Altra Superior vs. Lone Peak

Are you excited for your next hiking adventure but can’t decide whether to opt with Altra Superior or Lone Peak? Well, that’s a tough situation unless you understand the pros and cons of both shoes. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

In this post, you’re going to learn which is the best running and hiking Altra shoes for your needs. Is it the Altra Superior or the Lone Peak? We will find out the answer soon, so follow us and stay tuned!

In this article, we will be comparing Altra Superior 4.0 and Lone Peak 4.0. We will explore their benefits and subtle differences.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on!

Comparison Table

 Altra SuperiorAltra Lone Peak
MaterialMaxTrac Rubber,, Quantic Foam. FabricMaxTrac Rubber, StoneGuard, Rubbery Plastic
Sizes7- 157 - 16
Made in the USAYesYes
SoleInsole incorporated with two StoneGuard, Midsole made of soft Quantic foam, Outsole made of MaxTrac rubber Insole also comes with two StoneGuard, Midsole made of EVA foam, A-bound foam, and StoneGuard, Outsole made of MaxTrac rubber
ComfortHighModerate
CushioningLowModerate
Foot ProtectionModerateModerate
TractionModerateModerate
SensitivityHighModerate
Stack Height21 mm25 mm
FeaturesZero heel-drop; Minimally padded shoes; Stable on the trail; Ideal for mellow trails; New upper design; Minimal amount of Quantic foam underfoot; Low midsole stack made of soft Quantic foam; Supple and sensitive; Seamless burrito tongue design; Sticker rubber; FootShape Toe Box; 4-Point GaiterTrap; TrailClaw; QuanticComfortable and Ergonomic; Zero drop shoe; Roomy fit in the toe box; Drains water well; Sensitive & responsive; 25mm of EVA foam cushioning underfoot; Reduced padding inside the shoe; Four-point gaiter trap system; Aggressive outsole design; Durable mesh upper with integrated tongue; A-bound cushioning; FootShape Toe Box; 4-Point GaiterTrap; TrailClaw
Price$$$$

Common Features

When it comes to materials, both shoes are incorporated with MaxTrac rubber, which is a perfect amalgamation of durability, traction, and grip that will easily overcome challenging terrains like a boss.

These two are also incorporated with StoneGuard for additional protection from difficult terrains by deflecting rocks into the midsole for a smoother and more stable trail running or hiking.

Furthermore, they both have a cool design called FootShape Toe Box. This particular design enables the user’s toes to relax and spread out naturally for more stability and comfort in both downhill descents and uphill climbs.

altra running trek

Moreover, these two shoes have a similar design called zero-drop that places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground in order to allow proper and low-impact throughout your hiking. They also come with a 4-point gaiter trap, which is hook-and-look that enables strapless gaiter attachment that precludes debris from accumulating beneath the shoes.

Lastly, they both have a design called TrailClaw – canted lugs placed strategically beneath the metatarsals in order to give additional traction at toe-off. All these features make them perfect for every trail runner out there

Product Differences

The Superior 4.0 takes an already lightweight, fast trail shoe, and makes it even lighter. Moreover, its upper has been totally reengineered in a wrap-around design for extra support and security.

On the other hand, its midsole features the brand’s proprietary Quantic foam. Its outsole is now made of the brand’s MaxTrac rubber. Furthermore, Superior 4.0’s upgraded lug pattern and rounded heel are designed to fly down the trail with great speed and additional convenience.

The Lone Peak 4 is a fresh take on the brand’s original trail shoe along with some cool improvements. Its new upper comes with the same built-in tongue just like the previous version.

altra kids running
via @altrarunning on Instagram

The only differences are the sandpaper textured toe cap, a flexible strap overlay for a spacious forefoot fit, and static webbing for greater cinching ability. Also, Lone Peak 4’s breathability has significantly improved by means of reduced weight, multi-directional, carved lugs for enhanced traction, and draining mesh in the forefoot, heel, and the decoupled nature of the TrailClaw.

Additionally, its StoneGuard is fully updated to be the same as the skeletal structure of a foot for dynamic flexibility and better performance.

Product Reviews

Altra Superior

 

It is a very lightweight shoe that comes with minimal underfoot padding. It is perfect for every trail runner who loves smooth and buffed trails. On the flip side, it’s not really suitable for rocky or rough terrains.

It is greatly enhanced compared to Superior 3, which is not really comfortable because of some flaws in the upper. Moreover, Superior 4 comes with an upgraded upper design that is incorporated with a wrap-around, burrito-style tongue.

Moreover, because it now comes with lightweight mesh, it is now more breathable. It rides a few millimeters lower to the ground. On the other hand, its outsole is now improved with MaxTrac rubber, which is perfect for rocky surfaces. In particular, the Superior 4 is now lighter compared to Superior 3.

