The Best Trail Runners for Thru-Hiking in 2024

Are you planning a long-distance backpacking trip? If so, it’s essential that you choose the best trail runners for thru-hiking (if trail runners are your jam*). Think of this as an investment in your future happiness. Your feet are your most important asset as a thru-hiker, after all. You’re counting on them to carry you thousands of miles through thick and thin.

If you treat them right, it’s possible to complete an entire thru-hike without so much as a blister. But if you don’t take care of them, any number of (progressively more horrifying) foot afflictions could take you out of action in a heartbeat. That’s why it’s so important to choose proper footwear for your hike.

Shoes are highly personal — more so than most gear — because everyone’s foot shape, gait, and preferences are unique. You’ll only figure out what’s right for you through trial and error, but it helps to know a bit about the fit and features of some top models in advance.

*Boots and hiking shoes also exist. We cover the latter in this separate roundup.

Best Trail Runners for Thru-Hiking: Quick Navigation

Best Trail Runner FAQs

The 9 Best Trail Runners for Thru-Hiking

Altra Lone Peak (Men’s | Women’s) (Most Popular with Thru-Hikers)

Best trail runners thru-hiking

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Altra Lone Peak.

MSRP: $150
Weight (pair): 22 oz.
Drop: 0mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: Yes
Waterproof: Men’s | Women’s

Pros: Widest toe box around; iconic among thru-hikers; gaiter-compatible; lightweight; available in wide.
Cons: Not the grippiest; other brands offer more durable uppers; annual updates are hard to keep up with.


Lone Peaks are easily the most popular shoe model among thru-hikers: almost a third of respondents in our annual Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Survey reported using Lone Peaks, which are known for their minimalist, zero drop design and their wide toe box. (Incidentally, we’ve tested a lot of trail runners that claim to have a wide toe box, but none have ever seemed quite as roomy as this iconic shoe.)

The latest version has been redesigned with a durable, seamless, stitch-less upper, though an updated version might soon alter things further. The shoes continue to feature Altra’s proprietary EGO midsoles and MaxTrac outsoles.

Classic Lone Peak features like the Gaiter Traps and wide FootShape toe box are also around to stay, and the distinctive tread pattern on the bottom of the shoe remains the same. The Lone Peak is available in wide sizes.

While major changes are possible in the future, more likely is that these shoes continue to adapt gradually. While small changes may seem minor, even the slightest tweaks can trash the feet of the most loyal customer, so don’t take your favorite generation for granted. That said, Lone Peaks have remained insanely popular among thru-hikers throughout the ups and downs of their many incarnations, and we expect that trend to continue.

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Brooks Cascadia (Men’s | Women’s) (Best Trail Runner for Narrow Feet)

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Brooks Cascadia.

MSRP: $130
Weight (pair): 20 oz.
Drop: 8mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: Yes
Waterproof: Men’s | Women’s

Pros: Gaiter-compatible; sticky outsole for added grip; lightweight; soft and adaptable midsole.
Cons: Stiff; higher drop isn’t for everyone; narrow cut will feel cramped for some.


In a world of wide toe boxes, Brooks keeps it old-school with their slim and snug-fitting Cascadias. Although some may object to the closeness of this design, it’s ideal for slenderfoots who can’t seem to avoid slipping and sliding in more generously proportioned shoes. “I rate the grip above average and durability looks great,” said contributor Owen Eigenbrot of the Cascadia 15s (2021’s model). “The new upper material is breezy and dries quickly.”

Last year’s version of the Cascadia (16) was streamlined to bring the total weight down by nearly a quarter pound, and the 17 keeps it this way, making the Cascadias one of the lightest shoes on our list. The mid and outsole have both been redesigned to make the shoe more flexible and adaptable on rough trails. The new midsole is also lighter and softer than previous versions.

Meanwhile, the updated rock plate provides ample protection from rough, technical terrain, making the Cascadia ideal for hikers/runners who prefer a firmer, more responsive ride. The TrailTack outsole is both wonderfully grippy and notably more durable than many competitor models. Thoughtful additions like drain holes and gaiter traps will be appreciated by many hikers.

