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Mount to Coast R1 Review
By Matthew Klein and David Salas

People use a variety of shoes for ultramarathon distances. Everything from normal daily trainers, to trail shoes to super racing shoes are utilized depending on individual comfort. While the trail scene has shoes designed for ultramarathon distances on soft surfaces, ultramarathons on road are a completely different beast. The Mount to Coast R1 is a shoe specifically tailored to ultramarathon racing and training The shoe takes some inspiration from the automotive industry to give a durable and consistent ride for many miles to come. Featuring a hybrid PEBA midsole, consistency with cushioning is a key component that follows this shoe over long miles. A unique, partially adjustable upper has some elements to help with swelling in the feet when running ultra marathon efforts. A different type of racing shoe tuned for specific racing speeds, the Mount to Coast R1 is one of the first ultramarathon-specific racers on the market. 

Mount to Coast R1
Price: $160 at Mount to Coast
Weight: 8.5 oz, 241 g (unisex men's size 9 / women's size 10.5)
Stack Height: 35 mm / 27 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Shoe Purpose: Ultramarathon Road Racing Shoe

Pros: Durable and consistent ride, room for swelling accommodation
Cons: Not the most responsive midsole outside of easier or longer efforts


The Mount to Coast R1 is an ultramarathon racing shoe that gives a consistent and durable ride underfoot. The foam has good PEBA cushioning and holds its structure really well upon load. The upper is comfortable and does have some mechanisms in place to help with swelling accommodation through the forefoot when running ultra marathon distances. This is launch model for Mount to Coast, which aims to focus on ultradistance running footwear.

: Craft Pro Endur Distance
PAST MODEL: New model

(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

Matt: The Mount to Coast R1 fits me mostly true to size in my men's US size 10. The fit is fairly normal throughout with a slightly closer fit and stretchy upper. Initially, I felt like the shoe was a bit short, but this is due to a slight taper at the toe box. There is room in the forefoot, but I would normal but not wide as advertised. The upper mesh is a bit lower volume but has some gentle stretch to it that provides a secure hold without being compressive. The midfoot is normal in width with a well-gusseted moderately thick tongue. There are two types of laces present at the midfoot. The top part features traditional laces that allowed me to adjust how locked in my ankle was. The bottom half features lock laces which took me some time to figure out. I was able to adjust the volume in the forefoot slightly and found that allowing maximal room made the shoe feel more comfortable for me. This adjustability is good, but will have more flexibility for adjustment if you have a normal to lower volume foot.

The heel fits normal in width with a highly padded heel collar and a stiff heel counter. I did not notice the stiff counter with all the upper padding, but those with sensitivities may notice or will notice as the padding compresses over time. In inner liner of the upper is really comfortable against bare skin and I have several miles sockless without issue. The only thing I am concerned about is that I have had some rubbing from the stitching of the farthest underside of the lace area, so sockless running should be approaching carefully and cautiously. The insole is removable, so those wanting to utilize orthotics or alternative insoles will be able to do so. 

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Matt well: Saucony Guide 17, ASICS Kayano 30, Hoka Gaviota 5, Saucony Endorphin Elite, Nike Ultrafly
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Saucony Kinvara 14
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2, Altra Timp 5

David: The Mount to Coast R1 does fit true to size for my men's 9.5. The shoe has a normal fitting heel, a normal-to-slightly wide midfoot, and a wider forefoot. The forefoot does have a bit of a taper to it as you move distally into the toes. The mesh material is plush and comfortable, while still being surprisingly breathable. The lacing system is set into two parts. The top part is a traditional lacing system to tighten and keep your foot on the platform. The lower section is aimed to help with swelling in the forefoot with longer running efforts. You can tighten this down, though I found I liked keeping that area a little looser and spacious. The length on the shoe feels dialed in. There is a heel counter with decent padding that held the heel cup without any irritation. The upper has a little bit of stretch to it, but I did not have any issues with translation or slippage at easy paces. This is one of my favorite easy day uppers this year so far. 

