The search for the perfect trail boot is almost the same as that for the perfect pack. I have been testing a few boots here at RMK recently and the next one in line was the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Mid boot.
Altra is a footwear company that "runs" on their Zero Drop platform, Pun intended. The Zero drop is intended to give perfect balance from the heel to the foot and I was able to experience it first hand. I decided to wait to review these boots until later in the year primarily due to the fact that they do run hot on those summer days.
The Altra Lone Peak's are a Mid boot which means they come up above the ankle for added support. I tend to prefer these style of boots because normally when I am using them I have a pack loaded out with 30+lbs and I need the support they offer. The Lone Peaks come in at $160 which I feel is a fair price point for everything they bring to the table. The Lone Peaks also weigh in at only 10oz which is the same weight as most of my running and workout shoes. For a waterproof ankle support hiking boot that is killer.
"Tons of Ankle Support"
Starting off the Lone Peak Mid has the high ankle support like most "Mid" style boots however these seem to offer more padding than any other I have tested. The tongue along with the side ankle padding is super thick and gives great protection as well as support. On either side of the side padding, there are multiple lace up points to ensure the right fit. I was able to get the boots exactly how I wanted throughout my hikes.
"Trail-Claw Outsole for Un-Matched Traction"
The outsole of the Lone Peak is their "Altra MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw". One of my "must haves" on a kickass mountain boot is a rugged outsole. The difference between a boot with one compared to a normal shoe when hiking even on flat dirt roads is night and day. The Lone Peak pass my test with their TrailClaw outsole. I never once lost footing on any of my test hikes even while carrying a ton of weight going both up and down hill. The outsole is rugged without being too much making walking on flat paved surfaces a task.
Above the Outsole on the Lone Peaks Altra has added their StoneGuard Sandwiched Rock protection and Natural Ride system which helps when trucking along those super rocky trails. I did notice on sharp or uneven rocks the boots kept my foot comfortable and felt more supported. For as light-weight as the Lone Peaks are it truly amazed me how protected my feet felt while strapped to these bad boys. Great job here Altra.
Next, what is a real hiking boot without some 100% waterproofness. The Lone Peaks use a Polar Tec liner which is very different from the last pair of boots I reviewed the UA Verge Mid which used Goretex. On the UA boots, the Goretex would absorb the water into the shell of the boot while trapping it and letting it slowly evaporate out. I don't mind this method however, it can make the boot heavier and give your feet the feeling they are getting wet just from the temperature. Through my testing with the Lone Peaks, the Polar-Tec water lining stopped the water before it could even enter the boot. Normal hiking and splashing through puddles the Lone Peaks did great but how about standing in ankle high water for a couple minutes? They did great as well, they did not any water in and blew me away. After I walked back out of the water the boots were almost unchanged, still just shedding off the excess water.
The downside to this type of Polar-Tec lining however to the Goretex is that not letting any water in also does not let much air out of the boots. I did notice on the hikes I brought the Lone Peaks on my feet would get super hot and sweaty. That being said I would recommend these boots for more Fall/Early Winter hiking and I think they will do fantastic. I would also love to see the option to have a breathable, non-waterproof version of these boots from Altra.
"Plenty of Wiggle-Room"
The Lone Peaks footbed definitely strays from the rest. I have pretty wide feet and the LPs fit me perfectly, not only is the heel and midfoot section wide so is the toe box which is great for people like me or anything wanting to wear some nice hiking socks underneath. They can feel somewhat larger than normal hiking boots due to this and the amount of padding, however, that is something I will take day in and day out.
The Zero-Drop platform is what Altra bases their company off of. The Zero drop is intended to give perfect balance from the heel to the foot which I feel it does, however, it is not my favorite. My whole life I have used running shoes which have my foot arched, hockey skates that double that arch, and boots that do the same, as have many people. As much as I wanted to get used to the Zero drop Altra provided I just couldn't. It does give you added stability though because that's just science, but on those long hikes especially when I used them to ruck 30+lbs my feet were not loving it. Maybe if I used the boots day and night without any other type of shoes for a couple months I could finally get my feet transitioned however, I will probably stick to my normal hiking boots for now.
Overall, the Altra Lone Peak is a feature packed hiking boot from the 100% waterproof Polartec liner, to the mega padding offered throughout the boot. I absolutely loved the outsole and the traction it gave on steep hikes while not being overkill for those normal dirt and paved paths. With the lack of breathability from the Polartec liner and build of the boot, I would recommend this boot for cooler hiking where heat is not an issue. The Zero Drop platform may not be my type of deal however if you can get your feet used to it you will love the boot.
- Polartec Waterproof lining
- Tons of Ankle Support
- Great Outsole
- Wide Fitting Toxbox for Plenty of Room
- Fun Colors
- Respectable Price for Features
- Super Light-Weight
- Not Very Breathable
- Zero Drop Is Not For Me