I’m a little conflicted as to how much I can add to the myriad of reviews on this shoe. It’s been reviewed a LOT. The fact that so many people have written about it should give you some idea as to it’s popularity.
I’ll try and keep this succinct.
As I’ve grown into this sport of ultrarunning I’ve gravitated towards more natural ways of doing things. Generally as I age I think I’m adopting a less is more attitude (except dessert). Keeping that in mind it was a matter of time before ALTRA got onto my radar.
Altra in a nutshell (forgive my paraphrasing good Altra people) is making shoes that are ZERO DROP. In traditional running shoes you have an elevated heel that is “stacked” to cushion a heel strike impact and actually encourage it because of its height. With ALTRA you have shoes made to position the foot in its natural state – heel and forefoot at level ground, with protection (cushioning underneath/material around foot and toes) & a natural “last” or an upper SHAPED LIKE YOUR FOOT
I purchased the flashy red and white pair you see pictured here. Since then, there has been an “all black” colour-way released but this combination trumps in my opinion.
Out of the box these shoes felt pretty great. I have a “normal” foot width and found these to be UBER comfy with a relative snugness around the heel (locked down not tight) and the open toe box that allowed for a natural splay. My only initial beef was and is the incredible LENGTH of the shoelaces. I didn’t measure but the laces were SO long I had to run the extra lace down the front of my tied shoes and tucked back under the criss cross to keep them out of the way. (You can see I actually opted for no-tie triathlon style lacing that work well for me with them).
The next thing you’ll notice that is unique to these shoes is the tail “rudder” – like extension from the heel of the sole of the shoe. The claim is that this extra piece should aid in steep downhill traverse or loose downhill running sections. I actually TRIED to employ the trail rudder when I thought I could and I’ll be damned if I noticed any real difference. I believe we may see this evolve into a nub-like nod to its heritage and eventually disappear. Trail-Shoe Darwinism.
Second feature that’s obvious in the rear of the shoe, on the upper’s heel, is a Velcro patch for securing trail gaiters. This is pretty ingenious and I’ll bet more will follow suit. Not surprisingly I hear ALTRA will be manufacturing their own gaiters soon which makes sense. Other nice things are drain holes in the toebox of the shoe and a sturdy but comfy and light feeling upper. I find that when using a weaved material a shoe can often be stiff, “creaky” and general feel like a shoe sweater (see the Torin 1.0). The Lone Peak 1.5 and all subsequent shoes employing a “weave” like upper in the ALTRA stable feel good, light and very wearable as well as durable.
So running in this shoe is in a word, AWESOME. I feel light, natural, protected and fast in the Lone Peak 1.5’s. Quick and easy transition with very good traction on all types of ground. I’ve actually used them fairly often on hybrid training sess’s in the city of Toronto here that has been getting killed with snow and they were a dream.
I’ve found with the roomier, anatomic toebox design, my feet feel fresher – longer. (sound like a shampoo or chewing gum commercial):). It’s true though – these shoes left my feet feeling great which is kinda key in ultra running in my books.
Try these shoes and you will not be disappointed. They come in some other cool colourways for ladies and are actually built differently for women. NO JOKE – they have engineered their women’s shoes to be FEMALE specific – that’s pretty badass in my opinion – well done.
Good Job Guys – can’t wait to try the OLYMPUS
What are your fave trail shoes? Do you run in a more natural or stacked heel shoe? Why? What are your experiences with the Lone Peak 1.5’s?