ALTRA Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell Mid
Weight: 12.6 oz (men’s size 8.5)
Drop: 0 mm
Stack Height: 25 mm
Around the Trail Runner offices, fellow editors were puzzled on seeing the Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell Mids. “Are those hiking boots? Can you run in them?” The Mids are based on Altra’s popular, mid-cushioned Lone Peak model (now available in version 3.5), which sits between its more-minimal Superior and higher-cushioned Timp models. That shoe has gained high marks in Trail Runner’s shoe reviews for its comfort and versatility. And the main chassis of the Mid has the same fit and feel; the wide toebox offers nice toe splay and the zero-drop provides a low-to-the-ground feel as per all Altra shoes.
The Mid’s high cuff is comfortably padded around the opening, and features two lacing points, which are eyelets rather than hooks typical of hiking boots. Laced tight, the shoe hugs the ankle well, although this tester felt the potential for inner-ankle-bone chafing. The initial impression on the trail was that this shoe allows for great articulation and trail feel. It’s not the kind of shoe you would use to edge across off-camber terrain (there’s not enough midsole rigidity for that), rather your foot would mirror the ground angle and your ankle would angulate, which is where the enhanced ankle support comes into play.
The outsole gripped well on steep slickrock and even gravelly ball bearings. A defining feature of the shoe is its Polartec NeoShell upper fabric, which is touted to be waterproof and breathable. It did hold up to dousings of several glasses of water.
Bottom line: while the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell Mid (that’s a mouthful) looks like a light hiking boot, it really is simply a high-topped running shoe that feels surprisingly nimble. The Mid seems a good crossover shoe, suitable for fastpacking, winter conditions, off-trail scrambling and even everyday trail use (although it could feel warm in the summer heat).
—Mike Benge is the Editor of Trail Runner Magazine.