altra lone peak 6 feature 2
Shoe ReviewsTrail

Altra Lone Peak 6 Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 9.7 oz. (274.9 g.) for a US M9 / 8.9 oz. (252.3 g.) for a US W8
  • Updated upper from the Lone Peak 5
  • Yeah, we have four reviewers on this bad boy
  • Available now at Running Warehouse for $139.95

TAYLOR: Willy Nelson, Mash, Ford Mustang, and chicken noodle soup all have something in common — they’re classics! We have a handful of shoes in the trail running world that match this sort of trend-setting status. One of those shoes is the Altra Lone Peak 6.

The Lone Peak was the pioneer of their brand. The true OG. It is one of the few that is reminiscent, almost unchanged, over ten iterations! A good portion of Altra’s cult following (that we often refer to) goes right for this shoe.

It seems that the Lone Peak 5 was just up for review, and now we have the 6 on our feet. Of course, you’re getting zero-drop, a foot-shaped last, the most 360° volume of any shoe, and trail-specific accessories. For those who loved the 5, you’ll be delighted to hear that there are minimal updates. This would have previously been considered a “half” update, but Altra has kicked the incremental updates. The LP 6 gets an upper update that is both functional and cosmetic.

A question I often get is, “Is it worth the extra money to buy right away?” Read on!

MATT: The Lone Peak has one of the biggest cult followings throughout the trail running community, and for a good reason. For those that enjoy the zero drop ride, the shoe is as well-rounded as any, can tackle most conditions and distances, and maintains its trademark stylish looks and endless colorways.

When a mainstay like the Lone Peak comes out with a new version, the biggest concern is whether or not they messed with a good thing.

We’ll get into the details below, but I think “Flat Bois” all over can take a collective breath and relax.

JARRETT: I was excited to receive the Altra Lone Peak 6 in wide. I had my shoes on and my GoPro ready to hit the trails. Unfortunately, I got in the car, and it wouldn’t start. Jumping it did nothing. I put off dealing with it because I’m a professional procrastinator, and luckily I was able to make lemonade out of lemons. Baltimore got hit with the first snowstorm of the year, and we got a solid 4 inches. So instead of testing out the Lone Peak 6 on the trails like my fellow reviewers, I had some great long runs around the snow and ice-covered harbor promenade in my trail shoes.

ALEX: The Altra Lone Peak 6 may be my favorite Lone Peak yet. This iconic shoe just keeps getting better. The primary update from the previous version is in the form of changes to the forefoot upper and lacing system, with slight modifications to the overlays, including toe protection. They didn’t mess with the sole (or soul), and I am super pumped about that.

altra lone peak 6 close side

The Good

TAYLOR: If natural is what you’re looking for, natural is what you’ll get with the Lone Peak 6. As with all past iterations, a roomy zero-drop experience awaits you. I’ve just been informed about Altra’s three varieties of foot-shaped lasts. The Lone Peak sits (and has always been) on the last with the most volume — classic. It is the same last you will find in shoes like the Altra Escalante and Olympus series. It truly gives the most room in any toe box I have experienced and is unrestrictive throughout the foot. If you are an original Altra fan, this is the fit you seek.

Just because there is plenty of wiggle room for your sweet little piggies doesn’t mean that the ride is not secure. It is! Altra placed all of its emphasis on the upper this time around. It trimmed a few overlays along with the toe bumper, but the air mesh remains the same. For function, this was a great move. The LP6 maintains durability, comfort, and even loses weight (10.5 oz for a US M10.5) because of this. The real plus, though, is that the fit is slightly more dialed through the midfoot, making me a lot more confident on a variety of terrain. Even if the rest of the recipe is the same, foot security can make a world of difference. I applaud Altra for not messing with the system too much to make this happen.

Altra’s EGO midsole foam isn’t new anymore. The LP5 received the treatment last year, and it is the same ride you’ll experience this year. I have to say that I do appreciate it more than ever before. The 25mm (minus insole) stack is in that moderate to low stack range compared to what is on the market these days. On rocky, rooty, technical terrain, you’re going to feel a lot of what is going on — save for the minor stuff. However, that is what many people like about this shoe! Even though I don’t find it to have much character, the EGO midsole is a perfectly plush/rubbery consistency for a shoe like this. It finds a nice balance of being minimalistic while having some levels of protection — especially for soft ground scenarios.

