Men’s Altra Lone Peak 8 Review

A hiker poses at an overlook with large red rocks in the background.
While the Altra Lone Peak 8 weigh a bit more than other tested shoes, their comfort and versatility make them a great choice for most hikes.

Bottom Line

The Altra Lone Peak 8s are some of our favorite zero-drop shoes for hiking. We’ve tested them extensively across hundreds of miles in the Colorado mountains from June until October and they’ve performed admirably. The Lone Peaks are in a league of their own when it comes to an ergonomic profile: their extra-wide toe box allows natural foot splay, and they provide excellent traction thanks to Altra’s effective, tacky lug pattern. At just 11 ounces per shoe, these are some of the most breathable and quick-drying footwear you’ll find anywhere, making them perfect for hot, wet, or mucky trails. 

However, the sensitive lacing system requires careful adjustment for the right fit, and their durability is lacking. And, the zero-drop design won’t suit everyone’s needs and can increase injury risk for those transitioning from higher-drop shoes. However, if you’re looking for stability, comfort, and airy shoes, look no further than the Lone Peak 8s.

Quick Specs

Men’s Altra Lone Peak 8

Best Zero Drop Shoes for Thru-Hiking


Price:

$140


Weight (Pair):

1 lb. 5.4 oz.


Heel-to-Toe Drop:

0 mm

Pros

  • Roomy toe box
  • Excellent traction
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible outsoles
  • Breathable uppers
  • Rock plate
  • No break-in needed
  • Built-in gaiter attachment

Cons

  • Not as durable as some
  • Zero drop doesn't work for everyone

A picture of a hiking shoe staged on a rock in a desert setting.
Zero-drop shoes aren’t for everyone, since they can take some getting used to, but the Altra Lone Peak 8 are our go-to pair for comfort and versatility.

Comfort

The Altra Lone Peak 8s offer a wide, comfy toe box, making them one of the most comfortable shoes we’ve tested. This generous space at the forefoot allows a natural gait since your toes can splay out easily. We find the shoe fits snugly through the rest of the foot, promoting a natural step that reduces fatigue over long distances.

With all-mesh uppers and thin TPU overlays, the Lone Peak 8s are some of the most breathable and airy shoes out there and will keep your feet cool and dry even on scorching hot days. 

The Lone Peak 8s are all about the details. Their cushy heel cuff and soft midsole foam offer comfort with almost no break-in period, making them perfect for hitting the trail right out of the box. The lacing system is very sensitive, so you can tweak the laces exactly how you like them for the right pressure and get the ideal customized fit for your foot shape. 

Although we love the wide toe box, it may feel too roomy for folks with narrow feet, which can lead to a loose-feeling and less-secure fit. Additionally, the highly adjustable lacing system can be a bit tricky to dial in. We’ve found it takes multiple rounds of adjustments to find the sweet spot before a long day, although the laces hold very well once you’ve got the pressure just right.

Finally, the zero-drop design of the Altra Lone Peak 8s won’t suit everyone. Moving from a shoe with a higher heel-to-toe drop to a zero-drop shoe can alter running patterns and increase the risk of strain on joints due to the higher load rates and increased plantar pressures that affect the calf, foot, and hips. Consider easing into long hiking days with a 2-3 week transition period if you’re switching from traditional shoes – making the switch abruptly can be challenging and uncomfortable. And if you haven’t used zero-drop footwear before, we highly recommend testing the shoes before heading out on trail to make sure they work with your needs and biomechanics.

A hiker ties his hiking shoes at a overlook above some red rocks.
The Altra Lone Peak 8 has an excellent lacing system that makes it easy to dial in the fit to cater to your foot shape and size, making them comfortable mile after mile.

Traction

The Altra Lone Peak 8s offer stellar, grippy outsoles thanks to their Trail Claw lug pattern. This design features a mix of square, triangular, and ribbed lugs across the outsole that made for ultra-tacky and super-effective grip whether we were hiking on sandy desert washes, gravel paths, or rocky, root-filled trails. Thanks to their low, slim profile and zero-drop design, the Lone Peaks are awesome when it comes to reliable stability and control.

The thin foam and minimalist profile contribute to an excellent ground feel, which will allow you to navigate tricky terrain with precision. The Lone Peak 8s are particularly effective on moderately technical trails where careful footing is crucial. This combo will keep you feeling stable and secure and reduce the chance of risk slipping or falling.

However, while the minimalist design enhances ground feel, it may not provide enough cushioning or protection for all-day comfort on particularly rugged trails. 

And, the traction of the Altra Lone Peak 8s wears down faster than most other hiking shoes we’ve tested, which directly translates to noticeably diminished grip and stability in the second half of the shoe’s lifespan. If you’re covering long distances or using these shoes frequently on rough terrain, this is a significant drawback. We find that as the lugs wear down, the shoes become less effective on slippery or uneven surfaces, potentially compromising safety.

A close up of a pair of trail running shoe's tread pattern.
Thanks to their triangular lug pattern, the Altra Lone Peak 8 grip well on different surfaces and textures.