Read our review of the Brooks Cascadia 15.

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Hoka One One Speedgoat (Men’s | Women’s) (Most Comfortable Trail Runner)

Best trail runners thru-hiking

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Hoka One One Speedgoat.

MSRP: $155
Weight (pair): 20.6 oz.
Drop: 4mm
Cushioning: Maximum
Rock plate: No
Waterproof: Men’s | Women’s

Pros: Vibram Megagrip outsole with Traction Lug provides better grip; lighter CMEVA midsole compound; wide toe box.
Cons: Bulky; expensive; maximal cushioning can create lateral instability; flat tongue can be uncomfortable; midsole foam can break down prematurely.


Our reviewer says the Speedgoats’ famously plush midsole is similar to walking on clouds. Pair that with the updated Vibram outsole with Traction Lugs, and you’ve got yourself a dang smooth ride (in a variety of wild color schemes to boot). Despite the extra cushioning and boxy design, the Speedgoats are middle-of-the-road in terms of weight, perhaps in part because they eliminate the rock plate favored by many trail runner models.

Updates to the Speedgoat 5s made them an ounce lighter per pair than the previous model. They’re grippier now too, thanks to the updated Vibram Megagrip outsole, and (somewhat hilariously) a millimeter taller. Hoka also upgraded the mesh upper to a double-layer jacquard mesh made with recycled content, which should help increase durability. For a shoe this cushioned to weigh just 20.6 ounces is pretty remarkable. Lightweight comfort indeed.

Worth noting: this brand seems to be on a dramatic upswing in the thru-hiking world with the number of thru-hikers wearing Hokas increasing year over year in our annual Appalachian Trial thru-hiker survey.

Also worth noting: if you love the look of the Speedgoat but require more ankle support than a trail runner can offer, know that Hoka also offers a mid-boot version of the Speedgoat (men’s | women’s).

Read our review of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4.

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Astral TR1 Mesh (Men’s | Women’s) (Best Trail Runner for Wet Trails)

best trail runners thru-hiking

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Astral TR1 Mesh.

MSRP: $130
Weight (pair): 21.2 oz.
Drop: 1mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: Midsole top shank
Waterproof: Not available

Pros: Anti-odor insole; near-zero drop; mesh uppers and drain holes in the midsole for quick drying; wide toe box; tacky outsole.

Cons: Some users report durability issues; no waterproof option.


This offering from Astral Designs isn’t a conventional thru-hiking shoe, but it’s a great choice for wet trails with frequent stream crossings. Even more than most trail runners, the TR1 Mesh is unmatched in its ability to drain and dry quickly thanks to lightweight mesh uppers and literal drain holes cut in the midsole. There’s something deeply cathartic about stepping out of a stream and watching water literally spout out of your midsoles.

Add a wide toe box, wonderfully grippy tread (their patented G Rubber excels in wet and slippery conditions), and near-zero drop to the equation and you have a shoe that’s comfortable and deeply appealing for hikers. These shoes are great for wet hikes, but they’ll hold up on a wide array of technical terrains as well.

“I’ve hiked thousands of miles in Astral’s TR1 Mesh model, including miles on the Oregon Desert Trail and the CDT, which together cover practically every terrain imaginable,” said contributor and hiking guru Katie Gerber. “These are my go-to trail runners through spring, summer, and fall.”

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Topo Athletic Terraventure 4 (Men’s | Women’s) (Most Versatile Trail Runner)

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Topo Athletic Terraventure 4.

MSRP: $135
Weight (pair): 20.2 oz.
Drop: 3mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: Yes
Waterproof: Yes!

Pros: Vibram outsole; rock plate; wide toe box; roomy heel.
Cons: Slightly harsh/responsive ride due to protective rock plate; limited colors.


If you love the wide toe box of Altra trail runners but would prefer to avoid the Lone Peak’s zero drop-ness, the Topo Terraventure may be your perfect shoe. It’s wide in the toes, like Altras, and has a modest 3mm drop that will provide more support for heel strikers. Its grippy Vibram outsole also outperforms Altras in terms of traction and is carefully designed for a perfect fit that hits the sweet spot between sloppy-roomy and too tight.

