It’s tough to say which shoe is the “best” because it depends on personal preference, but certain aspects can still make a standout shoe. Why do you think the Lone Peak has been around for so long?
If you’re in the market for a new trail running shoe and you’re looking for a shoe that won’t squish your toes but still has some padding, Altra is the solution.
If you want more ground, feel, and that true barefoot option, check out my other post on Minimal Shoes. Why barefoot? Barefoot training can be a game-changer for overall running performance! But that’s for a different post.
Let’s get into the Altra Trail Running Shoes for 2023!
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The Altra Lone Peak has been in the market for over 10 years!
Back in the beginning, it was a revolution in the running shoe market, coming in at 23mm, but completely zero-drop.
It was soft and squishy, super flexible, and amazingly comfortable.
Fast forward to 2023, and we’re looking at version 7 (technically around 10-11 because Altra used to do .5 numbers).
Besides the drastic improvements in quality, little has changed since those original versions.
They’re now 25mm, completely zero-drop, and moderately flexible.
Even from version 6, there have been drastic improvements in the outsole. The rubber seems much more sticky than the old versions, and I hope it should last longer too.
A word of warning, though, I found version 7 a little narrow through the midfoot, likely due to the heavy use of overlays which are great for protection but don’t allow for expansion.
Next time, I’ll be buying the wide version. Which is another plus for the Lone Peak. There is a wide option!
Overall, the Lone Peak 7 is an improvement over the Lone Peak 6, yet still keeping the great aspects of the original Lone Peak.
The Superior 6 is the little brother of the Lone Peak 7. But that doesn’t mean it’s worse!
It fits relatively similar to the Lone Peak, albeit the volume is much less. If you have shallow feet it’ll work pretty well for you!
The burrito tongue is still a thing. One piece of material wraps around from the inside of the shoe around most of the foot, making only one slit in the shoe rather than the two for a standard tongue.
We’re still looking at a 21mm stack height, likely using the Ego midsole, meaning it’ll be flexible and responsive.
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And lastly, the Superior has the same rubber compound as in the Lone Peak 7, which is much improved from past models, and should last much longer!
As a barefoot runner, the Superior 6 is my choice when I want a little extra protection or if I’m heading out on a steep downhill trail.
You could almost say that the Outroad 2 should be in the road category. But it still has a few trail roots.
The lugs on the outsole are flat enough to reduce wear on pavements but still pronounced to provide grip on light gravel trails.
The Outroad 2 was released in June, and it is said to build upon the success of the original Outroad with an updated upper.
Sporting the same 27mm stack height and the familiar slim fit we see in other models like the Rivera 3. I’m not expecting much change.
The Outroad 2 uses Altra’s Ego Max cushion, which tends to be softer, but to counter the squishiness, shoes with Ego Max foam are usually stiffer, promoting a rockered, roll-through feel.
If you’ve enjoyed the Timp in the past, I think the Outroad will be one to look out for in 2023.
If I were going to insert my barefoot bias into this post, I’d say the Superior is the “best” Altra Trail shoe of 2023, even before it’s been released.
- Lower in stack height
- Better price point
But that’s coming from an avid minimal runner. You may still be at a transition stage of your barefoot journey. And that’s ok!
In that case, the Outroad can work. And the Lone Peak is a great tool if you have wider feet and need an ultra-distance shoe.
All these trail shoes have unique aspects that make them great for different trail situations. You should see them as tools to solve various problems we encounter on the trail.
And let me know what’s your favorite Altra trail shoe of 2023!