ALTRA LONE PEAK 3.0 NEOSHELL
MID TRAIL SHOE
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
October 10, 2017
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
|Manufacturer: Altra Running|
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.altrarunning.com
MSRP: US $160.00
Listed Weight: 11.4 oz (283 g)
Measured Weight: 12 oz (340 g)
Sizes Available: 5.5 -11, 12
Size Reviewed: Women's 8
Colors Available: Blue, Black & Gray/Purple
Color Reviewed: Gray/Purple
Made in China
|Photo Copyright by Altra|
The first thing I notice with Altra brand shoes is the wide toe box. However - maybe I'm getting used to that - the Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid boots don't look nearly as wide as my Altra trail runners. The toe contour is not as "clown-shoe" sized.
Synthetic materials and leathers make up the waterproof mesh uppers which sport very few seams. Polartec lining is used for winter warmth.
Shades of gray are highlighted with black and white graphics on the sides of the boots and deep purple laces and interior linings and heel cuffs make these very attractive boots. Two metal eyelets secure the laces at the very tops of the boots.
There is a moderate amount of cushioning in the bottoms of these boots and the Contour footbeds while still a Zero Drop are very comfortable. And on the subject of "cushioning", the padding in the cuffs and tongue of the Lone Peaks is by far and away the most of any of my other boots!
Altra's MaxTrac Sticky Rubber outsole with their trademarked TrailClaw combines with a rock protective layer called StoneGuard to round out the footwear technology used to construct these boots. The tread is not overly aggressive - these are not huge, heavy-lugged boots.
One more neat feature to mention is Altra's GaiterTrap which is a small hook and loop tab on the back of heel of the boot right at the top of the outsole. This works perfectly for holding gaiters (or long pants' cuffs) in place. Very handy little detail!
All wearing of the Altra Lone Peak Boots for hiking and backpacking over the last several months (over 250 m/400 km) has been in Fremont Country, Colorado. This is my home "range" and I wear trail shoes or boots almost anytime I walk out of the house. We live on 71 acres (29 hectares) and take weekend hikes and backpack straight out our back door where we border Bureau of Land Management property for miles and miles.
|Taking a Break on the Tectonic Shift Trail||The terrain is high desert with mostly dry, dusty trails from powdery dirt to ball-bearing-slippery pebbles to hard slabs of granite. While we do have some prairie-like valleys, mostly I am hiking up and down on hills and ridges.|
In addition to daily walks over my very hilly, rutted dirt road to the mailbox - a 4-mile (6.4 km) round trip trek - I have been exploring some newly constructed trails with the Altras.
An example of these trails is the Oil Well Flats Tectonic Shift Trail near Canon City, Colorado which takes me through juniper and pine tree stands with a few meadows. The very narrow trail is mostly hard dirt-packed with intermittent rocks. It's an intermediate-rated trail for mountain bikes but also a hiking trail and my husband, John, and I often have had it all to ourselves. Temperatures have ranged from freezing to the high 90s F (35 C) under clear, sunny blue skies to drizzly rain.
It is 2.3 miles (3.7 km) with a 220 ft (67 m) ascent and -51 ft (16 m) descent with a 6,107 ft (1861 m) high and a 5,939 ft (1810 m) low.
Early in the year, I also wore the boots on a couple of snowshoe hikes. One snowshoe trek took place on the Continental Divide Trail near Monarch Pass on the border of Chaffee and Gunnison Counties in Colorado. The elevation at its highest is 11,312 ft (3,448 m) and there was little gain or loss overall. The snow pack was several feet/meters with a very hard crust and John and I broke our own trail through mostly a very tall pine treed forest. This was a beautiful trail on a beautiful day with clear skies. It was a bit colder - in the low 30's F (-1 C).
I wear trail shoes or hiking boots almost exclusively whenever I am outdoors. I live on mountainous 71 acres (29 hectares) of dirt, scrubby vegetation and rock along two miles (3 km) of dirt hilly private road. My home town is a very casual rural location where boots are an acceptable footwear choice. Fortunately, I love wearing boots!
All this boot-wearing means I wear out boots more rapidly than most people. I ascribe to the general rule-of-thumb that 300 to 500 miles (480 - 600 km) on a boot is pretty much the maximum.
