Altra Lone Peak vs Superior – Which Is The Right One For You?


Hey fellow trail runners! Today, I’d like to discuss my experience comparing the Altra Lone Peak vs. Superior. Let’s dive into the details and see how these two shoes measure up on the trails.

While the Lone Peak 7 and the Superior 6 share a lot of similarities, there are some notable differences between the two and I hope this comparison will help you choose your next pair of running shoes.



Altra Lone Peak vs. Superior

Before we jump into it, I’m Eric Barber. I’ve purchased both the Altra Lone Peak and Altra Superior, and what you’re about to hear are entirely my thoughts and experiences. No sponsorships, just a runner sharing insights.

Altra Lone Peak 7

The Lone Peak 7 is typically Altra’s go-to reliable workhorse for the trail, consistently ranking as one of their best-selling running shoes. There must be something truly remarkable about it.

This shoe has consistently delivered the cushioning needed for longer distances while maintaining the nimbleness required to navigate technical trails.


The Superior 6 is definitely one of those icons within Altra’s line and they want to make sure they’re making refinements and not blowing it out of the water.

This shoe, known for its light and nimble characteristics, has consistently maintained a similar feel, albeit with some minor tweaks.

In my opinion, the Superior 6 offers a genuinely pleasant experience, particularly if you’re not tackling overly rugged or technical terrains. It’s nimble and light enough if you need to kind of make your way through.

Believe it or not, this is the 10th version of the Altra Superior franchise. Why? Altra used to do this whole thing of having half versions.

So, we had the Altra Superior 1, the 1.5, the 2, the 2.5, the 3, the 3.5, the 4, the 4.5, and the 5. Then, Altra transitioned from half versions to full versions, bringing us the Superior 6 directly, skipping the 5.5.

Let’s kick things off with the foot shape of these shoes…


Lone Peak vs. Superior: Foot Shape

Altra Lone Peak 7

If you’re new to Altra, they offer three types of foot shapes: the slim fit, the standard fit, and the original fit.

The standard fit falls in the middle, but it still provides ample width compared to mainstream brands. I do know a lot of Altra enthusiasts prefer the original fit, the widest foot shape Altra offers. With the original fit, there’s plenty of room for your toes to move freely. Lastly, there’s the slim fit.

The Lone Peak 7 maintains the original foot shape fit which is their most high volume. However, they offer it in a wide for people who require even more room. It’s really interesting to know that runners with different foot shapes can find a comfortable fit in the Lone Peak 7.

Altra Superior 6


Lone Peak vs. Superior: Fit and Sizing

In terms of sizing, I’ve noticed that the Lone Peak tends to feel a bit roomier on my feet, especially since I don’t have particularly wide feet. I think I could have opted for half a size down, but I stuck with my usual size, 9 US.

It feels comfortable, not excessively large, yet not snug either. Personally, I always prefer my shoes to be a bit roomier rather than too tight.

I’ve noticed that the Lone Peak 7 is a tad wider than the Superior 6, particularly around the heel cup and up to the midfoot area. This provides a bit more wiggle room for your feet, which I find comfortable. In contrast, the Superior 6 tends to be narrower around both the heel cup and midfoot.

The Lone Peak 7 offers substantial volume inside the shoes. So, even if you have higher arches, they should fit quite nicely.

If you find that there isn’t enough space inside, a simple trick is to take out the insoles and you will have a few extra millimeters of room.

I know some folks enjoy doing this, although I should note that when you remove the insole, there are some stitches on the inside that might rub against your heels. However, many people don’t seem to mind and find running without the insoles quite enjoyable.

I also got the Superior 6 in my regular running shoe size, 9 US, and I’m happy with the fit. However, even though I didn’t need to size up, I do notice that the top of my feet rubs against the upper part of the shoe. It’s not overly bothersome for me, but if you have higher arches, it might might bother you on the long run.

I know a lot of people are concerned about the Lone Peak potentially becoming less wide. I’d appreciate it if you could share your thoughts in the comments below, especially if you’ve noticed any changes in the width of your Altra shoes.

Again, if you want a slightly wider shoe or a shoe with a little bit more space, particularly in the toe box, I recommend going for the Lone Peak 7.

On the other hand, if width isn’t a top priority for you and you’re looking for a lightweight running shoe, the Superior 6 is definitely worth considering. It all comes down to what you’re looking for in your trail running shoes.


Superior vs. Lone Peak: Upper

In the design of the Lone Peak 7 and the Superior 6, Altra is stepping away from many of the stitched-down overlays found in previous iterations. While these overlays offered bomb-proof durability, they also added some weight to the shoes.

The upper material on both shoes feels almost identical, but the Superior 6 now uses the ripstop material, which not only fits better but is also lighter.

However, what truly sets the Superior 6 apart is its unique burrito-style tongue. Altra has made this one of the calling cards of the Superior 6.

The tongue fits nicely, and especially if you’re having to kind of dance around on those tricky trails, the tongue is going to hold your foot in dynamically really well.

