If you have been keeping up to date you know I went through a bit of a shoe crisis a few months back. The footwear I was using was being discontinued (big shocker there!) and I thought I would try something different. I experimented with a few pairs and then ended up finding something. The shoe that seemed to solve the problem was a pair of Altra Superior 2.0. The shoes were great, in fact they still are my second favorite pair of running shoes. When I ordered my last replacement pair I decided to try something with a little more cushion, hoping to find something that would be suitable for some backpacking trips also. Enter the Altra Lone Peak 2.5.
Initial Impression- The Lone Peak 2.5 is a close cousin of the Superior 2.0. Altra has three different trail shoes with varying amounts of cushion. The Superior being the minimalist model, the Lone peak being the middle of the road and the Olympus being the maximum cushion. Basically the shoes have very similar design but with minor tweaks. The Lone Peaks have a stack high of 25mm which is an additional 4mm over the Superior 2.0. The shoes thus weigh a little over an ounce more. The Lone Peak also uses a different material for the upper that appears to be more durable then the material used on the Superior. The tread pattern is also different and uses a combination of forward and backward facing arrows instead of the more rectangular lugs on the Superior.
The fit of the shoe is very similar to the Superior 2.0 with a few minor exceptions. Since Altra altered the fit of the Superior I now make contact with toe box on hard descents. In comparison the Lone Peaks feel more spacious in the toebox. Although minor the added 4mm of cushion is noticeable. Overall my initial impression of the shoe is positive, but only the miles will tell
Use- The first time I put these shoes on and headed out the door I knew I had just replaced my Superiors. The generous room in the toebox combined with the 4mm of added cushion created a pillow soft ride. Because of the stack height I had some concerns about the stability in technical terrain. My concerns were accurate as there have been multiple times where too much lateral movement occurs and I become unstable. This has only happened a few times and has only caused a brief 'oh shit' moment, before returning to my previous mental state. The upper material seems to be holding up much better then the Superior 2.0s. The Lone Peaks have around 243 miles on them and the upper appears brand new, even after multiple snags on rocks. The heel of the Lone Peak is slightly larger then the Superior and thus I experienced some movement in the heel. Often times I will need to readjust the lacing after a few miles to minimize movement at the heel. As with the Superiors the Lone Peak has a Trail Rudder. The Rudder on the Lone Peak is less pronounced and thus more ascetically pleasing then the Superior. The tread pattern seems to be of equivalent traction. Over all the tread seems to be wearing at a slower rate with the exception of lugs at the toe tearing off prematurely.
Final Thoughts- I bought both a pair of Lone Peaks and a pair of Superiors at the same time. The Lone Peaks have well over 240 miles while the Superiors are patiently waiting to break 20 miles. Basically the Lone Peaks have quickly become my favorite shoe to date. The shoe is superior to the Superiors (see what I did there, haha) in many ways. The fit, materials and added stack height give the Lone Peaks the advantage on those long runs over rough terrain. The Superiors still have their place in my arsenal as a fast, light shoe where is speed is the primary focus. If you have to buy just one shoe for running, hiking, and backpacking I would recommend the Lone Peak 2.5. The shoe is also available with a waterproof upper if thats your thing. Find out more about the shoe at Altra's website.
*These shoes were purchased for testing.