Let’s not leave out the MaxTrac outsole. Again, it’s the same as the last iteration, which had minimal flaws for me. Deep chevron-shaped lugs are placed directly under the metatarsals of your foot to get optimal traction on a variety of surfaces. These worked wonderfully on softer surfaces, dry surfaces, bouts of snow, and traveled surprisingly smoothly on pavement. Bonus!

MATT: As mentioned above, when you have a good thing working, sometimes the best thing a company can do is resist the urge to change for change’s sake. We have seen this over the years with other classic long-running models like the Nike Pegasus. Significant changes rolled out, only to be walked back in subsequent versions.

Altra designated half editions to mark the minor version updates in the past. It has since moved away from that strategy, but I would call the Lone Peak 6 as close to a half update as you can get. The Lone Peak 6 retains just about everything that draws runners in the first place — the zero drop ride, roomy toe box, and EGO midsole, and even the MaxTrac outsole with its chevron lugs.

So it’s great that all the stuff we loved about the LP5 is unchanged, but why jump to pick up the LP6 when I can wait and pick up the 5 on sale?

Well, there are a few nice enhancements with the 6 that I think stand out here — the upper has trimmed some weight to give us a lighter shoe overall. My US M10 came in just over 10 oz. The shoe also feels more locked in and secure. I thought in the past that the downside of the roomy toe box was that it had some effect on the shoe’s overall fit. Not bad, but I prefer a tight, locked-in feel, and something about the mid-foot and ankle just felt a tad too loose for me. It seems that the tweaks made to the upper on the latest edition may have tightened things up.

altra lone peak 6 angle

JARRETT: The only real update in the Lone Peak 6 came in the upper. Altra adjusted the overlays and allowed a customizable lacing system to allow a more secure fit. I found the midfoot lockdown relatively comfortable once I pulled the laces down tight. For my wide-footed friends who really need that extra space, the wide Lone Peak 6 is like a mansion for your foot.

The Altra EGO midsole and MaxTrac outsole remain unchanged in the 6. On my first run, the snow was coming down pretty hard towards the end. The ground was entirely coated, yet the grippy MaxTrac outsole provided the confidence to run and not worry about slipping. However, I did notice that a few flakes tended to fly up onto my ankles with each step — though I expect that’s due to the rubber heel lip.

My second long run was the day after that storm, and most of the ground was covered in ice. I’m reasonably confident the only reason I didn’t fall during the 9 miles is because of these shoes. The outsole has canted lugs placed beneath the metatarsals for extra traction. In the areas where it was safe, I even felt like it was pretty easy to pick up the pace. I didn’t find the midsole to feel extra responsive, but I have no real qualms.

ALEX: You can’t review an Altra without first expressing appreciation for that wonderfully roomy, foot-shaped toe box. I hope my fellow Lone Peak reviewers don’t mess this up. Taylor, don’t mess this up by talking about the upper first (Editor’s note: He didn’t mess it up).

The major update in this version is the upper construction that includes a customizable lacing system. The upper Quick-Dry Air Mesh is more durable than previous versions and allows for quick, effective drainage and breathability. Combined with the updates to a more integrated lacing system over the toe box, the fit is secure and comfortable. There aren’t any rigid flex points or prolonged break-in periods for this one. I was able to lace these up and forget about them. Most shoes require at least one or two adjustments on the first test run.

The Lone Peak 6 is equipped with the same Altra EGO midsole found in the Lone Peak 5. I don’t find it the most responsive midsole, although the package works well to deliver a comfortable ride.

The grippy MaxTrac outsole with TrailClaw canted lugs is consistent with previous versions. They are aggressive enough to get you through mud and technical terrain and versatile enough to easily transition to hard-packed trails and even the road sections on your route.

The 25 mm stack height provides moderate, balanced cushioning that supports proper alignment, better form, and a low impact foot strike. It also offers ample underfoot protection while maintaining some ground feel.

