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Altra = Happy Feet?

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
So I purchased a pair of Altra Lone Peak 4.5 a week or so ago. I though I would post my experience as a first time Altra wearer for those of you considering them. I was intrigued by the zero drop sole and by the posts I’ve read here by folks that swear by them. Also, they were on sale at the Altra website for $84 US, so it seemed a deal. Ive worn Vasque Breeze in their various iterations for years and they have served me well. However, wanted to try something lighter. Well.....

The first thing I noticed when I put them on was the wide toe box. My feet were immediately happy with the extra room. As many have pointed out, they are extremely light and require little or no break in. Walking in them was a bit strange the first few times. The zero drop sole changes your gait slightly and I found my posture changed, it feels as if I’m standing more upright and my hips seemed to shift forward. Also, the arch of my foot was sore, but in a good way. I’m guessing that the flat sole results in my arch arch absorbing more of the impact (which is what the arch is designed for), and the tenderness was my tendons and ligaments stretching and working in ways they aren’t used to. The tenderness was gone after wearing them for a few days.

I’ve done two 3+ mile walks on the local greenway. Its a black top surface with some gentle inclines and declines. The change in posture is more noticeable when going uphilll or downhill. Since your not walking with your heel raised like in normal boots you don’t have to compensate by leaning (this is my best guess). Also, it feel like my thighs are more active and my calves are more relaxed. I need to walk farther with load for a more Camino like test but so far I’m very pleased. I want to try the mid-rise, water resistant version (RSM) since this is what I would want to wear on a long walk.

After reading many reviews I do have concerns about durability and questions about the water resistance and would appreciate any insight those of you who have walked in Altra’s might have. I’m starting to think these may be my new go to hiking/walking footwear.

frm
 
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Anhalter

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
I use the LP 4.5 as my secondary pair, when i feel like i need a change.
First, i like them. The toebox is bigger than on my primary trailrunners and zero drop is nice, but i feel like the 4mm drop on my others works better for me.
Regarding durability they are not that great unfortunately. The likely will last a camino, but will also likely look like "short of falling apart" afterwards.
Water resistance is easy however: there is none. But that doesnt matter that much when you are moving and they dry fast. A lot faster than anything with Goretex. And they are way more breathable.

One thing i might stress: Most people will need to get a while to get used to walking in a zero drop or low drop shoe. If you are not used to that, train it before doing a longer trip (like a camino) or you risk running into problems with your "movement apparatus" (g-translated that, sorry if wrong word)

edit: for my next "want to try" shoe i will test the Altra King MT, which is said to have slightly less cushioning but being a bit sturdier.
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
I've been running in them for years; when they only had two models. I was a happy "soul" when they started making trail shoes!
 

john newman

Kiwi Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Le Puy (2016)
Vézelay (2019)
Norte (2019)
Hi FRM
You wanted to know about durability. Last year I walked about 1100km from Vézelay to San Sebastián before I had to change mine for a new pair, to finish at Santiago, another 900km. So 2 pairs over 2000km. The first pair (shown on the left) were worn and comfortable but otherwise fine. You can see the wear on the balls of the feet. The uppers were fine except for an area on the instep where I scuff against the other foot. They handled rain and mud just fine. The second pair (on the right) are in better shape.
 

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BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
So I purchased a pair of Altra Lone Peak 4.5 a week or so ago. I though I would post my experience as a first time Altra wearer for those of you considering them. I was intrigued by the zero drop sole and by the posts I’ve read here by folks that swear by them. Also, they were on sale at the Altra website for $84 US, so it seemed a deal. Ive worn Vasque Breeze in their various iterations for years and they have served me well. However, wanted to try something lighter. Well.....

The first thing I noticed when I put them on was the wide toe box. My feet were immediately happy with the extra room. As many have pointed out, they are extremely light and require little or no break in. Walking in them was a bit strange the first few times. The zero drop sole changes your gait slightly and I found my posture changed, it feels as if I’m standing more upright and my hips seemed to shift forward. Also, the arch of my foot was sore, but in a good way. I’m guessing that the flat sole results in my arch arch absorbing more of the impact (which is what the arch is designed for), and the tenderness was my tendons and ligaments stretching and working in ways they aren’t used to. The tenderness was gone after wearing them for a few days.

