Altra Lone Peak 5.0 review and lab test

I loved them! They felt nice and flat, well balanced, wide in the toe box, and confident on any terrain I threw at them. The updated midsole gives this shoe a bit more protection underfoot and a bit more pep without straying too far from their grounded, minimal roots. 

This shoe is ideal for trail runners out there that 

  1. have wide feet 
  2. want a shoe that easily sheds mud and drains water 
  3. are forefoot and midfoot strikers looking to go fast. 


Lone Peak 5 pieces of the shoe

Don’t buy this shoe if you want a true minimalist experience as there’s less ground feel. Chances are Altra won’t give you this at all, so you can have a look at the Merrel Vapor Glove series, Xero trail running shoes, Vibram Five Fingers, Vivobarefoot running shoes

It’s also a big transition for a runner in traditional 8-10mm drop shoes to take, so beware if you want to try the Lone Peak 5, you may need to ease into them. 

Pros

  • Feel 1/2 size bigger
  • Great for wide feet
  • Superb grip (rocks, mud, ice, snow) 
  • Stiff and durable 
  • Sheds mud easily
  • Great water drainage
  • Perfect right out of the box
  • Balanced and stable ride
  • Removable Ortholite insole
  • Great for road-to-trail transitions
  • Extremely breathable
  • Excellent lacing system
  • Rock plate for technical terrain
  • Laces don't untie 
  • Gaiter-friendly
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No ground feel
  • Too cold for winter days
  • Upper tears easily

 

Lone Peak 5 feels half a size bigger

They feel big. Altra is known for its wide toe boxes which let your toes splay naturally with every step, which is great. I have a wide foot and like lots of toe room, but they still feel big. I could have done a half size down probably. 



However what's interesting is that they don’t measure overly long or wide, at 293.4mm they actually fall just a few mm short of the average length for men’s size 9, and at 97.3mm wide in the upper forefoot they are not wider than average either, yet they feel roomy on your feet. 

Perfect right out of the box

In the Lone Peak 5, I just wanted to keep running. I ended at just over 10 miles because I was enjoying them so much. 

I normally take new shoes out for 5 miles for their very first run, which gives me enough time to feel them out, but also get past that 2-3 mile initial break-in. The shoe is surprisingly comfortable.

I wouldn’t say they are overly responsive or cushioned, but they are balanced. They feel very sturdy under foot thanks to the low stack (24mm) and zero drop. 

There’s a bit of arch support in these which feels nice under foot, especially for a zero drop shoe that normally sees a flatter midsole profile. 

How Altra Lone 5 looks when cut in half

They also have a thick Ortholite insole that comes up nice and high in the heel box, giving added support to secure the heel since overall the heel counter on this shoe is extremely flexible. 


Insole closeup on Lone Peak 5

They have enough foam under foot to deter sharp rocks from causing issues, something that more minimalist, and a lot of zero-drop trail shoes, have issues with. 

Lone Peak 5 grips onto everything

I’ve got to say I was impressed with the grip, and the protection underfoot.



I was impressed they did fine everywhere I took them. Granted they were not rockstars at anything, but they worked, and my legs and feet appreciated them. 

March in Colorado means freeze-thaw cycles, so I got to test this in the small window where we have mud, ice, snow, and dry trails on every run. I was bouncing from rock to rock at times, none of which made me cringe or fear for my life. 

The midsole flexes enough to allow the shoe to bend and mold itself around terrain, ensuring ample surface area connection which led to the confident feeling these shoes inspired. 

Great for road-to-trail transitions

Even on the road, going long and slow saw no issues, and when the road ended, they transitioned straight to dirt and mud seamlessly. 

Now I wouldn’t recommend these as road shoe perse, but in a pinch they work, as the lugs aren’t overly tall, and are stiff enough to not bend or wobble on harder packed surfaces. 

So breathable they are cold in winter

Ripstop nylon?? I was concerned about the breathability of these: there’s not a ton of venting holes and nylon made me think of my tent and not a breathable mesh-like upper. 


Closeup of the upper on Altra Lone Peak 5

I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but they ran nice and cool, even a touch cold in the 40-degree weather we’re having. 


