Altra Loan Peak 3.0 Review


Altra Loan Peak 3.0 Review

In the words of Monty Python, now for something completely different.  Altra Running, the Running company from the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, have been developing shoes which are distinctly different from the traditional running shoe we've all become accustomed to. Based on years of experience, they have developed the only cucushioned, zero drop shoe, with foot-shaped toe box. You can read the full story Altra story here

I've taken them out for a few runs now, and have done about 30 miles in them. The first thing I noticed about them is the room in the toe-box. Based on the shape of the foot, you really do notice your toes splaying out a fair bit. Initially I wasn't quite sure about it, as it was quite a different feeling. After a few miles though, I did start to warm to it and did enjoy the feeling of not having your toes constricted in anyway. Basically, if you have a wider foot, suffer bunions possibly, then this would be a great option to consider.

Having a zero drop (heel to toe differential) is obviously quite unusual with most traditional running shoes being a 10-12mm drop, although there is a quite a range now of options.  The Altra thinking is that having the zero drop, it encourages a more efficient running form, giving a more natural alignment which will result in lower impact, whilst strengthening the achilles and lower calf muscles. For me, I did find that it certainly promoted more of a forefoot strike than what I usually do and it certainly did seem to be an automatic and natural thing and I didn't need to think too hard about. Haven't had any issues with my achilles but then that's maybe just me as I tend to go between various different drops without any impact. Maybe not the same for everyone though so would probably encourage a gradual transition to this.

Grip wise, did seem to get plenty of traction from the lugs which are well positioned and fairly aggressive. Was fairly dry conditions though, so not tested on wet or muddy terrain. There's also a pretty cool gater grip at the back of the shoe which would come in very handy if you have the need to wear gators.

Overall, really impressed with this shoe.  Certainly offers something a little different with the toe room being a massive plus point. Although zero drop, it's not a minimalist shoe by any manner of means with plenty of cushioning for a really comfortable ride with plenty of protection on both the medial and outside of the shoe.





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  • Andrew Gordon