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Altra Lone Peak Shoes for Backpacking

The Altra Lone Peak shoes are among the most popular shoes for backpacking and especially thru-hiking. There are really two distinct reasons that make the shoes so popular. They are zero drop, and they have a wider (more natural) toe box.

The most popular backpacking and thru-hiking shoe, the Altra Lone Peak

Altra has designed a shoe that works for so many thru-hikers because of the large toe box. It gives feet the opportunity to splay out more naturally, and especially on long-distance backpacking trips, the Altra Lone Peaks offer ample room for swollen feet to still be comfortable. An average thru-hiker will see their feet grow some amount on their thru-hike. That is why so many places recommend sizing up shoes, and Altra already offers that extra room by having the wider toe box.



-Wide toe box and zero-drop platform that promotes proper alignment -Durable soles with good traction -Breathable mesh upper -Lightweight especially when compared to boots

-For some hikers, zero-drop design is uncomfortable, and backpackers may experience soreness in their calves or Achilles’ tendons. -Shoes may start to break down after a few hundred miles, requiring replacement. -Expensive compared to other options

What are zero-drop shoes?

Zero-drop shoes are designed with a sole that has no height difference between the heel and the toe, meaning that your foot is flat on the ground when you stand in them. The primary benefit of zero-drop shoes is that they promote a natural stride and foot position, which can improve overall foot and lower leg health.

Zero-drop shoes can be a good choice for people who want a more natural and comfortable walking or running experience. However, it’s important to note that they may take some getting used to if you’re used to wearing traditional shoes with a higher heel.

Features of the Altra Lone Peaks

The shoes have a breathable mesh upper to keep your feet cool and dry and a sturdy outsole that provides good traction on a variety of terrains. The midsole is made of EVA foam with good cushioning and support.

Altra Lone Peaks also feature the rare combination of a wide, comfortable toe box combined with zero drop shoe construction. Rather than be slightly tilted forward, the Lone Peaks provide the natural platform of the ground. This is something more comfortable for some thru-hikers and backpackers, but it may also be uncomfortable for others.


Topo Athletic is the nearest competitor, offering a wide-toe box but not offering zero-drop shoes. But beyond the wider toe box, many of the similarly popular shoes are not zero drop, and especially the Salomon shoes run much more narrow. Below is a full table of the most popular backpacking and thru-hiking shoes.

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