Looking at new trail runners: Altra Lone Peak or Hoka Stinson ATR?

Perry

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I’m in search of hopefully more comfortable shoes for the trail. Been in Salomon X-Ultra mids and lows, both GTX and non-GTX for the last 4-5 pairs. Generally like them but they tend to run narrow which my jacked up feet don’t like all that much. So, I’ve been looking around at what the through hikers have been favoring of late. Looks like Altra Lone Peak 4.0 are pretty popular with that crowd.

I found out Striders near me carry Altra so I thought I would stop by and try a pair. The salesperson suggested with my troublesome feet I might be happier with Hoka One One Stinson ATRs so I tried them on. Very comfortable. The tread width is *really* wide compared to most other trail runners. I decided to hold off buying and do some research first. They’re not cheap at $160 compared to the Lone Peaks at $120.

Reviews on line said cons for the Stinsons was additional weight (4 oz more than the Lone Peaks) and were somewhat less stable due to all the cushioning that provides all the comfort. I wondered if the stability thing was from the point of view of actual trail running and may not be an issue for hiking.

Do any of you have experience with either or both shoes?




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LarryBoy

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The fact that altras are so popular with thrus is actually a big red flag. With that many different feet wearing the same shoe, many, if not most, are going to be wearing a suboptimal shoe for their particular foot.

I have no experience or commentary on the Hokas, other than that most people in know who wear them, like them. But that's pretty useless commentary as I can offer no more specifics.

Altrasz on the other hand...

1) they're zero drop. That's a BIG deal in terms of how you will like them. Do NOT buy without trying them in person. If you're used to a traditional shoe, you may or may not. E able to adjust to the zero drop - and it certainly will take time to adjust. Dont take them out of the box and go bust a 20 mile day. Those who have normally tight Achilles will likely not do well with the zero drop. On the other hand, others like it for the more "natural" foot position.

2) wide toe box. Pretty much everybody likes this feature. Way less problems with toe blisters and blacktoe.

3) atrocious off-teail performance. The durability just isnt there, and you'll likely shred them in a few hundred miles of off-trail hiking, particularly in southern Utah's fine sand. Fine for doing maintained trails (AT, PCT, etc). Terrible for Grand Gulch, say.
 

b.stark

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Fan of altras but have not tried hokas. The zero drop isn't for everybody, but I like it. The wide toe box is great. I had some toe issues when I wore salomons, actually it's why I quit using them. The durability of altras isn't outstanding, but I haven't found any trail runner to hold up for all that long. The altras have been lasting as long as Merrell moabs for me so far, which means about a year. I find the altras ok off trail, as long as I understand they aren't going to last super long. Not a deal breaker personally, but may be for some. The soles aren't quite as grippy as some, but are still fine for me.

Have yet to find anything better for me, but shoes are so personal it's hard to really say if another person will like one or another. Choose whichever one seems best to your judgment and try that first, I say.
 

Reef&Ruins

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Totally recommend Hokas. I have the Speed Goat 2 trail runner with Vibram and love it. Also have a daily pair I wear (can't remember which they are but they were a discontinued model) every day to work as a college chemistry professor. Feet used to get tired standing in chem labs, not so much any more. Plus I have an older pair some random guy gave me at Heart of the Hills Campground in Olympic National Park cuz they didn't fit him. I took that pair on the Upper Muley Twist hike and while my feet still hurt a bit at the end of it, it was not as much as the other hikers/runners I used to use.
 

Miya

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The only time I have injured my foot hiking is the first time I wore Altras.
I know that there is so much back and forth about needing ankle support or not, but I seem to need it. Maybe I can get to a point where I don't have chopstick ankles, but until that day I prefer a little height on my shoe.
I have invested in Altras again because I love the wide toe box and the idea of the zero drop. I went ahead and purchased a clearance pair with ankle support, Lone Peak 3.5 Mid Mesh. No injuries thus far, and I find them comfortable.

Sorry, I am no help on Hoka, but if you do go with those, let us know how they work out!
 

gregbecker7

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I really like my Altra's. They are my go to shoe for work, play, and casual. As said above they do not stand up to a lot of abuse. Zero drop took a bit when I first starting wearing them a little over a year and a half ago.


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Brendan S

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I'll admit I've never even tried on a pair of Hokas, but just the physics of a tall cushy shoe off-trail (esp side-hilling) seems kinda dangerous. A reasonable amount of cushion where you can feel what's under you and react is the way to go IMO.

