The Altra Lone Peak 5 Is a Supportive, Unfussy Shoe for Trail Running

This Altra Lone Peak 5 review is part of our 2021 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards, where the shoe won Best Classic Trail Runner. You can see the rest of our award winners here. 

Trail running, with all of its unparalleled serenity, requires a specific kind of shoe to handle the rocky, root-strewn, and uneven terrain. Enter the Altra Lone Peak 5, which is designed with trail running in mind but is also suitable for anytime wear. Our two testers put this shoe to work on very different terrains, but they both unlaced feeling impressed with its performance. Here’s what makes the versatile Altra Lone Peak 5 a SELF Certified keeper.

How We Tested

Our testers tried out the Altra Lone Peak using criteria recommended by experts for the 2021 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards; you can read more about that criteria here. One tester, a coach and training coordinator for various running groups, took this shoe for a spin on a 4.5-mile trail run. The gravel terrain on their run was relatively “easy/flat,” with some rocky areas and exposed roots, plus a few streams. Our other tester, who works on their feet all day and enjoys hiking and running in their free time, wore these shoes for two eight-hour workdays.


Both testers were impressed with how this shoe fit—like a glove. Both also commented on the roomy toe box, mentioning they could wiggle and “play the piano” with their toes in these shoes. The heel of the Lone Peak 5 is narrow, so our testers felt secure and didn’t deal with any heel slippage. There is also added arch support in these shoes, but both testers noted that it felt supportive, not obtrusive.

Shape of the Shoe

One of our testers noted how much they love how the shape of the shoe matched the shape of their foot, thanks to the brand’s signature FootShape toe box, which gives the toes more room to spread out and gives runners a more powerful toe-off. If you like your trail-running sneaks to be a bit snugger in the toe box, Altra might not be the best brand for you.

Feel of the Shoe

“It almost feels like a slipper when you put it on,” said one tester. “It felt like a natural extension of my foot.” The cushioning in the Altra Lone Peak 5 is evident but unobtrusive, and our reviewers said the shoe itself is lightweight and comfortable. One tester noted that there was some responsiveness in the midsole but more in the outsole, which is key when running on trails with varied terrain.

The Lone Peak 5 has moderate stability and low to moderate ankle support. The tester who took the shoes out running has very low arches and prefers high-stability shoes. They enjoyed running in these for shorter distances but said they might not necessarily choose the shoe for longer-distance trail runs. If you have low arches or require more ankle stability, you may want to consider a trail-running shoe with higher stability. However, what the Lone Peak 5 lacks in midsole stability, it more than makes up for in its hyper-supportive, grippy sole.

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