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Product Review – Altra Lone Peak 2.5

Altra Lone Peak 2.5

Photo Credit: Altra Running

Product Review – Altra Lone Peak 2.5

The Altra Lone Peak 2.5 is the 4th generation of the Lone Peak shoe (1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5) and the third generation that I have owned.  The Lone Peak 1.5 was actually my very first pair of Altra shoes, and I’ve been running in zero drop shoes ever since.  To say I was excited to buy and try these shoes out is an understatement!

Updated March 25, 2016

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you make purchases after clicking on any links.  The shoes in this review were purchased by me, at full price from my local running store, and were not provided by Altra.

Lone Peak 2.5 Specs

From altrarunning.com

  • Weight: 10.6 oz.
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Ideal Uses: Trail Running, Hiking, Fastpacking, Trail Racing
  • Designed To Improve: Wet & Hot Feet, Toe Splay, Traction, Stability, Comfort Running Form, Speed
  • Platform: FootShape™ Toe Box with Fully Cushioned Zero Drop™ Platform
  • Stack Height: 25 mm
  • Midsole: Dual Layer EVA with A-Bound™ Top Layer
  • Outsole: Sticky-Rubber TrailClaw™
  • Insole: 5 mm Contour Footbed
  • Upper: Quick-Dry Trail Mesh
  • Other Features: StoneGuard™ Rock Protection, Trail Rudder, Gaiter Trap™ Attachment

What’s New

  • Redesigned Upper
  • Improved Lacing System
  • Improved Upper Durability
  • Slightly Firmer Midsole

Ordering/Purchasing

I ended up purchasing these at a retail store, but it’s important to note that the Altra website is very easy to navigate, is organized nicely by gender and by category (Neutral, Stability, Trail Running, and Everyday), and the best addition, as I pointed out in previous reviews, is they now incorporate shoefitr.com.  If you aren’t familiar, this is an online tool that lets you pick the shoe you currently use (Make, Model, Size) and then it overlays your current shoe with a Lone Peak 2.5 to give you a very detailed preview of how the shoe will fit.  This is an ideal option if your local running store doesn’t carry Altra, and I’ve found it to be extremely accurate.  Altra also offers free shipping and a 30-day no questions asked return policy.

Initial Thoughts

Altra Lone Peak 2.5

Altra Lone Peak 2.5

This is the third generation Lone Peak that I have run in, and they’ve been getting progressively better so I was very excited to try these shoes out.  In particular I was looking forward to the durability improvements.  While the previous generation shoes have lasted me well beyond the expected 500 miles, there was a persistent issue with the tread falling apart and my feet creating holes in the upper.  The 2.5 looks promising however as the upper material feels much more durable, without any obvious increase in stiffness or decrease in flexibility.  The color choices, particularly for women, leave something to be desired, but these are trail shoes after all and I expect them to get dirty quickly like the rest of my trail shoes.  The last observation to point out is that the shoe laces are ridiculously long, which is not really a complaint since I always found the laces on the previous shoes to be a little short especially when using the heel-lock lacing method.

Weight

The shoes are listed as weighing 10.6oz/300.5g each.  My shoes (size 10.5) weighed 11.2oz/317.5g each.

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 Weight

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 Weight

First Run

Altra Lone Peak 2.5

Altra Lone Peak 2.5

I was anxious to get these shoes before the Mt Hood 50k on July 12th, and since they were just released, they weren’t available anywhere online and most of the local running stores didn’t have them in stock.  Fortunately, I live in the land of Altra (Utah), and I was able to track down a pair, in my size, at Park City Running Company, who had received an early shipment.  I ended up getting the Rio Red color, since that was the only color they had in stock in my size (or at all actually).  In retrospect, that was a blessing in disguise since I really don’t care for the Classic Blue or Steel.

Since I’ve been running in Altras for a couple years now, I didn’t have to worry about easing in to them (a common suggestion for people not used to running in zero drop shoes), and opted for a fun and challenging route that is very popular around here, the Alta Brighton Loop.  If you aren’t familiar, Alta Brighton Loop is roughly 9 miles long, about 2,500ft of climbing, and consists of a nice variety of terrain including steep, loose rocks; buffed out single track; and everything in between.  I thought it would be the perfect route to put these new shoes to the test, and that turned out to be the case.  I did have to stop and adjust the laces a couple times, but overall I didn’t even notice them on my feet, which I think is exactly how shoes should be!  They immediately felt as comfortable as my previous Lone Peak 2.0, handled the terrain nicely, didn’t cause any blisters or hot spots, and generally performed well.