Re: durability of trail runners, obviously it varies a lot but I've worn exclusively trail runners for years now for in western CO and UT canyon country for backpacking and work (bio field work=100% off-trail hiking basically) and can't imagine wearing anything else. A good shoe can last 500 miles, which is fine. Yeah it's not a pair of Limmers but free and comfy feet due to switching to trail runners years ago is probably the single thing that has brought the most enjoyment to traveling in the wilderness. FWIW I've had the best luck as far as durability with La Sportiva (currently the Bushido II, which is outstanding). A pair of lightweight gaiters makes a big difference keeping debris out (Montbell spats, Dirty Girls, etc).

Check out the Altra King MT, supposedly has a more durable upper.
 

Perry

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I'll admit I've never even tried on a pair of Hokas, but just the physics of a tall cushy shoe off-trail (esp side-hilling) seems kinda dangerous. A reasonable amount of cushion where you can feel what's under you and react is the way to go IMO.

Re: durability of trail runners, obviously it varies a lot but I've worn exclusively trail runners for years now for in western CO and UT canyon country for backpacking and work (bio field work=100% off-trail hiking basically) and can't imagine wearing anything else. A good shoe can last 500 miles, which is fine. Yeah it's not a pair of Limmers but free and comfy feet due to switching to trail runners years ago is probably the single thing that has brought the most enjoyment to traveling in the wilderness. FWIW I've had the best luck as far as durability with La Sportiva (currently the Bushido II, which is outstanding). A pair of lightweight gaiters makes a big difference keeping debris out (Montbell spats, Dirty Girls, etc).

Check out the Altra King MT, supposedly has a more durable upper.

It’s that stability factor that begs questioning for me. Maybe it doesn’t matter since the tread width is so extreme on the Stinsons. I’d love to find out but it’s a pretty pricey experiment. Thanks for the input.


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Reef&Ruins

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It’s that stability factor that begs questioning for me. Maybe it doesn’t matter since the tread width is so extreme on the Stinsons. I’d love to find out but it’s a pretty pricey experiment. Thanks for the input.


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That's why I commented about the Upper Muley Twist hike, but I guess I wasn't specific. There were several substantial areas where my foot was far enough to go for a roll if it was going to happen due to the topography of the hike and neither foot did. My friend who is a PT was super concerned about that possibility but after I told him about my experience he was quite supportive (pun intended) of my use of Hokas.
 

Perry

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Okay I went with the Altra Lone Peak 4. They are so comfortable enough to be concerning... trail shoes aren’t supposed to be *that* comfortable, right?

No one close to me had the King MTs in stock to try out. I would have liked to at least compared. I still really like the Hoka One One Stinson but wasn’t prepared to spend $40 more at this point.



Gonna take a while to get used to the way the big toe box looks but sure feels nice. As far as the zero lift goes, I think I’ll like it. Okay so far wearing them around the house for now. Can’t help being reminded of... (oh geese this is going to date me)... of earth shoes. Some of you might remember those from back in the dark ages

Thanks to everyone for all the great advice! I’ll report back after I have some trail miles on the Altras.




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WasatchWill

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I really enjoy my Altra LP pairs as well (both breathable and the "waterproof" pair) though that pair only gets warn more for warmth (such as in the fall) when I want it and less for water resistance because it just isn't. I do know that they have a repuation for being inconsistent in sizing and comfort from model to model and version to version as they are still a relatively young company in the shoe world and are still working out kinks with respect to all that, but they are maturing and I do think they're probably going to get better with the consistency thing with size and fit...I hope.

Durability is also the other big con against them. I haven't had any stitching issues or sole coming unglued yet or holes forming in the fabric, but even after not many miles, yes, much of those off trail down south, the outer edges are getting rubbed raw pretty good. We'll see what the future holds for them, but I'm happy if I just get one season out of them since I live near their outlet and can usually find a pair there for considerably less than retail. They are mostly all return pairs that have been lightly used (though I've seen an occasional pair on the shelf that were very dirty!). My wife has been enjoying hers too.

In fact, I have gotten a pair of runners for the road and a casual pair (Vali) for every day wear to work and what not. Super comfortable and glad to report that I never suffered any achilles issues when I transitioned to them. Probably helped that my first pair was the casual ones I got that allowed me to wear them day by day for shorter every day around town distances, and those ones still look like almost new after a good year in them.
 

kwc

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I have run both roads and trails in Altras (Torin for roads, LP for trails) and I've been happy with them. My last pair of LPs was the 3.0 and the sole at the toe began to separate and the shoe's fabric began to tear. I wore Hokas for my 50k trail run and while they weren't the most stable shoes for the run the cushioning, I think, helped me complete the run. The soles on the Hokas wore down very quickly too. (I no longer run these big miles ... it was one of my running goals to complete a 50k by my 60th birthday and I managed to do that)
 

Perry

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So I wore the Lone Peaks around the house over the weekend. Felt good except it felt like my heels wanted to roll inward. Took them back to try some other options. Ended up with the Timps with a bit more cushion and better Lateral heel control. Feel much better. Now for some trail miles.




