Hiking in adverse conditions means that you need trail runners with a solid tread and quick drying. I looked at the Altra King MT’s one day and thought these would be the perfect shoe for me on the Appalachian Trail. I bought a pair of them and hiked with them for 500 miles and then used a second pair for an additional 200 miles. Though they weren’t my favorite shoe they had some great features.
King MT Initial Look
- 9.7 oz per shoe. About what we expect from Altra trail runners they seem to range from 9 to 11 oz.
- 6mm outsole lugs
- Stack Height: 19mm.
So what we have from the specifications is a different breed of Altra. The King MT’s have a bit less cushioning than the Superior, yet much beefier tread. You of course have your usual zero drop stack height from the Altra line. The shoes look fast, you feel like you can take on the world no matter the conditions. Yet, the looks are kind of like you rolled out of kindergarten with the velcro strap. Regardless, the looks aren’t what count instead its how they handle and hold up.
Thoughts after 500 miles.
Tread and cushioning
I never had an issue with the tread on these shoes, no matter how muddy, slippery, or even dry it was outside. The tread didn’t even wear down to a point where I began to worry that they would need to be replaced. The shoes were fast as I expected them to be and overall while I was wearing them on soft single track I thoroughly enjoyed them. The cushioning was spot on for most single track, once I was hiking on about 20-30 miles of rocks a day in Pennsylvania I started to have issues with the cushioning and hoped for something a bit more. So that’s when I decided to switch to the Superior 3.0. You can read my full review on the Superiors over here.
I had these shoes in a size 10.5 US, which is the same that I use in the Superior. So I found them to fit true to size. I found certain Altra models could be all over the place with sizing but I thought these were right on.
The main issue I found with these shoes was the durability. The uppers started to rid within the first week that I had them, granted that was around 150 miles. They continued to rip further over the course of the next 350 miles that I used them. The holes became too large to deal with even though the tread and rest of the shoe had a lot of life left in it. With the issues I encountered so early, I reached out to Altra Support and they took care of me. So definitely a plus on that category!
The second pair I received, had the same issue with the upper. Hopefully if they remake the King MT’s they will re-enforce the upper like in the Superior or Lone Peaks. The durability was the main flaw of the shoe but I wouldn’t discount them based on that alone.
If you’re in the market for a shoe that you are most importantly looking go fast on muddy and slippery terrain. Then these are the shoes for you. If you’re headed out for a thru hike or looking to get the best value of a pair of shoes for trail running then I would stay away from these shoes. The issues with the upper will likely only allow you to get 300-400 miles out of these shoes compared to the 1000 miles that I put on a pair of Superiors.