Altra King Mt 1.5

9.0
9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0)] = Runnerclick score (9.0)/10

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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Altra King Mt 1.5 Review Facts
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The zero-drop Altra King MT gets a few minor tweaks in the 1.5 edition of the shoe. The MT is filled with lightweight cushioning and is a great choice for trail running or obstacle course racing. The shoe is meant to be grippy, responsive, and allow for precision agility on tough terrain. It’s best used by runners heading into situations that require wet traction (e.g. mud, snow, or ToughMudder races). It’s hard to find anything wrong with the incredibly versatile Altra King. A few updates, including added drainage ports, bring it up another level and make it even more capable of handling situations for which it was created.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Incredible traction
  • Outsole holds up even on pavement
  • Great ground-feel
  • True to size
  • Durable
  • Roomy toe box
Cons
  • Heavier than some expected
  • Not everyone loved the colorways available
  • Some users questioned the usefulness of the midfoot strap
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The King's outsole is made up of Vibram brand MegaGrip rubber. Distributed throughout the sole are thick 6mm lugs for added traction. The outsole hasn't changed much since the original Mt and users had the same extremely positive reaction to the 1.5's outsole design. The sole delivers reliable traction on literally any surface you can imagine. Running on snow or in the thick goopy mud isn't a problem in the Altra King. The outsole performs extremely well, though it does add a bit of weight to the shoe. When not running on trails, the outsole feels flexible. When running into a pavement on a trail run, the lugs don't feel weird at all. Despite the aggressive tread pattern and 6mm lugs, the Mt provides great ground-feel, too.

Overall, the 1.5 remains a great shoe for ToughMudder races, for gnarly winter conditions, and anything else you might put it through. Users also liked the shoe for hiking.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Altra's midsole is basically the same as before. The shoe features full-length Altra EGO cushioning. The design is meant to provide lightweight cushioning that's best for short distance trail runs. The cushioning is responsive, too. Layered with the EGO material is a StoneGuard plate for protection from trail elements like rocks and twigs.

Reviewers liked that even with the StoneGuard plate and lightweight EGO cushioning, the shoe provided good ground-feel. Users felt the cushioning was adequate, though a few mentioned they would have preferred extra midsole padding. Reviewers said that the rock plate provided good quality protection.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Mt 1.5 features a few upper updates including added drainage holes, a softer heel cup, and enhanced midfoot support thanks to the slightly altered positioning of the midfoot strap.

The shoe features a naturally shaped toe box, which is the case with all Altra brand footwear. Covering the shoe is a nylon ripstop material with drainage holes in the midfoot and forefoot areas. This helps the shoe shed water when users encounter puddles or streams on the run. The 1.5 has more drainage holes than its predecessor. TPU overlays provide support as does a unique FootLock strap positioned in the midfoot area. The strap has been moved slightly to improve the fit and support of the 1.5.

Reviewers found the shoe to be true to size and said that the fit of the 1.5 felt better than the original King. Reviewers liked the secure fit, roomy toe box, and noted that the upper design was great for keeping things like mud and dirt out of the shoe. Users felt the upper was breathable and great at draining water. Many reviewers, however, still didn't really like the midfoot strap even with its revised placement. They mentioned that it was tough to precisely adjust the strap and although it certainly felt like it added some extra support it was very easy to over-tighten or unintentionally leave the midfoot fit too loose. Reviewers also noted that the toe bumper was a little small and covered less of the forefoot than they wanted. Overall, though, reviewers liked the upper construction and felt it was durable.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Mt 1.5's midsole contains lightweight Altra EGO cushioning and while it's a fairly lightweight trail shoe, some reviewers found it heavier than they initially expected. A few components add a bit of heft to the shoe. The StoneGuard rock plate and thick outsole with 6mm lugs certainly pile on a bit of weight. Still, the Altra shoe is one of the lighter trail options available. The women's version weighs a nice clean 7 ounces and the men's just a bit above that at 8.5 ounces. In the end, reviewers did say that they felt agile running on trails and through obstacle courses in the King Mt.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

