Thursday, April 17, 2014

Altra Lone Peak 1.5 review (400+ miles)

The Lone Peak 1.5
Let me start by saying that I was a HUGE fan of the original Altra Lone Peak 1.0.  I gave them awesome praise in this 600+ mile review last year and was sad to see mine wear out after about 1200 miles.  In short they were durable, comfortable, fast, long distance, trail running shoes.  I was beyond excited to try the latest version, the Lone Peak 1.5.  I thought wow, this amazing new shoe company hit a home run with the first version of this unique trail running shoe.  I'm sure the 1.5 will be an improvment on an already great shoe.  I'm almost late in this review with the new 2.0 coming out later 2014.  The solidity of the original Lone Peaks are what caused a delay in my purchasing of a pair of the Lone Peak 1.5's and this late review.  

Trail Love... Lone Peaks Him ver 1.5, Her ver 1
Here's my thoughts after about 400 miles trail running in the Lone Peak 1.5's.  Out of the box they felt stiff as expected.  The day the UPS man dropped them off at the door, I was like a kid on Christmas morning.  I tore open the box to check out my new kicks.  First thing I noticed upon checking them out was that the stitching on the gussetted tongue was flawed (not sewn) as well as other lining stitching.  I was going to just "go with it", but decided to test the customer service of Altra.  Laura called them up and explained the sewing blems and Altra happily shipped another pair, with an RA# and prepaid shipping to send the flawed pair back.  A+ for customer service Altra.  The new shoes were blem free and I started to put on the miles.  I switched between my new 1.5's and version 1's trying to work the "stiff" out of the new pair.   First thing I noticed is that the 1.5's seem to run smaller than the 1's.  My toes in both new pair of 1.5's seemed to bump the front.  I'd suggest to upsize a 1/2 size for the1.5's if ordering online without trying them on.  Many changes were made to the 1.5's.  Like I said in my review of the 1's, I loved the heel in the original version.  The 1.5's now have a tight, narrow, stiff heel that might appeal to those runners that like their heels locked into place.  I myself prefer my shoes laced to "slip on" and my heels free to roam where they may.  Points lost for the 1.5's in my eyes.  

The new heel cup, a little snug for my liking
The red and black options are fine despite some runners comments I've read.  My real complaint is that the new upper material is weak as shiit!!!  Numerous holes are forming at the hinge point across the instep.  I'm expecting them to rip through and across most of the toe box any day now.  

Upper deterioration after roughly 400 miles, Poor compared to the ver 1

Ready to blow after only 400?
What a major disappointment after the durable and flexible mesh of the Lone Peak 1's.  On a positive note the toe cap issue has been resolved thus saving me the weekly trouble and expense of shoegooing them down.  Thanks again Altra! 

Now this is much better
It's great that the toe cap stays glued to the upper, but sucks that the upper wears out around 500 miles.  Weak compared to the originals.  I've also read the 1.5's drain better...  I never seemed to have problems with the 1's draining?  The new uppers seem to breath less, which is better for cold winter runs, but bad for warmer weather which is most of the year.  The sole pattern was unchanged, but I'm guessing the sole compound is.  I like the lug pattern used on both the 1 and 1.5's.  Oddly enough I've been ripping the lugs off of my 1.5's, something that didn't happen with the black soles on the originals.  

The red lugs are chunking off, not cool
Not sure why, but the colored soles seem weak and inferior.  In a nutshell I Iiked the LP1's quite a bit. Altra addressed some of the problems in the 1's, but still have bugs to work out of the current model. As much as I enjoy Altra shoes, it kinda makes me hesitate on the Lone Peak 2.0's debuting soon.  I'm planning on going for the longstanding 70 mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail "double", 140 mile FKT (Fastest Known Time) in June.  I hope my Lone Peaks are up to the challenge and not worn out by then.  I thought my body would be the weakest link and my shoes would be the reliable Altra Lone Peaks I've come to love, but with the quick deterioration, I'm really rethinking which shoes to use come June.  I can train my body better, but can't make my shoes any tougher.  Yikes!

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