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ALTRA SOLSTICE XT REVIEW

The Altra Solstice XT is a lightweight cross-trainer, flexible and sufficiently cushioned, and supportive and durable too.

ALTRA SOLSTICE XT – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | APRIL 2020

THE BUZZ

Altra has made a name for itself making running shoes built on a a balanced level platform and foot-shaped toe boxes. It’s taken those same principles to create the Solstice XT,
a lightweight cross-trainer. It’s very light, flexible and sufficiently cushioned, but supportive and durable too.

Altra Solstice XT - What's New

WHAT'S NEW: ALTRA SOLSTICE XT

The Altra Solstice XT has been updated with a new upper wrapped with a rubberized frame for added support and durability. It’s a performance-oriented upgrade, but
it’s also breathable and comfortable, too.  

The reason Altra builds its shoes on a level, balanced cushioned platform is to allow the heels and forefoot of a runner’s foot to always be an equal distance from the ground.
Unlike shoes with lifted heels and sloping profiles, Altra’s shoes creates what the brand calls an optimal alignment and that cultivates better running form and encourages a low-impact foot strikes.

Altra Solstice XT - Fit and Feel

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

Like all Altra shoes, the Solstice XT is snug and secure in the heel and midfoot but slightly roomier in the forefoot. Although it feels amply cushioned from the midsole and thin, cushy insole, it also feels low to the ground, and
that contributes to its ability start, stop, turn and twist with more control.

The Altra Solstice XT is surprisingly supportive for as light as it
feels, allowing it to have side-to-side dexterity without rolling over.  It’s flexible enough to do short runs and sprints, but sturdy enough for weight lifting, CrossFit exercises and quick-cadence agility drills.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

Recreational athletes who take pride in mixing up their weekly workout regimen with a variety of cardio workouts, strength workouts, CrossFit, short-distance running spurts and sprint drills will love this shoe.   

In
addition, Altra’s women’s models are built with Fit4Her Technology, a design system that caters to the specific anatomical differences of female feet — a narrower heel and midfoot, a higher instep, a longer arch and unique
metatarsal spacing.

PROS AND CONS: ALTRA SOLSTICE XT

Altra Solstice XT - Pros

Pros: Altra Solstice XT

The Solstice XT has a full sticky rubber outsole for optimal traction and stability for the dynamic, multi-directional movements of cross-training.

The midsole is made
from a thin layer of high-abrasion EVA foam that offers moderate cushioning and resiliency. The grid-like grooves in the midsole keep the shoe light, but also allow the feet to flex natural for greater quickness and agility. 

We love how inherently athletic this shoe is, but we also like the lifestyle vibe it oozes, too. It looks good with jeans, shorts, yoga pants and other casual threads.

Altra Solstice XT - Cons

Cons: Altra Solstice XT

The Altra Sostice XT isn’t a shoe that’s geared for running long distances. You can use it in a pinch to run 3 miles or so, but it doesn’t have the cushioning or long-haul comfort
for going longer than that. But remember, it's a versatile cross-training and not a high mileage trainer.

TECH SPECS: ALTRA SOLSTICE XT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Kicksology”, “Running Colorado's Front
Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”