Best Zero Drop Trail Shoe

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 90% 90%
  • Comfort 75% 75%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 75% 75%

Best Application: Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh, GaiterTrap, FootShape Toe Box

Midsole: Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound™, StoneGuard™

Outsole: MaxTrac™ Rubber, TrailClaw™

Weight: M – 298g, W – 247g

What we like: Comfortable, Delivers A Stable Ride, Above-average Protection, Responsive

What we don’t like: Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain, Clunky Shoe Shape

Price$120

Your toes will have a bit more freedom with the Altra Lone Peak 4.5. Most of the trail shoes on this list aren’t very forgiving when it comes to the roominess of the forefoot, but you don’t have to worry about that with the Lone Peak 4.5. It’s our top pick for the best zero-drop trail shoes, and that’s because it can make you more confident on the trail by delivering a good amount of stability.

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Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Trail Shoes of 2020

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 95% 95%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 85% 85%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 75% 75%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Reliable Grip and Traction

Comfortable

Offers A Stable Ride

Has Performance-focused Features

Has Wide-width Option

Cons

Narrower Than Other Trail Shoes

Not Very Versatile

Doesn't Drain Well

Best Application: Running On Soft Ground, Slippery Running Conditions, Highly Technical Terrain

Upper: SensiFit™, Welded Upper, Anti-debris Mesh, Lace Pocket, Quicklace™

Midsole: EnergyCell™+, Molded OrthoLite®

Outsole: Contagrip® TA

Weight: M - 320g, W - 280g

The Best Trail Shoes: Asics GEL-Venture 7 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Amazon.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 95% 95%

Pros

Sufficient Traction

Comfortable

Budget-friendly

Beginner-friendly

Delivers A Stable Ride

Well-cushioned

Has Wide-width Option

Versatile

Cons

Upper Not As Breathable

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Best Application:  Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Mesh Upper

Midsole: GEL® Technology, EVA Midsole, ORTHOLITE™ Sockliner

Outsole: AHAR®

Weight: M - 303g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Supercross - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Foot Protection 85% 85%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 65% 65%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 85% 85%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Speedcross-like Traction

Comfortable

Affordable

Wider Forefoot

Cons

Ride Is Not Very Stable

Best Application: Occasional Trail Running and Hiking

Upper: Ripstop Fabric, Protective Toecap, SensiFit™, Welded Upper, OrthoLite® Diecut

Midsole: EnergyCell

Outsole: Contagrip TD, Chevron Lugs

Weight: M - 310g, W - 260g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 90% 90%
  • Comfort 75% 75%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 75% 75%

Pros

Comfortable

Delivers A Stable Ride

Above-average Protection

Responsive

Cons

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Clunky Shoe Shape

Best Application: Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh, GaiterTrap, FootShape Toe Box

Midsole: Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound™, StoneGuard™

Outsole: MaxTrac™ Rubber, TrailClaw™

Weight: M - 298g, W - 247g

The Best Trail Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 90% 90%

Pros

Lightweight

Versatile - Can Be Worn on Trail and Roads

Comfortable

Breathable Upper

Designed for Speed

Cons

Thin Toe Bumper

Not Suited for Technical Trail

Doesn't Lock the Foot Down

Best Application: Road/Trail Running

Upper: Perforated Mesh, Synthetic Upper

Midsole: Zoom Air Units

Outsole: Trail Lugs

Weight: M - 291g, W - 232g

The Best Trail Shoes: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Foot Protection 90% 90%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Generous Cushioning

Improved Grip

Breathable

With Wide-Width Options

Enhanced Durability

Efficient Stride

Cons

Slightly Narrow

Heavier Compared To Other Trail Shoes

Best Application: Long-distance Trail Running/Hiking (50 miles and above), Ultra Distances

Upper: Open Engineered Mesh Construction

Midsole: Reinforced TPU midfoot overlays, Oversize EVA Midsole, CMEVA Foam

Outsole: Vibram® Megagrip

Weight: M - 306g, W - 261g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Caldera 4 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 75% 75%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 70% 70%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Breathable

Enhanced Durability

Door-to-trail Ready

Cons

A Bit Expensive

Can Only Handle Moderately Technical Terrain

Best Application: Daily Training/Hiking, Long-Distance Hiking/Running

Upper: Mesh Upper, Synthetic Overlays, Lace Catch

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA

Outsole: TrailTack Sticky Traction

Weight: M - 283g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Timp 1.5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Moosejaw.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Better Traction and Grip