The roomy fit, Vibram rubber, and low drop are characteristics that are shared across all Topo Athletic trail runners, and the Terraventure is the moderate-cushion version of this style. As such, it acts as Topo’s proxy to the Altra Lone Peak, but with real advantages for those who value these. Unlike the Lone Peak’s, the outsole has proven to be exceptionally grippy and durable, with Vibram Megagrip rubber having clear advantages over Altra’s in-house outsole. For this reason, we feel that the Terraventure is a better all-around shoe. No matter if the trail is slippery, rugged, or smooth, the Vibram won’t let you down.

If you prefer a more cushioned ride, Topo’s Ultraventure 3 (men’s | women’s) is a return to form after the previous iteration suffered widespread durability issues. With a lot of the same features that we love about the Terraventure, Topo’s cushiest trail runner is once again ready for the rigors of a long thru-hike with the latest updates to the upper mesh.

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Altra Olympus (Men’s | Women’s) (Best Maximum Cushion, Roomy Toebox Trail Runner)

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Altra Olympus.

MSRP: $170
Weight (pair): 25 oz
Drop: 0mm
Cushioning: Maximum
Rock plate: No
Waterproof: Men’s | Women’s

Pros: Wide footshaped toebox; grippy Vibram rubber; great durability; cloudlike comfort.

Cons: Heavy; pricey; heel area of the outsole has minimal rubber which limits grip in this area.


Hoka Speedgoats are all the rage these days, but for those of us who like fat cushion and still like the Altra fit, there’s a great option. The Olympus has slowly and steadily made gains on the Altra’s most popular trail runner, the Lone Peak, becoming a common choice among thru-hikers. And it’s easy to understand why. Taking the same roomy fit that is amazingly popular for the all-day comfort, Altra inflates the midsole to an astounding 33mm stack height. Some folks might not like feeling so disconnected from the ground, but once you get used to it, there is no going back — end-of-day foot fatigue is drastically reduced, and the cushion is still going strong hundreds of miles after less plushy shoes begin to feel like cardboard.

The other major improvement over the Lone Peak is the addition of the Vibram Megagrip rubber to the outsole. This compound is noticeably grippier and more durable than Altra’s house blend. Aside from the missing patch located in the arch area, these shoes have confidence-inspiring grip.

Besides being pricey and relatively heavy, the Olympus are awesome shoes for thru-hiking. However, if you want a lighter version with a slightly narrower fit, Altra’s Mont Blanc is also a great shoe that has even better traction than the Olympus. Both of these should last long enough to justify the premium price.

Finally, if you’re not sold on the Altra fit and zero-drop platform, there are other options that provide a soft ride and great grip/durability. The aforementioned Hoka Speedgoats (men’s | women’s) are an obvious choice, but don’t sleep on the Topo Ultraventure 3 (men’s | women’s). All feet are different, and though all these shoes are similar, one pair might just fit better than the others.

Read our review of the Altra Olympus here.

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Hoka One One Challenger (Men’s | Women’s) (Best Medium Cushion Trail Runner)

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: HOKA ONE ONE Challenger 7.

MSRP: $145
Weight (pair): 17.8 oz
Drop: 4mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: No
Waterproof: Men’s | Women’s

Pros: Lightweight; oversized midsoles add cushioning and shock absorption; gusseted tongue keeps debris out.
Cons: Outsole isn’t the grippiest; some users report issues with fit.


The Challenger 7 is perfect for hikers who love the springy feel of the Speedgoats in principle but find it too squashy to allow for comfortable/efficient hiking in practice. Although this moderately-cushioned offering still rocks Hoka’s signature chunky midsole, it’s noticeably firmer than that of the Speedgoat, which has so much midsole that it can feel stiff and unresponsive compared to the more maneuverable Challenger.

The Speedgoats have a higher stack height and a “stickier” Vibram outsole than the Challengers (which are standard rubber). These features only add to the feeling that the Challenger is a nimbler, more stable shoe overall. It was once Hoka’s go-to model for wide feet, but the brand has since expanded its offerings to include “wide” Speedgoats as well. Despite this, the Challenger still has an overall roomier design.

