About five years ago I read Born To Run, and as a result became very interested in natural or “minimalist” footwear. At the time there weren’t many options. I bought a few pair of the toe shoes that people love to hate, and beyond that I just went barefoot for most of the summer. As the years have passed, footwear that mimics a more natural experience has gained popularity every year. There used to be very few options but now we see entire companies focusing exclusively on minimalist soles and zero drop heels.
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Until recently there have been almost no options for hiking boots in this category, and Altra is helping to change that. They’ve designed the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid as a lightweight, natural fit hiking boot that I think a lot of hikers are going to appreciate.
For starters, at 13.3 oz it’s incredibly light for a mid hiking boot. Next, the zero drop heel and wide toe box make for a very comfy hike on the trail. The toe box is also reinforced for extra protection from rocks, which will come in handy for fastpackers or cross trainers.
The most impressive thing about the Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid is the fact that they’ve developed a waterproof boot that is still incredibly lightweight. This is due mostly to the abrasion-resistant waterproof mesh that has minimal seams. The Polartec upper will also keep you warm and comfortable on the trail. As with any lightweight hiking boot, you’re probably not going to get 10 years out of them as you might with a leather boot. You’re also not going running in your leather boots, so it’s not an unexpected tradeoff.
Altra designed a pretty unique boot here, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for in a hiking boot.