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Altra Reviews

ALTRA LONE PEAK 5 REVIEW

If you only want one trail running shoe in your quiver of running shoes, the Altra Lone Peak 5 is an ideal do-it-all candidate. It’s a comfortably appointed and very reliable jack-of-all-trails without any major shortfalls.

Read on to learn more about the latest updates to the Lone Peak 5 from reviewer Brian Metzler.

THE BUZZ

Now in its 10th year, the Lone Peak is Altra’s most popular and versatile trail running shoe. It excels wherever the pavement ends.

The newest edition is lightweight and has a low-to-the-trail sensation like its predecessors. But, some dramatic updates have make this the best version yet.

The new edition on the Lone Peak serves up comfort, protection and performance on all types of terrain. It’s perfect from gravel roads, to dirt single-track trails to rocky, technical mountain routes.

Altra Lone Peak 5 - What's New

WHAT’S NEW

The Altra Lone Peak has undergone a major overhaul since last season. The midsole has been updated with a new layer of resilient AltraEGO foam. This new layer results in a considerably more responsive ride. The low-profile outsole is less aggressive than in the past and has been tweaked to provide better grip and durability. The upper has been upgraded with a more pliable feel, drainage holes and a better overall fit.

The internal rock plate embedded in the midsole has been upgraded to be provide better push-through protection and to be more pliable. This contributes to the smoother, springier and more flexible ride. The new stone guard was developed based on a pressure map of the foot with open perforations (almost like a mesh material), resulting in less material and a lighter weight without sacrificing protection.

Altra’s MaxTrac Outsoleuses direction sticky rubber lugs that prioritize grip and durability on uneven terrain. The outsole lugs are still toothy and grippy, but they don’t seem quite as aggressive and overbearing. This makes the new Lone Peak more versatile for a wider range of trails without sacrificing the reliable traction for which this shoe has always been known. The outsole rubber extends to the toe bumper, which is now stitched to the upper for greater durability.

Altra Lone Peak 5 - Fit, Feel, Ride

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The refinements to the upper have upgraded the mid-foot fit of the Lone Peak 5, but it still has a high-volume interior. It has a medium/narrow heel and a wide forefoot. This allows the toes to splay as the foot rolls forward through the toe-off phase. (The Lone Peak 5 is available in two widths for men’s and women’s.)

This new edition has a bit of a softer feel when you step in and lace it up. This is thanks to the soft footbed and new midsole foam configuration. The ride is decidedly soft, flexible, lively and smooth — much more so than the previous edition — and that makes it conducive both slow and fast-paced running over a wide range of trails.

One of the keys to the great ride is the more flexible stone guard that offers protection from sharp rocks, roots and other objects on the trail without inhibiting the natural flex of your foot.

The Lone Peak 5 is much more nimble and agile than previous versions. In part, this is because the protection and outsole traction have been taken down a notch.

Additionally, Altra’s women’s models are built with Fit4Her Technology. This is a design system that caters to the specific anatomical differences of female feet. They feature specifically a narrower heel and mid-foot, a higher instep, a longer arch and unique metatarsal spacing.

Of note is all Altra shoes are built with a “Footshape” toe box that is wider and more rounded than most other shoes. This allows a runner’s toes and the transverse arch to splay and flatten to allow for more effective muscular output when a foot lifts off the ground at the toe-off phase of a new stride. It also helps alleviate your toes getting smashed

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

A wide range of trail runners will appreciate the Lone Peak 5, including those who are new to trail running and seasoned ultra-runners who log copious amounts of miles in the mountains.

The Altra Lone Peak 5 is soft and flexible enough to run on smooth dirt trails and has more than enough traction and protection to tackle gnarly terrain. It’s light and fast enough for racing any distance and durable and comfortable enough for training runs of any distance.

Altra Lone Peak - Pros

PROS: Altra Lone Peak 5

The new layer of bouncy and durable AltraEGO foam is a significant upgrade to the Lone Peak, and it puts a noticeable spring in every step. Even though the 25mm stack height and 0mm offset remain the same, the revamped midsole adds to the overall cushioning of the shoe and helps supply the comfort and flow similar to your favorite road running shoes. 

The reason Altra makes its shoes with a balanced, level platform is to allow the heels and forefoot of a runner’s foot to always be an equal distance from the ground. Unlike shoes with lifted heels and sloping profiles, Altra’s shoes create what the brand calls an optimal alignment and that cultivates better running form and encourages a low-impact foot strikes.

