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Mount to Coast R1 Review: Good Out of the Gate

mount to coast - feature

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What You Need To Know


8.5 oz. (241 g) for a US M9

Stack Height / Drop

35 mm in heel, 27 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Best For

Daily training, long distance with uptempo mix

Key Features

Independent lace system, Pebax hybrid compound in midsole, shock-absorbing support piece underfoot

On The Run
Good balance of comfort and responsiveness Secure upper with adaptable fit Weird clicking noise is annoying as hell
Price / Availability

April 25 for $160

Mount to Coast R1 - both shoes on wall

Designed for road ultramarathoning

Mount to Coast R1 - close toggle (2)

Lightweight and secure upper

Introduction to the Mount to Coast R1

ROBBE: When you think of niche interests, you probably think John Water films, splitboarding, and bronies. Maybe all three combined if you’re a Baltimorean who’s into backcountry cosplay. I mean, that would basically make you an ultrarunner. Because anyone running hundreds of miles at a time is weird in that exact way. 

As ultrarunning continues to ramp up in popularity, more and more shoe companies are catering to the specific needs of those odd athletes going long distances. Whether that’s the fine-tuned adaptability of shoes like the Speedland GS:TAM or the big slabs of cushion in shoes like the Asics Trabuco Max 2, it seems like there’s something to keep everyone coming back for more.

And now, with the arrival of the Mount to Coast R1, there’s even a shoe for road and track ultrarunners. That’s right, those who love the road life for days at a time now have a shoe for themselves.

Mount to Coast is a new brand based out of Hong Kong, with designers who have come from Asics, Brooks, and Nike. With an April brand launch, they’re focusing on two shoes: the R1 and S1. Both are similar, but both are different.

For the purposes of this review, we’ll be covering the R1, a shoe that promises to provide long-lasting comfort by way of an innovative and ergonomic design. That design focused on a few key elements: weight, foam composition, lace structure, and midsole materials.

mount to coast - medial logo

According to Mount to Coast, they’ve worked on the research and development of the shoe for 18 months, testing it on ultrarunners running 450+ miles over a stage race. A prototype of the shoe won the 2023 ISPO award.

The lacing system is two-part: a toggled lace section in the front towards the toe box, and a traditional section from the midfoot to the top. It’s essentially the poor man’s version of the BOA Fit System employed on Speedland models. A lightweight, engineered mesh upper wraps the foot. 

In the midsole, Mount to Coast uses LightCell, a “Pebax hybrid compound foamed in an industrial leading nitrogen supercritical foaming process.” A dynamic polyurethane insert developed by BASF (a thing they call Zerosag) is found on the outsole, running in an almost S-shape from one side of the shoe to the other, the idea being that it works with the natural movements of the foot to prevent overpronation.

The end result is a pretty nice shoe from a startup company, but let’s talk about what makes it so.

mount to coast - lace toggle

Independent lacing system

What We Like About the Mount to Coast R1

ROBBE: Right off the bat, I loved the crisp and clean look of the shoe. Very simple, not much to it. Let the performance do the talking. That said, it’s kind of like the purple dress or cilantro– some people will see a TJ Maxx mall walker, others will see stealth fashion. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

I was immediately intrigued by the lacing system on this shoe. There’s real science behind the design. In ultramarathons or stage races, the feet will swell. Lace adjustments are necessary. However, even though the feet swell, the ankle needs to remain secure. Like the aforementioned Speedland, a two-part fit system is the best solution for long distance runners. But a BOA fit system means more money, so in order to keep the price point down, Mount to Coast uses a more traditional yet separate setup.

I have to say, I enjoyed the option of different levels of lace tightness for the forefoot and ankle area. A nicely padded heel collar and comfortable tongue (gusseted) kept the foot locked down over two long runs in the shoe.

My first long run was around 18 miles in the shoe, while the second was 16 miles. The first was in 42F weather with continual downpours. The shoe didn’t feel heavy and drained well and the outsole provided really solid grip in some rough conditions.

