When you think of Altra shoes, your mind likely goes straight to Altra running shoes. Altra is a brand known for creating running and training shoes that are designed to be slightly wider in nature especially through the toe box. The Altra Solstice XT 2 is Altra’s latest cross-training and gym-focused shoe created for tackling a wide range of workouts.
Throughout the course of my testing, I’ve really enjoyed my training and lifting in the Altra Solstice XT 2. Their toe box has ample width for your toes and their midsole walks a good line between providing versatility and stability. Will these be the best cross-training shoes for maxing out your deadlifts and squats? No, but I’ll discuss that below along with this shoe’s thresholds.
In this Altra Solstice XT 2 review, I’m going to cover a variety of topics to help you decide if the Solstice XT 2 is a good cross-training shoe for your needs and wants.
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Who Should Invest In the Altra Solstice XT 2?
The Altra Solstice XT 2 is a solid cross-training shoe for wider-footed athletes that like having larger toe boxes in their training shoes. This model provides a mid-range level of stability and a fair amount of responsiveness with its high-abrasion EVA midsole, so I find it to be a good shoe for recreational lifting, HIIT training, and shorter runs.
That being said, if you like to vary your gym training on a weekly basis with strength, athletic, and cardio-focused work, then the Altra Solstice XT 2’s construction should work well for the context of your needs. This model features a 0mm heel-to-toe drop and Altra’s Innerflex technology so they flex and move really well for different exercises.
This model isn’t my first pick for maxing out my lifts, tackling CrossFit workouts, or training outdoors, but for indoor training sessions that vary a lot on a weekly basis, I like the Altra Solstice XT 2.
Altra Solstice XT 2
- Recreational Lifting
- HIIT Workouts
- Wide Weet
- Shorter Runs
- For Heavy Lifting
- For CrossFit
Altra Solstice XT 2 Pros
There are multiple aspects to like about the Altra Solstice XT 2’s construction and performance in the gym and for various workouts.
- Footshape Last Provides Ample Width
- Innerflex Grooves Increase Maneuverability
- Balanced Cushioning Supports Varied Training
- Good for HIIT Workouts and Shorter Runs
The first thing to like about the Altra Solstice XT 2 is their Footshape feature. Altra uses a proprietary feature in pretty much all of their running and training shoes called Footshape. Essentially, it’s a feature that replicates the anatomy of the foot to provide a more comfortable and seamless fit in shoes.
Most cross-training shoes have toe boxes that taper a fair amount which can leave them feeling tight. In the Solstice XT 2, the toe box follows the curvature of the toes and is purposely designed to be wide to accommodate full toe splay and the act of gripping the floor with the feet.
Another thing that I like about the Altra Solstice XT 2 is the Innerflex tech throughout the midsole. I like the feature for increasing this shoe’s “feeling” with the ground. This feature makes this model super maneuverable and you get a lot of ground feedback in different training settings.
I noticed this feature most when doing plyometrics and exercises like sled pushes. The Innerflex tech helps this shoe in multi-directional contexts and in sessions where you’re relying on ground feedback when digging the feet into the ground for power and strength production.
The Balanced Cushioning in this shoe is also a nice touch that feeds really well into the Innerflex tech. This shoe features a 0mm heel-to-toe drop with a 23mm stack height. Compared to other cross-training shoes, this is a relatively low stack height, and the heel-to-toe drop in this model is a nice feature for those that don’t love training with higher offsets.
I thought this feature was great for balance training and HIIT workouts because it helped increase this shoe’s stability while also keeping them cushioned enough to not beat the feet up. With their flatter construction and low cushion, you get a nice blend of stability and versatility for different styles of training.
The last thing to like about this model — which I somewhat touched on above — is that this is a good cross-training shoe for HIIT workouts, classes, and shorter runs. If you like using your cross-training shoes for this style of training, then I think you’ll enjoy how these shoes feel as a whole.
They breathe well and are lightweight which also helps increase their ability to perform in HIIT, class, and running contexts. This is one of the better, if not the best, shoes on the market for this style of training for wider-footed athletes. These are also solid shoes for walking and standing for long periods of time.
Altra Solstice XT 2 Cons
As a whole, I like the Altra Solstice XT 2 especially if you understand the context in which they’ll perform their best. That being said, there are a couple of cons to note about this model.
- Falls Short for Serious Lifting and CrossFit
- Durability May Fall Short for Outdoor Training
The first drawback is that this shoe is not going to be your best bet for heavy lifting and serious CrossFit workouts. While this model has a low-profile cushion and a high-abrasion EVA midsole, it’s not going to be the best for supporting heavier training sessions. I started to notice a little compression in this model above 315 lb squats and 455 lb deadlifts.
In the context of CrossFit, this shoe can technically work for some more casual CrossFit sessions, but as a whole, I think you’ll be capped with this shoe’s performance. Its durability isn’t going to be the best for things like rope climbs, and again, their stability may be an issue for this style of training.
Another drawback to this shoe is its durability for outdoor training when you’re tackling workouts on concrete and asphalt. On turf and tracks, the durability will be fine in this shoe, but I’d suggest limiting their exposure to concrete and asphalt due to these surfaces tearing up the Innerflex tech.