David's Typical Size: Men's US Size 9.5
Shoes that have fit David well: Nike Vomero 17, Saucony Ride 16, Puma Velocity Nitro 3

Shoes that have fit snug: HOKA Arahi 7
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon Aero Glide

Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: Yes
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: Yes
Is the Forefoot Flexible: Moderate
How Flexible is the Shoe: Moderate
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Yes
Recommended for Haglunds: Yes
Recommended for Sockless: Maybe
Durability Expectation: Above Average


Matt: The Mount to Coast R1 is an ultramarathon racing shoe meant for easy long miles. It excels at long runs kept to easier consistent paces, walking or when shuffling along. It is not a shoe meant for faster running as I have found pace changes and faster efforts feel slightly awkward. The midsole foam (LightCELL) is a PEBA blend and while it does have plenty of cushioning, it is firmer than other PEBA foams. The ride does feel consistent and does not bottom out even over longer miles. I have tested this shoe with several longer double mileage days (6-8 in the AM and 5-7 in the pm) to accumulate mileage (it is difficult to do long runs with a child). The ride does soften a tiny bit with longer fatigued miles and actually feels better the longer I am in them.

The geometry is also set up for easier paces and for those who land a little farther forward. There is a mostly centered smaller heel bevel that makes for a slightly clunky rearfoot transition. This moves into a slightly stiff midfoot and a smooth forefoot. The forefoot rocker starts early which makes slower transitions feel best. There is a midsole insert called which starts at the lateral midfoot and ends at the medial forefoot. This adds some stiffness to the anterior midfoot and the medial forefoot but does not take away from the smooth forefoot transition. Traction wise this shoe has some but is meant for smoother surfaces and road. I have used the R1 on wet pavement and it has done fine. I have not used it on trail... because I was afraid to get this all-white shoe dirty. Durability wise this shoe is excellent. I have 35 miles on my pair with barely any wear on the outsole. I would expect high durability from an ultra-marathon race shoe and fortunately, it has it. 

David:  The R1 has an interesting experience underfoot. The shoe is designed to be an ultramarathon racing shoe or long mileage training shoe. I do feel it does its job pretty well. The shoe feels best at shuffling and easy paces for me. The foam underfoot feels well cushioned when you are standing in it. When you start moving the shoe isn't as compliant as it initially seems, and the foam has a durable "firm cushioning" feeling to it. I will say the ride is very consistent and predictable, which is nice for longer efforts. The foam feels like it has consistent and durable cushioning, though it does lack some responsiveness. I have done many strides in these and have found them feeling a bit flat when the pace picks up beyond easier pacing. For easy day shuffles and long runs though this shoe does the trick. The midsole is a PEBA hybrid compound and that may explain some of the initial softness, though firmer structured feel upon loading.

The outsole traction underfoot is decent for most things and I did not have any issues with it. I did not take it much off of the road though. There is a little bit of scratching due to the materials, which will supposedly be switched in a newer model coming out. The transitions of the shoe are pretty rhythmic and natural feeling. The shoe has a gentle bevel and toe spring and lightly rockered feel.

The R1 does have an insert that they call ZeroSag that is a little firmer and meant to give some guidance. It begins in the lateral rearfoot and transitions into the medial forefoot in a small winging fashion. I do feel there is some gentle guidance underfoot, though nothing major. I actually do really like the Mount to Coast R1 for easy mileage, though I would like a little more help from the shoe for ultra distances. I'm not sure the midsole composition would need to change, but having a slightly more rockered and stiff forefoot could take some work off of the calves in those later miles beyond 26.2. For me this is a nice daily trainer for easy miles, though I think I would like it to give me a little more aid in the lower leg for ultras.

