The RW Takeaway: The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is a lightweight, slightly firm shoe that’s ideal for trail racing.
- New lacing system for a locked-in fit
- Lightweight rock plate in the midsole serves as a protective buffer
- Wide toe box to allow toes to splay and prevent black toenails and blisters
Weight: 10.8 oz (M), 8.9 oz (W)
That point-5 signals that Altra has tinkered with only a few features in the rugged Lone Peak. The shoe has the same outsole as the 4, and slightly tweaked midsole foam for more durability. Its upper has undergone the most changes, with fewer overlays and a new lacing system, which translates to a less flimsy tongue and more secure fit.
A hardy trail shoe like the Lone Peak is usually not known for its flexibility, especially when it has a rock plate in the midsole, but the shoe’s Stoneguard is shielding enough to protect the pads of your foot, yet pliable and lightweight enough so you aren’t encumbered with stiffness.
A New Closure System
Most of our testers appreciated the locked-in feel of the new lacing system, and how the saddle hugged their foot. A strip of material keeps the tongue centered, with a customizable twist: you can marker in your “summits” in little squares.
“The fit and comfort was the best thing about the shoe,” said a tester. “It wrapped perfectly around my foot. [The cushioning] is a little bit hard; it’s a shoe I’d save for races.”
Our shoe lab tests showed the heel and forefoot cushioning to be very firm compared to the other shoes, road and trail, that we tested. The 4.5’s light weight, snug fit, and tacky outsole compensated for its lack of softness.
Runners familiar with the Lone Peak 4, however, may find the new closure system just a little too tight. “If I hadn’t run in the Lone Peak 4 first, I think I’d love these,” said a tester. “But, the closure is causing pressure on my instep.”
Still Has Impeccable Grip
Claw-like, multidirectional beveled lugs pattern the outsole (a tread one tester described as having “more knobs and waffles” than his Sunday breakfast), resulting in excellent multisurface grip. The outsole has consistently been a favorite—and reliable—feature in the Lone Peak line. Runners who like that ground feel on the trail will appreciate the shoe’s light cushioning; however, others who like a softer ride may find the Lone Peak too firm.
More Wear Tester Feedback
Michael H., tester since 2012
Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Heel
“This is a well-constructed shoe. The traction was fantastic and the shoes felt great on my feet. The only issue was with the size of the toe box. It ended up being larger than I initially thought and my toes moved around a lot more than I expected. Running on trails and grass mainly, these shoes performed exceptionally well.”
Brian S., tester since 2016
Arch: Medium | Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Midfoot
“The low profile of the shoe and the wide toe box give the shoe a great stable feel. The laces support that feeling locking your foot in the shoe.”