Zoot Solana 2

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

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Zoot Solana 2 Facts

Over thirty years ago, Zoot was started in Hawaii, a place well known for its Ironman competitions, grueling triathlons. Zoot’s mission was to provide serious gear and some serious support for these endurance athletes. The Zoot Solana 2 is a highly cushioned running shoe, perfect for protecting your feet during a long training run or taking you across the finish line.

Pros
  • Highly cushioned but surprisingly responsive
  • Light weight carbon rubber tread provides great traction and durability
  • Soft inner lining
  • Flexible upper
  • Build of shoe allows for smooth heel to toe transition from heel to toe
Cons
  • Narrow toe box
  • Lack of arch support
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Zoot Solana 2's outsole is built for road use. It is made of a durable carbon rubber. The high impact areas, such as the outer edges, have protruding rubber with flex grooves, great for sticking to surfaces and adding some flexibility to the outsole unit. These grooves are very durable and provide excellent traction, especially for long road runs.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole is made up of Zoot's injected EVA material, also known as ZVA material. Injected EVA is put in a mold and then expands until it reaches the capacity of the mold. It is denser and more evenly spaced than molded EVA material and provides a more responsive feel. This midsole foam protects the foot from shock, which is especially useful in those last miles especially in an Ironman or marathon. The midsole cushioning gives the shoe a bit of bounce with each step, adding a little energy to the next step. The lightweight cushioning is similar to Hoka One One midsole design.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Zoot Solana 2 has a nice breathable upper made primarily of open mesh. It is comfortable, and keeps feet cool and dry even in hot or humid races. There is an internal support cage that is great for providing a snug fit around the foot. The shoe also features an internal liner, which Zoot refers to as a BareFoot Internal Liner. This liner's seamless design prevents blisters and enhances the fit of the shoe. It also offers a great next to foot feeling, so if runners prefer they can even run without socks. This shoe also has the Z-Bound internal liner which has additional comfort and shock absorption qualities.
Weight
Weight

Weight

This shoe weighs in at 8 oz for men and 7.7 oz for women. This is quite lightweight for a shoe of this size and with this much cushion.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

This open mesh provides excellent breathability. The inner lining provides a secure, comfortable fit while still being breathable. This is a great shoe for hot or wet climates as well as races, including triathlons.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

This is a very comfortable shoe, built for long distance running. It has a lot of shock attenuation and comfortable, responsive cushioning. Some runners have noted that the shoe does run a little tight in the toe box, prohibiting natural toe splay. There also isn’t much arch support in the shoe which runners will want to consider if they need additional support.

Something that Zoot really excelled at in this design was providing a comfortable upper and seamless inner liner that wraps around the foot and gives a nice next to foot feel. Some runners stated they could wear these without socks.
Style
Style

Style

Even though it is lightweight, this is a bulky shoe. The men's and women's versions come in a variety of color choices from a more neutral option to flashy and bold ones.
Durability
Durability

Durability

This is highly durable shoe especially for the low price. The midsole cushioning is lightweight and durable, and can stand up to many miles. The outsole is built of long lasting carbon rubber, perfect for road running. There is some reinforced rubber around the most easily worn areas for added durability.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The cushion offers the most amount of protection. It provides shock absorption as well as comfort. This is great for long distance road running, because hard surfaces are the hardest on joints and the primary cause of overuse injuries.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Zoot's injected EVA, also known as ZVA material, is more responsive than other types of EVA material. Despite the large stack height and the fact that there isn’t a lot of ground feel, this shoe is still quite responsive and provides good feedback and bounce on every stride.
Support
Support

Support

The ZVA material and the 8mm drop do a good job of supporting the runner’s stride. It encourages runners to get on to their toes and helps with a smooth transition. As some runners noted, there isn’t a lot of arch support. If you require additional arch support, this shoe might not be right for you.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This is a good shoe for long distance road runs. The midsole cushioning provides great shock absorption which is excellent for running on hard surfaces.
Price
Price

Price

Originally priced at $130 USD, this shoe is now available for as little as $40 USD on Amazon, which is a great price for a highly durable trainer like this. This shoe has some great technologies and at this price, it is a steal.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The carbon rubber outsole provides good traction and stands up to the wear and tear of tough terrain such as road. The grooves in some parts of the outsole help the shoe to bend and flex around hard surfaces providing additional traction, even on wet slippery surfaces.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Considering the amount of cushion in this shoe, it has some great flexibility features. The grooves throughout the outsole help it to stick to surfaces as well as provide flexibility in the midfoot area. The upper is also flexible expanding and flexing to the foot comfortably.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Zoot Solana 2 has some nice stability features. The midsole cushioning is great at cushioning your ride from heel to toe. The 8mm drop encourages runners to get off their heel and on to their toes for a strong toe off. The upper wraps around the foot to give the shoe for a secure fit.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe has an 8mm drop. This is the perfect drop for a highly cushioned shoe like this and works well for many endurance athletes.
Key Features of the Zoot Solana
Key Features of the Zoot Solana

Key Features of the Zoot Solana

• ZVA technology
• BareFit technology
• Dri-Lex technology
• Z-bound insole
• Open mesh upper
• Carbon rubber outsole
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

This shoe was built for triathletes and long distance runners alike. The lightweight cushion throughout the shoe is great at providing a nice smooth ride while providing comfort to runners with tired legs. The cushion is significant but lightweight enough for runners to use in competition. This is great shoe, built with some of Zoot’s best technologies. But the best feature of this shoe is the price! At $40 USD a pair it is worth looking into, whether you are going the distance or just looking for a comfortable shoe to pound the pavement with.