Transparency test done on Altra Lone Peak 5

On our “light test”, Altra Lone Peak 5.0 performed “worst”, letting the least amount of light out: only 12.8LUX, while the average recorded result so far is 125.6LUX. We can thank the nylon upper for this. 

Great lacing system fixes the heel slip

This is one shoe that the laces are long enough to use both top holes if you really need to, which I am finding is rare these days. 


Laces on Altra Lone 5

I did have some minor heel slip as well, but by utilizing the second top lace hole I was easily able to solve that problem. Over the midfoot, I felt locked in thanks to the thick 6.7mm laces, and although the toe box is wide, and the shoes felt roomy, they didn’t feel sloppy. 



However the negative is if you don’t need both top holes, the laces do feel a bit long, and at 49’’ they are a touch over the average of 46.6’’. 

You’re in for a stable ride

The ride on the Lone Peak 5 is stable. But at over 10.6oz (302g), it’s not a super lightweight shoe. 

Although the updates to the midsole have given it a bit more cushion, it’s still a fairly stiff shoe (25.5N in our flexibility test puts it over the average of 23.8N). 

This gives it a bit more response than a lot of other zero-drop runners in this category. 

Altra Lone Peak 5 keeps your feet protected

The 5.5mm outsole and added rock plate give it all the protection you need, and the 3.65mm multi-directional lugs grip well on every surface I threw at it, including snow and mud. 

Outsole on Lone Peak 5

Best for faster runs and forefoot strikers

I didn’t get that feeling I had to run on my toes like most zero drop shoes feel, but it wants you to. It performed better once you were going fast and off your heels. 

It’s not really an ideal walking shoe in my opinion, if you plan to hike or trail walk, I’d suggest something with a bit more drop. 

Stiff and durable

This shoe has plenty of dense rubber under foot, and a well-built, if not over-engineered upper (yes this means it could be lighter weight). I believe the midsole and outsole will go the distance. 

The outsole has fairly stiff rubber (79HC on the durometer) putting it just below the average outsole durometer of 80.8HC, most of which are hard enough for road abuse. 

No soaking, only quick draining in Lone Peak 5

What I did like was they seemed very hydrophobic and I assumed they would be somewhat weather resistant while not layered with stuffy waterproof membranes. What I quickly discovered in reality though was they weren’t that weather-resistant. They didn’t block water from coming in, but mud and grime easily slip off the material, and the shoes drain quickly thanks to ample drain holes. 


Altra Lone Peak on the rocks

The fabric doesn't soak in water, so although your feet easily get wet, they dry out and the shoes didn’t gain weight throughout my wet runs. 

Cleaning is a breeze

Thanks to the nylon upper, cleaning is a cinch. A quick spray with the hose and they look good as new. 

Running in the mud in Altra Lone Peak 5

Avoid sharp objects on the run

The upper is an unknown though, the ripstop nylon seems like it could be tougher than your standard engineered mesh upper, but it’s faulty thin in place, and cut easily when facing the exacto knife. 



If you were to snag it on a sharp branch or rock out on the trails you could slice it. Baring a dramatic cut, I think it will wear nicely and have a decent life.



Gaiter-friendly

Should you need to run in these kinds of conditions, muddy, wet, snowy, they do have gaiter attachments, a metal loop at the bottom of the lacing pattern and a velcro heel tab, nice features for sure!


Gaiter hook and velcro on Altra Lone Peak 5.0

Badass laces (that don’t untie easily)

The laces took the most force to untie in our lace slip test. They averaged 73N to get untied, where the average for all the shoes we’ve tested so far is is 35.7N. 

Although they are thick and sturdy, they have a grippy feel to them, and as you tighten them down you can even hear them tighten against themselves, like very fine sandpaper rubbing away a top layer of wood. 

Some laces are made from smooth material that feels good in your hands, they tend to slip and slide a bit, whereas these bad boys stay nice and tight, no double knot required! 

Also worth mentioning

Under the insole, there’s an odd string and tape issue going on. I have no idea what this is for, but it was in both shoes. I guess don’t ask, Altra won’t tell? Maybe just don’t pull on it.


Weird tape on Altra Lone Peak 5

Also, I didn’t have any hot spots, but if you need to do some fancy heel-slip lacing, there was a bit of lace bite up near my ankle. 

