REVIEWER: KATE DZIENIS
SO I HEAR FROM HARDCORE ALTRA USERS that once you go Altra, you never ever go back. And quite frankly, after putting on a pair of these babies in the form of Lone Peak 6, I can absolutely understand and attest to the fandom that comes with having them.
Firstly, I’m just going to say that the zero drop on these is unbelievable. For someone who usually runs in an 8mm drop shoe, I was taken aback by the comfortability in a shoe that allows you to feel like you’re almost running barefoot, and I love how despite all its high-tech features, the Lone Peak 6 feels incredibly minimalistic on my feet – meaning there’s enough cushioning to soften the blow of trail terrain while at the same time I’m left feeling closer to Mother Earth and all of her nuances.
I have quickly come to realise that the Lone Peak 6 allow me to absorb the impact of running, and its wider toe box helps with that. After having children, it’s widely known that pregnancy can indeed increase a woman’s foot size – in my case, my change to foot shape has been permanent and I’ve needed a much wider shoe in recent years. The Lone Peak 6’s wider-than-other-shoes’ toe box is abundant, and 100% accommodates swelling toes and improves pain/reduces the occurrence associated with blisters and bunions. The wide toe box also allowed for my big toe to stay positioned straight, making me feel more stable along the compact limestone I usually run along. Stretching my toes at the end of my run in these was an absolute delight, and I didn’t feel a need to take them off once I got in the car.
These are a high performance trail shoe, very much as versatile as a running shoe can get, and they conform to the natural movements of your feet. The air mesh remains the same as previous versions, so wet and muddy conditions won’t weigh you down due to updated drain ports that improve the flow of excess water. And random debris won’t find its way into your socks because of – and this is the best ‘oh-my’ moment ever – a Velcro attachment on the back heel where you can attach a pair of gaitors! To not have to race to the shops for Velcro, cut each piece up and stick them to the back of your shoe is one of the best ideas to date. Because who has time for that?
Onto the tech specs of the Lone Peak 6, and it’s worth noting that MaxTrac outsole technology is utilised – a combination of grip, traction and durability to tackle more terrain. Basically, it’s the multi-directional lug pattern on the bottom of the shoe that allows incredibly outrageous grip. That being said, the Lone Peak 6 also features StoneGuard™ tech, which offers protection from rocks and branches underfoot. So whilst you may feel you’re running barefoot, you won’t get the cuts and bruises that come with it.
What’s more is that I can’t talk about all these tech features without mentioning the shoe’s EGO™ midsole, known as the ‘holy grail’ of running shoe cushioning and offering a fast and springy, yet comfortable and soft run response. It’s a technology that caters to the elite runner for its speed and to the recreational runner due to softness underfoot. This midsole, along with the wide toe box, is Altra’s distinctive design, one that is highly engineered and built for performance.
The Lone Peak name in itself, for cult followers, is an iconic name and known to tackle most conditions and distances along with a stylish look. I wore the Lone Peak 6 shoes not only for training runs, but for my recent entry at Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra, which saw a combination of bike path, crushed limestone trails and grass. It got to a point where the shoe almost became an extension of my own body, and I forgot they were even on – isn’t that what we want all of our shoes to feel like?
The Lone Peak 6 comes in navy light blue, black green, and white green for women while men can choose from black/gray, orange, and maroon colours. The only real difference between the Lone Peak 6 and its predecessor, the Lone Peak 5, is that there are three additional lace eyelets in the midfoot to lockdown the shoe better, they are only a fraction lighter in weight, and there is a slight variation from the shape of the upper, with less material for a decrease in ‘baggy’ appearance.
Overall, Altra’s Lone Peak 6 trail shoe is perfect for mixed terrain conditions, and performs exceptionally for those who are new to zero drop running. It’s definitely a workhorse runner, and Altra has done incredibly well to maintain the shoe’s adaptability as well as retain its notoriety as one of the best trail shoes on the market.
THE LOW DOWN
GREAT FOR: All terrains and weather conditions. This is a high performance shoe made for all levels of running
NOT SO GREAT FOR: Long stints on concrete paving. With this being a trail shoe, it’s best to let it perform where it excels – on the trails
TEST CONDITIONS: Flat, single track on dry crushed limestone, grass, cycle path
TESTER: Kate Dzienis
TESTER MECHANICS: Severe overpronator with wide feet, usually running in 8mm drop shoes.
RRP: $249 AUD / $279 NZD
CONDITIONS: Shoes provided for testing by Altra