Alta Brighton Loop

First run with the Lone Peak 2.5

Long Term Update

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 After 200 Miles

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 After 200 Miles

To date, I’ve put about 200 miles on the Lone Peak 2.5 on trails all over the Wasatch and in the Mt Hood National Forest (during the Mt Hood 50k, which I PR’d – coincidence?), and I have to say I am beyond impressed.  The durability improvements to the shoes have been the biggest standout, as evidenced by the sole which is still 100% intact.  I couldn’t say that about any previous generation Lone Peak after 200+ miles.  The color still hasn’t grown on me, and they are really just the lesser of two (or three) evils in my mind, but I’ve managed to get them sufficiently dirty on the trails to the point that I don’t really notice them anymore.  The long laces which were a bit of a concern initially, haven’t really been a problem and in fact I’ve found that double-knotting them has been tremendously helpful.  With previous generation Lone Peak shoes, the laces would eventually wear out and come untied mid-run.  With the Lone Peak 2.5, that hasn’t been a problem and I don’t expect it to become one.

Longer Term Update

I’ve managed to get to 465 miles in my pair of Altra Lone Peak 2.5, but it’s about time to retire them.  The outsole is still in remarkable condition with only a single partial lug missing, as you can see in the pictures below, and even the upper is in decent condition, with the exception of some wear on the collar of the left shoe.  I recently did back to back weekends running 50k in my Altra Olympus 2.0 (see my First Impression post to see how I like those shoes) and then 24 miles the next weekend in my Lone Peak 2.5 and I definitely could tell the cushioning has reached the end of it’s useful life.  I was much more beat up after the shorter run in the Lone Peak than I was in the Olympus (which only have about 150 miles on them).  I also noticed while taking these pictures, that the inside of the uppers are starting to develop holes and it’s only a matter of time before I completely blow them out!  All of that being said, the shoes lasted me longer than I expected, and I still think they are my favorite Altras to date.  I’m enjoying my Altra Olympus 2.0 in the meantime, and really looking forward to the Altra Lone Peak 3.0!

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 outsole

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 upper

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 Outside

Altra Lone Peak 2.5 Inside

Summary

In short, this is probably the best shoe that Altra has ever made (and I’ve gone through many pairs and models) and I can’t recommend this shoe enough to my fellow trail runners.  I would encourage you to try them out for yourself if you are in the market for trail shoes, especially since Altra has free shipping and a 30-day, no questions asked return policy, even if you’ve worn the shoes on the trails.

Pros

  • Zero Drop – I’m a huge fan of zero drop shoes and believe this has been the key to injury prevention over the last 2,000+ miles.  I will only buy zero drop shoes now, and Altra meets that criteria across their entire product line.
  • Wide, foot-shaped toe box – I happen to have wide feet (4E) which means I have very limited options when it comes to shoes that fit, and trail shoes are even more difficult to find.  The trend of foot-shaped toe boxes has opened up my options and I appreciate that I now have choices.
  • Free Shipping and 30-day, no questions asked return policy

Cons

  • Color choices, especially for women, leave something to be desired.
  • Laces are obnoxiously long, even though I ended up liking them, others may find them annoying or a distraction.

Suggestions for Altra

  • Put the new Vibram sole on the Lone Peak and I will never buy another brand of trail shoes!

Do you run in Altra shoes?  Have you tired out the new Lone Peak 2.5?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Altra Lone Peak 2.5
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star

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13 Comments

  1. Laurence Everitt

    Very informative review which has given me more purchasing confidence for this shoe. I think the only thing you didn’t comment on was how they handle wet conditions – drainage, grip etc.

    Have you ran in the Altra Superior 2.0? I ask this because eve though I’ve read a review on them, I actually think your reviews are more real world, difficult to explain but I can relate to your review better than others.

    Thanks again.

    • Laurence,

      Thanks for stopping by and reading the review. You ask a couple great questions.

      1. It’s been pretty dry around here since I got the Lone Peak 2.5, so in all honesty I haven’t had a chance to really test it out in wet conditions. I can tell you, based on previous experience though with the Lone Peak 2.0 in particular, drainage has always been good but grip has just been ok – not too slippery, but not the grippiest shoe out there in wet conditions. I expect the 2.5 to be the same in both regards since the tread pattern and material hasn’t changed from the 2.0 (although I swear the compound is more durable – but can’t prove it). That being said, Altra is experimenting with a super sticky Vibram sole in the upcoming Olympus which I’m really excited about, and I anticipate the Lone Peak 3.0 will come with a Vibram sole which would then bump the 2.5 off the top of the heap as my favorite Altra!

