Sunday, April 14, 2024

Mount to Coast MTC-S1 Multi Tester Review

Article by John Tribbia and Derek Li

Mount to Coast MTC-S1 ($160)


John: Fresh off the launchpad in 2024, Mount To Coast (MTC) is a brand new name in the footwear industry, specifically targeting the road ultramarathon scene. Their debut offering, the MTC-S1, sparked my curiosity for several reasons.

First, the shoe boasts a unique blend of technologies, including TunedCell, their proprietary supercritical foam promising both responsiveness and durability, and 3D Archrail, a dynamic support system designed to offer stability without sacrificing natural movement. These innovative features, unseen in other offerings, make the MTC-S1 an exciting prospect for testing.

Secondly, as a fairly high-mileage runner who spends time on the roads (and trails 🙂), I'm constantly seeking shoes that excel in comfort and stability over long distances. The MTC-S1, specifically designed for ultramarathon training and racing, aligns perfectly with my road needs, making it a prime candidate for me to dabble in a road review.

While MTC's new footwear holds promise, there are some uncertainties that accompany any new product launch. Let’s see what this shoe can do!


  • Innovative technologies promising responsiveness, stability, and durability (John/Derek)

  • Designed specifically for long-distance road running

  • Classy design: white  colorway (John/Derek)


  • New brand with limited track record, although the designer has many years performance run shoe experience (John)

  • Recent emergence of a squeaking sound from the outsole during testing (John)

  • Relatively firm underfoot feel, not sure how it will feel over ultra distances (Derek)

  • Upper is on thicker side, may not be suitable for hot ultra races (Derek)

Please find the testers full run bios at the end of the article after Comparisons.


Official Weight: men's 9 oz  / 255g (US9)  /  women's 7.5 oz / 213g (US7)

  Samples: men’s 9.2 oz / 260 g US8.5, 9.03oz / 256g US9.5

Stack Height: men’s 33.5mm heel / 23.5 mm forefoot ( 10 mm drop spec)

Measured stack 36/28 (official stack likely omits sockliner) 

Platform Width: 81mm heel / 70mm midfoot / 117 mm forefoot

$160 Available now at Mount to Coast HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

John: The Mount to Coast S1 (MTC-S1) strikes a sweet spot between lightweight and substantial right out of the box. While not overly flashy, the clean and modern design exudes a sense of purpose-built efficiency. The upper utilizes a breathable mesh that feels soft and flexible, offering a balance between breathability, comfort, and durability compared to both racing flats and maximalist trainers.

Slipping on the shoe, the initial comfort impression is positive. The lacing lockdown is secure with an angled wraparound feature through the arch. Additionally, the well-padded heel collar, tongue, and gusseted tongue construction contribute to a secure and locked-in feel, hinting at the potential for long-distance comfort.The 3D Archrail technology and the "just-when-you-need-it support" tagline suggest a potential blend of guidance and natural running feel, catering to runners seeking both. 

Overall, the MTC-S1's initial fit and upper impression is positive, showcasing comfortable, secure, and well-constructed elements. 

Derek: This shoe has such a clean and classic look that one might be forgiven for thinking it is meant for the athleisure market. Initial step-in feel is comfortable enough, and you get the full feel of the nicely padded heel and tongue. Even the laces are on the thicker side. The fit is true to size for me.

A lot of thought has gone into the upper, and you can tell that the number one goal is support here, not surprising for a shoe designed for ultra running. 

Let’s start with the toe guard. They have gone with an external toe guard here, when almost every brand has migrated to internal laminates. 

Under normal running conditions, this might not matter much either way, but there is one big plus for an external laminate like this, and that is an extra bit of waterproofing for the toes, without significantly impacting the breathability of the upper. 

The bulk of the upper is made of a dual layer of relatively dense synthetic mesh, and for me, in 85-90 F (29- 32C)  humid conditions here in Singapore, the shoe does start to feel a bit warm after the first 60 minutes. In terms of structural elements, the tongue is gusseted on both sides with wide mesh bands, and the bands serve to add a little midfoot support. 

There is an additional wedge shaped thicker band on the medial side that also serves as an additional independent lace eyelet at its apex. 

