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Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review

The quest for the perfect lightweight backpacking shoe continues. Don't hold your breath. While these shoes are great for most hikes they are less than ideal for seriously demanding trips.

Overall Rating: Above Average

On paper, I’d be tempted to give the Altra Lone Peak 1.5’s a Highly Recommended Rating. After carefully reading scores of glowing reviews from mountain runners and talking to and learning about the experiences from Lone Peak advocates in the mountain running and trail (day) hiking community, there a lot to love about these shoes - zero drop, good cushioning, wide toebox, lugged sole, well-fitting upper, and an exceptional out-of-the-box heelcup - seems like the perfect recipe for a backpacker’s shoe as well. My experience, however, tells a little different story. Problems with shoe durability reflect the fact that backpackers, and especially, off-trail backpackers, may place special demands on their shoes not experienced by hikers and runners who aren’t carrying heavy packs or traveling through the abrasive rock of alpine environments. That’s not to say that the shoe isn’t highly recommended for the day hiker or trail runner, just that the backpacker might consider their own context before relying heavily on these - or any other trail running shoe for multiple consecutive days in demanding terrain and environmental conditions. That said, making changes to a more durable upper, improving stitching quality and materials in reinforcement areas, and altering the rubber recipe to improve sole durability could dramatically improve the performance (longevity) of the Lone Peaks for backpackers, runners, and hikers alike.

About This Rating

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by Ryan Jordan |


The quest for the perfect lightweight backpacking shoe seems about as futile as chasing a rainbow. Just when you think you are within reach, and eager for next year’s version of your favorite shoe to be released, you either grab the pot and find it to be full of fool’s gold or it vaporizes entirely and your quest begins anew.

Such is how I feel about the Altra Lone Peak 1.5.

 - 1
The Altra Lone Peak 1.5 (women’s version shown in photo) offers a wide toebox, thick underfoot cushioning, zero drop, and sub-10-oz weight - key attributes that could be the foundation of a perfect backpacking shoe.

I’ve worn Lone Peaks since they were released and put hundreds of backpacking miles on v1.0.

To summarize how I feel about v1.0, please refer to my comments about it in the context of the larger market of minimalist footwear in my article Considering Minimalist Footwear for Backpacking published last October.

To save you some labor for now (but don’t be lazy - read the article above to broaden your view of what minimalist footwear has to offer us as backpackers), the following list summarizes what I liked about Lone Peak 1.0’s:

  • Zero drop differential
  • Significantly cushioned midsole
  • Wide toebox

Of course, the wide toebox and zero drop differential promotes “natural” biomechanics. This may or may not be a benefit to you, but it’s at least a perceived benefit to me because the whole thing sounds well enough, not unlike eating “natural” cookies or fueling my truck with “natural” oil products, I suppose.

The idea that “natural” biomechanics promotes is longevity: I should be able to hike for more hours or more miles during the day, perhaps, and maybe I’ll be able to hike to a riper, older age than the fellow next door still encapsulated in his old school Scarpas with their high heels and pointy toes.

I wasn’t completely enamored with Lone Peak 1.0’s, however, and note the following limitations with those shoes:

  • High water absorption and slow dry time;
  • Lack of durability in lugs on the sole;
  • Sloppy fit of the upper, especially when wet;
  • Limited abrasion resistance of the upper fabric;
  • Relatively high weight.

