Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Trail Running Shoe Review

Sleek and stylish, the Lone Peak 3.0 continues Altra’s flagline shoe series. There’s a reason why this line hasn’t been stopped. Previous models brought a powerful shoe to trail running – strong grip and very light. The traction beats their Olympus series shoes, and the shorter stack height leads to more foot control and power.

Some would write that off as a con because of less cushion, which means less comfort. In contrast, those looking to PB a race recognize that sometimes comfort has to be sacrificed in order to achieve maximum performance. Take a look at track spikes – there is much more comfortable footwear out there for running, but track spikes are essential to sprinters and other short-distance athletes.

Sporting a stack height of 25mm, a new MaxTrac outsole, increased durability for the upper, and a weight of 275g, the lone Peak 3.0 has many very intriguing specs. Altra has also added a new tread design with hexagonal shapes rather than arrows. In theory, these should dig into the ground more and help you push off faster. Key words are “in theory”, mind you.

The real test is to find out if these additions are worth the cost, or if it’s better to stick with the older Altra Lone Peak 2.5.

After spending some time, we have some results.

Pros:

The new tread design goes past theory and pushes into reality. It works, and it works well. Digging into mud, dirt, and rocky trail is no challenge. the 3.0 brings an incredible amount of grip on the trails, and tall, sticky lugs make climbing up terrain much easier. Hills can cause a great deal of huffing and puffing with other shoes; however, with the Lone Peak 3.0, the sticky outsole removes some strain and lessens the need to work as hard due to the grip. It’s time to find tougher hills now.

Tougher hills and deeper trails benefit from the design of these shoes, and it is hard to lose momentum. After hitting a desired speed, holding the pace is made to be easy thanks to the excellent grip and less soft cushioning. The rocks and dust flying up stay out of the shoes as well due to the thicker upper.

These shoes are very durable and I couldn’t find a weak spot anywhere. The meshes are thick and the entire outsole is rubber.

The rubber has a strong grip, but doesn’t compress a huge amount. This is at another cost of comfort. Less compression means less cushion, but faster response and less lost energy. The lower stack height also contributes to this. The Lone Peak 3.0 is designed for performance.

Finally, the zero-drop between the heel and forefoot is a great feature. Altra has zero-drop as its signature and these shoes aren’t an exception. For those who struggle with landing on their heel, switching to a zero-drop shoe could fix their form. This adds to the comfort of the shoe and helps prevent muscle strain and imbalances. Our feet are naturally built so that our heel and forefoot land at the same time. This disperses energy and puts less shock on our bones. If it were better to land on our heel first, our heel would be longer. This isn’t the case. Zero-drop is a big feature in any shoe.

Cons:

I wouldn’t recommend these for road running, only for the trail. Other shoes can be more versatile and hit more than one area, but the Lone Peak 3.0 is best for just the trail. This leads to targeted training, which, if not supplemented with other exercise, could lead to weaknesses in other areas. The tread design causes the shoes to feel clunky, and the grip is lacking compared to on soft, malleable ground thanks to the tall lugs. Imagine running in work boots without the weight. Great tread, but not designed for that activity. Also, the breathability in these shoes was lost when they increased the durability of the upper.

The designs for these shoes are mapped specifically for a trail runner – no cross-training, unfortunately.

A better shoe for cross-training while also being a trail running shoe from Altra is the Olympus 2.0. Those are less dependent on dirt. Similarly, the Olympus 2.0 is far better for comfort. If you aren’t looking for maximum performance, and instead comfort, these shoes might not be the perfect match.

Also, similarly to the change between the Olympus 1.5 and Olympus 2.0, the Lone Peak 3.0 has become narrower. For people with wider feet, this could be a problem. Runners relying on the wideness of the Lone Peak series might be disappointed.

Wrap-up:

Pros:

  • Great Tread Design
  • Boasts Thick Lugs
  • Excellent Traction
  • Rocks Stay Out
  • Durable
  • Lower Stack Height
  • Zero Heel-Forefoot Drop

Cons:

  • Can’t Crosstrain
  • Lack of Comfort Compared to Other Lineups
  • Narrower
  • Not Breathable

Want to compare the Lone Peak 3.0 to other Altra trail running shoes?

Check out our comparison post between the Olympus 2.0, Lone Peak 3.0, and Superior 3.0 running shoes!

The Lone Peak 3.0 brings great performance, durability, and good form to the table. Trail racing with these would leave other runners in the dust. However, Altra has more comfortable shoes. Finally, for more diverse runners, they can’t be crosstrained with.

Despite this, the writers here at Runners Equipped would recommend this shoe to trail running fans.

Buy at Amazon

Final Verdict of the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Review

star-rating-system-9-out-of-10


Caleb Thompson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and other Amazon stores worldwide.

Do you want to become a running champion?

Of course you do! Let us help you - we'll give you the latest up-to-date info, based on science-proven facts. All we need is an email.