Altra Superior 6 Burrito Tongue Style

Altra went with a no-sew TPU approach that still maintains protection and durability while giving the shoes a cleaner and sleeker appearance. It’s a shift towards a more streamlined look.

In terms of the toe box, the Superior 6 has a slightly firmer feel, and there’s a noticeable firmness on the inside that provides added protection if you happen to kick something hard.

On the other hand, the Lone Peak 7 features a completely soft toe guard, which may not offer the same level of firm protection.

Altra Superior 6

So, in the scenario where you might kick something while wearing the Lone Peak 7 the impact could directly affect your toes. The overlay on the toe guard area may help elevate the toe box, but its protective function beyond that elevation seems limited.

Overall, both toe guards on the Lone Peak 7 and Superior 6 do not offer the most robust protection for your toes.


to wrap this section up, from a practicality standpoint, I find the regular upper of the Lone Peak 7 to be just as good, if not better, than the Superior. However, I understand that some individuals appreciate the unique burrito-style upper on the Superior 6. It adds a distinctive touch to the shoe.

The Superior 6 is intentionally not overbuilt; it’s designed to be a fast and light shoe. Altra aims to ensure that it doesn’t feel too big and burly, which makes it a good choice for those who are looking for speed and agility on the trails.


Superior vs. Lone Peak: Lacing System

Altra Lone Peak 7

The Lone Peak 7 has a more traditional lacing system with a couple of webbed eyelets. Personally, I’m not a big fan of this design as it can be a bit more fiddly when attempting to tighten the shoelaces.

Altra Lone Peak 7

In contrast, the Superior utilizes the so-called burrito-style upper. This involves putting your foot in, grabbing the upper over your foot, and then tightening the laces.

On one side, you have regular eyelets, while on the outer side, there are webbed eyelets. This design offers a different lacing experience, and some find it convenient for achieving a more secure fit.

Altra Superior 6 Buritto Tongue Style

Heel Cup

Altra Superior 6

The heel cup on the Superior 6 is nice and plush and it’s not too thick, which I have always found gives me a nice heel lockdown. It’s nice and comfortable with no rubbing whatsoever. Also, there’s no stability in the heel cup whatsoever, which is nice for me.

Altra Lone Peak 7

Moving on to the Lone Peak 7, I feel that the heel cup is slightly more padded and plush compared to the Superior 6, which is going to give you a comfortable heel lock.

However, I did notice that the Lone Peak 7 is wider around the heel cup. While achieving a perfect heel lock may be a bit challenging, it’s not overly problematic for me.

There’s some plastic around the heel cup to enhance stability, but in my experience, I haven’t noticed a significant impact on how it feels although it adds a bit more sturdiness on the inside. While the Lone Peak 7 doesn’t provide extensive stability in the heel, it does offer a bit more compared to the Superior 6.


Altra Superior 6

The Superior 6 shifts from the Quantic midsole of its predecessor, the Superior 5, to a new midsole compound called compression-molded EVA. EVA contributes to a shoe that feels soft yet firm, offers flexibility, and maintains a nimble quality, which provides significant ground feel on the trails.

In terms of stack height, the Superior 6 is Altra’s most minimalistic trail running shoe with a low-to-the-ground 21mm midsole. In contrast, the Lone Peak 7 boasts a 25mm stack height.

Altra Lone Peak 7

The Lone Peak 7 is still utilizing the EGO midsole which is just a little bit new of a redesign. This midsole provides a pleasant ride, combining responsiveness with protection.

However, during long-distance running, the midsole material may start to feel flat, resulting in less bounce. Therefore, for short distances or hiking, the EGO foam proves to be a nice choice.


Altra Superior 6

Both the Superior 6 and the Lone Peak 7 feature an upgraded version of the MaxTrac rubber compound on the outsole. This new compound is not only more durable but also slightly stickier, particularly in wet conditions.

Unlike the previous versions of the Lone Peak and Superior, which performed well in dry and hard-pack areas but struggled in wet conditions, the enhanced MaxTrac rubber addresses this concern.

The Lone Peak has some extra rubber in the front and the heel to improve traction and durability in high-wear areas.

Altra Lone Peak 7 Rubber Reinforcements

The Superior 6 hasn’t received the same privilege of extra rubber, but there’s a bit more rubber on the heel cup to prevent premature wear.

Altra Superior 6

Now, let me share my personal experience with these outsoles. Altra says they have improved the MaxTrac outsole for better grip in wet conditions.

I did notice an enhancement in grip on slick or wet surfaces compared to previous versions. However, when I ventured into muddy conditions, I experienced slipping throughout the run.

Anyway, I do feel that the MaxTrac outsole is a slight improvement over previous versions and I just feel a little more confident running in wet weather.

So, while the MaxTrac outsole compound has improved, I think it’s still not perfect.

I would appreciate hearing from you in the comments below if you’ve had any negative experiences with the Superior or the Lone Peak in terms of the outsole.

Stone Guard

The Lone Peak 7 continues to feature a built-in stone guard, a TPU piece designed to protect you from anything sharp on the trail. The stone guard allows you to adapt to the terrain without pushing you in a specific direction – a key aspect of Altra’s identity.