Review Notes

So let’s take a look if and how the v1.5’s addressed these v1.0 limitations:

  • Water Absorption and Dry Time - A change was made to the upper fabric that seems to have decreased water absorption in the v1.5, and the change seems to be positive with respect to dry time. That said, v1.5 remains a pretty sloshy shoe after river crossings, due primarily to its inability to pump water out of the shoe. You’ll have to upgrade your v1.5’s with a few strategically drilled 1/8” diameter holes in the footbed and sole if you want to optimize water exit.
  • Lug Durability - With v1.0, I broke lugs. With v1.5, I’m breaking fewer lugs but they are wearing out faster. If you plan to use these shoes for any significant amount of smearing with a heavy pack (e.g., Sierra granite), then expect the traction on v1.5 to wear out pretty quick. I was enjoying 200 miles of off-trail granite, limestone, and bushwhacking before the metatarsal lugs reached 50% of their original height on v1.0’s. With v1.5’s, the same wear is coming much sooner.
  • Sloppy Upper Fit - This is the biggest improvement in v1.5. I find the uppers to wrap around the foot more effectively, making the v1.5’s a better shoe for sidehilling.
  • Limited Abrasion Resistance of the Upper Fabric - Unfortunately, the lighter and better fitting upper fabric has come at the serious cost of a significant reduction in durability. Forget about using these shoes in any sort of scree, and lower your expectations for their life expectancy in granite or limestone talus.
  • Weight - v1.5’s are about an ounce lighter than v1.0’s. Not a bad thing, but if adding the ounce back improves durability, give me the extra ounce.

 - 2
Here’s why the lugs under the metatarsal region of a shoe wear the fastest - and why they are the most important lugs for traction.

Considering Context: Backpacking vs. Ultrarunning

Lone Peaks are darlings in ultrarunning circles. I’m not so enamored with them for backpacking, so let’s consider these differences.

First, ultrarunners don’t carry heavy packs. Pack weight adds stress to the shoe on every step. This stress is magnified on steep terrain, when the shoes are wet, or when you’re off trail. A backpacker simply isn’t going to get as many comfortable miles on a trail shoe as an ultrarunner.

 - 3
Light packs and easy terrain, like when day hiking on this subalpine Wasatch trail, don’t pose particular problems for most minimalist shoes.

Second, I hike in places not frequented by ultrarunners. I spent a lot of time on snow, talus, scree, and in steep and brushy terrain - terrain that adds to the stress load on my hiking shoes. A backpacker who travels through steep, rugged terrain will wear shoes out sooner than a backpacker who sticks to trails.

 - 4
My son and I both wore Lone Peak 1.5’s on a 10-day High Sierra traverse this summer. We started the traverse with 45-50 pound packs and spent a fair bit of time scrambling through scree and talus on moderately steep Class 2+ terrain, like Alpine Col (here). This type of trip taxes footwear significantly.

Third, my shoes spend a lot of time wet - snow, river crossings, packrafting, and flooded, early season tundra are common where I hike. Wet shoes cause hydrolysis of glues, stretching of threads, and delamination of bonds. Shoes that spend a lot of time wet don’t last as long as shoes that stay dry. For the backpacker, having shoes remain wet day after day for multiple consecutive days places particularly high demands on a shoe’s construction quality.

Those three factors - heavy packs increasing the stress on the shoe, steep and rugged underfoot terrain increasing stress on the shoe, and sustained wet conditions increasing stress on the shoe - mean that we have to adjust our expectations of how long running shoes will last.

 - 5
Very rocky terrain, like this granite trail in Utah’s Wasatch, places high amounts of stress on shoes when carrying a heavy pack. These stresses are magnified on multi-day expeditions, and when shoes are wet.

That said, I generally consider a reasonable lifetime for trail shoes for backpackers to be in the following ranges, based on my experience with shoes that weigh less than 12 ounces, including La Sportiva, Montrail, Inov-8, and Salomon - the primary trail running shoe brands that I’ve worn in the past 15 years.

TerrainDescriptionExampleShoe Life
tundrawet or dry off trail travel, moderate steepnessWestern Brooks Range400-600 miles
trailshardpack, rocks, steepJMT300-500 miles
granite alpineoff-trail, scree, talusSHR200-400 miles
limestone alpineoff-trail, scree, talusNorthern Rockies150-250 miles

I don’t have extensive experience with the Lone Peaks on tundra (other than the accumulation of incidental stretches to the tune of about 50 miles per pair at most), but having gone through three pair myself, and observing two pair each worn by wife and son, I have a reasonable sense of their lifetime on trails and alpine off trail travel.