It's tough to find a balance between breathability and protection, especially in a trail shoe. The Mt 1.5 seems to excel in this regard. The ripstop nylon upper isn't just super durable, it's also great for keeping stuff on the trails and out of the inside of the shoe. You'd think breathability might be a challenge for the 1.5 but reviewers found the upper to their liking and airy enough for efforts in the heat. New added drainage holes dot the midfoot and forefoot so water has a way to escape. Reviewers also appreciated, unsurprisingly, Altra's trademark foot-shaped toe box. The wide design of the forefoot area allows for natural foot positioning so toes don't get scrunched up together as you run.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Reviewers seemed to find the Mt 1.5 fairly comfortable. A few users felt the midsole cushioning (Altra EGO) was a bit lacking but otherwise, the majority found the midsole felt good. Reviewers also liked that the King provided a good balance of ground-feel and protection. The StoneGuard plate and 6mm lugs offer protection while the Altra EGO cushioning pads the ride. The foot-shaped toe box also helps increase the comfort level when wearing the 1.5. A softer heel cup in this version of the shoe is another comfort upgrade and so is the improved midfoot strap positioning. Reviewers also liked the new drainage holes, which reviewers said worked as intended. More drainage holes mean less time spent with your socks sopping up moisture.
Style
Style

Style

Style is where a few reviewers weren't too happy. Many users found the Altra 1.5's design aggressive and tacky. The colors aren't ultra stylish and trendy, they're a little loud, and some might even say that they clash. The design didn't put everyone off, however. But if you're looking for a hip and cool color scheme, look elsewhere. The King comes in three colorways for both men and women. For men, the shoe is available in grey/black, red/black, and yellow/green. For women, a grey/back version is also available as well as a pink/grey option and a red/purple style.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Altra King Mt is a super durable piece of footwear. It's not only great for handling tough terrain thanks to its outsole, the shoe itself is a solid package that will hold up to repeated abuse. The outsole is thick with tough 6mm lugs. They provide traction but are also built to stand up to repeated use. The upper is also tough as nails. Made of ripstop nylon, encounters with sharp trail debris won't leave you with a torn upper. Reviewers had only good things to say about their experiences with the Mt 1.5 and its ability to last throughout training. It is, after all, a shoe built for hardcore situations.
Protection
Protection

Protection

What do you need protection for? If you're running in the snow, mud, and through obstacles, there's plenty of things to keep your feet safe from. Rocks, pebbles, sharp sticks, and garbage left behind by impolite trail visitors to name a few. All of these can ruin your day and potentially a training season. The Mt 1.5's StoneGuard midsole plate acts as a protective layer against obstacles like these, so you can feel good about taking steps in any direction without having to scan the ground twice. The upper, made of tear resistant nylon acts as a barrier against wayward debris. Drainage holes keep water out, even if it manages to get in, so you're not stuck in a sopping wet mess. The shoe's Altra EGO cushioning offers lightweight protection, too. A toe bumper at the tip of the shoe also keeps the front of your feet from getting battered and bruised but reviewers did note that the cap felt a bit minimal for a trail shoe.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

With a combination of lightweight cushioning and a firm StoneGuard plate in its midsole, the Altra King 1.5 provides an agile, responsive ride for wearers. Despite an outsole dotted with thick 6mm lugs, the shoe provides excellent ground-feel, according to reviewers. Even off-trail, reviewers noted that the ride feel didn't suffer and on the pavement, the lugs or stiff rock plate didn't get in the way.
Support
Support

Support

While reviewers couldn't seem to agree on whether the midfoot strap was a good idea or not, it certainly does add an extra element of support. Since the original King, the strap has been re-positioned for a better fit. Reviewers still found it difficult to incrementally adjust the midfoot strap and some users would have preferred the shoe without any strap at all.