(Learn more about stability in our full guide)

Matt: The Mount to Coast R1 is a neutral shoe. There is mild sole flaring in the heel but the heel is fairly neutral. There are no major sidewalls except a small one in the midfoot. The arch is also slightly higher in the midfoot. This is offset by the insert providing additional stiffness at the lateral side. This creates mild medial bias at the midfoot, so those who need that will do well here. The forefoot is more stable thanks to moderate sole flaring on the medial/lateral sides and the insert. The stiffness from the insert as it travels to the medial forefoot adds a moderate amount of lateral guidance at the forefoot. This was immediately noticeable and took some time to get used to. I typically need some mild medial forefoot support but was not used to it in this way. This made me want to land farther forward to get to the forefoot for this, compared to the more neutral heel. So those who want mild lateral guidance at the forefoot and medial guidance at the midfoot, the Mount to Coast R1 will have it.

David:  The Mount to Coast R1 is definitely neutral. The shoe does have some things that help with stability though. The midsole itself holds it structure really well and does not have too much compliancy to it. This does make the ride very predictable and the shoe itself feels structured. The upper lockdown is pretty good and keeps your foot on the platform. The ZeroSag insert gives some very gentle guidance. The outsole traction is pretty good on road surfaces. The sole flaring through the forefoot is done well and gives a good platform to lever from. I did still find myself to have a little medial collapse on this platform and think the shoe could benefit with some gentle sidewalls, but the shoe isn't too bad in the stability category for a neutral offering. 

Thoughts as a DPT: How Geometry Can Impact Optimal Pacing
By Matthew Klein

The concept of pace-tuned shoes has been around forever. Certain shoe types are designed for easier efforts while others may be designed for moderate/tempo efforts and races from the mile to the marathon. Typically, we would call these training shoes, lightweight trainers and racing shoes (marathon racer vs 5k/10k racer). Each shoe type has different types of geometries or shapes to the sole that can make the feel better at specific paces. Shoes with larger rockers typically are easier effort shoes given that the rockers make for a more efficient ride and move the work to larger, more endurance-based muscle groups like the hip and knee (Sobhani et al., 2017). Those with less of a rocker, flatter plates, stiffer geometries tend to be better over shorter distances races or shorter faster efforts given the increased force placed into them allow more bending. Additionally, shorter distances do not require the same efficiency given they do not last that long. 

Additional geometrical variations you may not be aware of that can impact the ride of a shoe include shoe width and the rocker shape. The wider a shoe is, typically the more stiff it is. More material means more force is needed to bend it (a not uncommon reason why the midfoot width is often more narrow.. along with attempting to save weight). The forefoot transition, especially the flexibility and rocker, can also impact what paces feel best. A large rocker typically is good with a stiffer shoe to help with the forward transition of the body, but the quality of the rocker will impact what it feels best with. Long rockers that start early will typically feel better with easier efforts where you are going slower and hit the angle of the curve correctly. Shoes with large but late rockers tend to be stiffer and will transition best with faster efforts. 

Although this list is focused specifically on geometry, weight, midsole feel/resiliency/cushioning, upper security, traction and more can all impact what paces a shoe feels best at. Individual biomechanics, experience, preferences, strength, power, elasticity, joint mobility, and more will also impact what paces a shoe feel best at. Certain shoes are designed and made for certain paces. Some people will use them differently but we always encourage people to use shoes for their intended purposes as the developers and designers work extensively to test and create these products based on certain expectations of use. Using a tool for what it is meant for is generally the best idea. 


Sobhani, S., van den Heuvel, E. R., Dekker, R., Postema, K., Kluitenberg, B., Bredeweg, S. W., & Hijmans, J. M. (2017). Biomechanics of running with rocker shoes. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport20(1), 38-44.


