It’s been about four months since I injured my knee and it’s close to being healed. I still get the occasional twinge and I haven’t quite got full flex, but it’s very close. I’ve been doing knee strengthening exercises for the last six weeks or so and they’ve been really beneficial. If you have an injury, I recommend seeing a sports physio to get advice on exercises. I’m planning an easy backpacking trip in September to see how things go. If that’s OK I’ll do a more ambitious one in October.
As part of my rehab programme, I’ve been walking in Epping Forest regularly, usually for about an hour. I’ve had some minor problems with some inflammation in the nerve between my 3rd and 4th metatarsals in my left foot. Nothing serious, just minor discomfort. Seeing some positive reviews of Altra trainers, I thought I’d try some out. The King MT’s appealed to me because of the wide toe box, the tread and the velcro strap across the top of the shoe for extra stability.
Unless it’s really hot and dry, I’m not a trail shoe user for backpacking. That said, I’m really impressed with these. The wide toe box is a revelation and more comfortable than the restrictive toe boxes of most other shoes (I haven’t got wide feet BTW). It certainly helps relieve the nerve inflammation issue as my toes can spread out, as well as improving my balance. The velcro strap looks a bit odd but is very effective in keeping my foot in place. The aggressive sole provides good grip.
Some comments suggest it’s difficult to get used to zero drop, but I’ve found no issues. There’s enough cushioning to protect your feet, but it’s still thin enough that you can feel the ground. However, even on stony ground, pebbles aren’t a problem. I experimented with different footbeds and found that the foam ones supplied with the shoes were the most comfortable.
Overall, I really like them. I shan’t be using them for backpacking unless it’s really dry and not too hilly. I can see why they would be great for trails like the PCT. Altra do a waterproof mid boot version of the Lone Peak, so I might try a pair of those some time, but they are virtually impossible to buy at the moment.