Running Warehouse banner

Trail Running Course

Altra The One and Lone Peak 1.5 Men’s Trail Shoe Review – Zero Drop Road Snap and Mod-Weight Trail Workhorse

jtaylor_articleI hope everyone out there in Endurance Buzz land has been hitting the trails and roads to soak up some sunrises, sunsets, and general gorgeousness in this new year! Lots of races, old and new, to experience this year. And as always, look to the buzz for the latest gear reviews on your favorite shoes, socks, packs, apparel and other running related gear.

For the past several months I’ve been running in two different pairs of Altras, The One and the Lone Peak 1.5, the latter of which picked up a Runner’s World gear of the year award in 2013. The shoes are on opposite ends of the spectrum in their line-up. On one side The One is a light, nimble, racing/training shoe and on the other, a solid build, workhorse, the Lone Peak 1.5.

Altra The One

The One

Lone Peak 1.5

Lone Peak 1.5

Altra The One

altra-theone14a

My Impressions

Out of the box and off the shelf, I really liked this shoe. It was light, nimble, very flexible through the body of the shoe, a nice lime green color (I’m a sucker for bright colors) and simple. The shoe weighed in at 7.3 oz. Altra also offers a higher priced 3-Sum which is identical to The One in all aspects except the addition of quick pull laces or a heel pull loop for easy triathlon transitions.

The One was very reminiscent of the Merrell Bare Access 2 (our review) with a snug midfoot fit, and a wide toe box. It’s a zero drop shoe with a light amount of cushion meaning a stack height of 18mm. Zero drop meaning that the distance from the heel and the forefoot to the ground surface are identical. A zero drop shoe can still have significant cushion, although this means the cushion will be an even thickness and the heel won’t be higher or lower in the shoe relative to the ground than the forefoot.

The One has been my regular training and road/paved shoe. It’s been a cold shoe for running this winter because of the lightweight quick-dry air mesh that composes most of the upper but with my winter socks (review coming soon) my feet and little phalanges have kept nice and toasty. Mileage has been in the 5-12 range for each run with 300+ miles on them total.

What do I like?

First, I like the weight and flexibility of this shoe. It really does feel quite nimble on the foot and does not feel bulky but gives a good feel for the road underneath without beating up my feet. I don’t run in a lot of water or wet weather but the drain holes in the sole are a nice addition if you do.

altra-theone14b

What don’t I like?

The toe box is pretty wide, perhaps a bit too wide even for me. While my little toes do love some room to get out and kick it, they don’t always benefit from as much space as this toe box allows for. I didn’t get any blisters but noticed a shift in the callouses on my toes from wearing this shoe a lot. And I lost a toe nail from wearing this shoe on regular training runs which was weird. While the toe box is wide, I noticed that it is slightly narrow top to bottom nearer the front, and tapers a bit toward the tip. This in effect put pressure on my toes and caused me to get some weird wear on my middle toenail. Strange but true, the only shoe I’ve ever worn that caused me to loose a nail just from a training run.

altra-theone14c

Who would like this shoe?

Just about anybody!

If you like a low cushion zero drop shoe that’s light, nimble, let’s you feel the ground underneath you and will make you feel fast, then this shoe is perfect. You have to like bright colors and a wide toe box too though. If you prefer a more significant cushion then try the Altra Torin, Provision 1.5, or Instinct 1.5. Altra is also coming out with a new shoe called the Olympus which looks a lot like the Hoka with a really thick cushioned sole. Stack height from the website says it’s 36mm!

And finally, for those that don’t have the funds or interest in owning more than one or two pairs of shoes, this shoe is great for training and racing. It’s built solid and with more than 300 miles on them, I only have mild wear to the outsole with no damage to the upper.

Altra Lone Peak 1.5

 

altralonepeak15

altralonepeak1514j

My Impressions

The Lone Peak 1.5 has been one of two trail shoes I’ve worn for the past four months. It usually sees 7-10 mile efforts and I did get it out for a 26 mile fat ass run north of Albuquerque a couple months ago. That run in particular proved to me the worth of this shoe. With a lot of the zero drop shoes I’ve worn, there’s not enough cushion between my foot and the ground to protect my feet for more than 15-20 miles. The Lone Peak 1.5 has broken that spell with it’s moderate cushion (stack height of 23mm) and StoneGuard TM Sandwiched Rock Protection System. I didn’t feel rocks and terrain underfoot which kept my feet feeling relatively fresh over the course of the trail marathon. Additionally it performed great in the terrain.

