Unlike a regular old pair of sneakers, trail running shoes have to be able to meet the demands of mother nature. That means construction, comfort, and bodily reverb all need to be kept in mind when crafting the perfect shoe. In this area of footwear, “good enough” simply won’t do. Choosing the wrong pair of shoes can wreak havoc on your body, turning what should be a pleasant trail experience into something far less enticing.
When looking for the best pair of trail running shoes, it is important to keep your trail style and running habits in mind, especially if you’re someone who enjoys a zero drop shoe. The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is a great all-around option for those who want a zero drop option without sacrificing comfort.
A Burly Shoe With Ample Protection
Altra has long been regarded as a shoe brand that keeps trail runners in mind, this is why they offer comfortable shoes that still boast ample protection. The Lone Peak 4.5 is a robust shoe with ample protection for both the tops of the feet and the bottoms. A resilient midsole foam compound and StoneGuard rock plate offer up a shoe that feels dense without looking overly thick. This is a shoe that performs well when taking hits from sharp rocks and root systems, sparing your feet from harm. While the new midsole lacks the soft springiness of some Altra shoes, the bottom of the feet is much happier due to the added protection. This is a perfect shoe for someone who enjoys running in more rocky terrain.
Trail Claw Traction for Superior Footing
Whether you’re someone who enjoys running on rocky terrain or steep grass, the Altra Trail Claw traction system in the Lone Peak 4.5 shoes will help you dig in and stay balanced. With chevron-shaped lugs and unique hexagonal lugs placed deliberately near push points, this is a shoe that grips rocks well, while also handling aggressively slippery surfaces with ease. Of course like any trail shoe, these lugs will wear down over time. Overall, this is a shoe that performs well on most trails, but may still not be well-suited to very technical mountain terrain or muddy regions.
Zero Drop Platform for Added Stability
A great trail running shoe should always offer up enough stability to keep you feeling grounded on any type of terrain. The Lone Peak 4.5 shoe offers up a neat zero-drop platform that will keep you low to the ground. A stack heel height of 25mm helps you to achieve key sensitivity, while the shoe itself does a great job of holding the foot securely in place. There is little slippage while running, even if your strike pattern is a bit intense. The shoe holds the foot firmly by the mid-foot. If you’re someone who frequently runs on very uneven terrain, the Lone Peak 4.5 should help you to achieve stability and balance that few other shoe brands can offer at this price point.
A Standard Wide Fit for Ample Toe Splay
In terms of comfort, the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is a standard wide fit shoe that allows for ample toe splay. With that said, the shoe does run a little short, which is why we recommend going half size up if you hate the feeling of your toes touching the front. While this is a pretty comfortable shoe, there is some rubbing on the heel on long runs. If that’s something that will be a deal-breaker, specifically if you are a long-distance runner, you may want to look into an alternative shoe with more ample heel protection.