Since I have rather flat feet, I usually can tell when the boots I am wearing are destined to be replaced. Even if the tread looks good and the uppers still in decent shape, my left arch particularly tells me to move along to the next pair of boots.
I also believe in not wearing the same boots two days in a row unless I have to because I am on the trail and certainly am not sacrificing pack space or weight to a second pair of boots!
Generally speaking, most of my boots - because of this rotation - last about 6-8 months on average. These boots have just hit that point - approximately 300 miles (480 km) and 8 months!
So, what did I learn and think about the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid Trail Shoes? Read on!
First time I put the shoes on, I had to really work at getting the lacings to loosen up enough to get my feet in them. Once my feet were in the shoes though, the boots were very comfortable except for a slight rubbing on the left rear ankle. Initially, the boots were stiff, but they softened up quickly. I certainly couldn't tell these are "zero drop". I feel like there is sufficient support under my flat arches.
On my initial backpacking trip, the weather was in the mid-60s, sunny, very windy, with no precipitation. I walked 3 miles (4.8 km) on a dirt walk along the Arkansas River with a 10 lb (4.5 kg) backpack. I never thought once about the shoes. The boots were off to a good start. And that good start never turned bad throughout the spring and summer!
Despite the very substantial look of the Lone Peak boot, they are very lightweight. I hardly noticed that I was wearing boots at all. This is important to me when backpacking as any extra weight in footwear seems to get exponentially greater as the day winds on and the trail winds upward. (All trails seem to wind upward in Colorado!)
The lightweight uppers are supported by very lightweight but supportive underfoot construction. Though the boots are "zero drop", there is excellent padding and underfoot support that protected my feet on rocky surfaces and with heavier backpacks. Even with my flat feet! Never did I feel sore from sharp protrusions poking into the outsoles of the boots.
| ||Comfort continued through the boot tongues and cuffs which are very, very padded. This was particularly nice when hiking downhill when I often felt more pressure on the front of my ankles while leaning forward. - Nice!|
Thanks to the very grippy outsoles, I never experienced any difficulty traversing steep terrain on all sorts of rocky or dusty surfaces. When rocks were slick, I was able to keep my footing without sliding and when I had to scramble over smaller, loose surfaces, there was enough grip to keep me stable as well.
And while I never got to "soak" the Lone Peak boots, they did shed light rain and the occasional tip-toe through small streams. I didn't get wet feet from that nor from inside wetness of perspiration. The linings never got more than slightly damp on the hottest days. Again, nice!
If I were to criticize the Lone Peak boots at all, I would have to say I found them a bit hard to put on. Throughout the spring and summer, I continued to have to struggle to get the shoes on. Seems like they are very narrow through the forefoot area which is weird when considering the very generously wide toe box. The rear heel finger pull-on loops are too small to help at all. I can barely get my finger into them. And the laces are rather difficult to loosen. I have to un-do them from the tongue loop and loosen up the laces almost all the way down to the toe box. However, once they are on my feet, the struggles are worth it.
In all the time I had them, I never really did anything special to care for the boots. Just brushed off the dirt every once in a while and used a stiff brush to scrub out crusted-on mud. We have very sticky mud here and with some deep-lugged boots, clearing out mud is a real chore, the more shallow lugs of the Lone Peak boots were relatively easy.
In addition to rotating my footwear, I always take the insoles out of the boots after every wear. I'm sure this helped keep the boots less "stinky" and I know allowing the insoles to air out protects breakdown of the components as well. Right to the end of this season, the insoles had not degraded at all.
1,) Super comfortable toe box
2.) Warm and cozy
3.) Handle wet conditions well
4.) Decent traction on dirt trails
1.) A little hard to put on
These Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid Trail Shoes are my second pair of footwear from Altra and I'm just as pleased with these as I was with my low-cut running Altras!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
The fit is unlike any other pair of boots I own with the wide toe box and more narrow heel and that cut seems to work very well for me. The extra "breathing room" at the toes allows my foot to spread out and the usual afternoon swelling on a long hike is not as much of a problem as with some other shoes. The mid cut and snug heel are very supportive. These are great shoes and I'm sad to "retire" them. Definitely a hearty recommendation for this boot-happy backpacker!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Read more reviews of Altra gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathleen Waters