I’m going to be giving you a quick rundown on my experiences with the Altra Lone Peak vs Superior.
Before we start, the Altra Lone Peak, Superior, and King MT are all part of these best zero-drop trail running shoes.
I think these are Altra’s two best trail running shoes, but there is a little difference between them.
Altra Lone Peak 4.5
The Lone Peak 4.5 is probably the most popular Altra shoe out there by a mile. It has 25 millimeters of stack between your foot and the ground, which is a good bit of cush. It’s nice and comfy and still very light coming in under 10.5oz or 300 grams at a US9.
It has a built-in lightweight stone plate to protect your feet from rocks.
It’s got an upgraded upper with a more flexible material. The upper offers good breathability and good drainage.
Most importantly, the Altra Lone Peak is just an amazing shoe to run in. You could literally put it on and run a really long distance.
So, if you’re going distance and you want to have a combination of zero drop, natural feel, wide toe, then the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is an amazing shoe.
The Altra Superior is actually my favorite shoe. Even though the Lone Peak is awesome, I like the Superior more because it’s a little bit lower profile.
I’m a Five Fingers runner and have been for many years, so I just mix it up obviously if I’m going a bit longer.
The Altra Superior is 21-mm of stack height as opposed to the Lone Peak’s 25 millimeters. So, the Superior is a little bit closer to the ground but still has lots of cushioning as well.
The midsole has a kind of waffle cut out that actually runs all the way through the midsole, which is your cushion.
That kind of waffle cut out allows the cushion to flex even more than if it was just a solid piece, which gives you more flexibility and more of a natural feeling.
The upper has been upgraded to give you more durability and more breathability. There are lots of drainage holes through the toes and through the toe protection and of course, the midfoot mesh breathes and drains really well.
The Superior still has got the Max Trac outsole with lots of cutaway through the outsole to obviously reduce weight and also give lots of flexibility.
The outsole offers pretty much good grip and pretty good traction.
Of course, the Lone Peak would have more traction and more grip because it’s got a more aggressive outsole, but I’ve really not had a problem with the Superior even on technical terrain.
The cool thing about the Superior is it has a removable stone guard. So, if you’re running on terrain that you know or terrain that’s not that stony obviously, you can actually take the stone guard out if you want to have that little bit of extra flexibility.
Width & Lockdown on Technical Terrain
I’ve used the Lone Peak 4.5 for a couple of Ultras and it’s been fantastic. It’s been so comfortable running on kind of non-technical terrain for distance like single track and the width of the foot really allows for you to run all day and not feel any squeeze.
What I did find though is that if you’re hitting technical terrain where you’re hitting rocks or your whole weight is on sloping rocks that because there’s so much space and so much volume in the shoe, my foot and the shoe do obviously move independently.
So, the one thing I’d say is with the Superior, I feel like I’m getting pretty much all the benefit I get from the Lone Peak.
Of course, it’s a little bit less cushion and there’s a little bit more movement, but I’m okay with that. But what I get is that the Superior holds my foot a little bit better.
There’s still loads of space, but it holds my foot a little bit better, which means that I don’t feel that movement when I’m kind of running on technical terrain.
Altra Lone Peak vs Superior (Distance)
Again, both the Altra Lone peak and the Superior are really amazing shoes. I know a lot of people who would have the Lone Peak 4.5 for their racing and for their longer distance runs and the Superior for shorter faster distances.
Benefits of Zero Drop
Both shoes are zero drop, which is of course super important to make sure your whole body and your structure is in a natural position.
Anytime you’re lifting your heel, you’re tilting your pelvis forward.
I think that impacts on your lower back and it impacts on how you use your legs, your muscle activation, muscle recruitment, muscle firing sequences…
Basically, it might be a small thing, but I think that it really has an impact on how you run.
So, if you wear shoes that have more stack height and you feel that you have some lower back issues, maybe it’s worth trying zero-drop shoes out and obviously building into it by seeing if a lower profile shoe might actually help.
That’s all I have for this Altra Lone Peak vs Superior post. If you’ve run in one or both shoes, please tell us your experience down below.
Stay safe and happy running everybody 🙂