Durable Outsole

Roomy Forefoot

Better Ground Feel

Cons

The Ride Can Be A Bit Unstable

Can Handle Moderately Technical Trail

Takes Awhile For Sweat to Dry After A Run

Best Application: Daily Runs or Hikes on Moderate Terrain

Upper: Footshape, Gaiter Trap

Midsole: Balanced Cushion

Outsole: Trail Claw, DuraTread

Weight: M - 312g, W - 266g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 14 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Comfortable

A Good Crossover Option

More Protective

Cons

Not Very Stable

Grip is Good for Moderate Terrain

Best Application: Daily Trail Running/Hiking

Upper: Internal Saddle System, Cordura Mud Guard

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA, Built-in Rock plate

Outsole: TrailTack Rubber

Weight: M - 303g, W - 269g

Many trail enthusiasts would consider the Altra Lone Peak as one of the most popular zero-drop trail shoes on the market. The 4.0 version was well-received by runners and thru-hikers alike because of its cushy platform. However, the downside was the short life span of the midsole. Altra aims to resolve this issue by tweaking the midsole foam to make it more resilient in the Altra Lone Peak 4.5. It’s our pick for the top zero-drop trail shoe on our list.

Grip & Foot Protection

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Gear Hacker

Designed to be robust and gripping, the outsole was made with two Altra technologiesthe Trailclaw and Maxtrac. Both can easily be spotted when you turn the shoe over because each technology is labeled. The multi-directional lugs are already deep, but with the Trailclaw, which are canted lugs placed right below the metatarsals, you’ll get the right amount of traction especially during toe-off. The Maxtrac, on the other hand, is a rubber compound that was shaped into arrow-like lugs and placed strategically below the Trailclaw to make the Lone Peak 4.5 reliable on slippery surfaces.

The StoneGuard was added to the midsole, so you’ll be able to land safely without worrying about feeling pain when stepping on sharp objects during your run or hike. The rock plate is a layer of protection and it doesn’t add significant volume to the sole, so the midsole still feels thin when compared to the Lone Peak 4.0, but more protective overall. A thin midsole may not be your cup of tea, but the tradeoff is a good amount of responsiveness.

One of the drawbacks of the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is the toe guard. While trail shoes like the Salomon Speedcross 5 have a highly protective toe cap, the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 doesn’t. Though your underfoot is set, you might need to be more careful not to step hard onto sharp objects on the trail.

Durability

The main material on the upper is called Quick-Dry Air Mesh. It has been sufficiently reinforced with synthetic overlays to make it more resistant to scratches and grazes. Although there have been reports about premature tearing on the sides, the upper feels tough, sturdy, and supportive. There’s a good amount of rubber to wear through despite the change in the sole’s volume. It can withstand high mileage, and that’s exactly what Altra is aiming for with this version of the Lone Peak.

Stability

As mentioned, the overlays feel sturdy. They deliver enough support without feeling too intrusive to the foot. The FootShape toe box on the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 allows your toes to splay naturally, but the overlays adequately stabilize the midfoot and heel. Sometimes, the ride can feel clunky, but that’s because of how this trail shoe is shaped. The level of security that grants you a stable landing will depend on how your foot fits within the shoe.  

Comfort & Fit

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Gear Hacker

As you already know, the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 is very welcoming when it comes to wide-width feet. If you’re looking for a trail companion that has a very snug fit, this may not be the shoe for you. The fit won’t give you a sloppy ride, but you may not like the extra room the Lone Peak 4.5 delivers. You’ll need to cinch your shoes tightly if your feet are narrower.

Because of the Air Mesh, air can circulate within the shoe sufficiently. Despite the number of overlays that cover the mesh upper, it’s still breathable and may not be the ideal trail shoe for colder temperatures. The shoe is more comfortable for running in regular, warm, or hot weathersince the upper keeps your foot cool.

Versatility & Value for Your Money

Those who are already fans of the Lone Peak line may appreciate the tweaks that Altra has made on this version. If you’re someone who enjoys a harder-feeling trail shoe, you may find value in this pair because of its level of outsole durability and versatility. Do take note that it may not become your go-to shoe for highly technical trails, but it’s a great general-purpose trail shoe for different wilderness activities like hiking and camping.

Additional Features

On the back of the Lone Peak 4.5, there is a hook-and-loop tab that you can attach your strapless gaiter to. If you need more coverage to prevent debris build-up beneath the shoe, this is a good feature to use.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the re-designs on the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 are purposeful. They don’t change what most consider special about the shoe. It’s versatile and ideal for different outdoor activities. This is the trail shoe to look for if you like short runs or hikes with good responsiveness and a feel for the ground. With an MSRP of $110, it’s our pick for the best zero-drop trail shoe on our list.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!