The following summarizes my empirical observations for shoe life while backpacking on this limited data set, and compares them to a handful of other shoes that I’ve used extensively.

Note: I estimate shoe life to be the point at which a shoe begins to fail catastrophically, either from delamination of sole bonds, worn stitching/glues that affect the structural integrity of the upper, rips in the upper that compromise its structural integrity, breaking of sole lugs, or wearing of sole lugs under the metatarsal region of more than 50%.

TerrainShoe ModelShoe Life
trailsInov8 BareGrip 190200 miles
trailsInov8 X-Talon 212300 miles
trailsInov8 RocLite 315400 miles
trailsAltra Lone Peak v1.0300 miles
trailsAltra Lone Peak v1.5250 miles
granite alpineInov8 BareGrip 190150 miles
granite alpineInov8 X-Talon 212200 miles
granite alpineInov8 RocLite 315300 miles
granite alpineAltra Lone Peak v1.0150 miles
granite alpineAltra Lone Peak v1.5100 miles
limestone alpineInov8 BareGrip 190100 miles
limestone alpineInov8 X-Talon 212150 miles
limestone alpineInov8 RocLite 315250 miles
limestone alpineAltra Lone Peak v1.0100 miles
limestone alpineAltra Lone Peak v1.5< 100 miles


Failures on my Lone Peaks have included the following:

  • Abrasion of the upper fabric (more of a problem in v1.5);
  • Broken stitching on upper reinforcement patches that add structural stability to the instep region (more of a problem in v1.5);
  • Broken lugs (more of a problem in v1.5);
  • Worn lugs (equal problem with both versions);
  • Wearing through the inside heel cup and exposure of a plastic reinforcement plate that cut into heel (only in v1.5).

 - 6
Blown stitching on the Lone Peak 1.5’s instep reinforcement patch. Single-stitched construction combined with rotting thread from several straight days of wet shoes contributed to this failure, which resulted in decreased sidehilling performance due to the inability of the upper to retain structural integrity.

I never expect a shoe not to fail. And I certainly don’t expect a lightweight trail shoe to last as long on a limestone ridge route in the Bob Marshall Wilderness as on the hardpack of the California PCT.

Backpackers carrying heavy loads in alpine terrain, especially in wet weather, are going to place severe demands on their shoes. It’s part and parcel with the decision to trade in boots for lighter footwear that allows you to go faster and further with less foot pain and stress.

 - 7
Abrasion of the upper while traveling through alpine areas littered with High Sierra granite talus and scree. Again, this is a structural failure of the upper that makes for a sloppier fit, reduced sensitivity during precise foot placements on steep terrain, and a general feeling of emotional stress, wondering when the more fragile inner (white) layer is going to blow.

In that context, I’d rate the applicability of the Altra Lone Peaks (especially v1.5) at the lower end of what I’d expect for durability both on and off-trail.

 - 8
There’s no drama here, just a simple scramble up a short Class 2 granite slab. This isn’t the realm of advanced backpackers, and even beginners will find themselves relying on the traction of their shoes to remain safe and secure while trekking. As lugs wear out, so too does traction. I found myself slipping and sliding, even on rough-surfaced Wasatch granite, as my Lone Peaks came to the seemingly premature end to their practical life.

Closing Comments

Before anyone goes postal on me in the forums for giving the shoe what you perceive to be a low review rating, let me qualify it.

First, this is my family's outdoor shoe of choice. This is what all three of us wear for day hiking, backpacking, and packrafting. We wear them daily. They are our shoe du jour for all of our outdoor pursuits.

Second, my current pair of Lone Peak 1.5's are worn out. Guess what I'm buying next? Yep, Altra Lone Peak 1.5's. And I'll probably buy another pair after that. That doesn't mean that the price tag isn't painful and that I'm not disappointed by their short lifespan. In fact, when I purchase my next pair, I'm going to have a big stomachache because of my contribution to the global economy's premature use of resources for what amounts to my personal recreation.