The Challenger 7, the latest version of this shoe, is fairly different from its previous incarnation (the Challenger ATR 6). Its upper and mid have been constructed with new materials, and it’s also plusher than the previous model thanks largely to an extra millimeter of stack height throughout.

Read our review of the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6.

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Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2 (Men’s | Women’s) (Most Durable Trail Runner)

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2.

MSRP: $170
Weight (pair): 19 oz
Drop: 0mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: No
Waterproof: Not available

Pros: Graphene grip for enhanced durability and traction; new nitrogen-infused midsole is extremely cushiony and lightweight.
Cons: Expensive; no rock plate; no waterproof option.


Aptly named Inov-8 took a novel approach to their trail runners, incorporating a graphene compound into the rubber outsoles to improve durability and traction. We thought this sounded like a gimmick, but our reviewer tested a pair of Inov8 Terraultra G 270s thoroughly and found them every bit as durable and grippy as advertised: their pair was going strong at 650 miles and counting at the time of the review. This shoe has the same wide toe box and zero-drop that many hikers love in minimalist trail runners.

The G 270 V2 builds on its predecessor, the G 270, with enhanced cushioning, breathability, and durability. There’s also a G 280 with a nitrogen-infused midsole for additional ultralight cushioning. At $170 per pair, these are the priciest trail runners on our list. “But due to their durability, they could end up cheaper over the course of a thru-hike,” testers Joal and Jenny pointed out.

Read our review of the Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 V2.

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La Sportiva Mutant (Men’s | Women’s) (Best for Off-Trail Hiking)

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: La Sportiva Mutant.

MSRP: $165
Weight (pair): 22 oz
Drop: 10mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: No
Waterproof: Unavailable

Pros: Grippy rubber with deep lugs; durable; supportive lacing system.
Cons: Pricey; no rock plate; runs small.


If grip on rugged terrain is one of your most coveted trail runner features, then look no further than La Sportiva. The brand makes kicks with some of the stickiest rubber around. This, combined with a narrower, more precise fit makes their shoes great for high routes and off-trail scrambles. Ditto for mucky stuff. The 6.5mm lugs are seriously deep and are ready to handle sloppy conditions.

To be honest, we have the most extensive experience with the brand’s Bushido lineup, but until the greatly anticipated Bushido III drops, they are going to be difficult to find in all sizes. However, the Mutant brings all of our favorite features to a slightly different fit. With shoe compatibility being so personal, deciding between the two might come down to personal preference anyway, so we have no hesitation in recommending this fine looking shoe.

Even if you love your loose-fitting Altra’s for on-trail cruises, the confidence of reliable traction and slop-free fit when the ground gets sketchy is worth the slightly more restrictive feel.

Read our review of the La Sportiva Bushido II.

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Salomon XA Pro 3D V9 (Men’s | Women’s) (Best High Drop Trail Runner)

Best trail runners for thru-hiking: Salomon XA Pro 3D V9.

MSRP: $140
Weight (pair): 23 oz.
Drop: 11mm
Cushioning: Moderate
Rock plate: Yes
Waterproof: Men’s | Women’s

Pros: Quicklace system = no more untied shoes or fumbling with laces on freezing mornings; high level of stability and protection.
Cons: Heavy for a trail runner; high heel-toe drop will appeal to some hikers; relatively stiff midsole can be uncomfortable; quicklace precludes precision lace tensioning.


If you’re on the fence between trail runners and burlier hiking shoes, the XA Pro 3D V9 (what a mouthful) does a decent job straddling the line between the two categories. It’s undoubtedly heavy for a trail runner, but it offers more stability and support than minimalist, ultralight models.

In particular, hikers who suffer from heel pain may appreciate the additional support offered by the 11mm heel-to-toe drop. While that might not be much more than other shoes on this list, with superior traction, stability, a rock plate for added protection, and thoughtful features like Salomon’s easy single-pull lacing system, we think it’s the best-executed high-drop shoe on the list.

