Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid Review

I am an Altra Athlete and therefore receive my shoes at no cost. However, the reviews here are my own opinions and not requested by the company.

I was lucky enough to get a sample pair of the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid's to take with me to New Zealand this spring and to tramp all over the PNW in this summer. I totally wore them out. I am so excited that they are finally on the market so I can get a new pair...and tell everyone about them!

Overlooking the Summit Crater of Ruapehu, NZ

I refer to them as the "shoeboots" mainly because of their shape (remember the high top days of the 90's?) and their flexibility and functionality. To be clear though: these are NOT boots, just boot "shaped".

With the crater of "Mt.. Doom" NZ

I definitely find the perfect niche for these as approach shoes through rough terrain as well as a great shoe for scramble routes involving scree, talus, and scrambling. I've even done some technical climbs in them.
On the Tongariro Circuit, NZ

The NeoShell is an excellent waterproofing and I was able to ford shallow streams without my feet getting wet because of the mid-top. This came in very handy both in New Zealand and also in the PNW, both very wet. They will leak a little around the lacing, so your feet would get wet with an extended submersion. For a step or two through water however, they work great.

Drying out after a day of wading upriver in the Kaikoura

I found them to be excellent in the snow, with and without snowshoes. The NeoShell was warm and insulating. They were fairly comfortable with snowshoes and crampons, although not as comfortable as actual boots. 

Lennox Peak, WA
As with all Altras the FootShape Toe box and ZeroDrop Platform is essential for comfort and foot function.
Running Ridges near Arthur's Pass, NZ

I highly recommend these to anyone who wants the comfort of a trail runner combined with the ankle support of a boot. I also recommend them to anyone looking to do winter or wet weather running. I think these will find a great niche among Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers.

Ascending Malachite Peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness
I wore them at the Barkley Marathons this year and will do so again. They were perfect.

At the Yellow Gate, 2016

Comfort of the Lone Peak trail runner
Ankle Stability in rough terrain
Insulated and warm in cold weather/snow
Waterproof in low water crossings, even with submersion (although they do leak a little around the lacing)
Multi-functional (scrambling, trail, technical climbing, snow)
Good tread

Overlooking Mt. Cook Village, NZ

The NeoShell on one toe box tore on a rock my first time out. Considering the amount of miles I put on them without another incident I think this was a fluke. However, keep in mind that NeoShell fabric apparently is not tear resistant and that really renders the insulation and waterproofness moot if a tear occurs. Shoe goo repairs can be made.
The tread will not hold up any better than other Lone Peaks on scree/talus. As I said, these are not a replacement for real mountaineering boots.

Summit of Manakau, NZ

Specs (for women's model from altrarunning.com):
  • WEIGHT: 10 oz. / 283 g
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • STACK HEIGHT: 25 mm
  • SIZES: 5.5-11, 12
  • IDEAL USES: Trail Running, Hiking, Fastpacking, Trail Racing, Cold Weather, Wet Conditions
  • PLATFORM: Natural Foot Positioning: FootShape™ Toe Box with Fully Cushioned Zero Drop™ Platform
  • DESIGNED TO IMPROVE: Running Form, Toe Splay, Stability, Push-off, Comfort, Traction
  • INSOLE: 5 mm Contour Footbed
  • OTHER FEATURES: StoneGuard™ Sandwiched Rock Protection, Natural Ride System, GaiterTrap™ Technology
  • LAST: SD6-M / SD5-W
  • MIDSOLE: EVA with A-Bound™ Top Layer
  • OUTSOLE: Altra MaxTrac Sticky Rubber with TrailClaw™
  • UPPER: Abrasion-Resistant Mesh with Minimal Seams, Polartec®
Where will the Mid's take you?


  1. Would you recommend these or the regular lone peaks for the Sierra section of the pct this year?

    1. Depends on your personal preference. These will keep your feet warmer, but will stay wet much longer once they get submerged.

  2. Do you have any experience on their ability to drain water out of the shoe after a deep stream crossing... does the water pool up like other "waterproof" shoes?

    Wish they had a non-waterproof vs. for this reason :-)

    1. They will pool. I believe they are making a new Mid that isn't waterproof...keep an eye on their website.


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