I’ve done two 3+ mile walks on the local greenway. Its a black top surface with some gentle inclines and declines. The change in posture is more noticeable when going uphilll or downhill. Since your not walking with your heel raised like in normal boots you don’t have to compensate by leaning (this is my best guess). Also, it feel like my thighs are more active and my calves are more relaxed. I need to walk farther with load for a more Camino like test but so far I’m very pleased. I want to try the mid-rise, water resistant version (RSM) since this is what I would want to wear on a long walk.

After reading many reviews I do have concerns about durability and questions about the water resistance and would appreciate any insight those of you who have walked in Altra’s might have. I’m starting to think these may be my new go to hiking/walking footwear.

frm
3 long walks in Lone Peaks. V 3. , 3.5 both had slightly de laminated toes within a week but other than that held up fine for 700k each. V4 were better. For me they last about a 1000k then feel dead. I wouldn’t walk in anything else in warmish weather.

I wouldn’t like any sort of waterproofing for average weather. I wore them in rain on Norte with very good socks. They seemed to drain water well and my feet never got pickled. I dried them each night with newspapers.

I’d only consider waterproofing if I knew weather would be terrible the whole time.
 
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FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Thanks for the replies. My concerns about durability may be misplaced. I was most concerned about having to find new shoes midway on the Camino. That shouldn’t be an issue.
 

Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
I wore Altras exclusively for a year, and ended up with Achilles tendonitis in both legs. It gradually went away once I switched to Hokas.
 

john newman

Kiwi Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Le Puy (2016)
Vézelay (2019)
Norte (2019)
No worries FRM. Pleased it helped.
If it’s the Camino Francés you’re referring to, you should be fine as far as durability is concerned.
Buen Camino
John
 

JMac56

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2015)
CF+Fis(2016)
CP:Porto-SdC-Mux-Fis(2017)
CF:Leon-SdC(2017)
CF+Mux+Fis(2018)
Hi FRM, I love the Altra Lone Peak trail runners, having switched to them after trying Merrells and Salomons on Camino. I discard the originals and replace with gel inserts. Toe socks and elastic laces complete my ideal walking gear. The Altras seem to be good for about 1,000km however a change of inners might be worthwhile about half way. I would not suggest waterproof or water resistant shoes for the Camino. Buen Camino.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Hi FRM
You wanted to know about durability. Last year I walked about 1100km from Vézelay to San Sebastián before I had to change mine for a new pair, to finish at Santiago, another 900km. So 2 pairs over 2000km. The first pair (shown on the left) were worn and comfortable but otherwise fine. You can see the wear on the balls of the feet. The uppers were fine except for an area on the instep where I scuff against the other foot. They handled rain and mud just fine. The second pair (on the right) are in better shape.
Did you ever write about this Camino from Vezelay? What the scenery was like, markings, difficulty costs and accommodations?? Ha ha don’t want to know too much. If you did please let us know where. I did tje Norte when I was 64. Found it tough from Irún to Santander especially tough to Bilbao. But so beautiful. Stayed on it and didn’t switch to the Primitivo. That last section was seclusion heaven. Lived that Camino but it did kick my butt for a couple of weeks.
Oh yea wore my Brooks Cascadias as I always have and they held up great and no blisters. Love them.
 
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Chasrider

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
June/July 2018
Hi, Walked SHPdP to Santiago in a pair of Lone Peaks in 2018. Love these shoes/boots. 3 pairs low, and 3 pairs mid neo or rsm. Great customer service to inquiries.
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Chaserider,
Thanks. How well do the RSM work? I typically walk in the cooler months (Feb, March) and value somewhat dry feet. I realize nothing is truly waterproof, but would like to be able to walk through a light rain without my feet getting soaked.

frm
 

Chasrider

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
June/July 2018
Chaserider,
Thanks. How well do the RSM work? I typically walk in the cooler months (Feb, March) and value somewhat dry feet. I realize nothing is truly waterproof, but would like to be able to walk through a light rain without my feet getting soaked.

frm
I think rather well for light rain. I’m in Wisconsin USA, so a lot of winter hikes and wet Springs. First pair of rsm mid after 2 neo mids. Snow, rain, mud, water to a couple inches- no complaints
 

wallace

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None
So I purchased a pair of Altra Lone Peak 4.5 a week or so ago. I though I would post my experience as a first time Altra wearer for those of you considering them. I was intrigued by the zero drop sole and by the posts I’ve read here by folks that swear by them. Also, they were on sale at the Altra website for $84 US, so it seemed a deal. Ive worn Vasque Breeze in their various iterations for years and they have served me well. However, wanted to try something lighter. Well.....