The XA Pro 3D V9 builds on the iconic XA Pro 3D. It’s two ounces lighter than the original (for the pair) and uses thinner, softer materials. The eponymous “3D chassis,” a thin layer of dense foam between the midsole and outsole that provides additional support and reinforcement, has been redesigned to improve precision, responsiveness, and energy control.

Any offering featuring Salomon’s Quicklace system could also be given the “Best Trail Runner for Raynaud’s Syndrome Sufferers” award, as well, since the single-pull lacing setup is easy to manage, even with cold-addled fingers. (Admittedly, the Quicklace system is polarizing; some hikers hate it with a passion, especially because it makes special lacing techniques like heel lock lacing impossible).

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Best Trail Runners for Thru-Hiking: FAQs

Trail Runners or Boots for Thru-Hiking?

Trail runners have surged in popularity in recent years and are now more popular than traditional hiking boots among thru-hikers. If you want to save energy (they say a pound on the feet is worth five on the back), keep your feet relatively cool and dry (trail runners’ lightweight mesh uppers allow moisture to escape quickly), and be able to “feel” and react to the changing trail surface through a flexible, responsive pair of shoes, go with trail runners.

If you want footwear that will last a long time, protect your tender soles from the impact of rough terrain, and provide unyielding foot and ankle support, hiking boots are the way to go. They’re heavier, yes, but they provide a lot more protection. And while they cost more than trail runners up front, they often last two to three times as long, meaning fewer shoes in the landfill and more dollars in your pocket over the course of a thru-hike.

Hiking shoes are essentially low-top boots. They’re beefier and more supportive than trail runners, but not quite as bulky as boots. They’re a good compromise solution if you can’t decide between trail runners and boots.

The Oboz Arete low-top hiking shoe is a good compromise between boots and trail runners. Photo via Carl Stanfield.

Hiking Footwear Terminology

Before we dig into our picks for the best trail runners for thru-hiking, let’s first establish some common footwear terminology so that we’re all on the same page:

  • Upper: The “main body” of the shoe/the flexible material above the midsole. Usually made of durable mesh or leather.
  • Insole: A removable footbed insert located inside the shoe that provides cushioning to your foot. Many hikers upgrade to aftermarket insoles like Superfeet that offer better and more targeted support than the factory version.
  • Midsole: The rubber bit between the insole and the outsole.
  • Outsole: The grippy rubber bottom of your shoe where all the tread is located.
  • Rock plate: A nylon shank found in the midsole of some trail runners to protect your sole from sharp rocks.
  • Heel-to-toe drop: The height differential between the shoe’s heel and toe, normally measured in millimeters. The heel is elevated higher than the toe in most shoes so that the toe points slightly down, but some minimalist shoes have zero drop (no height difference between the heel and toe).

Are Minimalist / Zero Drop Hiking Shoes Worth It?

It’s complicated. Minimalist zero-drop footwear is meant to mimic bare feet, the idea being that less shoe support will lead to stronger muscles, improved stability, and a more natural gait. In contrast, many podiatrists argue that cushioning exists for a reason, and wearing unsupportive footwear can create new foot problems and exacerbate existing ones. With that in mind, hikers with flat feet and other pre-existing foot problems should be especially cautious with minimalist footwear.

If you’re considering zero-drop shoes, we recommend you buy a pair or two from a retailer with a decent return policy (we’re looking at you, REI) and try them out on trail. There’s really no other way to know whether a certain style will work for you. If you go the zero drop route, break the shoes in slowly and know that you’ll likely experience calf and Achilles fatigue at first as your muscles adjust. This is normal, but be careful not to push yourself too hard at first lest you hurt yourself.

Check out High Drop or Zero Drop: How to Choose Shoes that Work for You for a detailed breakdown of the respective pros and cons of high and zero-drop shoes.

After-Market Insoles

Many hikers swap out the flimsy insoles that come standard with most hiking footwear for a beefier, more supportive after-market offering. Superfeet, which are available at REI and most other outfitters, are especially popular. If you go this route, swap out your Superfeet every time you replace your shoes to get the maximum benefit out of them.

