When you begin looking at shoes for your hike most, like myself, will think that they want to get shoes which are waterproof to help keep the water from getting inside the shoes and making your feet soaked. This is actually not the way you should go though, crazy right!
Are Altra Lone Peak Waterproof? No the Altra Lone Peak series of shoes are not waterproof, they are made out of a mesh like fabric which allows the water to leave and enter the shoe which allows for much faster drying and better use while on the trail.
Why would you want to have your trail runners not be waterproof you may be wondering, well a lot has to do with why waterproofing is so useful in other cases. Waterproofing is to help keep you dry and to keep water from getting inside your gear, the issue is it is just as bad at letting it out afterwards.
While many will start with some fancy high end waterproof shoes to protect their feet from the moisture outside almost all will abandon them as soon as they reach the first gear store they can find on the trail.
This is in fact due to the issues that waterproofing has on your feet and how it impacts your shoes and their ability to get dry, you see for all the benefit of stopping water from getting in the same waterproofing stops the moisture from being able to leave!
This means you end up with wet and soggy feet which lasts, in some cases, all day long. This causes your feet to start breaking down and they get wrinkly and then you need to worry about trench foot due to over saturation, definitely not how anyone wants their hike to end!
Unlike a jacket or other outer gear you will expect to not need to get wet internally. When you hike though you will eventually either get rained on very hard and soak your shoes, or the more common result of needing to cross a stream or river.
When you get waterproof gear the whole reason for the purchase is the barrier waterproofing provides to be water repellent and to stop water from getting within the material.
When your shoes get wet when waterproof they will stop that same liquid from leaving the shoes, this leads to a much longer time of your feet being in the moisture rich environment which can lead to a host of foot care issues.
There have been many times where people have said that they got their waterproof shoes wet, then they get to camp and they are still wet. They then place them near a fire to try and dry them and they still are wet or at least damp in the morning, this is a breeding ground for diseases also.
Unlike the waterproof shoes most trail runners are about being good at breathing and letting everything pour in but equally pour back out, this helps them to dry out much faster and with much more efficiency then the waterproof versions.
This helps to take care of your feet by allowing them to breathe and dry out as the shoes are drying out, this means your feet can dry out on the trail after the water crossing and not be soaked when you get to camp and maybe still wet in the morning when you have to start again.
Most people associate waterproof with "better" gear for when they hike and for many parts of your gear this is more than likely true. The real downsides for trail runners if they are waterproof is that they won't dry as fast and this leads to soggy feet and issues with your feet.
You should instead want your trail runners to be light and very open to the air to fast drain out any water taken on but also to help accelerate your drying process. This is the part that is hampered by waterproofing, it is meant to keep water out but when water is let in it is actually stopped from leaving.
The Lone Peak was designed to tackle gnarly mountain peaks any time of day, any pace, whatever you choose! The crazy combo of aggressive outsole and tough upper make this one of the hardest working shoes you'll ever own.