We’ve got something really different in today’s review, the new Altra King MT. Visually it’s got something total different going on, that much is clear, so why the strap, how does it feel, do you need it, and honestly, what is this shoe designed for even? Also, the strap is one thing, but lugs on this shoe are like nothing Altra has gone with prior. We jump into all that and more in this review, so let’s dive in.
The upper has a ton of Ripstop polyurethane (TPU) overlays which give you a ton of additional support. There is a lot of room in the upper though, so depending on shape/width of your foot, then you may notice a little movement in there. This is where that strap on the middle of the upper comes in to play. You can really lock your feet in there which is a little weird during your first few uses.
The mid on here uses Ego which we just loved on he Escalante and it does a solid job here as well. There isn’t a lot of cushioning and you do get quite a bit of ground feel, but what is there is light and responsive. There is an integrated rock plate as well, which does a good job protecting your foot, but you can really feel the trail in these.
The King MT is made from Vibram and features 6mm lugs. The lugs have a bi-directional design which should support breaking and gripping on lateral and medial sides especially on loose and wet conditions. The bottom of the King MT is about as aggressive as they come and they grip really well.
Style & Aesthetics
The Altra King MT comes in three colorways for men and women and both are very similar, only differentiated by primary color (blue, red, and black) with white as the accent. The upper features an almost screen printed effect on that highly durable material giving you a gradient effect that also mirrors snow capped mountains. The shoe feels a lot like the Superior 3.0, but with a velcro strap added. The addition of this strap is honestly a little off putting to me, but I have to remember it’s targeting the shoe to a different market and they aren’t the first to do this.
Let me start off by really just saying it, the King MT is not a great trail shoe, it’s really a much better OCR shoe. Altra has so many better trail shoes in the lineup at varying comfort levels, but everything about this shoe screams running in slop including fel running.
The lugs on the King MT outsole grip like no other shoe in the Altra lineup, so traction is high. That being said, the upper material is a little sloppy so on technical singletrack you move around a lot in that area. The velcro strap is there to hold you in tighter, but on trail runs I still found the foot to move quite a bit. The EGO mid I do love and honestly this feels like an Escalante with lugs. I decided to test my theory and run it in some gnarly sloppy mud and wetness. Because of the conditions, my pace had to be slower and grip was paramount and the King MT handled this much better. It also has a bit of weight on it, probably more than you’d expect and my guess is it’s all in the outsole which improves stability and contact. All of these conditions and the performance really mirrored things you might experience in a Spartan Race or a Tough Mudder and for those scenarios, I would recommend it.
If you are looking for an OCR shoe, then definitely check out the Altra King MT. The upper repels water and mud well, but still breathes efficiently. The mid is that amazing EGO mid from the Escalante which is super responsive, and the outer… wow, those lugs, they grab on and don’t let go. If however you are looking for trail shoes, then I would look elsewhere as Altra has much stronger alternatives that perform better.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 10.2oz (size 9)
- Drop: 4mm heel/toe
- Stack Height: 19mm
- MSRP: $140.00
- Available: Now