There's no shoe quite like this one. It's special, with a unique blend of attributes that makes it both comfortable and philosophically compatible with my desire for my footwear to promote natural biomechanics.

Therefore, it more than deserves an Above Average review rating (as opposed to something less attractive) because it does stand apart from the crowded market of lightweight backpacking shoes and I'm looking forward to future iterations that pay greater attention to both sustainability and the economic limitations of its customers.


"Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review," by Ryan Jordan. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2013-09-17 00:00:00-06.


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Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review on 09/17/2013 21:25:30 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review on 09/17/2013 21:40:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for the time and effort on the review. It would be nice to see manufactures build a longer lasting shoe. Especially with the cost per pair. 200 miles is mighty short.

and make more shoes available in a 15. please.

Edited by kthompson on 09/18/2013 06:11:25 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
approach shoes on 09/18/2013 04:11:10 MDT Print View

if yr constantly on granite and limestone scrambles ... get approach shoes

the more durable uppers, and sticky rubber makes a difference

and they arent that "heavy", in some cases LIGHTER ... compare my size 8 guide tennies at 346g/shoe vs my inov8 size 8.5 terroc at 349g

the tennies uppers is much more durable with leather, a durable toe box ... has sticky climbing rubber ... the only problem is that the traction sucks in the mud due to the tread pattern, and it takes forever to dry

i think that too many consumers these days trade away durability in shoes these days for perceived "performance" ... BPL is littered with threads of shoes that seem to be worn out prematurely


Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Approach Shoes on 09/18/2013 05:43:17 MDT Print View

Eric I'm not a climber but I don't think I've ever seen an approach shoe wit a wide toe box or zero drop. The Altras are the only shoes that have that and enough protection for me carrying a load on a rough trail. So for now I'll be buying Altras like Ryan till something more durable comes along.

Mike Bozman
(myarmisonfire) - M

Locale: BC
Similar experience on 09/18/2013 07:26:09 MDT Print View

I bought some Lone Peaks back in May (not sure which version) and they were the worst best shoes I have ever had. Amazingly comfortable! Unfortunately with about 100 km on them they were toast. That was one 32 km day hike and one 26 km overnight hike. The rest of the distance was a few short walks with the family and a bit of around town walking. The midsole of the right shoe disintegrated. I would almost describe it as deflating under the heel! To make a long story short, after sharing pictures and describing the problem with Altra they basically said tough luck and wouldn't warranty them. If they sort out the quality and durability I won't buy one pair I'll probably buy 3 as they really were that good for the short time I had them.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re Approach Shoes on 09/18/2013 07:30:28 MDT Print View

Eric I'm not a climber but I don't think I've ever seen an approach shoe wit a wide toe box or zero drop. The Altras are the only shoes that have that and enough protection for me carrying a load on a rough trail. So for now I'll be buying Altras like Ryan till something more durable comes along.

thats your call if you really want something with 0 drop ... plenty of approach shoes have a wide toe box

but put it this way ... if those shoes are slipping on easy/moderate slab when the front sole wears out ... thats not very safe IMO

if yr scrambling theres plenty of places where to slip and fall is to die

approach shoes should have no problems even when totally worn on easy slab, in fact you get better friction when the lugs wear out as theres more surface contact

ive mine on this ...

when they were worn down to this ...

for trails its irrelevant ... but when your basically scrambling on granite and limestone slabs/blocks ... this is what approach shoes were made to do ...


Edited by bearbreeder on 09/18/2013 07:36:31 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review on 09/18/2013 08:11:52 MDT Print View

I have no experience with the Lone Peak 1.5, but am currently using the Superior which is less shoe and will be doing a review on another site.