Yes, they’re a bit expensive, but you won’t be able to finish your thru-hike if you ruin your feet, so this is an area worth investing a little extra. If you really struggle with foot pain, it might be worth visiting a podiatrist and getting custom orthotics that are molded to your unique foot shape.

Blister Prevention

Finding a shoe that fits your foot perfectly (and finding the correct size of that shoe) is probably the most important step you can take toward blister prevention. Everyone’s foot is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this problem: you just have to figure it out through trial and error.

If you’ll be thru-hiking, bear in mind also that your shoe size may increase over the course of your hike. Because you can’t predict whether and to what extent your shoe size will change, we recommend starting with a pair of shoes that fits your feet now, rather than starting a size too big in anticipation of a change that may or may not happen. The start of a thru-hike is challenging enough without adding the difficulty of too-big shoes.

Other methods include:

  • Cover potential hotspots with Leukotape as soon as you feel them.
  • Slather on some Vaseline to reduce friction.
  • Wear a thin, protective pair of liner socks under your primary socks. Opt for toe socks for maximum protection.
  • Use the heel lock lacing method to keep your feet from sliding around in your shoes.


Why should you trust us?

Because we’re so incredibly intelligent, of course! Attractive, too. (Not to mention extremely humble).

But if that isn’t enough to impress you, there’s also the fact that everyone who contributed to this article is an experienced thru-hiker with thousands of on-trail miles under their belt. We’re gear nerds who love putting our equipment to the test on trails long and short, and we’ve tested dozens of shoes in pursuit of a smoother, more comfortable hike.

Moreover, we survey hundreds of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers every year to learn about their behaviors, demographics, and—you guessed it—gear preferences. That means our picks for the best trail runners for thru-hiking aren’t just our opinions: they’re based on years of feedback from the thru-hiking community.

Check out AT hikers’ favorite footwear from the 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022 thru-hiker surveys.

Owen Eigenbrot contributed to the most recent update of this list.
Featured image: Graphic design by Chris Helm (@chris.helm).

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Comments 22

  • SA Brotherton : Sep 25th

    I think it important that every time I see a gear review about shoes no one really addresses the whole zero drop thing and those people who absolutely can not wear them (& there are many). As one of those people w/flat, wide feet and exceptionally tight calves and arches prone to plantar fasciitis (er… well the part of my feet where my arches should be anyway) makes it impossible for me to wear anything w/out some stiffness, support (think rock plate) and a drop of typically at least 4-5mm.
    I used to wear Salomons years ago and they became too narrow. I still have 2 pairs of Merrells, but they tend to be heavy. I recently discovered the Salming Trail 6, and they very much perform like a hiking shoe, but at about half the weight.
    I recently tried on a good number of the shoes you have reviewed and I would say I like the Topos the best, but am not keen on the turned up, running style toe (personally). I think I only missed the La Sportivas.
    My point – I very much appreciate the ‘stats’ and Pros and Cons. As someone who has spent a tremendous amount of time searching for the right shoe, the more info, the better….had this come out a few weeks earlier, you could have saved me some time…Thank you, Kelly.

  • DavidM : Oct 2nd

    Great review. I swear by my Altra Lone Peaks. I put 700 miles on a single pair of Lone Peak 3.5’s on the Appalachian Trail two summers ago. I pretty much wore them out but loved them and didn’t have a single issue with them. BUT…

    Shoes are VERY specific to the wearer because everyone’s feet are different (yeah, call me Captain Obvious). What works for me won’t necessarily work for someone else. For example, I can’t wear Merrills because my ankle bone is low and they cut into it. My wife swears by Salomon and won’t wear anything else, but they just don’t feel right to me. You really have to try them to find out what works best for you. Of course, this list is a great place to start.

    And secondly, this year’s and next year’s model of the same shoe can feel completely different on your feet. Manufacturers are constantly making “improvements” to their shoe. The “new and improved” model of Altra Lone Peaks feels very different to me. Fortunately I was able to find a brand new pair of Lone Peak 3.5’s in my size on eBay.

    Bottom line, be guided by these reviews but know that with footwear what might work for lots of other hikers may not work for you. Happy hiking!

