The Altra Lone Peak NeoShell is the water resistant, insulated version of the Lone Peak. While billed as a trail running shoe, the Altra Lone Peak has become a popular favorite in the ultralight backpacking community.
Speaking of favorites, see how and why Altra became my favorite shoe.
Using a waterproof yet breathable membrane fabric dubbed by Altra as NeoShell, the shoe has proven itself to indeed be waterproof and breathable. I have used the shoes in many wet conditions including downpours and snow and have not experienced any water infiltration. Many of my hikes have been in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the NeoShell also has proven to be an effective barrier against sand.
The uppers are insulated with Polartech. These shoes are warm, too warm if hiking above 40 degrees or so. In colder temperatures, they are cozy. While hiking three hours in 4 inches of snow with temperatures in the mid-twenties, wearing only REI CoolMax socks, my feet were never cold. Some have reported the upper to be fragile but I have not found this. So far mine have held up well and look practically new. Perhaps in a rockier environment they may show more vulnerability.
The mid-sole is by Altra’s description, moderately padded. The mid-sole also has a thin plastic StonegGuard liner designed to prevent rocks and sharp objects from intruding through the sole. I have found this to be reasonably effective both with the NeoShell and the regular Lone Peak.
The sole is moderately aggressively lugged. The sole provides good traction on both loose and steep trails that I have hiked and has been stable on hard packed and paved surface. It has proven to be sure-footed in wet conditions as well as dry. I have only encountered one small slip while on an evening walk on icy roads. I would expect that under similar conditions off-road, the Neo-Shell would have been fine.
Another small but important detail that I have been pleased by is Altra’s shoe laces. Flat, so they comfortable, they also stay knotted. One feature that I have not used is the GaiterTrap; a Velcro patch on the heel intend to anchor lightweight gaiters.
Overall, the Altra Lone Peak NeoShell has proven to be a great addition to my collection of hiking shoes.
Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds
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