Over the past month I've put 131 mixed miles on them with 76 being trail and 55 being road. The trail miles have been a mix of hardpack, 1-2" gravel, larger rocks, solid rock, exposed roots, and some man-made steps/ladders. The road miles are mostly asphalt with some concrete. Thus far, the outsoles show very little wear. Not applicable to wear but may be of interest to some - all but one 20.6 mile trail run have been without the insole or rock plate. I did the same 20.6 mile loop back to back weeekends, one without the plate/insole and one with. The combination definitely helps with foot fatigue and deep muscle/ligament soreness when running over those 1-2" stones, but the additional stiffness creates its own issues (at least for my feet).

I did just notice the piece of the sole that wraps up on to the toe box is starting to pull off a bit at the edges:

Minor sole wear.


Excuse the lower quality cellphone photos. The review will have better ones, but I wanted to get some quick shots.

Edited by simplespirit on 09/18/2013 08:27:57 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Re Approach Shoes on 09/18/2013 10:07:55 MDT Print View


Approach shoes are a bit of a one trick pony with the exception of a few offerings that might make decent dayhike shoes with more technicality on slab. Multi day backpacks on routes with wide surface variation? I think there are better options than approach shoes. The use of sticky rubber shoes allows for great slabbing on short approach hikes from car to the crag, but are pretty shitty for just about everything else considering most of the shoes that incorporate stealth rubber have relatively flat outsoles. Holding the Lone Peaks up to an approach shoes ability to negotiate granite and easy class climbing and bouldering is slighlty lopsided, considering the shoe was intended to be a running shoe, one that works very well within that context. The Lone Peak in the context of backpacking appears to be up to the task for the most part, with the drawbacks being long term durability.

Please, show me "plenty" of approach shoes that: dry quickly, use lightweight/breathable materials, allow natural movement of the feet, well rounded traction for varying surfaces, and all day comfort with a pack on for several days on repeat. There is always going to be a compromise in footwear when dealing with outdoor footwear. Anyone can pull an example out of thin air of a shoe that excels in one discipline. Approach shoes are very much a niche in the market.

I've seen very few approach shoes from the climbing world that successfully check all of those boxes off.

The La Sportiva Anakonda may be the closest shoe I've seen recently that provides superior traction for a variety of mountain terrain in a lightweight minimal package suitable for low class scrambling, hiking, trail running, etc.. I'd pick the Anakonda over the Lone Peak, and definitely over an approach shoe.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review on 09/18/2013 10:19:33 MDT Print View

I've been very happy with the Altra Superiors, have about 300 miles on them. Seems like they have a better upper in terms of protection and durability, plus I like the styling more. Lots of use in the Sierras. I cut off the mud flap on the back straight away as it launches sand all the way up into one's waistline.

Altra Superiors 2013 model:

Wes Kline
(weskline) - F

Locale: Adirondacks
Lone Peaks in ADK High Peaks on 09/18/2013 10:38:23 MDT Print View

In June of this year I used a pair of Lone Peak 1.5 in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. While the shoe was comfortable (I use Altra shoes for road running as well, as I have very wide feet), I found the traction to be pretty awful in the wet ADK landscape. I usually use Scarpa Sparks, and found that the Altra slipped on so many wet rocks that they were quite dangerous to use. I don't have the same problems with the Spark.

So I would recommend them for a dry climate, or possibly the Rockies, but for the wet Adirondacks, they were less than ideal. Love the width though, and wish more manufacturers would offer shoes with a similar last.

billy weinman
(bubbyman) - M

Locale: Manzano Mtns
175 miles and they have some issues on 09/18/2013 11:35:22 MDT Print View

I have just completed two 75-mile backpacks through the Manzanos, San Mateos and Magdalena mountains of New Mexico. Trails and cross-country at times. It's been a test for me and the Lone Peaks.