You can see it illustrated more clearly in the photo above with the lace removed. It is quite a clever way of adding medial support, dynamically, that can be directly tuned by lace tension. 

Toward the heel, you have a very rigid heel counter that provides plenty of heel support which should come in handy on uneven terrain. 

Finally, you can’t go wrong with reflective safety elements for an ultra shoe. 

Here we have silver reflective bands around the heel counter, and also at the toe guard. As a finishing touch, there is also a heel pull tab that should help with getting the shoe on and off in a pinch, something that can be useful for certain types of ultra races where one might cycle through different shoes at different stages. 

All in all, the devil is in the details and here we have a shoe that has a lot of well thought out elements focused on ultra running. I was able to dial in the fit very easily with this shoe, and it should fit a wide range of feet quite easily. 

Midsole & Platform

John: The MTC-S1 boasts a unique midsole construction, blending several intriguing technologies. TunedCell, Mount To Coast's proprietary supercritical foam, promises both responsiveness and long-lasting durability, ZeroSag, a BASF polyurethane elastomer insert adapted from high-speed rail padding, aims to deliver enduring cushioning and element resistance, while the 3D Archrail, a dynamic support system plus rear heel clip wings on both sides offer a balance between preventing overpronation and allowing natural foot movement.

Having logged over 125 miles in the MTC-S1, the feel strikes a commendable balance between responsiveness and cushioning, offering enough give for long runs without feeling overly soft. 

The TunedCell technology appears to deliver on its claims, providing a decent energy return that propels you forward. While it's too early to definitively assess long-term durability, 125 miles haven't revealed any noticeable wear and tear. The platform remains stable and supportive, even on tired legs, thanks to the ZeroSag insert and the overall design.

Despite my overall satisfaction with the shoes, I've recently noticed a faint squeaking sound coming from the midsole, particularly during the initial flex of each step. After consulting with the MTC team, they confirmed that there were no issues with the interior, midsole, or technology of the shoes, but that the material of the outsole was causing the faint squeak after each footfall.

Notwithstanding, the MTC-S1's midsole offers a promising combination of support, cushioning, and responsiveness. 

Mount To Coast's unique technologies seem to be delivering thus far, making the shoe well-suited for tackling longer distances. However, the recent emergence of a squeaking sound necessitates further observation to determine its cause and potential impact on the shoe's performance. My curiosity leads me to wonder if the 3D Arch Rail might have become unattached through ungluing internally, potentially causing the squeaking noise.

Derek: The midsole feels relatively firm in this shoe but the vibration dampening is good enough that it does not feel harsh. 

I’ve only managed to take it as far as 20km in the shoe but that is mainly due to a heat wave we are currently facing and I’ve struggled with long runs in the past few weeks. 

The mild compression and rebound is more perceptible at slower 8:00/mile paces, with the shoe becoming decidedly more responsive at faster paces. The underfoot feel is similar to other shoes in the 36mm heel stack range (Saucony Ride 16 is 35mm and NB Rebel v4 is 33mm). 

The firmer feel comes with the benefit of being quite stable and predictable, two elements that are probably more important than dynamism over the ultra running distance. 


John: The MTC-S1's outsole adheres to a conventional road running shoe design, utilizing a sturdy rubber compound with varied density levels. This design prioritizes durability for long-distance training, rather than exceptional flexibility. The "GOFLOW" rubber section contributes to the shoe's overall supportive and smooth ride. I find the rubber provides decent traction on various road surfaces, gripping both dry and mildly wet pavement. 

Additionally, the flexible forefoot section enhances the natural rolling motion of the foot during the push-off phase. While I've only logged 125 miles so far, the outsole design and firmer rubber compound indicate the MTC-S1 should offer good durability for higher mileage.

Derek: The outsole has good traction for me, though it’s too early to talk about durability. I do find that the black GOFLOW section does seem to add torsional stiffness in the oblique plane and that seems to smoothen out midfoot pronation, but I should point out that I land midfoot in quite a supinated stance and the GOFLOW section is exactly where my foot tends to pronate. There are people who land and pronate more predominantly through the heel or forefoot, and the GOFLOW might have unintended effects on their mechanics. 