Matt: The Mount to Coast R1 has been an interesting shoe to get mileage in. It is a tiny bit firm for the paces it responds best at but does improve as the miles increase. If this is meant as an ultra marathon race shoe, there are two major things I would suggest to improve. The heel bevel is the biggest one. The small heel bevel and blocky shape of the rearfoot make for clunky transitions. This is problematic as most long endurance athletes are heel strikers. To make that transition more efficient, I would use a larger and more lateral heel bevel to ease in those transitions. I would also increase the volume of the upper. I did not find the modifiable laces to be that helpful or to make a large difference. I suspect this is due to there not being much volume to play with in the first place. The forefoot does look wide, but the lower volume takes this away. Thus I would highly suggest increasing the volume, especially in the forefoot. 

David: I really enjoyed my time in the Mount to Coast R1, though I do have some recommendations. The shoe has a great consistent feel to it for easy miles, though I would like the shoe to feel like it is aiding me a tad more for longer distances. One way I think they could do this is to make the forefoot rocker a little bit larger to give the runner a bit more of a rolling forward sensation. I feel the midsole of the shoe is good for its purpose, despite not having a bunch of bounce, and I am not sure the shoe really needs a plate. I would just like a little more rounding upfront there. I do think the shoe would benefit from some gentle sidewalls through the midfoot to help with some guidance and proprioceptive input as well.


Matt: The Mount to Coast R1 is an ultramarathon racing shoe and daily training shoe for those who like higher mileage. Those who want a shoe with a midsole that stays consistent and does not bottom out will enjoy the R1. Those with normal to slightly narrow feet will enjoy the upper and will have some additional lacing flexibility. Those who land a little farther forward or don't mind a small heel bevel will do best with the geometry. Those who also want some medial midfoot guidance, lateral forefoot guidance and want a neutral heel will do best. The durability is good for a racing shoe and the cost is especially good for a PEBA foamed training shoe. Personally, I would not use this for an ultra marathon as I would want some softer cushioning and a more centered midfoot. However, I appreciate this first attempt from Mount to Coast especially at such a good cost. The consistency, mild modifiability and geometric tuning for these efforts will do well for many. This is also a great shoe for those who run at slower paces to consider for racing and is another example of the fact that not everything needs a full plate in it to be called a racer. 

David: The Mount to Coast R1 is a ultra marathon racing/daily training shoe for longer milage. The shoe has a nice rhythmic feel to it at slower paces and is great for shuffling around. The foam does have a durable feel to it with a "firm cushioning" aspect to it. The shoe has a gentle rocker, but does favor ones natural mechanics. The midsole did not have super high responsiveness, but it did hold its structure well and gave a good consistent ride at easier paces. The upper also does a great job of accommodating swelling in the feet without sacrificing comfort. Those wanting a non plated shoe with a consistent "firmly cushioned" feel underfoot to pound road miles on for easy days or ultras do have a pretty good offering here.


Fit: B+ (Closer fit with some flexibility for swelling. More normal width/volume)
B/B+ (Best for easier and longer efforts. Not versatile into faster efforts but feels great over consistent paces)
Stability: B [Neutral] (Neutral Heel, Medially--biased midfoot and laterally biased forefoot)
Value: B+/A- (Solid training shoe for mileage and long runs. Could be an ultramarathon shoe if the geometry and fit match you)
Personal: (Medial bias at midfoot not great for me, slightly firmer than I would want and small heel bevel. Midsole foam does feel consistent, better with longer miles and durability is solid. 
Overall Design: B/B+ 

Fit: (I'm actually really happy with the upper. Good lockdown while still being plush, comfortable, and breathable.)
B+ (Really nice for easy and rhythmic efforts. For longer efforts I would like the shoe to have a little bit more of a roll to it. The midsole is really consistent and durable, but a little more bounce would be fun.)
Stability: B+ (For a neutral shoe not bad. Good sole flaring, upper, traction, and midsole. Having some sidewalls to help with some guidance would help.)
Value: A- (At $160 I feel this lines up pretty well with workhorse ultra shoes.)
Personal: B+/A- (Great for easy days, though I wish it had a little more life to the foam for strides or other uses.)
Overall Design: B+/A- 


Mount to Coast R1
Price: $160 at Mount to Coast

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Mount to Coast for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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