The shoe what breaks out from the regular. The shoe what handles nearly any offroad terrain. The shoe what will go as well for a vertical kilometre, as for a 20km alpine running race, an obstacle course or a Crossfit outdoor workout.
It is stable, it is low to the ground, it has enormous vibram outsole lugs. There is a velcro strap around the midfoot because the King is made to run the fastest possible on any angle. Hammering the uphills ? Keep it loose to enjoy maximal freedom of movement in the ankle joint. Tag the peak, tighten down the velcro in a split second without wasting time to relace your shoes and plunge in to the descent. The large surface of this band will not cut into your instep as to tight laces would do. I feel a similar sensation towards silicon laces. Tight as needed, but not restricted.
The breathable mesh together with the toe bumper and the inner reinforced plantar protector create a breathable security bubble for your feet. It protects, secures, stabilizes.
However there are not only unicorns, but some factors to improve too. These are not necessarily negatives, but evolution does not stop.
The rock-plate is only half-length, so the fore-foot is slightly too exposed to possible punctures. This will be actually mitigated in Version 1.5 as Golden Harper, Altra founder points out in his latest shoe video.
The lacing system works fine, although there is a minor issue with the two top lace eyelets. They have absolutely zero self-protection. They are just holes in the shoe. You must be very careful with them, not to tighten your laces too much and definitely not too fast. The aggravated tension can burn through the eyelets. I had to handle some guarantee returns about this, so make sure you mind your lacing ! For all my Altra shoes I use the ankle-lock-loop lacing and I recommend to you, wide footed beasts too.
Who is this shoe for ? How and why ?
Anybody wants to tackle muddy, rocky or even snowy ground conditions, this Altra will handle it. Obstacle racing, orienteering, fell and trail running, vertical challenges.
It can definitely go the distance, but you must adapt. Even if you were a hard core zero drop user, this shoe is different. It is stiffer, thinner and more responsive and can zap up the impact level, if stride quality got too low. Reinforce your ankles and calves first, then focus on your complete posterior chain. Practice correct form including posture and stride. Work your way up towards longer distances gradually.
I find that regardless of the possibility of going long in this shoe, I would still choose the Superior for longer distances. I just prefer the feeling of it. Different cushioning, different flexibility.
Is this shoe for you ? Definitely it is, just need to invest thoughts and time for dedicated practice ! Here you go, the Altra KING MT ! Underneath you find 2 review videos, one in English and one in French !