The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 really ticks all the boxes for a workhorse trail shoe.
The LP4s definitely fit true to size, though they do feel a bit snug throughout the upper. If the fit feels too tight, Altra has built in a little feature to allow you to add a little more room to your LP4. If you unlace your shoes down to the colored eyelet, you can remove that colored strap, relace your shoe, and the upper will immediately feel quite a bit roomier.
The upper of the LP4 is predominantly composed of quick-dry mesh, which is definitely reinforced around the toe cap and the heel cup. The toe cap has some small drainage ports built in, which I put to the test almost immediately the first time I wore these shoes. The 50k I ran in the LP4s was on a small looped trail (~4 miles), and at about the halfway point of the trail we had a water/mud hole crossing with no way of avoiding it. Every time through the muck, the shoes quickly drained as soon as I exited the water.
The outsole of the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 has been everything I would hope for in a trail shoe. I am a huge fan of the multidirectional lugs on the outsole, as I’m a road runner at heart and still struggle with picking my feet up while running on the trails. Several times I scuffed my feet on the trail while wearing the LP4s, but never once did the shoe “grab” when it brushed the ground and cause me any issues. That said, when it comes to stability and traction the LP4 delivers!
During the race, the weather conditions rapidly deteriorated and what started as a mostly dry trail became partially flooded and a muddy mess by the time I finished. Never once did I have a slipping issue, including while crossing various wooden bridges that were wet and looks slippery. The LP4s, even when they were muddy, held firm the entire race.
The mid-sole of the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 is composed of Altra’s unique foam blend with a build in stone guard for additional protection from debris on the trail. I had no issues at all with the cushion that the LP4s provided, and that included running several hundred yards (each lap) on a paved road. I’ve had issues with more minimal trail shoes (specifically the Altra Superior 2.0) while running on roads for a short distance, and I had zero issues with the cushioning that the LP4s provided.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 also features a gaiter trap so strapless gaiters can be worn with the shoe. This may seem like an inconsequential feature to some, but I appreciate it as it helps prevent mud and debris from building up on the bottom of the foot and potentially leading to a loss of traction out on the trail.
The one issue I had with the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 had little to do with its performance on the trail. After I got home from my 50k and gave the LP4s a bath to get the mud off of them, it took several days for the shoes to dry completely.
My “trick” for rapidly drying wet shoes is to put on their side and lay them in front of the refrigerator vent so the warm, dry exhaust air from the refrigerator blows directly into the foot hole of each shoe. Every other shoe I’ve done this with, road or trail, has been bone dry in a matter of hours. The LP4s took a couple of days to completely dry out.
If you were planning to wear the LP4s several days in a row, on a hiking trip or stage race, do your best to keep them dry! Because from my experience, they won’t dry quickly if they do get really wet.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 still looks virtually new, save for some dirt, after several runs and some 60+ miles. From what I can tell, the LP4 will definitely hold up well on any type of terrain.
And in my experience, my feet still felt good after 32 miles on race day, so the LP4 is definitely an option for longer distance ultra racing.
Overall, the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 did everything I would want from a trail shoe while out on a run, both in good conditions and in those that were less than ideal. When I’m out on the trail, I expect my shoes to keep my feet safe from debris and not slip on wet/muddy surfaces. The LP4s delivered on both accounts.
In my opinion, any shoe that you can put on for the first time and run 32 miles in without any foot related problems is a pretty darn good shoe. And that’s exactly what I did with the LP4s.
If you’re looking for a shoe that provides some protection while still allowing you to go fast, look no further than the Altra Lone Peak 4.0s.