The strap, though, isn't the only element that helps deliver a supportive fit. The sturdy upper provides a secure fit. Reviewers also noted that the 1.5 fit much better overall than its predecessor.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Trails, trails, trails! That's what the Mt 1.5 is for. Snowy trails, muddy trails, well-packed dirt trails, and tough obstacle races with all sorts of surfaces and obstacles. The Altra King Mt is outfitted with a ton of features that make it ready to conquer off-road situations. The outsole, with its 6mm lugs, is grippy but thick and durable. Reviewers said that the sole performed extremely well in numerous conditions and on a number of different surface types. On pavement, the lugs don't feel uncomfortable and the sticky Vibram MegaGrip rubber doesn't feel cumbersome or intrusive. Even with a StoneGuard rock plate for protection and aggressive lugs, the Altra shoe provides remarkable ground-feel according to reviewers. To combat trail debris, the upper is tear resistant and acts as a sturdy wall to keep loose rocks and dust out of the shoe. Water drainage holes are another trail-ready element included in the Mt 1.5. With more drainage ports than in the original King, the shoe keeps water out and dries quicker than before.
Price
Price

Price

It's a fact of life, trail shoes tend to be more expensive than regular road running shoes. But there's a reason for the higher price tag. The Altra King 1.5 Mt is extremely durable and offers unbeatable protection. The shoe also provides awesome traction, especially on wet surfaces, which is something not all trail shoes excel at. While it may be tempting to save a bit of money by choosing a budget trail shoe, you simply won't be getting the same kind of technology as with the 1.5. The Altra King is a long-lasting trail model that delivers on what it promises.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Altra King's best feature is probably its outsole. The Vibram MegaGrip design and aggressive tread with 6mm lugs provide unbeatable traction. While some trail shoes can't handle wet surfaces that well, the 1.5 Mt delivers incredible traction on a variety of slick surfaces including snow, mud, and wet grass. This ability to tackle slippery ground makes the King a great candidate for obstacle course racing, where water obstacles are common and traction is paramount.

Don't worry about the aggressive lugs getting in the way when you encounter road crossings or other paved areas on your run. Reviewers loved that the Altra King felt comfortable underfoot no matter what surface they were running on.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Despite having a stiff StoneGuard rock plate and thick Vibram MegaGrip outsole, the Altra King is flexible enough that wearers felt agile on technical trails.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Changes like a softer heel cup and improved midfoot strap have helped to improve stability in the Mt 1.5. Reviewers found the trail shoe quite stable thanks to its superior outsole and secure fit. The midfoot strap helps somewhat by allowing users to customize the fit of that area. Reviewers agreed that the fit of the 1.5 was much better than the 1.0 but still found the midfoot strap difficult to adjust accordingly. Some reviewers also pointed out that the lack of a heel counter affected stability somewhat. That said, users still found the King Mt very stable. The zero-drop design offers a low ride height for enhanced stability and the true to size fit helps the upper and its TPU overlays deliver the right amount of support for wearers.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Altra King 1.5 features a zero-drop design. The drop height is the same as in the previous version of the MT. The low to the ground construction promotes a more stable ride and helps enhance ground-feel, which users were surprised was so prominent. Even with the thick 6mm lugs and rock plate, wearers felt well-protected but comfortable underfoot.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Zero drop design
- 19mm stack height
- NEW added drainage holes
- NEW softer heel cup construction
- NEW re-positioned midfoot strap for better fit and support
- Natural shape toe box
- Full-length Altra EGO midsole cushioning
- Vibram MegaGrip outsole construction
- 6mm outsole lugs
- Ripstop nylon upper
- Midsole StoneGuard for protection
- Supportive TPU overlays
- FootLock midfoot strap
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you expect to run on challenging terrain during training or want a good shoe that can handle the unexpected during an obstacle race, the Altra King Mt 1.5 is an excellent choice. It delivers incredible traction and an outsole that feels good on or off-road. While the design might feel a bit garish to some, the rest of the shoe delivers on what it promises. Confidently run on wet surfaces from snowy trails to freshly rained on grass. The durable King won't need replacing as often as a regular running shoe thanks to its ultra-tough construction. With new drainage holes to keep your feet a little drier, a softer heel cup for comfort, and a newly positioned midfoot strap, the 1.5 is a definite improvement over the 1.0.