Altra Lone Peak - Cons

CONS: Altra Lone Peak 5

There’s no inherent stability mechanism contained within the structure of the Lone Peak 5.

It’s not a clunky or tippy shoe, but runners who are prone to wobbly ankles or off-center foot strike patterns might find the soft, squishy midsole to be less stable as some other models.

TECH SPECS

Altra Lone Peak - Tech Specs

SHOP ALTRA LONE PEAK 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - Trail racing
Brian Metzler - trail running
Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23 REVIEW

Journalist and shoe guru Brian Metzler puts the ASICS GEL Nimbus 23 through its paces. He shares what this new edition has to offer for runners in 2020 and 2021.

THE BUZZ

The GEL-Nimbus 23 is a premium, neutral daily trainer with loads of cushioning and comfort. The Nimbus has always been reliable daily trainer. It serves up softness and durability and this new version remains true to that with a little bit of energetic pop in every stride.

asics gel nimbus 23 - what's new

WHAT’S NEW

There are a few minor updates to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23 that make it a softer, smoother shoe. The GEL cushioning wedge in the heel is more expansive. This helps create a softer and more absorbing feeling in every foot strike.

The upper has been adapted slightly with a more accommodating lace eyelet configuration. It also features a more pliable mid-foot panel that allows for optimal mid-foot flexibility.

GENDER-SPECIFIC DESIGN

The men’s and women’s versions of the Nimbus 23 are specifically designed for the slight differences in the gait patterns between genders.

The women’s model has decoupled flex grooves in the forefoot and a softer plastic Trusstic support brace under the mid-foot. This encourages optimal flexibility and a slightly steeper heel-toe offset (13mm, as opposed to 10mm for men) for a more active transition from heel strike to toe off.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The GEL Nimbus 23 has the classic true-to-size fit ASICS is known for. It shares a snug, narrow-medium volume interior that secures the heel and mid-foot. However, it provides just a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box.

The step-in feel of the new Nimbus is nothing short of luxurious. This is thanks to the premium sockliner, padded heel collar and cushy, wide tongue. The slightly updated engineered mesh upper contributes to improved comfort, flexibility and breathability while also helping cinch down each foot to the chassis of the shoe.

The ride is soft, smooth, supple and flowy without any sense of awkwardness between heel strike and toe off. This edition of the Nimbus retains that vibe, only it’s slightly softer and more comfortable.

ASICS Nimbus 23 - JR Colors

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The GEL-Nimbus 23 has always been a great shoe for a wide range of runners with neutral stride patterns and a heel-striking gait.

TheNimbus is a neutral shoe, but it does provide a little bit of stability in every stride. This comes from the plastic Trusstic shank embedded in the midsole under the arch. That extra bit of structure makes this shoe a very good choice for longer runs when your gait starts to show signs of fatigue.

No matter whether you’re running 10 miles a week or 50 miles a week, the GEL-Nimbus 23 is a durable workhorse of a training shoe.

It’s best for slower to moderate paces, but its range can extend from short runs to long runs. It’s not going to be ideal for speedier workouts, but it can suffice for tempo runs and fartlek runs with longer fast segments.

asics gel nimbus 23 - pros

PROS: ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

The Nimbus 23 has an invigorating dual-compound midsole that consists of a layer of light, soft and durable Flytefoam and a secondary layer of lively Flytefoam Propel, which serves up a bouncy feel with considerable energy return. The bottom line? It’s sufficiently cushions every foot strike and puts a little bit of a spring into every new stride.

The step-in feel and interior comfort features of the GEL-Nimbus 23 are exceptional. The soft heel collar secures the foot but goes easy on the Achilles, while the partially gusseted padded tongue wraps around each foot and stays in place as each foot moves through the stride cycle.

Our wear-testers love this shoe for long runs, recovery runs and random group runs at conversational pace. It’s one of those shoes that’s so comfortable, you barely remember you’re wearing it.

asics gel nimbus 23 - cons

CONS: ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

As far as training shoes go, the weight of the Nimbus falls in the mid-range of the category. It’s not heavy, but it’s not as light as some of its contemporaries. You will probably only notice it if you have a penchant for lighter shoes.

TECH SPECS

asics gel nimbus 23 - tech specs

SHOP ASICS GEL NIMBUS 23

asics gel nimbus 23 - Men's

MEN’S NIMBUS 23

asics gel nimbus 23 - womens

WOMEN’S NIMBUS 23
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - trail running