Conclusion

Overall, I am impressed with the Lone Peak 5. I am finally starting to see the benefit of maximalist type shoes, but I’ve got a soft spot on my heart for the minimalist revolution from a decade ago. 

Although that’s mostly in the past, it’s nice to see shoes like this, with zero drop, low stack, but with enough rock protection to actually be a shoe you can wear on long, steep, technical runs. 

Sadly these had to be sawn in half, for science, but I’d be willing to add these back into my rotation if another pair ever found their way to me.

Complete lab-specs overview 

Altra Lone Peak 5.0
Weight - Left 302g
Weight - Right 299g
Weight - Insole 29g
Weight - Lace 6g
Length - Overall 293.37mm
Length - Insole 273.30mm
Width Midsole - Forefoot  109.7mm
Width Midsole - Heel 82.1mm
Width Midsole - Middle  73.8mm
Width Upper - Forefoot 97.3mm
Width Upper - Heel 71.5mm
Width Upper - Middle 75.2mm
Stack - Forefoot with insole 24.3mm
Stack - Heel with insole 24.5mm
Stack - Forefoot without insole 19mm
Stack - Heel without insole 19.3mm
Drop 0.2mm
Outsole thickness (Forefoot) 5.5mm
Outsole thickness (Heel) 5.5mm
Lugs Depth 3.65
Insole Thickness 4.7mm
Laces (without stretch) 49inches
Laces (with stretch) 55inches
Lace Stretch % 12.24
Laces - Thickness (Height) 1.6mm
Laces - Width 6.7mm
Durometer Outsole Forefoot (Room Temp) 79.5HC
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room Temp) 79.7HC
Durometer Midsole Forefoot (Room Temp) 24.2HA
Durometer Midsole Forefoot 2nd layer (Room Temp) N/A
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room Temp) 23.2HA
Durometer Insole (Room Temp) 24.8HA
Flexibility of the shoe (Room Temp) 25.5N
Durometer Outsole Forefoot (Freezer 1 hour) 84.2HC
Durometer Outsole Heel (Freezer 1 hour) 83.7HC
Durometer Midsole Forefoot (Freezer 1 hour) 33.7HA
Durometer Midsole Forefoot 2nd layer (Freezer 1 hour) N/A
Durometer Midsole Heel (Freezer 1 hour) 30.5HA
Durometer Insole (Freezer 1 hour) 33.0HA
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 1 hour) 49.1N
Durometer Outsole Forefoot (% change with temperature) 5.87
Durometer Outsole Heel (% change with temperature) 5.02
Durometer Midsole Forefoot (% change with temperature) 39.31
Durometer Midsole Heel (% change with temperature) 31.65
Durometer Insole (% change with temperature) 32.89
Flexibility of the shoe (% change with temperature) 92.63
Thickness - Heel Counter/Insert 0.2mm
Thickness - Ankle Collar (min) 11.4mm
Thickness - Ankle Collar (max) 11.7mm
Thickness - Ankle Collar (Range of taper) 12.2mm
Heel counter material welded overlays
Thickness - Tongue 4.5mm
Flexibility of the heel counter  16.6N
Light test (transparence) 12.8LUX
Lace slip test with the knot 73.0N
Longitudinal flexibility (0-5) 2
Torsional flexibility (0-5) 2
Tongue: gusset type both sides
Laces: profile  Flat
Laces: extra hole  yes
Laces: are they long enough to use the extra hole  yes
Heel tab type finger loop
Insole: removable yes
Control devices:
Multi-density midsole
Rigid heel counter
Elevated medial insole under arch
Supportive tensioned medial upper
Medial flare
Thermoplastic medial post

no
no
yes
no
no
no
How minimalist the shoe is in % 52

Note: all the tests were done on a men's shoe US size 9. 

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Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul Ronto is a long-time marathoner and ultra-runner with 6 marathons under his belt and a course record for his first 24-hour ultra. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado and gets excited about hard days out on the steep trails with lots of elevation. He has slightly wider feet and tends to comment on shoes in standard widths feeling narrow. He both runs in the shoes and cuts them apart in the lab. He tests even the tiniest pieces of the shoes and that's why he's THE guy for shoe testing.