Sensitivity

Superior 4 is a very sensitive shoe. It will allow you to feel every detail of the trail while you’re wearing it. On smooth trails, its sensitivity level can give you a better running or hiking experience.

However, when it comes to rocky trails, you’ll most likely slow down along the way. Because of its sensitivity level, it’s perfect for learning to run with a forefoot or midfoot landing stride, which can also give you some physiological benefits.

Comfort

altra superior comfort
via @altrashoes on Instagram

When it comes to hiking or running shoes, comfort is a crucial factor. In this case, the Altra Superior 4 has improved comfortability than the previous versions because of its new design.

Since it doesn’t come with the weird tongue design and upper material unlike Superior 3, it is now more comfortable. Instead, it now comes with a seamless tongue that is incorporated to the upper on one side, so it wraps your foot.

Meanwhile, the other side has integrated gusseted style along with a light and stretchy elastic fabric, which helps to limit tongue slippage as well as to prevent debris from accumulating. All in all, Superior 4.0 is a very comfortable shoe perfect for both hiking and running.

Stability

The Superior 4.0 is probably one of the most stable shoes that you can purchase because it only comes with a mere 21 mm underfoot platform and zero heel-drop.

Furthermore, it is shaped like a foot, but with a much wider forefoot area compared to most trail shoes out there. This actually helps to ensure that your foot space so it can expand or splay out while it lands on the ground.

With a really low inclination to cause your ankle to roll, the Superior 4.0 is more stable than Superior 3 and Superior 3.5. Aside from being soft, the shoe mold to the terrain it lands on.

Traction

The Superior 4 comes with almost the same basic pattern on the outsole just like its recent versions. Its MaxTrac rubber is really sticky on both dry and wet rocks and effectively grips the trail. The TrailClaw lug pattern, on the other hand, is one of the least aggressive patterns that it has.

In particular, the outsole of Superior 4 is changed a little bit. The rows of pretty small lugs are all lined up over the push-off points of the shoes’ forefoot. In reality, this particular pattern is not really ideal on soft and slippery surfaces such as wet grass, mud, or snow.

Nonetheless, it is very effective on hard surfaces and regular trails. In spite of not having a very aggressive tread pattern, its MaxTrack rubber is very sticky and surely does a nice job gripping on both wet and dry rocks.

Foot Protection

altra superior protection
via @altrashoes on Instagram

When it comes to foot protection, the Altra Superior 4 doesn’t provide that much because it only comes with a minimal amount of Quantic foam underfoot. Not to mention that it doesn’t feature any rock plate or other similar types of protection. So if you’re planning to do some long-distance hiking, then it might not be the ideal choice.

The Altra Superior 4 is still incorporated with two StoneGuard inserts, which you can optionally add underneath the insole. Even though it’s now more flexible, the StoneGuards are now thinner and don’t really do anything to provide extra underfoot protection.

Our Opinion

The Altra Superior 4 is greatly improved compared to its previous Superior line versions. It now comes with lighter weight, upgraded upper and tongue design, and comes with much stickier rubber.

It is a perfect option for those people who like minimalist shoes with high sensitivity levels. On the flips side, it may not really give you the best protection for effective trail running, especially on rocky trails.

All in all, it is minimally padded and zero drop shoes. It is very stable on the trail, and it’s lightweight. From its 3.5 version, the Altra Superior 4 is now heavily redesigned. You will enjoy these shoes for medium-length runs on mellow trails, but might not really be ideal for rocky trails because of the lack of underfoot protection.

Here’s an interesting review about Altra Superior 4:

Altra Lone Peak

 

The Lone Peak 4 is the brand’s moderately cushioned trail shoes. The Lone Peak 4 now comes with less foam but has been replaced by a StoneGuard rock shield.

Even though the overall effect of this upgrade is less absorption of blows, it now comes with better sensitivity, responsiveness, and stability. With Lone Peak 4, your foot will have a better ground feel.

Furthermore, the amount of padding inside the shoe has been significantly reduced. Its upper material has been switched to thinner ripstop nylon with minimal reinforcement and overlays. Also, the fit of the forefoot is now much longer and wider.

It still has the four-point gaiter trap system. Its outsole design, on the other hand, is now improved to a more aggressive pattern. Nonetheless, its rubber is still the same.

All in all, the Altra Lone Peak 4 now fits very similar to the Altra Superior 4. However, the former is now much heavier underfoot, more protective, stiffer, and thicker.

Best Applications

Lone Peak 4 is perfect as a hiking shoe. Its zero-drop platform improved loose and sensitivity, and comfortable fit makes it perfect for hiking. As for trail running, the Lone Peak 4 will perform much better on smoother trails.

Sensitivity

The Altra Lone Peak 4 belongs to those types of shoes that effectively balances its underfoot protection with sensitivity. Compared to being more protective, the Lone Peak 4 is actually more sensitive, which provides excellent connection and feeling with the trail.

