Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Altra Lone Peak 8 Multi Tester Review: 5 Comparisons

Article by Brent Chuma and Ernst Linder

Altra Running Lone Peak 8 ($140)

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to welcome Brent Chuma to the RTR team for this his first review. He spends his time running anywhere between Plymouth, MA where he lives and Boston, MA where he works as a sports chiropractor and strength coach for runners. He is a 3x Boston Marathoner, most recently he ran 3:04:28, but also enjoys taking part in any race distance from mile to ultra distances all over New England.


Brent: I’ve always been a fan of the Lone Peak model even as it went through it’s early growing pains in v4 which felt admittedly clunky on the trails where agility and surefootedness is key. Since then,  running in the Lone Peak 6 has afforded me hundreds of pain-free miles on the trails and now finally the Lone Peak 8 has come along as yet another comfortable zero drop shoe that works best on the trails, packed dirt and gravel. 

Ernst: I had an opposite experience.  I purchased a Lone Peak 4.5 3 years ago, noticing the rave reviews of the Lone Peak.  I did not pay enough attention to the version number.  I had been wearing 2 pairs of Altra Torin 4’s for training on roads and training and racing on trails, and loved them.  Both had ~ 1000 miles on them when eventually the padding deteriorated. 

The Lone Peak 4.5 on the other hand had a stiff outer sole/midsole assemblage which I was never able to break in to the point where they felt comfortable.  

At about 500 miles the upper mesh started to separate from the midsole and soon I had to trash the shoes. The Maxtrac outsole and midsole were only mildly worn and could have stood another few hundred miles of trail running.

Afterwards I switched to the Topo brand for a while, but then tried the Altra Superior 5, which is a light trail racer but flimsy in various respects, uncomfortable and not true to size - I would have needed a 9 instead of my usual 8.5. I have also tested Altra’s Timp 4 (170 miles) and Timp 5 (230 miles).  Both are beefier than the Lone Peak, but too stiff for my weight - I prefer the Timp 5 to the Timp 4 due to it being lighter by 1.3 ounces which alleviates the stiffness issue but only to some extent.

The Lone Peak 8 was a welcome surprise!  Finally a comfortable, pliable trail shoe that provided, right out of the box, a nice ride without being jolted when running over gravel, rocks and roots.  I have so far only put 65 miles on it and have not been disappointed.  I like the flexible upper which provides ease and comfort when putting on the shoes, which is an issue for me due to a bunion. Hopefully the ripstop mesh will protect the upper from sticks poking through and from separating from the midsole.  Of course I can only speculate on the longevity of the shoe.  

Brent:  Altra stuck to their guns here in designing another zero drop shoe with the wide toe box (their “Original” shape)  to allow for natural ankle, foot and toe movement relative to some of the other stiffer and more supportive trail shoes on the market. 

Most importantly in the Lone Peak 8 is the ability to hit the trails with cushion and support through the midsole that helps to protect your foot from roots and rocks. 

Ernst:  Agreed although I noticed that Altra calls the size “regular” which may be distinguished to possibly a “wide” version.  I am seeing conflicting information on older versions of Altra shoes about different widths, and I have noticed a trend to slightly narrower toe beds.  Nevertheless, the Lone Peak 8 is comfortable, but I noticed my toes touching each other which could produce blisters after long runs of 2 or more hours. 

Brent: Having used these shoes on all terrain types in all weather types (the beauty of living outside of Boston) I found that the outsole provides good traction whether you’re climbing or descending although the MaxTrac feels…abnormal when running on paved roads. For that reason I recommend using these only on the trails and if you find yourself running along the road try to stick to the softer surfaces offered on the other side of the guard rail. 


Brent/Ernst: Outsole traction on roots and rocks regardless of weather.

Brent/Ernst: Midsole foam adds protection without adding weight (10.7oz up from 10.6 in v6 in size)

Ernst: I also noticed that the insole is more solid and ¼ oz heavier than the insoles in previous Altra models. I welcome this, hoping that these will provide better arch support.

Brent/Ernst: Comfortable fit on a wide foot

Ernst: Agreed - see my comment on the trend towards slightly narrower toe space.

Brent: You can really feel the ground while running without feeling like stepping on a rock/root the wrong way is going to lead to bruises/breaks. Ernst: Strongly agreed.  As a light-weighted person, feeling the ground under the feet is very crucial for me and gives me a feel of safety.  It also helps to prevent ankle twisters.


Brent: Durability of the ripstop mesh has been questioned online and I haven’t yet put the mileage on these that would warrant my honest opinion when it comes to durability - stay tuned for updates every 50 miles or so! I will be interested to see how well it holds up with the miles to come this summer. Ernst:  I am hoping for the best. 

Brent: Can really ONLY run on trails with these, no paved roads or sidewalks Ernst:  Ok for me to run shorter distances on pavement.