And if you hit some pretty rugged or rocky trails, the Lone Peak 7 is going to handle that pretty well.

Even though the Lone Peak 7 is a luggy shoe, it feels nimble when hitting the trails. You’re able to just kind of feel balanced on it, which is really nice.

The previous version of the Superior used to have a removable stone guard which was a piece of plastic that you could place in to protect you from stepping on anything sharp.

However, Altra chose to remove this stone guard from the Superior 6, and I’m not quite sure why. Because the Superior is very minimal, you will feel every twig, stone, or rock on the trail, so you need to be a bit more cautious.

I usually run in more cushioned shoes, so after running in the Superior 6, I noticed my feet were a bit more bruised than they normally are after running in the trails.

Given its minimalistic design compared to most running shoes, the Superior 6 makes your feet and calves work harder. If you enjoy minimalistic running shoes, the Superior 6 is a great option.

How I’ve Been Using the Lone Peak and the Superior

I enjoy wearing the Superior 6 for shorter distances, around 10 to 12 kilometers on less technical trails. However, when I want to tackle longer distances, perhaps 15 to 20 kilometers on more technical trails, I find that the Lone Peak 7 outperforms the Superior 6, at least for my preferences.

I retired the Lone Peak 6 after reaching 250 kilometers and now, I just use it for hiking and nothing more than that. The midsole felt a bit flat after around 200 kilometers, so I was initially hesitant about trying the Lone Peak 7. However, I’m pleased that I gave it a chance.

I’ve taken the Lone Peak 7 for runs in snow, mud, and easy trails around the neighborhood, and I’ve really enjoyed the experience.

For my 20-kilometer runs, I’ll likely stick with the Lone Peak 7. However, for those hybrid runs where I’m on both roads and dirt, I lean towards some road-to-trail shoes like the Altra Outroad. It just feels like a better fit for that type of run.

The Superior 6 is the second version of the Superior that I’ve had the pleasure of running in. Back in 2021, Altra released the Superior 5, and I covered around 260 kilometers in it.

For me, the Superior is my go-to for short distances. I usually reserve long-distance runs for shoes with a bit more stack height, like the Altra Timp or the Altra Olympus.

I enjoy running about 10 kilometers in the Superior, and if needed, it can handle more technical runs as well.

If you only want one pair of trail running shoes, you could really consider getting the Superior, but because it is minimalistic, it is definitely something that takes a bit of getting used to

Lone Peak 6 vs. Lone Peak 7

I first thing I noticed is how much more comfortable the Lone Peak 7 feels compared to the Lone Peak 6. While the Lone Peak 6 is comfortable, the Lone Peak 7 feels a bit more cushioned, especially around the heel pocket.

There’s quite some padding in the Lone Peak 6, but in the Lone Peak 7, it seems there’s a bit more padding, and it feels a bit thicker in the heel and tongue areas.

The Lone Peak 6 has a thick leather-like material on the toe cap that can protect your toes. Also, there are drainage holes on the toe cap and midfoot to let the water out.

On the Lone Peak 7, the toe cap feels quite soft which offers some protection, but it may not provide much help if you kick something hard. Plus, there are no drainage holes, and Altra seems to expect water to seep out through the upper.

I actually found that with the Lone Peak 6, mud will actually come in through those drainage holes so my shoes would always be fairly muddy after a run, which is an issue I haven’t noticed with the Lone Peak 7.

Unfortunately, they removed the extra eyelet from the Lone Peak 6. In the Lone Peak 6, you could customize the width a bit by adjusting the eyelets. However, with the Lone Peak 7, that option is no longer available, so you’re limited to one fit, and there’s no way to customize the laces.

Altra Lone Peak 7 Gaiter Trap

Also, there’s a subtle difference as they’ve trimmed down the descent rudder on the Lone Peak 7, making it a bit less round compared to the Lone Peak 6.

On the heel, because of the thick padding, the Lone Peak 7 is not as flexible as the Lone Peak 6.

This heel clip helps keep you on the platform a little bit, but it’s not overly corrective, meaning it’s not going to force you one way or the other.

The Lone Peak remains a fan favorite, suitable for any day of the week and virtually any trail. It’s a versatile shoe. On the flip side, the Superior 6 has consistently embodied a light, fast, and nimble character.

While both shoes have undergone some minor updates that refine their lines, they’re going to maintain those core philosophies they always have.

This is where you can get the Lone Peak 7 and the Superior 6…

Altra Lone Peak 7

Where to buy (not affiliate)

Altra Superior 6

Where to buy (not affiliate)

That’s all for me. If you enjoyed this Altra Lone Peak vs. Superior comparison, please leave a comment down below.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

2 thoughts on “Altra Lone Peak vs Superior – Which Is The Right One For You?”

  1. Enjoyed your article and agree there is more “play” in the tie box in the Peaks vs. Superior. I have a pair of Timps and find it heavy with also too much play in the toe box. I loved the Superior 3.5; my feet and ankles felt more secure in the these. I believe they’ve been discontinued! I may try the next Superior series.


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