The first thing I noticed when I put them on was the wide toe box. My feet were immediately happy with the extra room. As many have pointed out, they are extremely light and require little or no break in. Walking in them was a bit strange the first few times. The zero drop sole changes your gait slightly and I found my posture changed, it feels as if I’m standing more upright and my hips seemed to shift forward. Also, the arch of my foot was sore, but in a good way. I’m guessing that the flat sole results in my arch arch absorbing more of the impact (which is what the arch is designed for), and the tenderness was my tendons and ligaments stretching and working in ways they aren’t used to. The tenderness was gone after wearing them for a few days.

I’ve done two 3+ mile walks on the local greenway. Its a black top surface with some gentle inclines and declines. The change in posture is more noticeable when going uphilll or downhill. Since your not walking with your heel raised like in normal boots you don’t have to compensate by leaning (this is my best guess). Also, it feel like my thighs are more active and my calves are more relaxed. I need to walk farther with load for a more Camino like test but so far I’m very pleased. I want to try the mid-rise, water resistant version (RSM) since this is what I would want to wear on a long walk.

After reading many reviews I do have concerns about durability and questions about the water resistance and would appreciate any insight those of you who have walked in Altra’s might have. I’m starting to think these may be my new go to hiking/walking footwear.

frm
Hello all, being from Utah where altra was founded, I see quite a few on the trails here. Ah, the quest for the perfect shoe/boot is an ongoing thing for me. I have walked from St Jean to Finnestere using Salomon x ultra 3 mid gtx. Currently wearing the Olympus 4 model. The French way has a lot of hard surface walking and getting extra cushion underneath along with support is huge. Now if your younger you may be fine but for someone in my 50’s in good health, I want to cut down on the impact so I can keep exploring :). I’ve wanted to love the lone Peaks, but when I put them on in the store, the minimal cushion midsole is not enough for me. Olympus 4 is much better for hard surfaces using more cushion midsole and vibram sole. Timp 1.5 experience is good, more cushion than lone peaks but not as much upper reinforcement. The perfect Altra is a lone Peak 4 with the Olympus 4 midsole and its vibram sole. This ideal shoe would give the lone peak upper reinforcements with a cushy midsole and vibram sole. Now with that said, for my Del Norte planned this last spring, I chose the Hoka Stinson. I’ve put over a thousand miles of hard surface walking on and off trail this year. Excellent support, slightly wider toe box (not as much as Altra). My only complaint is it’s cheap hoka brand sole. It lasted 1000 miles but lacks the tread needed if you need more an aggressive tread.
Gortex or not is something I struggle with!
 
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Ian L

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
So I purchased a pair of Altra Lone Peak 4.5 a week or so ago. I though I would post my experience as a first time Altra wearer for those of you considering them. I was intrigued by the zero drop sole and by the posts I’ve read here by folks that swear by them. Also, they were on sale at the Altra website for $84 US, so it seemed a deal. Ive worn Vasque Breeze in their various iterations for years and they have served me well. However, wanted to try something lighter. Well.....

The first thing I noticed when I put them on was the wide toe box. My feet were immediately happy with the extra room. As many have pointed out, they are extremely light and require little or no break in. Walking in them was a bit strange the first few times. The zero drop sole changes your gait slightly and I found my posture changed, it feels as if I’m standing more upright and my hips seemed to shift forward. Also, the arch of my foot was sore, but in a good way. I’m guessing that the flat sole results in my arch arch absorbing more of the impact (which is what the arch is designed for), and the tenderness was my tendons and ligaments stretching and working in ways they aren’t used to. The tenderness was gone after wearing them for a few days.

I’ve done two 3+ mile walks on the local greenway. Its a black top surface with some gentle inclines and declines. The change in posture is more noticeable when going uphilll or downhill. Since your not walking with your heel raised like in normal boots you don’t have to compensate by leaning (this is my best guess). Also, it feel like my thighs are more active and my calves are more relaxed. I need to walk farther with load for a more Camino like test but so far I’m very pleased. I want to try the mid-rise, water resistant version (RSM) since this is what I would want to wear on a long walk.

After reading many reviews I do have concerns about durability and questions about the water resistance and would appreciate any insight those of you who have walked in Altra’s might have. I’m starting to think these may be my new go to hiking/walking footwear.

frm
I've had a pair of LP 3.5s for a couple of years. I have no idea how many miles I've put on them, but I'd say my experience has been the same as John Newman, besides normal wear on the ball of the foot, they are still in pretty good shape. I've been mostly hiking in my Altra Timp 1.5s this year, they have more cushioning and fit me better than the LPs.