I love wearing the shoe, but my chief and immediate complaint was with the toe guard. Not tough enough for southwest conditions. Won't stop a prickly pear spine and on two occasions had to remove the shoe and tweezer out a gnarly spine from both left and right shoes. We have lots of pricklies that live just out of sight along our trails, and this is what nailed me. I think maybe only leather could have stopped them.

I'm also seeing the fabric on top of the shoe wearing and the review is correct in that they are very slow to dry.

Like the author, despite complaints, they remain a wonderful shoe to wear.

Jeffrey Stone
(stonepitts) - MLife

Locale: Klamath Knot
Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review on 09/18/2013 11:45:38 MDT Print View

Ryan, my experience with the Lone Peaks has been the same as yours. I have a pair of 1.0's and a pair of 1.5's, and I love them for trail running, trail hiking, and general all around use. For off-trail hiking, they're not so great. My biggest issue is poor traction. I just got a pair of Sketchers GOBionics to try out. They have similar attributes as the Altras: wide footbox, zero drop (without the insoles), and light weight (3 ounces each lighter than the 1.5's, sans insoles). They are also significantly less expensive. I haven't given them a good test yet; they are very comfortable so far, and the tread pattern is more aggressive than the Lone Peaks so I'm thinking the traction will be better. The light weight worries me a bit as far as durability goes, but we'll see.

Edited by stonepitts on 09/18/2013 11:46:25 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail Shoe Review on 09/18/2013 12:41:52 MDT Print View

Ryan- thanks for the review. I tried on a pair and they felt great- I have to have a wide toe box and they have that in spades. In the end I was a little uncomfortable w/ a 0 drop (maybe needlessly). Another shoe to look at that might better fit the bill is the Pearl Izumi N2 Trail. Wide toe box, low drop, but not 0, lightweight and they dry fast. I've got ~ 250 miles on mine including two very rocky 50k's, also some rather rough miles w/ a 20-ish # pack. I'd say they'll do another 250 w/o too much trouble.

The outsole isn't as aggressive as some trail shoes, but I have no complaint on grip w/ rock or any other surface- wet or dry.

Craig Gulley
(cgulley) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Lone Peak and Golite Sundragons on 09/18/2013 12:56:21 MDT Print View

I had high hopes for the Lone Peaks having read Anish used them on her 40+ miles per day, 60 day PCT hike. I was especially interested in them because of the expanded toe box. The old Golite Sundragons had this feature and I considered them the best fitting shoe ever made, too bad it ended there because they disintegrated the moment you put them on the trail. Maybe someday some will take this superior style of last and make it out of durable material. If only I could get LaSportiva to make a shoe like the Raptors I currently use with a larger toe box!

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re Approach Shoes on 09/18/2013 13:08:26 MDT Print View

Approach shoes are a bit of a one trick pony with the exception of a few offerings that might make decent dayhike shoes with more technicality on slab. Multi day backpacks on routes with wide surface variation? I think there are better options than approach shoes. The use of sticky rubber shoes allows for great slabbing on short approach hikes from car to the crag, but are pretty shitty for just about everything else considering most of the shoes that incorporate stealth rubber have relatively flat outsoles. Holding the Lone Peaks up to an approach shoes ability to negotiate granite and easy class climbing and bouldering is slighlty lopsided, considering the shoe was intended to be a running shoe, one that works very well within that context. The Lone Peak in the context of backpacking appears to be up to the task for the most part, with the drawbacks being long term durability.

ahhh ... but i did mention approach shoes are SPECIFICALLY for what are basically scrambles ... places where your rubber cant slip or yr screwed, excuse the pun

for trails theres plenty of other options ...

but you do have to remember that there is plenty of wiggle room in "approach shoes" ... some have a deeper tread pattern, most are quite durable

most though do have upper leathers, though there are a few with mesh

in reality they are not too different from light hikers many people use, but with better traction on rock and better climbing

the point is simply if youre going to be using trail runners shoes in boulder fields, scree, slabs, rock faces,jamming them into easy cracks, etc ... they will get TRASHED

now fit is a personal choice, but ask yourself if theres another shoe that isnt more durable, that wouldnt work just as well for what you want to do

if youre using a shoe in high wear/abrasion activities ... perhaps something a bit tougher, and im not saying get boots, would be in order?


Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Re Re Approach Shoes on 09/18/2013 16:44:13 MDT Print View

Eric I definitely would consider and approach shoe on slick rock. However I don't hike on that very often. Funny someone mentioned the Adirondacks. I only did one overnighter there but that would have been the perfect place for an approach shoe.

So for now I'm stuck with Lone Peaks. My ideal shoe would be an Altra with more durable uppers and the sole of the old La Sportiva X-Countries.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re Re Re Re Re Approach Shoes on 09/18/2013 17:46:15 MDT Print View

im actually really puzzled why manufacturers dont make their trail runners more "durable" ... it wouldnt weight much more in many cases if anything ...

i understand that with regular use in harsh environments, things wear out much more quickly ... but it seems that everyone and their dog on BPL has issues with runners wearing out with moderate use ...

i remember when i was young, we use to go scrambling around in our gym sneakers ... and those things lasted forever, once my feet stopped growing i dont think i ever wore out a pair of cheap sneakers even after a decade of use ... course i suspect that even the cheap tennies shoes back then were much simpler and better constructed than the $$$$ "performance shoes" these days

personally i think manufacturers KNOW that their shoes will wear out quickly and do a bit of "planned obsolescences" ... the more shoes you but the better ... as long as you believe that nothing else will "work" as well, youll be willing to pay the piper every few months ...

it sure seems that theres more of a marketing focus than real utility ... plenty of fancy colours, logo/pretty cutouts that falls apart, weird graphic designs on the sole that serve no purpose, etc ....

honestly ... just build me a simple, functional shoe that works .... i dont need the marketing department to tell me there ooogles of cushioning, or that itll make me into a barefoot kenyan runner ...

they still go kaput of course ... but after getting good use out of em


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re Re Re Re Re Approach Shoes on 09/18/2013 18:04:15 MDT Print View

I want to see shoe manufactures going to back to sewn on soles. No more sole delamination and very easy to repair.
I usually wear leather shoes for any situation where the uppers are going to take more abuse than the soles. Leather sucks in wet conditions but everything else is just mesh that shreds.
Why is nobody creating shoes with a simple nylon/cordura fabric for the uppers?
It seems like shoe manufactures expect everyone to be walking on well groomed trails.

Jeremy Gus
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
Re: Minimalist hiking shoes on 09/18/2013 19:44:23 MDT Print View

Russell Mocassin makes a custom minimalist leather hiking shoe or boot that has reports of going 1200 miles on a pair of soles and then can be re-soled. Certainly not as lightweight, but much more durable. I have not used them myself yet, but have read good reviews on them. They are zero-drop, wide foot box and customizable for cushioning, fit and type of sole. Yes, they are expensive and won't dry out as fast as a trail runner, but maybe they would be willing to make them out of a leather and cordura combination so that they could dry faster.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Minimalist hiking shoes on 09/18/2013 21:37:06 MDT Print View

I bought a pair of Lone Peaks after reading Ryan's original article and found them to be very comfortable on some of the moderate, maintained trails in Montana's Anaconda Pintlar Wilderness; however, they were absolute crap on the steep talus of the Porter Ridge approach to Warren Peak. When traversing, my foot would actually slip off the foot bed and end up half-way on the fabric of the upper; this I believe was due in large part to the lack of a stiff heel cup, and if I tried to tighten the laces to prevent my foot from sliding around, then this caused pain on the instep area. Also, because of a total lack of lateral support, crossing steep snow fields was near suicidal because it was impossible to "edge" the shoes.

In short, these are great for day hikes or short overnighters on maintained trails, but a more substantial shoe is required for serious backcountry travel. In other words, be circumspect, and don't expect one shoe fulfill all the needs.

Happy Trails!