Hikers who love large amounts of foam for protection from rocks and roots may get a little bit disappointed with this new design of Lone Peak 4.

Comfort

altra lone peak comfort
via @altrashoes on Instagram

Altra Lone Peak 4’s comfort factor is among its greatest traits. But still, comfort is quite subjective and usually depends on the shape of the user’s foot. Just like what Altra is claiming, the Lone Peak 4 fits fairly wide in the user’s forefoot, which also enables the feet to spread out comfortably.

Even though it is pretty wide in the heel and midfoot, the shoe is still snug enough to keep the foot secured and comfortable. Lone Peak 4’s mildly sloppy fit only provides extra comfort and also makes it a better option for running or hiking on mellow trails. However, it prevents it from being a good option for speedy and challenging mountain races.

Altra changed the performance and location of Lone Peak 4’s drainage vents, with improved perforated panels in the upper. Also, there are two holes that are cut out of the toe cap in order to enable drainage.

These seemingly minor adjustments enhanced Lone Peak 4’s absorptive qualities. Such improvement is perfect for those people who always run in very wet environments.

Stability

Similar to Altra Superior 4, the Altra Lone Peak 4 is crafted on a zero-drop platform, which means there’s no difference between the stack height of the toes compared to the heel. This design actually leads to a more stable shoe, particularly when traveling downhill and landing.

Furthermore, the Altra Lone Peak 4 is pretty wide throughout, particularly in the forefoot. The only issue in terms of stability is that the shoe doesn’t lock the user’s foot in place securely and seems to remain a little bit sloppy.

However, some users actually love this feature because it keeps a comfortable fit that doesn’t pressure the feet anywhere.

Traction

altra lone peak traction
via @altrashoes on Instagram

The outsole of Lone Peak 4 is made up of Altra’s Maxtrac rubber compound organized into nicely-spaced, arrow-shaped lugs that are around 4 mm deep. However, in the arch of the foot, the lugs are a bit deeper.

These lugs are placed in rows over the push-off point in the shoes’ forefoot for better traction. This design is also known as TrailClaw. Of course, its Maxtrac rubber is very sticky and grippy for most trails. But just like with any other trail running shoes, it doesn’t really remain sticky on wet trails.

Foot Protection

The midsole of this shoe is a sandwich of StoneGuard, A-bound foam, and EVA foam compound. Compared to Altra Superior 4.0, where the StoneGuard rock shield is optional to slide under the insole, the Altra Lone Peak 4 has an integrated StoneGuard in it.

This built-in design of StoneGuard rock shield feels less protective, less cushioned, and thinner underfoot compared to the previous versions of Altra Lone Peaks.

Altra Lone Peak’s upper is also now a bit less protective because it now comes more thin TPU overlays and thinner ripstop nylon. Of course, there are still some synthetic leather or leather overlays.

However, their main purpose is to protect the sides of the foot and provide structure. Its top cap is a wide leather overlay that doesn’t come with any integrated bumper or firm support.

Our Opinion

The Altra Lone Peak 4 comes with plenty of great improvements from a shoe that seemed to have lost its way. For the most part, these improvements have provided a positive impact on the comfort and performance of the shoe. For sure, loyal Altra users will also be pleased with the capabilities of Lone Peak 4. For first time users out there, they will love Lone Peak 4’s zero-drop platform.

All in all, the Altra Lone Peak 4 is a well-cushioned shoe that comes with Altra’s zero-drop platform. It is incorporated with 25 mm of EVA foam cushioning underfoot that provides better responsiveness and springiness while also maintaining a nice amount of sensitivity and ground feel.

Altra has redesigned the fabric of Lone Peak 4’s upper in order to provide additional durability. The new design also provides extra moisture-wicking liner material to Lone Peak 4’s inside.

The Lone Peak is actually one of the most prominent shoes on the market nowadays because it is the most traditionally cushioned shoe in Altra’s trail lineup.

Here’s an interesting review about Lone Peak 4:

The Verdict: Altra Superior vs. Lone Peak

Even though both Altra Superior 4 and Lone Peak 4 seem to have identical features, their respective cushioning level is their primary difference. Both of these shoes come with Altra’s signature ZeroDrop platform and FootShape Toe Box, which make them more comfortable compared to many hiking shoes out there.

If you want new shoes to fit your backpacking and hiking style and will also do an excellent job of introducing you to trail running, then the Altra Superior 4 will do the job. It comes with the necessary protection support that your feet need. On the other hand, you don’t probably need Altra Lone Peak 4’s thickness, especially if you’re just starting with trail running.

Both Altra Superior 4 and Lone Peak 4 come with almost similar, reasonable prices. Now, Altra Superior 4 is most likely the right shoe for you if you’re just planning to hike or run on smooth trails. On the other hand, we recommend the Altra Lone 4 for those people who are more experienced when it comes to trail running shoes. Or if you’re looking to trail on rocky and much more challenging trails.