The Lone Peak 6.0 from Altra is the new standard in zero-drop trail running shoes.
Trail running is one of the best ways I’ve found to physically prepare for backpack hunting. It pushes your endurance to new heights, and endurance is a must-have in the backcountry.
With that in mind, I recently picked up the new Lone Peak 6.0 trail running shoes from Altra. Friends of mine have used Altra for years, but this would be my first experience hitting the trails in them. I was hesitant to take the leap to this style of shoe, but I’m sure glad I did.
In short: The Altra Lone Peak 6.0 is easily one of the best zero-drop trail running shoes out there. From comfort to overall functionality, it’s a step in the right direction for anyone looking to burn up the trails.
Altra Lone Peak 6.0 Review
Altra has been in the trail running business for just over 10 years, and its Lone Peaks have stolen the hearts of many. The brand started with the original Lone Peak, and now we’re up to the Lone Peak 6.0. Much like previous versions, the 6.0 is a zero-drop, mid-cushioned trail shoe, available both in both men’s and women’s.
There are five color options for men and four for women. Altra also offers three different foot shape options: Original, Standard, and Slim.
At only 10.6 ounches, this shoe is going to keep things light and quick on the trail. With a Quick Dry Air Mesh upper, you can rest assured the inside of the Lone Peak will dry out quickly and efficiently.
There are a few notable features we need to touch on. Some of these elements were carried over from past versions, and some are specific to the Lone Peak. Nonetheless, these are what separate the Altra from the rest.
So, what is a “zero-drop” trail running shoe? Unlike most shoes that have a slightly elevated heel from the toebox, zero-drop means the heel sits on the same plane as the toes. This creates a more balanced feel when on the trail, and it’s one of the things Altra is best known for.
Another Altra-specific feature is its more rounded toebox, which runs in line with how the foot is naturally shaped. The wider design in front of the shoe allows the foot to splay out a bit more.
This is super noticeable when contouring your foot over rocks, logs, etc., and it really adds to the overall comfort.
It may not look like it, but this is a very cushioned shoe, and it’s because of Altra’s EGO midsole: the real gem of the Lone Peak 6.0.
This cushioned but very responsive midsole offers maximum comfort when traversing rocky terrain and such while also helping maintain energy. The EGO midsole provides some serious bounceback to help propel you down the trail.
Grippy Max Trac
We can’t talk about footwear for the trail without talking about traction. On the Lone Peak 6.0, you’ll find Altra’s Grippy Max Trac outsole. Traction is about more than just being grippy. There needs to be a balance of grip, tread, and durability. And that’s exactly what Altra has done with this outsole.
The Grippy Max Trac excels at not only the grip and durability part of the equation, but also at kicking off any mud that would otherwise be caked on your shoe.
My first impressions of the Lone Peak 6.0 left me a little skeptical, to be honest. Between what looked like a lack of cushion and the broad toebox design, I thought I was going to walk away with more of a negative experience.
I was wrong.
All of my trail runs have taken place in my home state of Arizona. It’s rocky as hell and burns through footwear like it’s going out of style. So far, the Lone Peaks have performed exceptionally well.
My initial concerns about a lack of cushion are no more. I’ve run with these bad boys on the rockiest of trails, on both inclines and declines, and my feet were totally fine. I also didn’t feel like I was in an ice skating rink. The traction is on point.
And the wider toebox? While I thought it would be something I didn’t like, it turned out to be a great feature for me. I really noticed this while hopping from rock to rock on more technical parts of trails. That extra width up front allowed my foot to spread out more naturally, unlike other footwear where it might feel more constrained.
First Impressions and Downsides
There are a few downsides that need to be mentioned.
Maybe not a downside, but it is worth noting that the zero-drop design is a significant change from what most people are accustomed to. The design goes against what you’ve likely always worn in terms of a running shoe, and some people simply might not like it.
The same can be said of the wider toebox. It’s just a different feel, and that difference isn’t for everyone.
The next issue is really for the people who are already familiar with the Lone Peak line. There are some inconsistencies in sizing when compared to previous versions of the Lone Peak.
The 6.0 is coming in a bit larger than its predecessors, so if you were a size 10 in the Lone Peak 5.0, there’s a chance you might have to drop to a 9.5 in the Lone Peak 6.0.
Some places won’t allow you to return shoes after they’ve been on the trail. With a price tag of $140, it’s worth double-checking the sizing to ensure that you don’t end up cornered into buying a second pair. Keep this in mind, or get into a shop and try them on before committing.
One last thing we need to touch on is durability. These are not what I’d call a “beefy” shoe. And while the 6.0 is incredibly comfortable, I have heard reports of how they tend to break down over time.
From outsole cracking to stitching blowing out, people have noted that heavy use is rough on these runners, and they don’t hold up as well as many hope. How fast this happens, and if it will happen at all, will depend on how much you use the shoe, of course.
Honestly, it’s par for the course when you’re rough on gear.
Altra Lone Peak 6.0 Conclusion
All in all, I’m still hitting the trails with the Altra Lone Peak 6.0, and I don’t plan on switching anytime soon. While the zero-drop thing did take some getting used to, I’m glad I stuck it out.
I feel like I’ve got more control over what I’m feeling on the trail while not giving up comfort. I’m grateful not to be returning to the truck with bruised feet.
Whether you’re looking to take up trail running in preparation for that big backpack hunt this fall, or simply want an excuse to go break a sweat in the hills, the Altra Lone Peak 6.0 is worth your consideration. I’m sure glad I gave them mine.