Shop Lone Peak 6 – Men Shop Lone Peak 6 – Women

altra lone peak 6 top

The Bad

TAYLOR: Just because something is considered a “classic” doesn’t mean it is for you. Preference will be the caveat for all of this. That’s why the midsole and overall fit can sometimes be both good and bad.

Altra put tons of attention toward having a much more secure fit over the last couple of Lone Peak iterations. It is indeed a positive point about this iteration, too. However, it’s still not quite reaching high enough. Even with the extra attention, I had a decent amount of forefoot and some midfoot movement when turning switchbacks, stepping over branches, dancing between rocks, etc. I realize this very well could be caused by the fact that I do not have a high volume foot. It is very average. On the other hand, I know of other low drop foot-shaped shoe companies (that I will not mention) that boast a similar package but a much more secure fit.

Altra’s EGO midsole material is quickly feeling out of date when weighing in against competitors — especially when it’s a rather slim slab of it. Sure the midsole is simple and allows for ground feel, but it has minimal character. In this case, there is zero responsiveness to it, and it has very minimal underfoot protection, but that might be precisely what you want. We always know what’s coming from Altra, and I would like to see a little advancement come to a shoe like this classic.

MATT: There are a couple of things to call out here that can steer runners away from the shoe despite the large following. First, zero-drop isn’t for everyone. Even with a well-executed transition to the zero drop experience, there are plenty of factors that can lead to a runner just not feeling comfortable. It’s not meant as a warning to stay away, but rather a caution that sometimes it’s best to stick with what works. If you have a favorite trail shoe that has kept you injury-free, it may not be wise to change for change’s sake.

My other knock here is more a reflection on the trail shoe market of late and not a specific issue with the LP6. I’ve tested plenty of trail shoes that pack BOA closures, carbon plates, and midsole foams over the past few years, and it just becomes tougher to get excited over a straightforward classic like the Lone Peak 6. I know I said above that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so I realize I am contradicting myself here. But, if I am speaking honestly, when the market evolves and competition raises the bar, it is tough for the classics to retain the appeal and excitement.

altra lone peak 6 outsole

JARRETT: I could only come up with one complaint with the Lone Peak 6. The toe box is MASSIVE in the wide version. Altra’s shoes have been known for having that roomy foot-shaped toe box. Make it wide, and dang, there’s a lot of room. I had some serious concerns about my forefoot moving around. I laced the shoes up tight and got a solid midfoot lockdown. Since I couldn’t test it out with hard turns, I didn’t have any issues, but I wonder how these would be out on technical terrain. If you tend to teeter on the line between standard width and wide, you will probably feel the wide version is sloppy.

ALEX: I have zero qualms about this one besides my ongoing complaint about a lack of unisex colorways. To be clear, my issue is not with the color pink. It’s with the fact that brands are assigning colors to gender. And I like the men’s colors.

Shop Lone Peak 6 – Men Shop Lone Peak 6 – Women

altra lone peak 6 heel close

Altra Lone Peak 6 Conclusion

TAYLOR: The Lone Peak series has a great following, and for a good reason. A very natural running feel is what you’ll get from top to bottom. There is a lot of room for natural foot splay and placement, minimal cushion, and solid grip for various terrain. In some ways, it simply feels like an extension of your foot.

I am a teacher and coach by profession and in my heart. I will ALWAYS applaud improvement. So, I do the same here for Altra’s Lone Peak 6. There was very little change from last year’s iteration. The changes resulted in a lighter package that boasts a better fit and more comfort. If you have ever loved the Lone Peak, you will continue to do so with the 6.

I would recommend this shoe to anyone who loves to feel the earth beneath their feet, need a wider package, and soft ground enthusiasts — it would be a little harsh for constant rocks and roots.

MATT: I applaud Altra for staying the course with a tried and true shoe here while looking for areas to provide marginal gains. This approach should be well received by all the Lone Peak fans who will need to replace their old worn-out models.

With the ever-changing market, the price point of $140 has quickly become more of a bargain as well.

JARRETT: The Lone Peak 6 are my first Altra trail shoes, and they are definitely staying in the rotation. It’s a shame the vehicular Gods didn’t want me out on the trails, but getting hit by a snow/ice storm still gave me some excellent test conditions.