I've also switched to Altra Escalante running shoes as my everyday shoe. I just don't like the feel of walking with raised heels or insoles anymore. The Altras allow the arch of my foot to act like a spring, it seems to make walking and running so much easier.
 

Ian L

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
Hello all, being from Utah where altra was founded, I see quite a few on the trails here. Ah, the quest for the perfect shoe/boot is an ongoing thing for me. I have walked from St Jean to Finnestere using Salomon x ultra 3 mid gtx. Currently wearing the Olympus 4 model. The French way has a lot of hard surface walking and getting extra cushion underneath along with support is huge. Now if your younger you may be fine but for someone in my 50’s in good health, I want to cut down on the impact so I can keep exploring :). I’ve wanted to love the lone Peaks, but when I put them on in the store, the minimal cushion midsole is not enough for me. Olympus 4 is much better for hard surfaces using more cushion midsole and vibram sole. Timp 1.5 experience is good, more cushion than lone peaks but not as much upper reinforcement. The perfect Altra is a lone Peak 4 with the Olympus 4 midsole and its vibram sole. This ideal shoe would give the lone peak upper reinforcements with a cushy midsole and vibram sole. Now with that said, for my Del Norte planned this last spring, I chose the Hoka Stinson. I’ve put over a thousand miles of hard surface walking on and off trail this year. Excellent support, slightly wider toe box (not as much as Altra). My only complaint is it’s cheap hoka brand sole. It lasted 1000 miles but lacks the tread needed if you need more an aggressive tread.
Gortex or not is something I struggle with!
I will give the Olympus a try next Camino. I think the Timps would probably be sufficient for all the hard surfaces, but I'm not getting any younger either!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances. 2001
Via de la plata 2008
Arles -Piemonte-Frances-Cee 2014
(Bastan-Francés) 2019
A friend and I walked in Frances in May 2 years ago. We both purchased lone Peak fours for the trip and replaced the insoles with super feet green.
I am a long time fan of zero drop shoes and Calvin had no trouble adapting to the difference. we agreed that downhill is significantly more comfortable with the zero drop shoes.
He chose the waterproof model and I purchased the one that ventilates the air or changes the water depending on the day. We ended up agreeing that waterproofing was a poor choice. It was just as wet with a full days walking when it rained, and much slower to dry and After a days walk in warm weather the difference in smell was spectacular and the non-waterproof shoes were dryer.
Both shoes lasted the entire trip but were pretty much worn out.
We would both pick the Altras to walk another camino and agree the waterproof shoes are not the best choice for that time of year.
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and experiences with Altra. One last question. Have any of you used the gaiters that Altra sells to use with their shoes? The gaiters that I have are designed with a heel in mind and I dont see the working with zero drop soles. Thanks.

frm
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
We didn't use Altra's own gaiters, but we did make use of their gaiter-trap for our own homemade version. I cut off the tops of some old socks and fastened the raw edge in the Altra velcro gaiter-trap. It worked fine for keeping out small stones and lasted for the entire 3 months.
 
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john newman

Kiwi Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Le Puy (2016)
Vézelay (2019)
Norte (2019)
Did you ever write about this Camino from Vezelay? What the scenery was like, markings, difficulty costs and accommodations?? Ha ha don’t want to know too much. If you did please let us know where. I did tje Norte when I was 64. Found it tough from Irún to Santander especially tough to Bilbao. But so beautiful. Stayed on it and didn’t switch to the Primitivo. That last section was seclusion heaven. Lived that Camino but it did kick my butt for a couple of weeks.
Oh yea wore my Brooks Cascadias as I always have and they held up great and no blisters. Love them.
Hi IT56ny
The pictorial blog is on johnstravels.co.nz
John
BC
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2018)
Hey! I have Lone Peak 4.0. When I did my Camino I had solomon's, but I am now a total Altra convert. I wore a pair of Altra's on a long-term hike where I hiked in them every day, average of 20km per day, in rough terrain (mountains, sharp shale, bushwhacking, etc - nothing like the camino) and I took the opportunity to replace them in a town-stop after 800-900km. There's a pic below of mine and my partner's shoes on the day they were replaced. They don't look that bad, but they felt blown-out at that point and my foot was going to bust through the side any day. I also included a picture of earlier on in the same trek to show where the majority of direct failure was occurring, and where the foot-busting-through concern came from.