      2. The Superior 2.0 unfortunately doesn’t fit my foot properly, so I haven’t run in it. I have really wide feet (4E width) and for some reason, either the design of the upper or the angle of the toe box, they just don’t work for me. I ended up having to go up 2 sizes above normal to not rub/squeeze my toes, but then it was like wearing clown shoes. I have many friends who run in the Superior 2.0 and swear by them though. I think they have a better tread pattern than the Lone Peak, but they are a shorter stack height (thinner). Since I’m a heavier runner anyways, the Lone Peak is my shoe of choice so while I would love to wear the Superior 2.0 on shorter runs, I use the Lone Peak 2.5 for everything. They are both great shoes though and you can’t go wrong either way, assuming they fit you properly. I generally suggest the Superior 2.0 for shorter distances (15-20 miles) and the Lone Peak 2.5 for longer distances (20 miles+).

      Hope that helps!

  2. Good review, glad to see the outsole intact after 200 miles. I’ve had a rash of trailrunners with lugs ripping apart after <30 miles (thank god for the REI return policy). I think the Lone Peak 2.5 may be my PCT 2016 shoe.

    • Thanks James! I’m close to 300 miles on them now and they are starting to show their wear now (a portion of one lug came off recently) but overall they have lasted significantly longer than previous generations. Consequently, I did run a portion of PCT with these shoes back in July and they were fantastic!

  3. OK. I’m convinced, Ryan! Great review. But from a self-proclaimed fitness fashion forward female, I think the colorways for the Lone Peak 2.5 are great, WAY better than Superior 2.0 (which truly are HIDEOUS…sorry but true). It makes me want all three LP2.5s!!!

    • Thanks Micha! I’m not a huge fan of any of the colors to be honest, but once they get dirty, it doesn’t really matter! You can’t go wrong getting all 3 colors and I’m sure Altra would really love it too!

      Ryan

  4. Rick

    Ryan , great review. You validate a comment I posted re the super long laces which I find annoying and unattractive but got ripped by a fellow member for even bringing it up. What’s this double knot thing you do? Does it shorten the laces a lot? The heel lock lacing hasn’t helped much. Also you may have already addressed this but I find the heel cup seems shallow and heel hard to secure. I’ve seen others comment on this. Thanks again.

    • Rick,

      Thanks for the comment!

      For Double Knotting, I just tie the shoes normally, and then take the two loops and tie them again. It locks the laces, preventing them from coming untied (which is a problem I tend to have on other shoes as the laces start to wear out) and it takes up some of the slack. Admittedly, they are still really long, but I don’t notice them as much and it doesn’t bother me. Heel locking won’t use up much lace, although I do recommend it for the best fit. To be honest, I would rather have them be a little too long vs. being a little too short, but these ones are probably a bit much! Hopefully they will address it in the Lone Peak 3.0 due out later this year.

      I’ve also heard about the heel cup feeling shallow from other users online, but I personally haven’t had that issue. I certainly can tell it is more narrow in the heel cup and mid foot and fits me better, but haven’t noticed it being shallower.

      Ryan

  5. Peter

    Here is a preview of the Lone Peak 3.0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRJi7SJDfP0

  6. Jill Gatwood

    I’ve been wearing the Lone Peak 2.0 and love them. I tried on the 2.5 and they seem narrower to me – uncomfortably so. Did they change the last in this shoe? Has anyone else had this problem?

    • Jill,

      I’m not sure if they changed the last specifically, but the heel cup is definitely narrower in the Lone Peak 2.5 compared to the 2.0. In my experience, and most of the feedback I’ve seen, is that this has been a good thing for most. Sounds like that may not be the case for you, and I’m sorry to hear that. Hopefully the Lone Peak 3.0 coming out later this year will be a better fit for you. On the plus side, the Lone Peak 2.0 is still available and it’s cheap, so it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a few pair since they work better for you.

      Ryan

  7. Boyana

    They are my favorite trail shoes — I’ve run 100 miles in them without any problems, but just this past weekend got horrible heel blisters on a 3-day 55-mile fastpacking trip, wearing the same socks (Ijinji mid-weight wool). I’m wondering if it was the extreme dust that got everywhere that was the culprit (I had gaiters, but dust could go through them and the shoes themselves just fine). I am wondering if there is a different kind of sock that would help with that, clearly the shoe itself is not the only culprit.

    • In my experience, heel blisters are the result of the shoe not being tight enough on your foot. In general blisters are a friction problem, so most likely the heel was moving up and down on you. I’d recommend the heel lock lacing method, and make sure it’s tight enough to prevent any movement. I find this can also happen from having thicker socks on, so maybe switching to a thinner/lighter sock would help as well.

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