I had some initial concerns with how roomy the toe box was, but it ended up being a non-issue with tight lacing. Some of the wide footers may find it to be sloppy. Besides the toe box, the Lone Peak 6 was a joy to run in. The Altra EGO midsole provided a comfortable ride that balanced ground feel with cushion. It’s very capable of being a trail-to-road shoe. I’d know because of how many miles I put on them around the harbor.

ALEX: The Lone Peak 6 has a fantastic fit and feel. The updates to the upper make for a more secure ride, and the shoe maintains all the key Lone Peak characteristics that make the shoe great. Coming in at just 8.5 oz. for a women’s size 8.5, this shoe comes in a lightweight package that can handle long distances across a variety of terrain.

You can pick up the Altra Lone Peak 6 for $139.95 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Lone Peak 6 – Men Shop Lone Peak 6 – Women

As the wide-shoe reviewer for BITR, Jarrett is on a never-ending search for the Cinderella shoe to fit his Yeti feet. He currently lives in Baltimore where he enjoys running roads and trails with November Project and Faster Bastards. He also loves craft beer, donuts, and pretending to be elite in his NormaTec boots.

Alex is an ultra runner who lives for the long, cold Minnesota winters. She works in public health and enjoys applying creative problem solving to emerging health and environmental issues faced by local communities.

Matt is an avid triathlete, runner, and cycling enthusiast. He is a coach with AJ Baucco Coaching and can be found running the streets and trails of Baltimore with the Faster Bastards. His favorite style of beers are sours, and thinks a cold can of Coke is the perfect post-race hydration.

5 Comments

  1. I found Matt’s point under “The Bad” about shoe technologies particularly interesting. The market and shoe tech is certainly evolving. 2022 is going to be crazy full of new shoes and tech. (Although I’m dubious that most trail runners will shell out $200 plus for a shoe very frequently.)
    The Altra Lone Peak is a classic and this one does more to stay the same than it does to make big changes. That said, we already know Altra has several trail models that DO incorporate more tech, such as the Timp redesign (new upper), the Mont Blanc (new shoe and new upper material for Altra) and the Mont Blanc with a dual Boa system, and the Outroad, which looks to have considerably less tech, but a new-ish approach for the brand.
    The divergence we’re seeing is necessary. With so many more trail runners in the world we have runners who can shell out $200 plus per shoe and we have runners who will never spend more than $100 and always buy shoes on sale. We have runners that will want all the newest tech and we have those who will go buy every pair of last year’s Lone Peak and going crying and screaming into the next decade.
    I’m at least encouraged that much of the new tech is helpful and mostly reasonable, as far as I can tell. But I’m a firm believer in finding the most simple shoe that works for me.

    1. Hey Cameron, thanks for checking out our review. I agree with what you are saying, and maybe including my comments in the “Bad” section were a bit harsh, as they really could be applied to many long standing models. I would agree that the divergence and variety is a great thing for runners, we all win when the shoe companies offer a big selection and a scale that ranges from simplistic to cutting-edge. It’s a good point made that every model does not (and should not) need a carbon plate and BOA to be considered a quality shoe. As long as brands dont abandon the classics while creating new and exciting models, then we can get the best of both worlds.

  2. I agree with everyone’s take on a better lockdown. For me that was what was missing in the LP5. I have a wide forefoot, narrow heel and mid so as much as I loved the LP5 the lockdown could gave been better. The new lacing system holds my foot well. I am also a fan of the bouncy “STANDARD ” EGO foam. Great review as always and really looking forward to Altras 2022 lineup.

  3. Product up dates are usually a crapshoot. Darned if you do, darned if you don’t. Our customer(runners in general) frequently long for the good ol’ days of their favorite trainers when all was perfect. The crazy thing is, change comes hard to many runners. If anything changes, many will groan about how their favorite shoe is ruined. But, if a shoe stays the same for too long those same people will start asking “how come nothing’s changed?” Can’t win for losing! Altra has come a long way and is doing some fine shoes. Nobody bats 1.000.

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