I was completely settled on the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 trail shoes for my hike, but Altra has upgraded them to 3.5. I tried ordering version 3.0 on-line, but they are discontinued. So, I’ve ordered a version 3.5 and I have to say they are an improvement.
From a size and foot feel, they are the same. What has changed is that there are now four points to connect your gaiters, they have improved the outer structure by reinforcing the skeleton, and they changed the ventilating fabric.
My Dirty Girl gaiters only have two connecting points, so the four point gaiter doesn’t help me. The outer structure improvement will hopefully improve durability. The biggest complaint about them on the trail is that you go through four or five pairs. I didn’t have any issues like that with my 3.0’s and they have a good 400 miles on them.
The fabric change might be a big deal. They are now using a fabric with smaller pores. This should reduce the amount of sand and dust that gets in while still allowing the shoes to breathe. Reducing the sand and dust will reduce one of the key ingredients to blisters. On my six-day shakedown, my feet were always wet and muddy. The 3.0 shoe did a great job of drying itself off as I walked. We’ll see if the 3.5 version does just as well.