Most Comparable shoes

Brent: Salomon SpeedCross 5 -Brent: Hoka One Speedgoat 4 

Brent: Brooks Cascadia 16

Ernst: Altra Timp 5 - 

Ernst: Topo Terraventure 4 


Approx Weight men’s US9: 10.1 oz / 286g (Running Warehouse)

Sample Weights: men’s US 12: 10.7 oz / 303g  (Lone Peak 7: men’s US 11 oz / 314 g)

US 8.5:  10.25 oz / 291g

Stack Height: men’s 25 mm heel / 25 mm forefoot ( zero drop spec) 

$140 Available now.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Brent: As a runner, I find myself running roads and trails with equal enjoyment for very different reasons. As someone with a wide foot I can’t stand the norm that is the narrow toe box offered by traditional road running shoes. 

Ernst:  Same issue with me. A few years back, whenever possible I tried to find width 2-E shoes, but they were rarely in stock and some did not fit very well.  Once I discovered Altras (and Topos) chronic foot pain and discomfort diminished quickly.

Brent: In a game of ounces it’s understandable why companies skimp on width but the fallout when it comes to running injuries ranges from increased risk for sprain to peroneal tendinopathy and plantar fasciopathy. 

For that reason - I use my time on the trails and specifically in the Lone Peak 8 to stack variability into my training, build foot and ankle strength and prevent injury wherever possible. 

These are a comfortable fitting shoe with good forefoot and midfoot stability but they are lacking in ankle stability. 

Since your heel is not locked into the shoe you need to be very focused on foot strike and position of the ankle as you prepare for that next ground contact so that you are well aware of the risk for rolling an ankle. 

Lacing them tighter does no favors as you’ll end up with pain over the tibialis anterior tendon and maybe some numbness in the toes if you’re really unlucky. That said, this is overall a comfortable shoe that does its job when it comes to trail running.

Ernst: I lace them up all the way through the last eyelet but make sure I don’t over tighten the laces.  A better way would probably be to tie a heel-lock - that also provides extra stability for ankle and heel.   

Other Altra models (Torin e.g.) have gusseted tongues which helps to keep the tongues in place and helps overall stability. Since the Lone Peak 8 does not havea  gusseted tongue, I resorted in a recent 8 mile run to using the front gaiter loop for my lace double-knot to stabilize the tongue (left foot on right side of picture) and noticed a clear difference to the right foot (left side of picture) where I did not use the gaiter loop. 

Midsole & Platform

Brent: When it comes to midsole design on a trail shoe these are a dream. You’ve got the 25mm stack and the EGO foam is light and cushioned with each step. The foot is further protected by a Stone Guard rock plate. This combination protects the foot adequately without adding excess weight to the shoe. I for one like the shape of the midsole to force us as athletes to feel the ground better beneath the foot. Altra is famous for the large surface area and flat base of their shoes  that helps to mimic the shape of the foot. The Lone Peak 8 is no different as it offered the chance to log some serious mileage in the trails down the street without irritating the plantar or calcaneus (heel bone) due to the adequate padding provided by the midsole. 


Brent: I need to start by addressing the little lip at the back of the outsole - I find this super helpful when it comes to running in the 0 drop shoe because it gives your body a chance to feel the heel strike coming before it’s happening…if that makes sense. The idea is that you first sense that posterior lip catching the ground for the next heel strike and therefore better prep for ground impact. This means turning on the correct muscles at the correct time. Better muscle activation at heel strike leads to better protection of the bones and joints of the lower limb. 

Ernst: I have not noticed the effect of the lip - I mostly land on the midfoot or the ball of the foot. However, examining the lip, I find it stabilizes the rear third of the outsole, and hence of the whole shoe - another way to offset a minimal ankle support.  I keep my fingers crossed that this lip is not going to be ripped by wear and tear in rugged terrain. The future will tell.

Brent: I’ve mentioned earlier I really like the MaxTrac design on the LP8 as the rubber is strong and grippy whether you are running over rocks, roots, mud, or all of the above. The other thing I like about the MaxTrac is that it holds up regardless of conditions. I’ve run in these in the snow, rain, sleet, and sunshine - regardless of conditions these have done the trick to prevent slipping on uneven surfaces. 

Ernst: Agreed, although I have not had a chance for extensive testing.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Brent: In conclusion, the Lone Peak 8 is yet another step in the right direction for the Lone Peak line as it has combined the comfort, cushioning and traction of a good trail shoe with the hallmark 0 drop and wide toe box we know and love from Altra. With that said, durability is going to be the next piece they most need to improve. These shoes serve me running trails in the woods around my house and have only made the trip up to NH 1x this spring but we need to remember that if planning a through hike/trail run up in the Great North then we can certainly expect more wear and tear than the pine needle laden paths of Plymouth, MA.

 If you’re someone who needs more forefoot stability (more narrow foot) or someone who suffers from repeat ankle sprains these may not be the right fit for you as they don’t provide a ton of support in these areas. For athletes who have struggled with plantar fasciitis or fat pad syndrome in other trail running shoes, the staple 25mm front and back zero drop of the Lone Peak combined with the addition of (?) the Altra EGO foam provides for a soft yet reactive ride on any trail surface. I encourage you to give these a try as the 25mm midsole cushion provides adequate support and foot protection with the minimalist twist that is Altra’s staple in the industry. 

