Lightweight, zero drop, wide-fitting trail shoes
With all footwear the fit comes first – before design, weight, cost, everything. I have fairly wide feet and many boots and shoes are too narrow for me. I can usually wear them for short walks with a light pack but not for long distances and especially not for multi-day walks with a full backpacking load. For many years I’ve chosen trail shoes for long walks though not many have ever fitted me well enough for this. The last model that fitted me okay was the Inov8 Terroc, which I wore on many walks including two multi-month ones. These are no longer made however. For some time then I’ve been searching for a replacement, and finally I think I may have found one in the Altra Lone Peak 2.0.
Altra is an American running shoe company whose designs are different to most others in two respects. Firstly they have zero drop, which means the sole is no thicker at the heel than the toe, and secondly they have a wide toe box designed to allow your toes to spread out naturally. The latter means they fit me pretty well. I haven’t done more than low-level day walks in them yet – the Scottish hills in winter conditions are not the place for trail shoes – but I’m pleased with the fit and the comfort.
I haven’t actually noticed the zero drop that much, probably because I’ve done a lot of walking in shoes and sandals with low drop for years anyway. However other zero drop shoes I’ve tried have virtually no cushioning, which is noticeable on hard and stony ground, so I’d never wear them on a long walk. The Lone Peaks are different. They have a thick dual layer EVA midsole with a layer of recycled energy-return compound called A-Bound on top of it so cushioning is good. There’s a stiffener between the two cushioning layers to protect against stones. This also gives the shoes lateral stiffness. They flex easily toe to heel.
The rest of the Lone Peaks design is fairly standard. They have a synthetic mesh upper that isn’t at all water resistant but which is fast drying and very breathable. There are few seams, which should be good for durability. The tongue and heel are foam-lined and the inner mesh is nice and soft. The toe is stiffened and there’s a hard heel counter. The outsole is made from sticky rubber and grips well. The insoles are the usual pieces of flimsy material. For long walks I’ll replace them with insoles by Superfeet.
The Lone Peaks are quite expensive but they do look well-made and I’m hoping they’ll prove durable. They are lightweight, weighing 702 grams for size 9s (US 10). I like them.
Sizes: Men’s US 8-13, Women’s US 7-10