I was bitten by the CrossFit bug five years ago and, since then, it’s been one WOD (workout of the day) after another. While my exercises are constantly on rotation, my pair of sneakers is not. I was working through a hefty number of Reebok Nanos, as are many CrossFitters, but then I found the Altra HIIT XT 2. No other shoes that I’ve tested have proven to be as comfortable and durable as these during my CrossFit and basketball workouts.
From my first step into the HIIT XT 2.0 shoe, I knew I loved the wide toe box for toe spread and the roomy feel. And, they’re extremely stable for heavy lifts. Despite the brand’s running-heavy history, the HIIT XT is built specifically for cross training.
CrossFit footwear has to live up to the diversity in workouts (from burpees to thrusters): you typically need a more stable platform, zero drop (or flat, in terms of the drop from heel to toe) and a sturdy upper that won’t shred when you’re climbing a rope. The HIIT XT 2 checks these boxes well, making it easy to do things like box jumps, squats, lunges and deadlifts. The foot-shaped toe box gives the shoe ample stability, which helps you keep a steady base when trying to hit a new lifting PB (personal best). The durable reinforced mesh upper is abrasion-resistant to withstand all that rubbing from ropes, scuffs from dumbbells and barbells.
The toe boxes of most training shoes are narrow, but Altra believes that your toes should be able to spread out along the footbed of the shoes as if you were barefoot. This wider toe contact adds balance to your performance and allows you to grip the ground more than in a standard training shoe, which provides more security in moves like squats. My compound lifts never felt so sturdy — thanks to the flat profile, I felt like I was on solid ground.
I consistently also reach for these shoes for the basketball court. The wrap of the shoe’s outsole, along the sides, adds stability during vital lateral movements, like slides, and during defensive and agility ladder drills. Starting, stopping and cutting are easy. And when I have to move quickly to head to the other side of the court, these Altra shoes shine during runs — harking back to the reason they were designed in the first place. In all of the CrossFit shoes I’ve tested, none make me feel as confident as the HIIT XT 2s during any workout.
Altra provided this product for review.