Skip to content
Home » Cross Training Shoes

Altra Solstice XT 2 Performance Review (2024)

That Fit Friend is supported by its readers. I [Jake Boly] run this site myself and buy the gear I review. If you purchase through my site, I may earn commissions on sales, read more here!

It’s 2024 and you’re looking for a wider training shoe that will help you transition from traditional running and training shoes to barefoot shoes. That’s where the Altra Solstice XT 2 comes in.

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 zero-drop and built to be wider, 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 my testing, I’ve enjoyed my training and lifting in the Altra Solstice XT 2.

Will these be the perfect cross-training shoes for maxing out your deadlifts and squats? No, and I’ll discuss that below with this shoe’s stability thresholds.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: ~23mm
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Wide
  • Sizing: True to size for most
  • Comparable To Topo Athletic ST-5: Read My Review

Altra Solstice XT 2

$130

Altra Solstice XT 2
4.1
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.5
Durability
3.8

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Wide Weet
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For CrossFit

Solstice XT 2 Pros and Cons

Logo

Pros

  • Wide toe box is great for toe splay
  • Medium-density midsole is stable yet responsive
  • Upper has good breathability

Cons

  • Long-term outsole durability is an issue
  • Not great for narrower feet
  • Can look a little clown-like at times

altra solstice xt 2 for crossfit and lifting

Altra Solstice XT 2 Quick Thoughts

If you want a training shoe with a wider toe box and 0mm heel-to-toe drop then the Altra Solstice XT 2 can be a good option to explore. This shoe delivers a “barefoot-like” position with its zero-drop construction but with a little cushion.

For those transitioning into zero-drop shoes and barefoot shoes, I often suggest they explore the Solstice XT 2 because it can somewhat serve as a bridge shoe. This model’s medium-density EVA midsole is relatively stable and responsive.

In the context of training, the Altra Solstice XT 2 works best for recreational lifting, light running, walking, and cross-training. This shoe does have a few durability flaws which I’ll cover below but for the generalist, it does a pretty good job.

If you need a shoe for a little bit of everything with a considerably wide toe box then the Altra Solstice XT 2 is a good option. This shoe is stable enough for strength work and responsive for HIIT, cross-training, and short runs.

What I Like

There are multiple aspects to like about the Altra Solstice XT 2’s construction and performance in the gym and for various workouts.

Pro 1: Footshape Last Provides Ample Width

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.

altra solstice xt 2 toe box width

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.

Pro 2: Innerflex Grooves Increase Maneuverability

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.

altra solstice xt 2 innerflex midsole and outsole

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.

Pro 3: Balanced Cushioning Supports Varied Training

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 who don’t love training with higher offsets.

altra solstice xt 2 heel to toe drop

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.

Pro 4: Good for HIIT Workouts and Shorter Runs

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, 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.

altra solstice xt 2 midsole

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.

What I Don’t Like

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.

Con 1: Falls Short for Serious Lifting and CrossFit

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, its stability may be an issue for this style of training.

Con 2: Durability May Fall Short for Outdoor 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.

Performance

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 performance overview

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.

altra solstice xt 2 for lifting and squatting
315 lb squat in Altra Solstice XT 2

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.

altra solstice xt 2 for crossfit and lifting (1)

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 classes and plyometrics

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.

altra solstice xt 2 for walking running and standing

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.

altra solstice xt 2 sizing and fit

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.

Who Should Invest In the Altra Solstice XT 2?

The Altra Solstice XT 2 is a solid cross-training shoe for wider-footed athletes who 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.

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 every week with strength, athletic, and cardio-focused work, then the Altra Solstice XT 2’s construction should work well for you.

This model features a 0mm heel-to-toe drop and Altra’s Innerflex technology so they flex and move well for different exercises.

If you need a shoe for a little bit of everything with a considerably wide toe box then the Altra Solstice XT 2 is a good option. This shoe is stable enough for strength work and responsive for HIIT, cross-training, and short runs.

Construction Details

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

altra solstice xt 2 construction

If you have additional questions on the Altra Solstice XT 2, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally.

Takeaway Thoughts

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).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

4 thoughts on “Altra Solstice XT 2 Performance Review (2024)”

  1. I love the Altra Solstice XT2 for moderate lifting and WOD – some crossfit and HIIT. They fit my narrow, low arched, wider forefoot type feet like a glove and man, they are super comfortable. My issue is with the quality of this model, which has gone down in the last year or so. I have had three pairs (previous two lasted about 18 months) and the newest pair that I purchased back in August 2023, the black part of the sole is separating from the white midsole. Very dissapointing for such a costly shoe. To remedy this, I used Shoe Goo to glue the sole back on but I don’t think it is holding up well. My question is are there any other shoes that you think would fit the bill as a replacement – ones that have better quality soles. I hate to make a change but the Solstice XT2 is falling apart too soon. Thanks Jake.

    1. You know, I feel like all Altra shoes have slipped regarding quality. My Lone Peak 7s broke after a few months and this isn’t the first time I’ve heard a story like this. I would look into the new TriBase Reign 6!

  2. For a wide toe box shoe with little cushioning, I’ve found the Altra Escalante and Escalante Racer good every day shoes but too tight in the midsole. I’m constantly loosening the laces to get more comfort. Is the Solstice EX 2 a bit wider in the mid sole? Looking for a shoe that is a cross trainer and every day walking shoe.

    1. Ehhh, I would tread lightly with this shoe, too. I think they’ll feel pretty similar in that context. Their upper is a little lighter which helps but the core last construction is pretty similar regarding their snugness in that context!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *