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People Don’t Like the New Altra Lone Peak 7. Is Their Hatred Warranted?

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Altra recently released the newest version of their immensely popular hiking shoe: The Altra Lone Peak 7. And they made some changes this time around. Changes a lot of people don’t seem to like. But are they really all that different? I put my feet in a pair of the Lone Peak 6 and 7 to try to figure that out.

Because, not sure if you’re aware–you will be if you’ve beer around here long–but I’m a big fan of Altra Lone Peak shoes for hiking and backpacking. Just check out our review of the Lone Peak 5 or the Lone Peak Hiker (which is no longer vegan, unfortunately). Big fan. I like the zero drop, the minimalist footbed and lack of too much cushioning, that they’re flexible and lightweight…I could go on.

But I won’t. ‘Cause this isn’t a review, it’s a comparison.

See, When I noticed the new version of my fave backpacking shoe dropped, I headed straight to the comments where I was very surprised to see a fair amount of people railing on the new design, complaining about how awful they are, how much they’ve change since the 6, how the quality has gone down, you name it.

So naturally, I had to find out for myself what all the fuss was about. So I asked Altra to send me a pair of the 6 and the 7 so I could test them side by side and see for myself what all the fuss was about. And whether or not any of that fuss is actually worth it.

So let’s compare, shall we?

Check out more vegan hiking boots in this post!

Wearing the Altra Lone Peak 7 (left) and Lone Peak 6 (right) at the same time.
Wearing the Altra Lone Peak 7 (left) and Lone Peak 6 (right) at the same time.

Altra Lone Peak 6 vs Altra Lone Peak 7: The Devil is in the Details

Let’s start by breaking down what’s technically different between these shoes using info straight from the horse’s mouth (Altra).

The Lone Peak 7 features an upgraded MaxTrac compound on the sole that is more durable and offers more traction in wet conditions than the previous iteration of MaxTrac (which is on the 6). An updated outsole design features a new lug pattern, but still maintains the brand’s signature Trail Claw design.

The Lone Peak 7 also sports an updated external TPU Heel Clip that allows for a more supportive fit in the heel while not forcing your foot in any single direction. So it still allows the foot and shoe to adapt to the terrain.

The Altra Lone Peak 7 (top) next to the Lone Peak 6 (bottom).
The Altra Lone Peak 7 (top) next to the Lone Peak 6 (bottom).

The new upper is also a diversion from stitched-down PU overlays on the Lone Peak 6. The Lone Peak 7 instead have a lower profile no-sew TPU overlay for a more streamlined look. The lacing structure is basically the same, but the material used for the uppers (the fabric part of the shoe) is a bit different. It does feel slightly less high quality, perhaps, but it’s marginal at best.

As for weight, both the 6 and the 7 are comparable. The 7 is about .5 ounces heavier, which is negligible. Both shoes are built on the original footshape, the soles feel similarly flexible, and the stack height is exactly the same (25 mm). And yes, both are zero drop.

So why don’t people like them?

The Altra Lone Peak 7 (front) next to the Lone Peak 6 (back).
The Altra Lone Peak 7 (front) next to the Lone Peak 6 (back).

Altra Lone Peak 6 vs Altra Lone Peak 7: The Comparison

Let’s get into the nitty gritty, shall we?

I started out by testing both shoes side-by-side. Like, LITERALLY side-by-side. As in, I left the house with the Lone Peak 6 on one foot, the 7 on the other, and walked around, hit the trail, all to see if I could tell the difference.

I gotta say, at the risk of putting conclusions to close to the top of this article, I’m not really sure what the haters are complaining about. THAT SAID! The more I wore both pairs the more I could tell that there ARE a few subtle differences.

The Altra Lone Peak 6
The Altra Lone Peak 6


Honestly, a lot of negative reviews we saw were incredibly superficial and had to do with color options. *Sigh* Look, not every new iteration of a shoe is gonna be in a colors you love, OK? Get over yourself. Send an email to the company, let them know if you’d like to see more neutrals or whatever, but if you don’t like the color, buy another shoe this time around. The Lone Peak 7 is actually available in one more color than the 6, so you still have plenty of options, and, frankly, I like ’em.

I also like how the new design looks. It’s smoother and more streamlined than the 6 and requires less materials like yard and thick overlays. I think it looks more modern.

The new material on the 7 does look and feel a bit different. It’s maybe just a smidge stiffer and more prone to creasing than in the older model, but I don’t think that’s going to affect performance in the long run. But time will tell.

I do see what reviewers are saying, though, that the material feels a bit lower in quality.

The Altra Lone Peak 7
The Altra Lone Peak 7

Fit and Feel

But more importantly than the look of the shoes is the fit and feel.

An honestly, when I took them outside, while I thought the 6 was more barefoot and flexible when I first tried it on, I think that was just because they feel just a smidge more cushiony and the uppers feel a bit softer and more flexible.

But after I started hiking, the new 7 felt like it might be more flexible. By which I mean, the foam and minimal cushioning felt like it moved with my foot more, offering a slightly more barefoot-style feel.

But even when I switched the shoes back and forth, on and off my feet, I couldn’t tell a major difference. Yes, they feel slightly different, but I think that’s mostly just because of the materials that make up the upper: the 6 feels slightly softer and like the sole may be just a smidge less dense. But the differences are minimal at best.

Another thing other wearers complained about was the width of the new 7, that it was somehow narrower. But as far as I can tell they’re exactly the same. Same footbed shape, same exterior width, the same. The only thing I can think of is that, once again, the new upper material makes them feel like they’re narrower right out of the box. And to be fair, the inside feel of the shoes is different. I will say the Lone Peak 6 feel softer and more flexible.

The soles of the Lone Peak 7 (top) and Lone Peak 6 (bottom)
The soles of the Lone Peak 7 (top) and Lone Peak 6 (bottom)


I do appreciate the stickier sole on the 7. It makes slick rock scrambles easier and helps with traction on smooth surfaces. But both soles felt perfectly stable on soft ground, so the differences there may be marginal at best. 

Further testing will be needed to see if the new 7 is at least as durable as older versions. Though I will say, in the past, my Lone Peaks have peeled and come apart at the toe caps and the updated design may have taken care of that issue. Time will tell.

Bottom Line

Overall, I like the new design. Aside from the looks and a lot of new materials–from the foam footbed to the rubber sole to the uppers–the main difference does seem to be with the feel of the shoe when wearing it.

And I can sorta see how die-hard Altra fans might notice a difference and not love it right off the bat. But really, they’re only marginally different. I really don’t see what everybody was getting all complain-y about.

That said, I’ll keep you posted as to how the new Altra Lone Peak 7 performs in the long run.

Looking for even more minimalist hiking shoes? Check out our review of two barefoot hiking boots in this post.


Friday 12th of April 2024

In 7's, there is also way more padding in the heel cap and tongue, which to me take away the trail-feel and feels sloppy. Not a fan at all. I can see how to some, the changes seem small in the grand scheme; but, to others hiking and/or trail running is a huge part of their lives and they rely heavily on the gear they've chosen being just so. Lone Peaks have accompanied me on thousands of miles over the years & been absolutely amazing....but having worn my 7's just 20 miles, they're retired. Never again....I HATE THEM with a passion!!!!

Desert Camper

Monday 8th of April 2024

I am a barefoot zero drop convert for sure—no going back for me! I won’t be buying the Lone Peak 7. I hiked miles and miles in my perfect Lone Peak 5’s, then made the mistake of buying the Lone Peak 6. If only I had had the foresight to buy several more pairs of the 5! Oh, yes, the 6 is comfortable, but the lacing pattern is different from the 5, and somehow doesn’t fit my foot as well. When I first saw the Lone Peak 7, my thoughts were negative, because it looks so “structured” with that front rubber bumper and what looks like built-up sides. Looks like a clunky sneaker. My opinion is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I just wish Altra would bring back the original versions of the Lone Peak.

Alisha McDarris

Saturday 13th of April 2024

I think a lot of people would agree with you!


Friday 15th of March 2024

The heel on the LP6 comfortably hugs my AAAA heels in women's 10.5, far better than AA shoes in New Balance and Brooks, in fact. In my new LP7ss in women's 10, the heel slips, even when I use the extra holes to snug up the laces at the ankle. Slipping heels are a problem, and the LP7 seems to run smaller, so I think I need a 10.5, but that will make the slipping worse or at least not help. What can I do to snug up that heel? I've already used a heel lock.

For my son's LP7s, which he hasn't tried on yet, they look the same width in men's 10.5 as my women's 10.5 LP6s. I'll have him try them on, but I suspect his heels will slip too, as they have on every shoe I've bought him ever since the Lone Peak 6. He's saving his 7's for when his 6's finally fail. I'll have him try them tonight so we can return them if we can't make them work in the sizes we have. I suspect I'll need a 10.5 with a heel insert and he'll need an 11 with a heel insert. The lowest prices are gone, though, sadly.

By the way, I talked with the Altra rep the other day, and she said that the heel cup does have more structure in the 7. I'm pretty sure that's why they slip in my heel. The cup keeps the heel from conforming to my heel.

Does anyone sell a minimalist shoe with a AAAA heel, B midfoot, and C toe box for women and a B heel for men, C midfoot, and E toe box? I didn't think so. What would I do to make the heels narrower without it coming out or having a negative effect?

To be thorough, I should mention that the whole shoe feel stiff and grabs my attention when I wear the LP7's, but the LP6's felt like slippers from the beginning and I sometimes forget I have them on when going to take a quick nap. It might be that you get a slipper-like feel OR durability. My previous Brooks and New Balance shoes felt better than the LP7s in that respect, but I will never go back to those high-drop shoes. Also, with the heel lock, the laces are far too short even to tie a normal bow. They also come undone easily. Why is that?

I love my LP6's so much that I'm still hoping there's an LP solution. I also go the 7's at a great price and it's gone UP since I got them. So, argh. Feeling like I might keep the 7's for around town and consider some hikers for hiking since I actually don't run anymore. If my son's shoes seem to fit, I'll have him wear them to work for a day to confirm and return if they don't work for him due to the slipping. Adding a heel pad with may slightly push him forward in the shoe, depending on the design of the heel pad, so concerned about the length.

I suspect the "hatred" on Reddit was mostly because the Lone Peak felt so great on versus the Lone Peak 7 and the 7 is a bit snugger due to the heat shrinking during manufacturing. Am I missing something?


Thursday 25th of January 2024

Just got 7s on clearance. Agree with your assessment. I noticed stiffer heel right away and upper seems to have little more structure. Both are fine with me. I like them and welcome more durable tread.


Friday 15th of March 2024

@Alisha McDarris, I agree with the comment about clearance. I just randomly happened upon a short period when they were super low before they went back up. I hesitated because my son only wears neutrals, and the pair for him at the best price was teal with purple highlights. He reacted excitedly but thanked me and said he'd save them for when his LP6s failed. They'll be a fashion challenge for him, but he needs one.

Alisha McDarris

Tuesday 30th of January 2024

The differences are minor but juuuuuust noticeable. And huzzah for clearance shoes!


Sunday 10th of September 2023

Got multiple pairs of both. I think the 7 looks better and is more breathable. They feel about the same on foot to me, I do feel like the 7 has an even wider toebox, a bit overly wide to me, but nothing that's a turn off. Room in the midsection feels the same The 7 is an incremental improvement, IMO.