Weight

The Altra Lone Peak 8s are some of the lightest shoes we’ve tested, so they’re a great choice for hot weather and diverse trail conditions. At just under 11 ounces per shoe, the Lone Peaks use airy mesh uppers, thin TPU overlays, ultralight foam, and light rubber outsoles to keep the weight down. This construction also makes them some of the most breathable shoes for hiking, so you’ll dump sweat and keep your stanky dogs dry and cool throughout your day.

A side profile shot of a hiker from the ankles down wearing trail runners in a desert setting.
The Altra Lone Peak 8s are a highly flexible zero-drop shoe that offers excellent breathability and ventilation, perfect for hot summer hikes.

Durability

The Lone Peak 8s fall short in durability compared to other hiking shoes with thicker rubber composite outsoles and robust leather or textile uppers. In our testing, the Lone Peak 8s showed significant wear after only 200-250 miles, with the tread and lugs wearing down rapidly, and mesh blowing out around the toes and anterior (front) foot area. The Lone Peak’s lightweight materials like thin TPU overlays and minimalist soles can’t match the resilience of heavier, more rugged footwear. This lack of durability can be a real issue on long treks or thru-hikes, so if you’re investing in the Lone Peaks as your exclusive shoe of choice – especially for long treks or thru-hikes – we recommend budgeting for another pair. 

However, certain aspects of the Altra Lone Peak 8s are durable. The TPU overlays and lacing harness add meaningful structure and longevity to the mostly mesh uppers. We’re also big fans of the large Velcro gaiter attachment at the heel (gaiters sold separately) which helps keep out debris, bramble, dirt, and rocks. Their breathable mesh makes the Lone Peaks an excellent choice for hot weather by preventing sweat buildup that can degrade material. If you prioritize low weight, breathability, and a snug fit, the compromise in durability is a small price to pay.

A close up, straight on shot of a hiker from the ankles down wearing trail runners in a desert setting.
The Altra Lone Peak 8 aren’t as durable as some other shoes we’ve tested, but they have a sensitive lacing system that provides a snug fit no matter your foot shape or size.

Weather Resistance

The Lone Peaks stand out for their lightweight design and breathability, making them one of our top recommendations for warm conditions on the trail. Their uppers are a blend of thin mesh and TPU materials, so they release heat and dry quickly, even after being fully submerged in water during a creek crossing. We love this feature on hikes in the sun or breezy conditions to help maintain comfort and prevent overheating. 

Their quick-drying ability is also a major plus for routes with water crossings – we find they dry within 30-40 minutes, especially when paired with thin socks – keeping the Lone Peak 8s feeling comfy in most summer conditions while reducing the chance of blisters or hotspots.

However, the Lone Peaks are not weather-resistant. We’ve learned that in cold, wet environments, the mesh and TPU allow water in quickly, so you’ll be dealing with cold and wet feet all day which increases the risk of discomfort, blisters, and potential injury. If you’re heading into wet weather or soggy terrain, the Lone Peak 8s aren’t our first pick. Instead, we highly recommend shoes with water-resistant liners or water-resistant materials like leather and synthetic materials to keep your tootsies dry over extended periods.

A very closeup of a hiker in two shoes, from the ankles down, so we can see the backside of the shoes.
The Altra Lone Peak 8 come with a built-in Velcro heel tab to connect gaiters (sold separately) to help keep out rain, snow, debris, gravel, and mud.

Should You Buy the Altra Lone Peak 8?

The Altra Lone Peak 8 is a home run for hikers and backpackers who want a lightweight, breathable shoe with a roomy toe box, excellent traction, and an ergonomic zero-drop design. Whether you’re thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or running on the local riverwalk, these are perfect for anyone who prioritizes footwear with a natural foot shape, excellent cushioning, and no break-in time. The Lone Peaks are at the top of their game when it comes to comfort and flexibility on various terrains.

However, we don’t recommend the Lone Peak 8s if your top priority is durability, or if you’re not accustomed to zero-drop footwear, which can increase the risk of injuries if you don’t transition from higher-drop shoes slowly. But for folks who use and love zero-drop shoes, the Altra Lone Peak 8 will quickly become your go-to for both hot and challenging trail conditions.

A close up of a hiker from the ankles down wearing trail runners in a desert setting.
The Altra Lone Peak 8 have a beefy lug pattern that makes them a good choice for hiking on varied terrain.

What Other Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?

Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3:  The Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3 is the only other shoe we tested with a toe box as roomy and generous as the Lone Peak 8s. They offer a similarly roomy toe box and excellent trail performance but with a higher drop and more cushioning for a smooth ride on longer hikes.

Brooks Cascadia 17: Like the Lone Peak 8, the Brooks Cascadia 17 is a comfy, lightweight trail shoe, but it differs with durable construction, longer-lasting traction, and a more traditional heel-to-toe drop in a traditional-looking runner.

Saucony Peregrine 14: These shoes are the closest to the Altra Lone Peak 8s when it comes to weight thanks to a featherlight mesh upper that is just as breathable. But, these have longer-lasting tread and a higher stack height for fast and nimble hiking and running on trail.

A close up of a pair of trail running shoe's tread pattern.
Thanks to their triangular lug pattern, the Altra Lone Peak 8 grip well on different surfaces and textures.

The post Men’s Altra Lone Peak 8 Review appeared first on CleverHiker.

Posts created 48

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top