Made for cross training and various gym workouts, the Altra HIIT XT 2 shoes come with an improved lacing system and a good sole configuration. They are a bit on the heavier side and some people have had issues with the upper, but most people are satisfied with the comfort, stability, and support that they offer.
The outsole rubber is wrapped around the midsole as well, with the intention of increasing stability and grip of the shoe during lateral movements, which are bound to be plentiful during your HIIT sessions.
The tread pattern of the Altra HIIT XT 2 features hexagon-shaped, shallow grooves that are circularly positioned. This traction pattern is clearly made with flat surfaces in mind, even more so because it’s free of any lugs or deep flex grooves that are often seen in trail running shoes.
The only noticeable flex grooves are shaped so as to resemble the bones of the feet, essentially enabling a natural and smooth stride, while also looking cool.
The brand also uses its PowerSole technology, which includes a 6mm removable insole, made to provide additional protection and stability during lateral movements. However, you can also choose to easily remove the PowerSole insole and get a better ground feel. A lot of people switch between training with and without the insole in one training session, depending on the type of workout they’re performing.
One of the most noticeable features of this shoe is the FootShape toe box, which is wide enough to allow your toes to spread out as they naturally would if you’d be running barefoot, providing extra stability and comfort. This allows the big toe to remain straight instead of conforming to the shape of the shoe, which in turn increases the velocity of your toe-off.
The lacing system of the shoe is traditional, although a bit improved from the previous version. It features a combination of hole loops and eyelets that provide a secure fit and prevent wobbling. However, some people have said that the laces appear to be too long, making it easier for them to be undone during a workout.
The tongue is sewn down, which means that it won’t budge however explosive and powerful your workout might be. While seemingly a detail, this can sometimes mean the difference between developing a blister and enjoying your workout to the end.
However, this weight is a result of good padding in the collar, as well as the abundant use of rubber on the outsole. If you’re used to ultra-lightweight shoes, this cross training shoe will take some getting used to. Some people have even deemed them as too heavy for their workouts, but that is really a matter of individual preferences.
The mesh used in the shoe construction is also pretty thin and quick-drying (although not water-resistant), which makes the Altra HIIT XT 2 suitable for spring and summer season. However, you can expect some hot spots to occur during really hot days, but that’s largely inevitable, especially in places with high humidity.
The wide toe box might make you feel like the shoes are too big for you, but keep in mind that you have to have a thumb-width space between your toes and the end of the shoe in order for it to remain comfortable during exercise. Your feet might take some time getting used to this kind of fit, but once you get used to it, you’ll be thrilled with the comfort levels it offers. One customer even stated that this shoe is a true game-changer for people with wide feet.
By the same token, people with narrow feet might find the HIIT XT 2 too wide for them to feel comfortable and confident in it. This could be solved by going half a size down, but’s still possible that you’ll experience issues with stabilizing the foot completely.
The mesh material used in the upper construction, as well as the EVA foam and insole, provide a plush, yet supported underfoot feel that a vast majority of people found satisfactory in terms of comfort.
Chances are that you’ll forget about the subpar looks of the HIIT XT 2 as soon as you splay your toes in them and start working out. As far as the colorways go, there are some classic, greyish black ones, as well as several colorful ones, especially in the women’s version of the shoes.
If this shoe could be described by one word, the first one that pops into mind is quirky – it’s not something that you’ll be able to wear with your casual outfits, nor will it make you the style icon of the gym, but at least it has character and an intriguing look.
However, there are opposing opinions on whether the XT 2 is more or less durable than the previous Altra HIIT shoe. While some claim that his shoe is now more resilient, others have been disappointed by the fact that it started to wear significantly after only several weeks of use.
The week link seems to be the lacing system, or rather, the mesh upper, which tends to start to tear when doing rigorous exercise. However, keep in mind that this isn’t a prevalent issue for most people, but there is a possibility of this happening, and it depends on a lot of different factors.
The rubber cap on the vamp protects the toes from the impact that can and probably will occur while doing compound movements such as burpees or mountain climbers. The cushioning in the collar, and especially the heel area, will offer slight protection and support to the Achilles tendon and prevent its irritation, which is something that is rather important when doing cross training.
While the responsiveness of these cross trainers is good, it really can’t be compared to the responsiveness of a racing shoe.
The vast majority of users agree that this shoe provides a lot of support, especially while doing lateral movements, and that the arch support is adequate and comfortable, without being too aggressive. One user noted that he’d prefer the shoe to have both the laces and a midfoot strap, in order to increase the lateral support of the shoe, but even without the strap, you’ll probably be satisfied with what you get.
Keep in mind that the company and authorized dealers should give a 4-week warranty on the shoe, so you can make the purchase and assess the durability for yourself in the first three weeks, and if the upper does tear, you have a way out. However, this kind of calculation shouldn’t exist if you’re already giving upwards of a C-note for a shoe.
The removable insole takes the height of the shoe platform from 20mm to around 14-15mm, and a lot of CrossFit exercisers prefer being closer to the ground while doing particular movements, as this offers them more stability naturally. Additionally, the updated lacing system, which combines loops and eyelets, provides a firm grip on the top of the foot, adding extra stability, especially during lateral moves.
● Dual Layer EVA foam and A-Bound technology
● PowerSole technology, 6mm removable insole
● Reinforced mesh upper with nylon lining
● Improved lacing system
● Upper durability is below-average
● Extremely comfortable, especially if you have wide feet
● The durability doesn’t match the price
● Less durable outsole due to frugal use of rubber
● Running and cross training shoe
● Good neutral support
● FootShape toe box provides stability