2012 Trail Running Shoe Review

Photo: Scott Draper/Competitor

Editor’s Pick (Most Innovative): Altra Lone Peak, $110

www.altrazerdrop.com

Weight — M: 9.9 oz.; W: 8.9 oz.

FIT: The forefoot of the Lone Peak has a unique, bulbous shape that gives a runner’s toes and forefoot arch room to spread out upon impact with the ground. Otherwise, the shoe fits semi-snug in the heel and locked-down tight at the midfoot.

FEEL: With two thin layers of firm and semi-soft foam cushioning under foot, it’s understandable the Lone Peak feels a bit firm. But that firmness leads to responsiveness out on the trails, allowing a more direct connection between the foot and the ground without losing energy to midsole compression. The most distinct aspect you feel is the shoe’s “zero-drop” platform, meaning the foot sits precisely level inside the shoe.

RIDE: The Lone Peak flexes easily and rides smooth, stable and securely on most terrain, though it borders on being too firm when running on harder surfaces. Otherwise, the shoe generally doesn’t get in the way of the foot, except, of course, when it keeps sharp objects at bay. (A flexible rock plate is sandwiched between the two layers of midsole foam).

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