Score: 7.8/10 in order to leave room for improvement in ankle stability and durability of the ripstop mesh that is supposed to allow those of us with wide feet to train on the trails and not risk busting through a shoe. I find the overall design of the Lone Peak to be clean, but as far as trail shoes go the wider toe box will always look a bit dorky. Great ride, decent fit, lost one when my ankle buckled at the end of 8 last week - thank god for rehab and strength training to prevent anything more serious than the scare factor! I think these are a bit over valued as I would prefer a trail shoe in the $120 range, but given how much I liked v6 I decided these were worth the price tag of $140.

Smile Score: 😊😊😊😊 

Ernst:  In summary:  I like the Altra Lone Peak 8 very much.  If this shoe shows good durability over time, it will become my favorite Altra trail shoe.  I have used it for 65 miles so far for training and for one trail race. Its forte is its comfort. It represents a welcome compromise of stability, protection and cushioning.  I will use it frequently on my training runs on dirt roads, on trails in the low land but will also test them on rugged mountain trails. 

Score: 8.5 / 10  There is a bit of uncertainty on the durability of the shoe.  Hope to update this score upwards after a few hundred miles of usage.  

Smiles Score:  😊😊😊😊😊


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 

Altra Timp 4 and 5 (RTR Review)

Ernst: I have also tested Altra’s Timp 4 (170 miles) and Timp 5 (230 miles).  Both are beefier than the Lone Peak, but too stiff for my weight.  Gives me the sensation of having a board strapped to my feet.  - I prefer the Timp 5 to the Timp 4 due to it being lighter by 1.3 ounces which alleviates the stiffness issue but only to some extent.  I found the Vibram Megagrip of the Timp5 to be very effective in ice, snow and piles of wet leaves during the early spring season. Both models appear to be very durable. 

Topo Terraventure 4 (RTR Review)  

Ernst: It is ¼ oz heavier than the Lone Peak 8, but otherwise very similar in feel and design. It has a 3mm drop, and a very similar meshed upper interlaced with rubber support strips.  It has better (stiffer) ankle support and better arch support, both in design and via the insole, which suits me quite well as I have a relatively high arch. Overall it is a little stiffer than the Lone Peak 8. I have raced in the Terraventures recently in a 50k rugged trail race with lots of climbs and descends.  I had no negative issues. Excellent for trail training and also hiking. Would also be a good choice for ultra races on rugged trails. For shorter trail races I would definitely prefer the lighter Lone Peak 8. 

Salomon SpeedCross 5 (RTR Review)

Brent: more constrictive to the foot in an attempt to provide better stability and protection against rocks, the LP8 allows for lighter and more flexible rock and root protection in the form of the StoneGuard plate they added to the midsole. This protects the foot for rugged trails but doesn’t add too much weight to the shoe allowing you to stay agile on the trails.

Hoka One Speedgoat 4  (RTR Review)

Brent: similar wide(ish) fit with similar levels of support and cushion - maintains a 4mm drop helping the runner forward onto their toes a bit more. 

Brooks Cascadia 16  (RTR Review)

Brent: narrow toe box with the 8mm drop allows for more versatility if you find yourself training on the trail/road/anywhere in between, my foot felt super compressed running in these compared to the Lone Peak 8. 

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Tester Profiles

Brent is an athlete first, clinician second. He spends his time running anywhere between Plymouth, MA where he lives and Boston, MA where he works as a sports chiropractor and strength coach for runners. He has extensive experience working with athletes of all ages and skill levels ranging from novice to pro. His mission is to help these athletes identify weak spots in their movement patterns, and training styles in order to help them optimize how they train so that they can overcome injury and improve race day performance. He is a 3x Boston Marathoner, most recently he ran 3:04:28, but also enjoys taking part in any race distance from mile to ultra distances all over New England. Brent is a firm believer that movement is the vehicle through which we are lucky enough to experience our lives and it serves as an opportunity to get stronger, faster and more fit with the company of friends and family that make the whole thing that much more meaningful. If you’re a runner looking to tap into your full potential or break out of the injury loop, then follow along on his Instagram (@dr.bmchuma) and sign up for his weekly newsletter: Speed Meets Strength to receive tips and tricks for strength training as a runner to help overcome injury and peak for performance in your next race!

Ernst lives in the New Hampshire Seacoast area and loves being able to run "from his doorstep" on several connected trail networks.  While being the shortest student in grade school, he found almost all sports to be overly challenging, but "distance" running seemed to be natural for him. Eventually his family steered him towards competitive orienteering in his teenage years in Switzerland. This all stopped when he became an exchange student and moved to the USA. 

But the seed was sown, and eventually the running spirit reemerged. Throughout the years he has rediscovered orienteering, pursued road, trail and mountain running, adventure racing, triathlon and nordic skiing. 

He turned towards more competitive running when Loco started organizing races in the Seacoast area, first half marathons in 2007, and later marathons. His marathon PR is 3:03 at age 59, and he has numerous USA Track and Field New Hampshire age group state records.  He is 69 years old 5ft 5 inches (165cm) tall and weighs 135 lb (61 kg).

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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