Altra Lone Peak 400 mile update

Posted by on August 2, 2012

According to my Daily Mile data I have 313 miles on my Altra Lone Peaks. I am sure I missed marking the shoes on a few training runs or maybe races so I would estimate the mileage is closer to 400 miles. The Lone Peaks were my first pair of Altra shoes and they have changed my running life dramatically over the last few months.

Just today I put in my order for a new pair of Lone Peaks so I thought I’d post an update on how the shoes have held up over the last 400 miles. The Lone Peaks are hands down the best running shoes I have ever worn. I ran my first 50k race in March in the Lone Peaks when I only had 80 miles on them. Not a single blister and I had two knee-deep water crossings in that race. Thy drained and dried out quickly and I used a single pair of socks. Not getting a single blister to me is amazing. Blisters have always been a part of sports for me. Blisters are not a factor for me any more since I started running ultras this year.

Before I go into the wear and tear the Lone Peaks have taking the last 400 mile I feel I need to point out a few things . Keep in mind that I am not your average ultra running. I am six foot two and 200 pounds at the time of this post. I am built more like a tight end than a distance runner. I put a lot of pounding into these shoes due to my weight. Certainly more than your 130-165 pound gazelle that typically run ultras or long distance. I am a clidesdale of the ultra community. Also, I trained and raced in these almost exclusively. I do have a few other pair of running shoes for both trail and road but the Lone Peaks were used 10-1 and 100% for my races. Lasty, I run on concrete, grass, bike trails, single track and gravel. I did not exclusivly use the Lone Peaks on dirt trails. The Lone Peaks saw way more road miles than they should have. Those things noted, check out the photos below for a quick visual on how the Lone Peaks held up.

The photo below is something that I have never wore out on shoes before. I never even noticed it until I was trying to figure out if I needed to buy a new pair.


Below is perhanps the biggest concern for me. I noticed the tread coming off at my last race just a couple of weeks ago. Had this happened at mile 100 or even 200 I might have asked Altra if this was a defect. It will be interesting to see if this happens with my second pair.


Below you can see that I have just about worn the insides of the heal area down. There is maybe a quarter inch of tread worn off. Keep in mind that I ran a lot of miles on concrete and paved bike paths with these. As soon as my new shoes arrive I will be wearing the Altra Instinct 1.5 for my road shoes and Lone Peaks specific for trail running and racing. I don’t expect this inside heal wear to be as prominent in my next pair of Lone Peaks.


I have not seen anyone wear down the Lone Peak tread like this yet. I think mine happend much more quickly due to the concrete running I have done in them. The wear below is what made me order a new pair more than anything. At least this shows I am forefoot planting I guess.


Below is one last shot of the tread wear.


Other than the tread peeling issue nothing really concerns me enough to not order another pair of the Altra Lone Peaks. They are just so comfortable. Now that I will soon have a dedicated road and trail shoes I expect to hit the 500 mile mark in my next pair of Lone Peaks. I may even do a little more trail running in this worn pair as well.

Racing in the Lone Peaks has been a joy. From the zero drop, to the rock protection, to the roomy toe box these shoes are incredible. Not at any time have I ever slipped or not felt in contol blazing down hills on lose rock or rooted trails. In a trail marathon I did this summer I fell move than 20 times. I have no idea what my issue was but I was dragging my feet enough that it started to make me extreamly pissed off. At the end of the race I still did not have a blister and more importantly my toes had no issue from slamming them into rocks and roots along the trail. My feet came out of that race in great shape despite the clownish trail marathon fiasco.

I love the zero drop impact it has had on my running. When people talk about minimal running they often only think of barefoot or VFF running. What they don’t understand is you can still get all the benefits of minimal style running with all the protection of having a great outer sole under your feet. I have had back surgery in the past and have degenerative back diease due to years of athletics but my back has never felt better moving to zero drop shoes. I can’t imagine wearing anything Altras any time soon. I debated buying another brand of shoes until the new Altra Superior trail shoes comes out but I just did not feel confortable training and racing in anything but the Lone Peaks right now. I have other minimal zero drop shoes but all of them have given me blisters at one point or another at the 20-30 mile distance. Search my blog and you will find one pair caused an injury that sidelined me for a good number or weeks due to no rock plate. I do occasionally run in other shoes but it is 10-1 easly in favor of the Altras.

I’m really excited to get my feet in the new Instincts 1.5. They should arrive next week and will extend the life of my Lon Peaks. Look for a review of the Instinct 1.5 in a few weeks. Also I am racing my first 50 mile ultra in September and I plan to do an update on how my feet hold up in my second pair of Lone Peaks.

So what do you think of the wear and tear I put on these? Typical from your experience? Post a comment and let me know what you think.

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One Response to Altra Lone Peak 400 mile update

  1. William

    Nice blog post! (I came across this randomly while doing a search for Altras). I’m a huge fan too, and my Lone Peaks have held up pretty well at around 200 miles. Interestingly, I think they actually became a bit more comfortable starting around 50-100 miles in. My only complaint is that they don’t have quite enough traction for super moist conditions and slick rock, but right now where I live, it has become dry again, and they are by far and away my favorite trail shoe.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much longer they last.