upper and outsole of this shoe. Trail shoes have to be sturdy. They are limited in their opportunities to achieve optimum air flow. The 4.0 maximizes these opportunities by placing a draining mesh at the heel and forefoot. The placement of the mesh here is in line with the natural motion of the air as it passes you, which allows for a more natural feeling ride. The breathability of the outsole is more surprising. The Trailclaw is decoupled from the rest of the outsole. The small space between the rubber of the outsole and the lugs of the Trailclaw allows some air to reach the bottom of your foot.
When it first comes out of the box, the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 is top of the class in comfort. Many reviewers commented that they didn't have foot pain even after runs numbering in the tens of miles. The shoe's focus is responsiveness, but there is a moderate amount of cushioning. The materials used are of a high quality too. The A-Bound layer of the midsole provides a good amount of comfort without sacrificing your feel for the trail. While the mid-to-back of the shoe fits close to the foot for extra security, the extra space in the forefoot is a nice addition. It gives your foot some space to breathe. Sadly, the balance between cushioning and protection that the 4.0 achieves is often a short lived one. Many people complained that the shoe would cause more pain the more miles put on it. If you buy the Lone Peak be aware that, unlike most shoes, this one may become less comfortable with time.
The looks of the 4.0 are another improvement for the Lone Peak line. It has a smooth, streamlined look to it. It definitely looks like a trail shoe. It has a mountain insignia right on the side of it. And the Trailclaw's pattern doesn't make much sense if you're running it on the road
. It has some interesting color schemes. Favoring bright colors alongside something more plain, the Lone Peak 4.0 comes in schemes like Turquoise/Grey, Blue/Black, Red/Grey, and Neon Yellow/Grey.
The Lone Peak 4.0 is made up of quality materials. The problem is that they aren't put together very well. The durability of the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 is its greatest downfall. There were two problems that many reviewers noticed. Often these issues cropped up within the first couple runs. First, there is textured toe cap at the front of the outsole that reaches up to the very front of the shoe. This will often peel back within the first 50 miles of usage on the shoe. The toe cap is for extra grip on hills. However, when it peels back it can cause you to trip and hurt yourself. The other issue is not as easy to fix as a flap of rubber. The midsole has a slightly raised arch at the midfoot which breaks down very quickly. This will cause discomfort on your feet as your arch is left without support. On longer runs this can become quite painful. A solution that worked for some people is buying an orthotic like insole with extra support. It might be worth looking into if it happens to you.
The rubber outsole of the Altra has a solid strength that can handle the unpredicatble terrain of a mountainside. The absorbtion afforded by the hard rubber is complemented well by the Stoneguard in the midsole. While the outsole absorbs the impact of the hard ground, the Stoneguard effectively deflects the loose debris and sharp rocks that get flung up by your footstrikes. These two intertwined systems will insure that your feet stay safe from any of the dangerous ground you're sure to encounter out there.
Responsiveness is more important in a trail shoe due to how varied the ground can be. The Lone Peak 4.0 ensures that enough responsiveness for any situation. The 4.0 is actually considered more responsive than the other shoes in the Lone Peak series. Although it isn't as responsive as the minimalist shoes that some trail runners use
, the midsole makes up for any loss of feeling one might find. The Stoneguard adds protection while being quite thin. This helps reduce the width of the midsole and outsole, which allows for more feeling in the foot without sacrificing comfort. The A-Bound cushioning is made of a material that specializes in reflecting impacts, which helps in keeping a spring in your step that you won't find in other shoes.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0's improved upper reaches a new level of support for your feet. The stretchy overlay is effective at molding to the contours of your feet without being uncomfortable. There is also an improved webbing around the laces and tongue that aids in cinching your shoe laces for a more sturdy fi
t. Another improvement in the upper is the better fitting heel that holds snugly to the back of your foot. Moving down to the midsole of the shoe, the midfoot is slightly raised and is better for those with higher arches. However, the midsole may break down quickly, which would make it better for someone with flatter feet.
Sometimes you can take road shoes onto trails, as long as they are well-maintained. This does not work as well going the other way. Make sure to keep you Lone Peak 4.0s on the trails as they will quickly become uncomfortable on hard pavement. The outsole is thinner so that it can feel the ground better. The outsole is also harder to protect your feet. The Lone Peak 4.0 is often used for more than just trail running. Many people use it for ultra marathons, or long hikes, such as the Pacific Crest Trail
. It rests firmly on the more extreme side of the running spectrum. To help with your trail running it has a loop on the side for attaching gaiters. Most gaiters loop under the shoe. This can cause debris to get stuck under your shoe and throw off your stride.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 comes in at a reasonable price for such a beloved and advanced shoe. It comes in on the cheaper side when compared to other performance trail running shoes. The issue is the value that you'll get out of this shoe. A more expensive shoe will probably last longer, especially given that the Lone Peak 4.0's problems with durability seem to rise up much sooner than with other shoes with durability issues. It is important to note not just how quickly these issues come up, but also how widespread they seem to be. More often than not, the toe cap and midsole problems are fixable, which does put the Lone Peak at good value.
The Lone Peak 4.0 offers better traction than the other versions of Altra's signature trail running shoe. This is largely in part to the new rubber of the outsole, which has a little extra stick and grip. This is a very good shoe to take out in all kinds of weather. It has enough stick for wet surfaces. Other elements that give the 4.0 such good traction are the toe cap and the multidirectional lugs. The toe cap is useful for going up hills. Having a little extra grip right at the front of your foot can be useful. The lugs are uniquely shaped, which help with a multitude of foot placements. They are placed right where your toes bend when you lift your foot. Hasving extra traction at that important moment where all your weight is focused on a single area makes all the difference in your safety.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 has a flexible, but it is not as flexible as previous installments in the Lone Peak series. This is mostly due to both the outsole and the Stoneguard. The outsole's new rubber is denser and firmer than before. The Stoneguard makes up for this somewhat, as it is flexible enough to keep in tune with your foot, but it also is focused on protection. There is still more than enough flexibility for your foot to handle any situation or configuration.
Stability won't be an issue with the Lone Peak 4.0. The firmer composition of the shoe, from upper down to outsole, will keep you firmly on the ground. The upper is just a better fit in general. The stretchy overlay makes sure your foot will not slide around in the shoe
. The Stoneguard in the midsole flexes with your foot, and the A-Bound material above it rests flush with your foot at all times. The quality grip of the outsole holds the ground firmly. Finally, there is also the extra room in the toe box. This allows your toes a better opportunity to do what they were designed to do, which is give you some extra balance.
The Lone Peak 4.0 has a stack height of 24 milimetres. This is about average among running shoes. The heel to toe differential is 0 milimetres. The Zero Drop system from Altra helps provide a more natural feeling when you run. By having no heel drop, the Lone Peak 4.0 will have a lower impact on your feet. Important to note is that this shoe is more of a midfoot striking shoe. This is perhaps more natural, but if you are more used to heel striking shoes, as many are, then this shoe may make you feel uncomfortable
-Breathable mesh at forefoot and heel.
-Trailclaw multidirectional lugs.
-Zero heel to toe drop
-Improved structure on the upper
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 is a step in the right direction for the Lone Peak series. The outsole is firmer and has a better grip. The upper is more breathable and supports the foot better. It even has improved cushioning in the midsole. The biggest issue with this shoe is the question mark you get with its value. It can quickly break down. This can even happen on a first run. There are ways to solve these problems if they occur so if you are willing to put the effort into upkeep and repair
then the Lone Peak 4.0 is an easy shoe to recommend.