  • Jeffrey Scheid : Mar 25th

    The new lone peak 5 comes All-Wthr and is waterproofed withe EVent membrane. It’s a good product. The lone peak 4.5 version of waterproof was called RSM.

  • Kate C : Mar 27th

    I’ll issue a challenge to reviewers. Only review shoes which offer the same ranfe of fit and the same width fittinf in ALL sizes. Many women find it almost impossible to get shoes that fit well because the manufacturers almost all make smaller sizes in much narrower fits. I’ve loked into it and even the supposed wide fittings aer D for women and 2E for men. But men’s siz3s generally start too large for many women. So, reviewers, do a few reviews for shoes and other kit that is genuinely accessible to everyone. Women are half the population yet we are treated as a minority subset of men.

  • Clay Bonnyman Evans : Mar 27th

    Such a bummer that manufacturers feel the need to bring out “new and improved” versions of shoes every year. Given that Altra’s success with trail runners and long-distance hikers has been largely premised on its pioneering “wide toebox” design, I can’t for the life of me understand why, for example, the Timp 2 is so much narrower than the Timp 1.5 (which was sort of the “Goldilocks” version for me; OG Timp was too generously wide, IMO).

    I “sized” out of Hoka on the AT in 2016, and was very happy with Altra, though they weren’t nearly as tough or as durable as the Hokas I’d been wearing. Now, with Altra’s bizarre choice to narrow toeboxes, I’m very happy with Topo Terraventure 2 (model 3 coming out soon; fingers crossed) and, as mentioned here, the Ultraventure Pro. I plan to wear those shoes, as well as a surviving pair of Timp 1.5 on my upcoming PCT hike.

    I suppose manufacturers have data showing they “must” alter models every year to keep sales up. It’s too bad, really. These days, if I find a shoe that works, I’ll buy several pair, knowing that the company is going to change the design soon enough, and often not for the better.


  • James : Mar 27th

    Lone Peak 5’s??? Really? How can you state a shoes that’s only been out a couple of weeks as the “preferred” shoe??

    As one who is currently on the trail, and talking with others, I can tell you the LP5 is NOT a preferred shoe. In fact, I blew a new pair out in 8 miles. They are JUNK!!!! And many Im hiking with feel the same of the 5s, and have switched model or brands altogether. Not even close to 3.5 or 4 quality.

    Do you work for Altra?? This article is garbage.

    • Lunch : Feb 5th

      Agreed that altras are trash shoes. Comfortable but don’t expect many miles on them. I also think the $140 Altras are ‘affordable’ but the $145 hokas are ‘expensive’. For the miles per $ I’d say altras are overpriced. Happy trails

  • WD : Feb 2nd

    There were soooooo many hikers (including me) who switched to the Altra Olympus last year, due to changes in the LP5 midsole construction, I’m not sure how they were not even discussed. I think this article must be one of those regurgitated/updated-ever-so-slightly ones.

  • Rob : Feb 6th

    Very informative article folks, keep it up !!
    I say the Saucony peregrine is a worthy competitor to shoes covered in this article and should be considered.
    (hoka you can go out of business any time now, I definitely don’t like you)

  • JG : Feb 11th

    No love for Saucony Peregrines? 4mm drop, breathable, grippy, rockplate, gaiter clips on the front (but nothing on the back which is…. weird?)
    Great thru-hiking shoes if you have a narrow or average foot. Wide footers might not like.

  • Postal : Sep 7th

    Anyone looking for an actually durable zero-drop wide-toebox shoe should check out the Topo Pursuit. They feel wider to my toes than the Ultra- or Terraventure, have a sole that’s completely covered in rubber (unlike the mystifyingly-expensive Altra Olympus), and have enough heel structure not to collapse like all the current Altra shoes.

  • Dex : Dec 11th

    This is saucony peregrine erasure (95% joking). The 13s fixed the change of sole material that happened in the 12s, mine lasted me 500 miles easily each time with no signs of wear and tear on the upper, they’re comfortable, dry relatively quickly, and provided great traction and foot protection on all sorts of surfaces. Like someone else said, their only flaw is that they don’t have a gaiter trap in the back.


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