Altra Superior vs. Lone Peak: A Battle of the Best Running Shoes

Whenever I go on a hiking trip, one of the most important things I make sure to have is comfortable footwear. In the early days, I just went with whatever sneaker I had on hand. The blisters were awful, I tell you. Not to mention the foot strain.

As you know, I hike to de-stress. But I recently came across trail running videos that got me interested. I’ve been thinking of trying out something new, so I started looking for the right shoes for this.

I’ve tried a brand called Altra before, and they carry trail running shoes for women. They’ve got an extensive collection, but I’ve narrowed it down to Altra Superior vs. Lone Peak. 

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Altra’s Trail Running Shoes

These two models seem to be very similar and are getting the most praise when it comes to trail running, so I’m comparing them. I want one that I can use both for my usual hiking or backpacking as well as my first venture into trail running.

Altra Superior

via amazon.com

This is the Altra model that I got before, but I was into sandals at this time so I’ve only worn it once around the house. The Superior has Altra’s signature FootShape™ toe box design that lets you spread out your toes in the most natural way.

I wore these out for a test drive and absolutely loved the toe box. Since I have wide feet, the extra room feels amazing. The Zero Drop™ platform means that the cushioning from my heel to my toes are all the same height. I felt more balanced.

An important thing in hiking footwear is also the weight. The Altra Superior is very lightweight yet offers really good ground grip and traction as well! I looked into it and it’s because of the cleat, which is called the TrailClaw™, at the back of the sole that acts as a brake.

The Superior’s stack height, which is the thickness between your foot and the ground, is only 21mm. I liked this because I felt like my feet were feeling the ground I’m walking on, but is still sufficiently protected.

There were a couple times where the ground got stony and I felt it more. I guess that’s because I forgot to insert the StoneGuard.

Here’s a summary my thoughts regarding the Altra Superior:

Special feature: Removable StoneGuard

Choose this if you:
  • Need more flexibility
  • Want a more natural foot feel
  • Do not hike on stony terrain that often
Buy something else if you:

Need more underfoot protection

Altra Lone Peak

via amazon.com

I was happy with the experience that the Superior gave me, but I wanted to explore some more so I researched about the Lone Peak. According to the Altra website, the Lone Peak’s cushioning is considered “moderate” compared to the Superior’s “light”.

At 8.7oz, this model is also heavier than the Superior. It figures because it has a Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound™ midsole, which provides it more feet protection.

This style also has a higher stack height at 25mm. While that’s probably because the StoneGuard is built-in, which means my feet would hurt less on stony terrain, I did really like the natural ground feel of the Superior.

There are also talks that the Lone Peak’s upper mesh is more durable than the Superior. According to one review, however, the Lone Peak loses out to the Superior when it comes to traction. This is a safety feature that I don’t think I can sacrifice.

Here’s a summary my thoughts regarding the Altra Lone Peak:

Special feature: Dual Layer Midsoles

Choose this if you:
  • Want better underfoot protection
  • Don’t mind the added weight
Buy something else if you:
  • Need more flexibility and traction
  • Want more comfort

The Verdict

While both these shoes appear to be identical, their cushioning level really is their differing point. Both of these models have Altra’s signature FootShape toe box ZeroDrop platform that makes them more comfortable than most hiking shoes.

However, I do want my new shoes to fit my usual hiking and backpacking style, and will also do a good job of introducing me to trail running. Since I tried the Superior and felt like it really gave me the support and protection that my feet needed, I don’t think I need the thickness that the Lone Peak gives.

Both models are pretty much priced the same as well, so for this, I’m declaring Altra Superior as my clear winner! I’m excited to go on my first trail run with it.

How about you? Have you tried either or both of these shoes? Comment about your experiences below!

Lauren Reese
 

I'm Laura. I have a huge passion for hiking and camping. Lying under the star beside the tent and camping fire with my team is the ultimate nature getaway to me. I wish to share my experience during the adventure with you through this blog. Feel free to read my stories and leave some comments if you like.

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