I believe if I had started my Camino on a new pair of Altras, they could have lasted the ~1000-1100km that I walked, since the Camino terrain is so much less 'sharp'. Most of the direct damage to the outer part of the shoes occurred on sharp shale-covered mountain passes. Otherwise the 'wear' was in stomping down the foam.

RE: water-proof - these are the standard kind (not the intended-to-be-water-proof kind) and they are definitely not at all water proof. If the grass/trail was wet or if it was raining, my feet were wet. They are screen doors. However, they also dry rapidly for the same reason, which is why I liked them.
 

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FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
@spreadsheetdirtbags ,
Thanks for sharing your experience with Altas. The pictures are very informative. After wearing the shoes for 3 weeks, I’m convinced they will work for me. The forums once again come to the rescue! Best to all.

frm
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Year of past OR future Camino
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
Two Max damped pairs in 1-1,5 oversize, depending

One Altra with no drop

One Hoka, New Balance or Asics with 3-5 mm drop

Edit ; Hoka has Wide and Extra Wide models

Brand difference in compounds/tech build up between the two pair adds value for the prevention of hurting myself

I choose the most damped models for long distance road running and no Gore tex for me....

I change up when noticing something small but relevant all the same. Goal is to brake up the monotone stress and relieve unavoidable repetitve strain on ligaments as much as possible

Additionally

Toe socks
Ankle compression socks
Silicone toe caps if needed
Sports tape if needed
Custom inlay soles
Nordic three piece walking poles if needed

Edit 2; With two different types of custom inlay soles I have in reality four different variants of footwear to choose from

With this concept I will bee on foot for weeks on end with minimum risk for injury


Ultreia!
 

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Chasrider

Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
June/July 2018
In 2018 at age 50, Walked SJPdP to Finisterre in 27 days in Lone Peak 3.0. Toe socks. One small blister. No issues, love em.
On my 4th pair of LP low, and 3rd Neo/RSM mids. The best!!
 
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DreamHiker2

DreamHiker2
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I finally bought some Lone Peaks early last year after all the hype but found that even with my orthotics they just had too much flex in the foot arch area and I got plantar fasciitis for the first time on a short 7 day hike. Yes they were comfortable walking around the neighborhood/daily walks but with high arches they just didn't stack up out on the trail doing longer distances for me... for what it's worth. Enjoy your camino
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Year of past OR future Camino
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
Have to ask;

Did you use custom inlay soles adressing your individual foot shape...?

If not, will you consider trying that route out??

I think that solution is like a before and after in regards to really look into compensating the uniqueness of our feet...

Best of luck.

Ultreia!
 

DreamHiker2

DreamHiker2
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Have to ask;

Did you use custom inlay soles adressing your individual foot shape...?

If not, will you consider trying that route out??

I think that solution is like a before and after in regards to really look into compensating the uniqueness of our feet...

Best of luck.

Ultreia!
Hi, no I have custom orthotics and they were fitted into the shoe by my Pediatrist
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Year of past OR future Camino
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
Hi, no I have custom orthotics and they were fitted into the shoe by my Pediatrist
Hi, no I have custom orthotics and they were fitted into the shoe by my Pediatrist
Sorry to put in a loop here, but it’s an important focus we need to explain to the community....

The shoes itself is not the cause of this condition in my learning curve with several 1000+ Caminos

It’s a valid warning to share hands on experience that the height of support to footarch in my soles had to bee adjusted two times by pediatrist...last time was on my break for Christmas last January ....having similar challenges as yourselves...


To share knowledge on how to come about is key...

Agree?
 

DreamHiker2

DreamHiker2
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Sorry to put in a loop here, .........

To share knowledge on how to come about is key...

Agree?
My orthotics were for pronating (ankles rolling slightly out) and yes I have high arches but it's not been much of a problem ever before --- so yes the specifics of ones foot is important and our feet also change with age- so I totally agree, sharing experiences can help others.

My experience -I found the Altra Lone Peaks just didn't have enough stability for me as the footplate flex just had too much of a movement range for me and it just might be something people who need any type of support need to take into consideration, and a zero drop doesn't suit everyone (people also check out PCT vloggers who walk 4,260km who love them & those who had issues).

My husband has no issues with his and loves all Altra shoes (he wears Provision range for local walks as they have a less aggressive lug pattern). He did need a small adjustment period to get used to the zero drop which is how he first tried Provision in their range at the recommendation of the store - he experienced a slight tightness in his calves for about a week and then no issue.

Thanks for sharing your previous thread..

Have a fantastic day and Buen Camino.
 
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