Altra makes a good model even better with the Lone Peak 3.0. Get ready to see a lot of these at your next ultramarathon.

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Features

  • Weight: 9.7 oz. /275 g
  • Stack Height: 25mm
  • Zero drop platform
  • FootShape toe box
  • Midsole: EVA with A-Bound top layer
  • Outsole: MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw grip
  • Insole: 5mm contour footbed
  • Upper: Quick-dry air mesh
  • Sandwiched StoneGuard rock protection
  • GaiterTrap attachment at heels
  • Four color options
  • MSRP $120

altra lone peak 3.0 side

28 Hours Straight in the Lone Peak 3.0’s

Altra has been steadily making their presence felt in the world of ultrarunning; it’s truly remarkable how widespread their shoes have become at races over the past couple of years. As ultrarunners are embracing the company, Altra is returning the love in equal measure: they provide sponsor support for many races throughout the west, and they recently became the presenting sponsor of the Western States Endurance Run. For a company that was barely on the radar a few years ago, that’s a pretty spectacular rise.

The foundation of this, of course, is their ability to create high performance off-road shoes that are built to handle any challenges the trail might throw at them. I tested the Superior 2.0 shoe at a 100K event this summer, and for a 100-mile attempt this September I called upon the Lone Peak 3.0. Although it’s a new model this fall, its credentials had already been established by Jason Schlarb, who wore the 3.0 while winning the Hardrock 100 this past summer.  While I’m not nearly able to approach the performance that Schlarb requires of his footwear, the test lab that I found for the Lone Peak 3.0 was almost equally daunting: this year’s Bear 100 in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah saw constant precipitation for a full day and a half, making the already steep and rocky trails downright treacherous with slippery footing and about 10 different varieties of mud.

Regular Lone Peak 3.0 on L, Neoshell upper on R

Regular Lone Peak 3.0 on L, Neoshell upper on R

In fact, the weather forecast for race day was so poor that I nearly selected the Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell version, which has a breathable waterproof barrier on the upper to provide more protection from wet conditions. Ultimately I decided on the standard mesh version based on weight.  The spec weights for each version are quite similar – 10 oz for the Neoshell vs 9.7 oz for the regular version – but on my size 11 pairs, the Neoshell is almost a full ounce heavier: 12.2 oz compared to 11.4.  Honestly, it was kind of a coin flip, and either model would have performed fine.

Caked in mud after the Bear 100; also pictured are Drymax Cold Weather socks

Caked in mud after the Bear 100; also pictured are Drymax Cold Weather socks

Despite being continually wet for more than 28 hours, I had no skin issues whatsoever on my feet, and stayed with a single pair of shoes and socks throughout the race. Part of the credit here also goes to my Drymax Cold Weather socks, but the Lone Peaks performed like a champ as well – not just in protecting my toes, but in their ability to get me through the most challenging trail conditions I’ve ever faced. Which is a good transition point to launch into the specs on this new model.

The Lone Peak 3.0 features extensive updates from top to bottom, starting with the new air mesh upper that secures the foot firmly against the midsole with overlays that are particularly prevalent on the lateral side. The mesh material has added protection compared to its predecessor, and has proven to be highly durable in our testing, resistant to punctures and tearing even when bushwhacking or navigating highly technical terrain.  Most of our testing took place in cool or wet conditions, but we did some hot weather running as well, and found the uppers to run slightly warm.

altra lone peak 3.0 medial

Firm A-bound layer (red) above softer EVA

Through the midsole, the Lone Peak 3.0 sticks very close to the 2.5 model, using a thin layer of firmer, high-energy return A-bound material on top of a thicker layer of traditional (and softer) EVA. Total stack height is 25mm in the heel and toe, which provides adequate cushioning for a 100-miler without feeling too disconnected from the group as some max cushioning shoes do. Between the midsole and outsole is a full length flexible StoneGuard rock plate to help disperse impact forces.

The most significant changes to the Lone Peak 3.0 are found on the outsole. First is removal of the trail rudder, a flap of outsole rubber that extended past the heel on previous versions. The intent of this piece was to assist with stability on steep descents, but in our testing experience this wasn’t particularly effective. The loss of this piece doesn’t seem noticeable, and helps save a fraction of weight.

altra lone peak 3.0 outsole

MaxTrac sticky rubber in black, TrailClaw in red

Much more noticeable is the new outsole design and material composition. The primary rubber compound (the black portion in the photo) is called MaxTrac, and has a slightly sticky texture to provide grip in wet or dry conditions.  Aggressive outsole lugs are shaped and angled to further improve traction in multiple directions. The colored arrangement in the center is called TrailClaw, and the compound is slightly firmer than the black portion to provide greater impact resistance in vulnerable areas. During our slopfest at the Bear 100, the lugs shed mud fairly effectively, and did a great job of providing a steady platform even when the thickness of the mud made firm contact with the ground impossible.

Longtime Altra users will appreciate that the Lone Peak 3.0 keeps many of the brand’s distinguishing features in place. The FootShape toe box provides plenty of room for toes to spread out, which was another important factor in avoiding blisters during a long wet day and night. The flat platform promotes midfoot strike and natural running form, and the Natural Ride System assists the transition from rearfoot to forefoot.

altra lone peak 3.0 pair

The Good 

  • Excellent traction in all conditions
  • Great cushioning and protective features for comfort
  • Improved stability of upper

The Bad 

  • Uppers run hot in warm temperatures

The Bottom Line: Altra Lone Peak 3.0

The Lone Peak was already one of Altra’s most popular trail shoes, and all of the upgrades on this new version are improvements. Its protective and comfort features are outstanding, and this shoe will remain one of our first choices for tackling 100 miles.

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About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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