Altra Zero Limits Lone Peak 2.0 Shoe Review
Weight Medium Size 10.9oz
Allgood’s Recommendation-My new go-to shoe for hiking, the edsigned Lone Peak is a far superior improvement to the Lone Peak 1.5. Looking for a new hiking shoe then look no further this is by far the best hiking shoe I have had in the past 6 years.
Back in January I attended the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt lake City, UT which was a mind blowing experience of new gear out on the market and coming out in the future. I was there with two good friends Lint Bunting and “Snorkel” Liz Thomas, both of which are brand ambassadors for Altra Zero Drop Shoes. Being fellow long distance hikers I was lamenting to them how my La Sportiva Wild Cat Shoes kept blowing out along the toe box due to my wide hiker feet. Both of them encouraged me to try on some Altra Shoes while at the show.
The next day I went and visited the Altra booth, and I tried on a pair of the Lone Peak 1.5’s they had tread mill in the booth so I actually had a chance to walk in them at a hiking pace with my pack on. The first thing I noticed was they actually fit my foot, I filled the toe box was not busting out the sides. I walked away after purchasing them happy to know I had found a shoe that actually fit my foot.
Since that time in January I have worn through 3 pairs of the Altra Lone Peak 1.5 on my hikes and my major issues with that model were as follows:
Outer Mesh-The shoes mesh while very breathable allowed for a large amount of pumice sand to get in and also wore poorly. Its durability was less than stellar and I often developed holes in the mesh after a 100 miles or so.
Tread-While the tread looked great, it actually did not have the traction needed in muddy and slippery conditions, often leading to foot slides and spills
Tread Durability-The tread wore quickly and after just one hike across lava in the cascades looked more worn than most previous shoes after a month or two of use.
Thin Rock Guard-The rock guard in the shoe was thin and actually let me feel every rock as hiked, great for sensitivity but when pushing a 30 mile day, my feet often were sore like someone had beaten them with a meat tenderizer.
Toe Rand- The large toe rand of the 1.5 often got caught on roots and rocks, and would develop a sole peel early in the shoes life.
EVA Midsole-The 1.5 had a thin EVA midsole, being a bigger guy who pronates, I actually squished the EVA out over the sole on one of my pairs of the 1.5.
The new Altra Lone Peak 2.0:
In August I was back at the Outdoor Retailer show again in SLC, I went and spoke to the guys at Altra and told them about my shoes and their use. They showed me the new 2.0 and 20 minutes later I was walking the show in a new pair of bright yellow Altra (I love the bold colors they use). When discussing the above mentioned concerns with Seth Wold their sales manager, he took the time to go over the new and improved Lone Peak. All of my complaints were addressed in this new model he assured me and the improvements are as follows:
Mesh-the new mesh has a tighter weave and slick more durable finish to it.
Tread-The new sole has nearly twice the tread and grip, including side lugs to help with slippage, and a more secure foot placement.
Tread Durability-Seth told me they used a harder rubbed this round that was still has plenty of grip but would hold up better over coarse trail tread.
Rock Guard-The new rock guard was beefed up and runs the entire length of the shoe, this equates to less transfer to the feet and better protection.
Toe Rand-The 2.0 has a much smaller toe rand with not distinguishable edge to catch on things. They also used a laminate around the toe area to protect the mesh and reduce the catching experienced in 1.5
EVA Midsole-The new EVA midsole was beefed up a full 3mm, that doesn’t sound like much-but side by side you can see the extra thickness compared to the 1.5
Two other improvements:
Ankle Cuff- The new 2.0 has a padded ankle cuff that not only provided some nice cushion around the foot but also was designed to keep rocks and twigs out of the shoe
Gaiter Trap-The new gaiter trap is larger and provides a larger surface area for the Velcro to stay secure.
I walked the show at Salt Lake City the next 3 days there with the new 2.0 and absolutely loved them. I could already tell how much more cushion was there and the new cuff felt much more secure. My first impressions were that everything I loathed had been corrected. However being a long distance hiker I knew I could only tell how well the new design was by getting them out in the field.
I had a free weekend so my hiking partner and I decided to head up to Goat Rocks Wilderness in WA and do a day hike to climb a PCT favorite Old Snowy Mountain. I have done this climb before and knew the trail was the perfect testing ground. The first few miles climb steadily through a forest and the trail is a combination of sand, mud, and pine needles. Once you get above tree line you predominantly hike through meadows of decomposed pumice and volcanic ash. The climb up the mountain itself is mainly sharp volcanic rock and scree, with some hand over hand scrambles to the summit.
We set out from the trailhead early in the morning and started to climb; the shoes felt secure and did not have any heel slip (thanks to the new padded ankle cuff). The trail was wet and muddy from the previous day’s rain but even crossing wet rocks and logs the shoe had plenty of grip and I felt secure in my footing.
The next section of trail was crossing the big alpine meadows, this area is dusty and each step kicks up sand and ash. In the 1.5 I would be stopping every few miles to empty the sand out form my shoes, but not this time. The new mesh did exactly what is meant today, it kept the sand and ash out and still allowed my feet to breath and not get all sweaty. My feet got wet when crossing some snow melt but with the warm sun and a few miles the shoes quickly dried out.
The Final section of trail was all rock and one snow field. The snow is always interesting in running shoes, but the new tread sunk right into the soft snow and held my footing secure from step to step, I was impressed as to how well they felt, and not once did my foot do the big slide I am so used to. As we approached the rocky terrain and scramble, it was the time to see how well these shoes would perform. The soles gripped the rocks perfectly, I had secure footing even through the hand over hand area, and not once did my feet slip out form lack of tread holding power. The scramble up to the summit was smooth, and I felt secure the entire way. The walk along the knife’s edge was a good test for the improved rock guard. I found that the shoe had the right balance of protection and sensitivity to feel secure along the spine of the ridge yet still pad my feet from the pounding along the rocky trail.
We started our descent back down to the car, and my feet were as happy as when we had started no soreness or pain from the rocky trail. On down hills I tend to lengthen my stride and often catch a toe on rocks and roots, the new toe rand prevented this typical grab, and I flew down the trail without one trip. By the end of the day my feet felt fine and the shoes had held up well without any major signs of wear.
After a good 18-20 mile hike, I returned to my rig with happy feet and not a single blister (first time that has happened in 5 years). I took my shoes off and went to dump the day’s accumulation of sand and debris and hardly anything came out-very impressive. I inspected the shoe, the mesh was still looking as good as new, the soles were hardly worn and showed no signs of walking miles along scree and sharp talus. I was impressed to say the least and very happy to report that the new 2.0 is everything it is tooted as being.
This is now the go to shoe for my hiking adventures. If you are looking for a new shoe, look no further. I would forgo getting the 1.5 at this point and spend the extra dough instead on the 2.0. I think the durability factor, extra cushioning and stronger rock guard all add up to this model being far superior to its predecessor. I am looking forward to pounding out some miles this fall in my new Altra Lone Peak 2.0 here in the Cascade Mountain range.
Full disclosure, I am a Trail Ambassador for Gossamer Gear, Ruffwear Dog Gear and TurboPUP Dog Bars. I do however try to keep these reviews as no-biased as possible. As far as backing gear goes, I have been using GG products for the past 4 years. Their products are well enginereerd, super durable, and have been a joy to use in the feild.