We don’t typically get a lot of rain out here in Albuquerque, but the fat ass run happened after four straight days of rain and was run on a clay/gravel mix forest road. The tread was perfect! It wasn’t too deep to catch and hold the clay and mud but was just enough to give me solid grip. I felt very secure and didn’t have any worries about slipping or carrying an extra two pounds of clay on the bottoms of my shoes!

What do I like?

Velcro tab

The built in velcro tab at the base of the heel cup is an ingenious design. I have three sets of gaiters, all of which require a velcro attach point on the heel of the shoe. I usually just stick a piece of velcro on but inevitably those come off during training runs or races and it’s just an extra hassle. This little addition to the heel solves that problem but isn’t cumbersome enough to be an issue for those who don’t need it.

altralonepeak14aaltralonepeak1514c

Fit

The fit was also great. I didn’t have the same toe box issues that I did in The One.

Performance

I did find that the outsole performed really well on ice and snow this winter; very minimal slippage which gave me confidence to move at a decent pace on slick trail.

altralonepeak1514d

Toe Protection

The front of the shoe has an added bit of material across the front to protect from rock as well as a bit of the outsole that comes up and over the front. These features were nice for the rocky trails here in Albuquerque.

altralonepeak1514e

What don’t I like?

TrailRudder

I’m not super crazy about the TrailRudder (extra outer sole) at the back end of the shoe. I’ve worn the Lone Peak 1.5 on gravel, rocky, sandy trail both on rolling hills and up and down the 10,000+ foot peak east of Albuquerque. I don’t really think it’s makes much of a difference in performance when descending. The forces involved with each step as you descend a mountain are not going to be affected by a 1.5cm piece of rubber at the tail end of your shoe. It’s a neat idea, and a marketing differentiator but I don’t think it has any functional significance.

altralonepeak1514f

Weight

Well, I guess I can’t have everything! I’m just being picky and this shoe has just about everything I could ask for, but it was a bit heavy weighing in at 9.9oz. I know, I know.

Who would like this shoe?

The shoe has a fairly roomy forefoot and toe box. If you like a narrow shoe, the Altra line up is probably not for you. The zero drop puts it in a minimalist category by some standards but it’s a shoe with significant structure and mass so it’s not a “lightweight” minimalist shoe.

It’s solid enough for tough rocky trails and the tread pattern did great in sand and gravel. There’s enough underfoot cushion to protect the little piggies from rocks and such, but it’s not so stiff as to kill the feeling of the ground totally. I really like that and if you enjoy a shoe that’s got some substance to it, but isn’t going to feel like a tank attached to your foot, the Lone Peak 1.5 is worth a shot.

Get out and run!

– Jason Taylor


If you have worn the Altra The One or Lone Peak 1.5, what are your thoughts of them?

If you are interested in either Altra tread, you can purchase them at Running Warehouse (Shoes, Packs, Clothes, Lights, and more…plus 2-day free shipping!).


[This article contains links that may help support this site.]

About the author

Jason Taylor Jason Taylor reawakened his love of running in 2008 and continues to pursue longer ultra adventures. Jason’s life goal is to inspire, influence and transform others through his love for running and his passion for life. For more information on Jason, check out the About page.

4 Responses to “Altra The One and Lone Peak 1.5 Men’s Trail Shoe Review – Zero Drop Road Snap and Mod-Weight Trail Workhorse”

  1. on 27 Jan 2014 at 6:57 pm Steve

    I liked the new Lone Peak 1.5 as compared to the 1.0. Maybe a little more flexibility in the midsole and a softer upper in the newer version. You can get a lot of miles out of these as the tread seems to last a while.

  2. on 29 Jan 2014 at 11:30 am David Hanenburg

    Great insight Steve! Thanks for sharing. The Lone Peak 1.0 that I have seem nearly bomb proof.

  3. on 19 Feb 2014 at 3:45 pm Brian Hazard

    The lateral heel in your Ones seems really worn down! I took mine to 450 miles when I succumbed to peroneal tendinitis – and I blame wear in the same spot. It still feels okay to you? I’d probably retire them just to be safe. Traction is probably an issue too.

  4. on 27 Apr 2014 at 8:22 am Peter

    Is the upper of the Lone Peak 1.5 less breathable than that of version 1?