This model has exposed midsole laters in the forefoot and midfoot, which isn’t a problem in most settings. However, on concrete and asphalt, if you’re cutting or digging your feet into the ground, then you may run into some issues with the outsole peeling away from the midsole in this model.
To discuss the performance of Altra Solstice XT 2, I’m going to talk about how these shoes perform in different contexts and settings. This can hopefully help you contextualize if this training shoe is right for your needs.
Altra Solstice XT 2 for Lifting and CrossFit
The Altra Solstice XT 2’s performance for lifting is okay. This model doesn’t have mind-blowing stability, however, I do like this shoe for lighter and moderate loads. I’ve squatted up to 315 lbs and deadlifted up to 455 lbs in this shoe and I’d suggest using these numbers as baseline thresholds for stability. Once I hit these numbers, I started to notice a little compression in this model’s midsole.
The 0mm heel-to-toe drop, wider toe box, and low-profile cushion help to attribute to this shoe’s overall stability. I think this shoe will work really for anyone that will be using them for more recreational lifting.
When it comes to CrossFit, the Altra Solstice XT 2 will be capped in two different areas. First, their durability isn’t the best for this style of training since they don’t have features to prevent breakdown from things like rope climbs. Second, as mentioned above, the stability in this model could be problematic for those that will be training heavily in their CrossFit sessions.
Altra Solstice XT 2 for HIIT Workouts, Plyometrics, and Versatile Training
I like the Altra Solstice XT 2 for more versatile training and think they’re one of the best training shoes on the market for those with wider feet. This model’s Balanced Cushioning and Innerflex grooves help to give this shoe a really nice maneuverable feeling when jumping and doing multi-directional training.
Plus, with the 0mm offset and wide base, you get a nice level of contact with the ground which I thought helped with energy return and ground feedback, especially for my HIIT sessions.
For workouts and exercises where you want a bit of stability, but also a nice level of responsiveness I think the Solstice XT 2 will excel. Their fairly low stack height helps them walk a really good line between these two performance metrics.
Altra Solstice XT 2 for Shorter Runs, Walking, and Standing
For shorter runs, the Altra Solstice XT 2 will work pretty well. I found this model to be comfortable for my running sessions that were under two miles and I think you get a nice amount of energy return in this model. The wide toe box also helps to contribute to why I like this shoe for pre and post-workout runs.
The only concern I have with this model and running is that if you train outdoors and you’re running through mud or wet surfaces, then be very conscious of this shoe’s midsole and outsole durability.
In the context of walking and standing all day for work, this model is comfortable and has become one of my go-to’s for walking the dogs, doing housework, and wearing for work. I like the low-profile Balanced Cushioning in this model and high-abrasion EVA foam does a good job of providing you with a comfortable ride.
Altra Solstice XT 2 Sizing
For the Altra Solstice XT 2, you should be safe going true-to-size. This model’s length fits true-to-size and they have ample width in the toe box for neutral and wider feet.
One thing to note about the sizing of the Solstice XT 2 is that they don’t come in half sizes for 13, 14, 15. If you’re a half size between 13-15, then I’d suggest going up, so if you’re a 13.5, then go 14.
- Altra Solstice XT 2 Sizing Thoughts: Go true-to-size.
If you have additional Solstice XT 2 sizing questions, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally and we can work through what size would be best for you.
For the Altra Solstice XT 2, you can expect to pay $130 USD. Compared to other cross-training shoes, this price is pretty on point with the industry and what other cross-training shoes typically cost.
If you’re someone with wider feet planning to use these shoes for HIIT workouts, recreational lifting, and shorter runs, then I think the price is fair for this model. However, if you’re not that into this shoe and you want to save a little money, then you can certainly find more budget-friendly cross-training shoes.
Altra Solstice XT 2
- Recreational Lifting
- HIIT Workouts
- Wide Weet
- Shorter Runs
- For Heavy Lifting
- For CrossFit
Below, I’ve provided the key construction details to note for the Altra Solstice XT 2. As a whole, I Iike the construction of this shoe, and like that it’s a pretty straightforward shoe with subtle features that help them to excel.
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
- Weight: 9.5 oz (for my size 10 model)
- Removable Insole: Yes
- High-Abrasion EVA Foam Midsole
- Footshape Last
- Breathable Mesh Upper
- Reinforced Midfoot Cage
- Innerflex Tech
- Balanced Cushioning Build
If you have additional questions on the Altra Solstice XT 2, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Is the Altra Solstice XT 2 good for running?
Q:Is the Altra Solstice XT 2 good for lifting?
Q:Is the Altra Solstice XT 2 good for walking and standing?
If you have wider feet and want a versatile training shoe it’s hard to fault the Altra Solstice XT 2. The Solstice XT 2 performs well for athletic-focused training, recreational lifting, HIIT workouts, daily wear, and shorter runs.
The Altra Solstice XT 2 is not going to be the best cross-training shoe for maxing out your lifts or for CrossFit. If you understand this and where they perform well, then I think you’ll enjoy this model.
If you have additional questions on the Altra Solstice XT 2, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).
I personally test every product featured on That Fit Friend using a regimen of training tests that I’ve developed over years of testing training gear. I buy the gear I test and may earn commissions on sales made through links on my site.