Testing: Altra Lone Peak 7
I am an extremely opinionated trail shoe wearer. This comes from a number of factors: I've tried a lot, I often spend my weekends at the Maverick Race series working for a trail running brand talking about trail running and what other runners like/dislike, I run on trails a lot including having run ultras all over the world and, well I'm a Leo so that makes me quite opinionated!
When the Altra Running guys asked me if I fancied trying out the new Altra Lone Peak 7's I was excited. Altra is a bit of a cult brand in the ultrarunning community and in recent years has taken the US trail market by storm - it's now the top selling trail running shoe in the US, outperforming the Hoka Speedgoat.
But here in the UK it remains something that is still a bit of a secret and the people I know running in them, are mostly ultrarunners who swear the Altra range has changed their running experience.
So what is it that makes Altras unique?
The Altra Lone Peak 7 has three things that in particular make it a winning shoe for me:
1. The FootShape™️ toe box that allows my feet to feel they’ve got room is remarkable and takes away that ‘can’t wait to take my shoes off’ feeling I usually get at the end of the run;
2. The Balanced Cushioning™️ platform - this ‘zero drop’ base sees my foot land with equal contact to the ground from toe to heel which I found incredibly comfortable - I’m not that big a fan of big stack height shoes so these felt like the antithesis to current trends for wedge like shoes;
3. The MaxTrac™️ outsole with its 5mm lugs felt amazingly secure on the trails at the weekend without feeling the jarring feeling you often get as the lugs get deeper in trail shoes.
I reached out to ask my Insta followers what questions they had about the Altra Lone Peak 7s so here come some questions and my thoughts:
- For what distance do you think they would be ideal? Just asking because of their 0% drop.
- What are these best for (like the distances in the trails)?
Shoes that see your feet land with equal pressure on the ground (Balanced Cushioning or 'zero drop') are designed to promote running with excellent form and aren't to be confused with 'barefoot' shoes. The Lone Peak 7 still has a signature Altra EGO™ midsole foam to provide the underfoot protection you need with a responsive yet soft feel. If you're new to a more minimalist shoe it's worth trying it in rotation with your own shoes - building up over time, just as I would recommend if you were moving to carbon plated shoes for the first time.
If you're ever unsure the perfect place to make transitions in footwear is on the trails as the trail surface will help reduce impact and cushion the load you put through your body.
Because of the 5mm lugs these also suit more technical terrain than other competitors. I'm exploring if these might be an excellent option for races like Ultra Trail Snowdonia 100k that I'm running next year.
- Are they wide enough for pregnancy feet?
- Do they have really have a wide fit?
- Can you compare it to another shoe for reference?
- Are they comfy?
I currently rotate between two main pairs of trail shoes - the Adidas Terrex Speed SG (4mm drop) - a gnarly 7mm lug bearing fell shoe that I've run everything from UTS 50k to Old Crown Round - a 37km fell race in and the Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra (8mm drop) - a slipper like trail shoe I use on drier and less technical trails as the lugs limit them - a tiny 2.5mm.
I would place the Altra Lone Peak 7s bang in the middle of these two shoes - low to the ground with decent lugs like the Speed SGs while having a gentle cushioning and comfort of running in that the Speed Ultra fans will love.
They really are impressively wide without feeling like your feet are drowning. My feet feel like they need more space at the minute, due to pregnancy, but this is true when I run ultras too (I often go up half a size to a full size depending on the distance I'm running) and I'm not sure I'd need to in the Altras as I feel there is space for my feet to expand.
They're definitely comfy! And comfy from the first wear which can be a bit of a rarity in a trail shoe with a decent lug depth.
- What are the colourways?
As always with shoes the colours vary for men and women but I'm pleased to report there are some fun jazzy colours through to more muted options for both genders - from yellows and purples to reds and blacks.
The Altra Lone Peak 7 launches today and retails for £135.
You can find out more about the Altra Lone Peak 7 on the Altra website.
*This post was posted as part of a partnership with Altra Running.