Welcome to a weekly feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie, coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving Dad. Who is also seriously into his fitness. You can find him on the blog (most) Sundays. Enjoy 🙂
Altra Lone Peak 3 Shoes – 1000km Kit Review
I like to share my experiences of real world running. Part of that is how kit fares over a long period. I usually run in kit for a good month or so before I review it but even still, my stuff has to last far longer. I reviewed the Altra Lone Peak 3s about a month into my 1000 mile challenge and I was not impressed. The grip didn’t blow my mind and I was annoyed that there had already been some very visible wear around the toe box.
I was surprised to still be wearing them a year on, but here we are, and I’ve covered a lot of miles since. So how did they do? Not that bad actually. Some of my original criticism stands, it really annoyed me that the toe box wore so quickly, but it didn’t get a huge amount worse over the following year. The shoe I am left with is one that’s still definitely functional, if a bit grotty looking. I’m still going to give it an average rating for build quality but I’m less bothered about it than I was when I first reviewed them.
Another area I had concerns with was the level of grip. In the intervening months, I’ve run on soggy spring grass, through the hard, dust packed trails of summer and right through the winter clag. Due to a mishap with a pressure washer, my fell running shoes are somewhat damaged so I did not swap into them when the terrain got bad this winter, I stayed with the Altras. There wasn’t really a time when I found myself blown away by the grip or stickiness of the sole but they have been ok. There has been the odd slip or slide but nothing that caused injury or made me consider getting some new shoes. So I’ll stay with my original ‘ok’ verdict there too.
What I didn’t appreciate in the first review and have grown to love is the ground feel. The Lone Peaks are cushioned but totally flat (zero heel drop) and the result, when coupled with a flexible sole is a superb sense of what is going on underneath you as you run. This might not be so important during the summer (though it helps) but as the mornings get darker it makes a crucial difference. When the only light is that of a head torch the knowledge that your foot is on a root can make the difference between a skip and a sprained ankle. It’s not necessarily something you’re conscious of, just a sense of your surroundings that is the best of any shoe I’ve run in so far.
It’s culminated in a bizarre sense of affairs. I stand by all the criticisms I made in the last review but over a thousand kilometres the negatives have waned in importance and I’ve grown accustomed to the amazing amount of information I’m getting from my feet, so much so that my fell shoes now feel clunky and unyielding when I put them on to race.
Would I recommend the Altras? I’m still not sure, the rip in the toe box seems common to a lot of their shoes and the grip is still nothing special. Do I love *my* Altras, yes and I’m going to wear them until they fall off my feet.