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Hiker Seth

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I have tried the Altra LP 3.5 and can't stand them. The upper, IMO is absolute garbage. The zero drop didn't bother me and I have a high arch. No experience with the Hokas but the giant sole is a turn off. I'm sure they are cushy. I hike on a lot of really sharp rocks and shoes without sole support just don't cut it.

I've moved to an approach shoe for hiking/backpacking. I love the La Sportiva TX3. If you can get over the color they are an incredible backpacking shoe. Bulletproof sole with a super light mesh upper. Battle tested from the Presis to the Winds.
 

regehr

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had a small shoe emergency while up in Teton Valley over the weekend, and picked up a pair of Altra Lone Peaks and put about 5000' of elevation on them, all on trails. I like everything about them! can't comment on durability yet obviously.
 

Perry

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So here's a story about my Altra's. I wore out the Timp 1.5's doing exclusively city walking. I think I bought them a little big and didn't feel like they had enough lateral stability to be any good on the trail. After about 350 miles I went back to Striders to try on the Hoka One One Stinsons ATR 5s. I liked them a lot when I tried them on at the time I bought the Timps that I was all prepared to spend the $160 for a pair. I did try them on again and they were very comfortable but I also found myself trying on some more Altras. I tried the Olympus 3.5 and fell in love with the comfort. They are Altra's tallest stack. I also tried on the Paradigm 3.5 which is the same stack height but with a street tread. Both were very comfortable but opted for the Olympus even though my intended use was for the street only.

After wearing them around town for a few miles I loved them even more. With my foot problems I have to watch not to step on rocks and other pointy things that would put pin-point pressure on the balls of my feet. These were wonderful for that and I was so impressed I decided to hike the Morgan M behind my house just to see if they might be okay on the trail. I was so surprised how comfortable they were on my feet. Also the trail grip was amazing. I was sold on trying these on the trail.

Now for the bad parts. I found that there was wear on the inside of the shoe openings just below the top of the lace part on both shoes. I was pretty disappointed to see wear this quickly, especially since they were only a week old. I had seen a little of the same kind of wear on my Timps but not until they were worn out so I was concerned. I took them back to Striders and they tried to say it was caused by walking on the street with trail runners and that I was hitting the sharpish edges of the sole on the fabric, causing them to shred. I'm not sure I buy this reasoning and don't recall hitting my shoes on each other while walking but whatever. Even still I would think the upper fabrics should be at least tolerant of the sole material. The manager offered to replace them but would only do so one time. If I had any more problems with them I would have to take it up with Altra.

Fast forward to today, at little over one week later. I just got back from a three day trip in the Unitas. On day one I hit the side of my shoe against a rock and it ripped a hole in the upper. I was pretty frustrated. Further, by the time I was done with my trip the toe caps of the sole which wraps up in front have started to come unbonded on both shoes. One other observation is I ended up with heel blisters on both feet. Something I don't generally have a problem with.

I'm a bit frustrated that $150 trail runners cannot take any trail abuse. We'll see what Altra has to say.

81285
81286
 
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wsp_scott

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I need new trail runners for my fat feet and I keep thinking Altra Lone Peaks based on the super wide toe box. And then I see reports like @Perry's and I can't pull the trigger.

I got a pair of Merrel Moab (waterproof) for winter hiking, but I'd like something lighter weight for 3 season hiking.

Any suggestions from the crowd for light weight, wide toe box shoes?
 

boulder

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I also have a wide foot and for on trail hiking and running I have used New Balance Leadville for years they have been discontinued but I still have a few pairs stored I found online. Another option may be Brooks Cascadias. For off trail hiking I love Asolo hiking shoes and boots.
 

Titans

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I need new trail runners for my fat feet and I keep thinking Altra Lone Peaks based on the super wide toe box. And then I see reports like @Perry's and I can't pull the trigger.

I got a pair of Merrel Moab (waterproof) for winter hiking, but I'd like something lighter weight for 3 season hiking.

Any suggestions from the crowd for light weight, wide toe box shoes?

Well- if you buy WIDE shoes ( or need a wide toe box like me) then one option is to stick with Merrell and get the Moab VENTILATOR in wide- they are substantial less warm than the waterproof. Unless it's well below 40F I can't use the waterproof, they are way too warm. But the ventilators are not light trail runners.

Rick loves the Merrell shoes called "RIVERBED TRAIL SNEAKER" . Very airy and full of holes for ventilation. (But he doesn't need wide shoes and these only come in regular). Those Merrell shoes are now on sale with 40% off at Nordstrom Rack .
 
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