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

John: The MTC-S1 delivers a smooth and stable ride. The midsole's blend of cushioning and responsiveness provides a comfortable platform for long stretches, while the 3D Archrail technology subtly guides the foot without feeling overly restrictive. The firmer outsole offers good traction on various road surfaces, inspiring confidence during longer miles.

However, the recent emergence of a slight squeaking noise from the outsole warrants further observation. While it hasn't noticeably affected performance so far, it's somewhat irritating, especially when I'm not distracted by other things.

The Mount to Coast S1 emerges as a compelling option for ultramarathon enthusiasts and dedicated distance runners seeking a stable, supportive, and comfortable long-distance road companion. The unique midsole technologies and outsole design offer promising performance, and the overall build quality feels substantial. 

John’s Score: 8.85 / 10

Ride: 9 (stable, smooth, snappy, and great at long runs)

Fit: 9 (nearly no break in period for me and my slightly narrow width foot fits perfectly)

Value: 8 (definitely durable)

Style: 9 (Love the white)

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

Derek: The S1 is a moderate stack shoe with a low stack feel to it. The shoe transitions quite naturally for me, despite having a number of subtle stability elements. There is no rocker effect in this shoe, something that is perhaps quite hard to come by these days. The very first run I did in the shoe, I remember thinking how similar it was to the Saucony Ride 13, which was a superb non rockered daily trainer.  I think it is more of a daily trainer/easy-steady run shoe, perhaps just a bit too built up for fast running. The outsole has good rubber traction, but I think it is best tailored for roads or non-technical dirt paths. 

The shoe has quite a low arch structure, and should fit most feet quite well. 

As mentioned above, I did find the upper to be a bit on the warmer side, so take this into account if you are planning to do one of those hot ultra races. 

My main concern is the price point. I am just not sure if $160 might be $20 above the sweet spot for this type of shoe. A lesser concern is the color scheme. While white is a very nice simple color for a shoe, and it might well be their iconic look moving forward, I just don’t see an all white shoe doing well for ultra runs that might face a multitude of weather conditions. 

Derek’s Score: 8.73 / 10

Ride (50%): 8.5 Fit (30%): 9.5 Value (15%): 8 Style (5%):  8.5

Smiles Score 😊😊😊


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 

New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel 4  (RTR Review)

33/27 stack including sockliner

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Rebel has a thinner and more breathable upper. It achieves stability through a more scalloped midfoot section. I would say both shoes are quite comparable in terms of stability. The Rebel has a marginally softer and bouncier ride, but has less snappiness through the toe box. I think the lighter weight of the Rebel is a big factor in making it a more versatile daily trainer, and coupled with the lower price point at $140, makes it a more attractive option for most runners. 

Puma Velocity Nitro 2  (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes transition quite similarly for me, though the Velocity Nitro is slightly softer and more flexible through the toe box. The Velocity Nitro has a slightly more dynamic ride for me, though the S1 seems to have better vibration dampening, and a smoother transition (which I attribute to the GOFLOW outsole)0. The main thing for me is the Velocity breathes better for the warm conditions I run in, so I enjoy running in it more. 

Saucony Ride 16 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Ride is slightly softer and bouncier and also has a rockered ride while the S1 does not. However, I find that over the course of a longer run, the S1 has better vibration dampening. Another plus point for the S1 is outsole performance. The S1 has a grippier outsole, and this is especially apparent on wet roads where the Ride outsole has a tendency to be a bit slippery. Overall, the S1 is a better shoe for me, as a daily trainer. 

Our review of the MTC-R1 ultra racing shoe coming soon.

The MTC-S1 and MTC-R1 are available now at Mount to Coast HERE

Tester Profiles

John Tribbia (5' 6", 130lbs) is a former sponsored mountain/trail runner who has run with La Sportiva, Brooks/Fleet Feet, Pearl Izumi, and Salomon. Even though he competes less frequently these days, you can still find John enjoying the daily grind of running on any surface, though his favorite terrain is 30-40% grade climbs. He has won races such as America's Uphill, Imogene Pass Run, and the US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series; and he's held several FKTs on several iconic mountains in Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you follow him on Strava, you'll notice he runs at varying paces between 5 minutes/mile to 12 minutes/mile before the break of dawn almost every day.

Derek is in his 40’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:39 marathon PR from the 2022 Zurich Marathon.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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