Mount to Coast R1 - laces

Lace toggle in forefoot

Mount to Coast R1 - medial heel logo wall

Clean design

Moving onto the Pebax-blended midsole, the ride was neither soft nor firm; instead, it was just the right level of responsiveness. You get a nice landing but without sacrificing road feel, thanks to the slightly lower stack than most shoes these days. In some ways it reminded me of a slightly softer version of the Adidas Boston 12, or the Topo Athletic Cyclone 2. It just feels like a really solid running shoe, which has really become one of my favorite type of feels lately– a shoe that just feels like you want to run in it that way shoes were meant to be run in. My legs felt relatively fresh the next day, maybe just a bit sore after the run in which I pushed the pace (I also incorporated 1,000 feet of elevation since I’m training for a trail 50K and Boston). 

The reinforcement piece that runs through the outsole really did provide a bit of extra support and structure, which I appreciated in the later miles of a long run. I noticed a couple times where it kept my foot correct on landing, and since I land on the outside of my foot it may have been a lifesaver at times.

The last thing is that this shoe is pretty lightweight for what it offers and I really enjoyed being able to pick it up when I wanted to. I had some marathon pace miles at the end of my long run and I could easily pick it up to the pace I needed to.

What We Don’t Like About the Mount to Coast R1

ROBBE: There are two major things about this shoe that don’t affect the performance at all, but are just a bit off-putting. First, you may want to bust out those dusty KN95 masks before purchasing the shoe. Because when you open the box, you’re hit with a chemical odor wall that will make you wonder if you accidentally ordered a 35th anniversary commemorative sample of the Three Mile Island reactor core. None of that eco foam, green rubber, or recycled upper business. You’re getting 100% Grade-A uncut pure polyurethane. 

Once you get outside, none of that matters. What does matter though, is what happens in your first step in the shoe. I’m not sure how or what is causing it (possibly the cut-outs in the reinforcement piece creating a suction cup effect), but the shoe makes an incredibly loud and obnoxious clicking noise for every step.

If you’re a studio or touring drummer, this will probably just sound like a click track in your head. Air drumming is acceptable on the run. But if you have a low tolerance for annoying things, this may be a dealbreaker for you. I, on the other hand, have both eye floaters and off and on tinnitus, so my life is basically a waking life of annoyances. I find a way to tune it out and it doesn’t bother me after awhile. I’ve talked to other runners who said they can’t run in the shoe because of the clicking sound. I pray they never get tinnitus.

mount to coast - outsole

Lastly, I get some of the marketing behind this shoe, or the intended design. There are parts (i.e. the laces and the underfoot stability piece) that do indeed cater to the needs of ultrarunners. But, like … do we really need this shoe? Is it really going to matter or outperform similarly priced shoes like the Saucony Endorphin Speed or the New Balance SC Trainer or Adidas Boston 12?

I guess that’s hard to say. In its defense, it is priced at $160, which is competitive with all those shoes. The midsole feels just as good and it does offer some enhanced upgrades. I’m a bit torn on this, because I do think it’s a cool idea, but the “road/track ultramarathoning” segment is such a small slice of the pie that I wonder how this is going to take off. Especially when the people at the top (i.e. Camille Herron) are smashing records in Lululemon shoes.

Final Thoughts on the Mount to Coast R1

ROBBE: I generally expect new brands to fail in their first go-around. At the very least, offer a sub-par product. I’ve seen this a ton on the trail side and a bit on the road side, mostly from established brands entering the running footwear market with some miserable flops (e.g. Helly Hansen, REI, Veja, Allbirds). Some of them have adjusted and improved (Veja and Allbirds), while others just gave up entirely. 

The good news is that Mount to Coast has come out of the gates with a strong debut model in the R1. Everything you want in a solid trainer is there– a comfortable-yet-responsive ride and a secure upper fit, all in a lightweight package. It’s worth considering if you want something that will give you enjoyable miles over long distances, while offering a touch of stability and fit adaptability. 

As long as you don’t mind a loud-AF metronome underfoot.

You can pick up the Mount to Coast R1 for $160 on April 25 at

Mount to Coast R1 - outsole
Mount to Coast R1 - close toggle

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Frank Field says:

    My sympathies for you, fellow tinnitus-haver. It is unpleasant.

    I wonder if they will pivot marketing to simply call this a do-it-all trainer that offers light stability features instead of at the niche road-ultra folks.

    Like a Saucony Tempus, but softer?

    1. Robbe says:

      Yeah that’s actually a pretty decent comparison, kinda wish I would’ve said that in the video review. As for tinnitus, it comes and goes and at low levels I don’t notice it anymore, but can still be annoying when there’s a flare-up. I know your pain!

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Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

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