Weight: 7.7 oz (M), 6.4 oz (W)
The Right Shoe For: Runners who want to be fleet on their feet and soar like a gazelle
Whether you’re racing a 10K, doing 400-meter intervals at the track, or strength training at the gym, the Altra Solstice is the chameleon of lightweight running shoes. This form-fitting neutral road shoe is perfect for runners who want to go the minimalist route—heavier than Altra’s Vanish-R, a true racing flat, but still extra light for runners to turn on the speed—or for racers mixing up their training with track workouts and tempo runs.
Tests at the Runner’s World Shoe Lab show the Solstice to be exceptionally thin and firm, but it found favor among weartesters, especially earning a high score for its fit. Testers recognized the shoe’s functionality—a lightweight racer and trainer—and understood the shoe’s sacrifice in cushioning and stability for agility.
The Solstice doesn’t offer much in the way of cushioning, but runners were willing to trade in softness for speed. Testers found the shoe to feel fast and efficient on runs, with great energy return. “Cushioning is for couches and pillows, but in a running shoe I prefer a firm responsive ride,” commented one tester. With that said, runners new to minimal shoes may feel a little extra fatigue in their legs on longer distances.
Our shoe lab found the Solstice to have few, if any, stability features, but then again, as a neutral lightweight road shoe that’s built for speedwork, stability isn’t expected. As one tester simply put it: “They aren’t those kind of shoes.”
The Solstice is basically a track shoe without the spikes; the zero-dropplatform and lightweight EVA outsole helps runners move swiftly as they cover ground. But runners should take heed when the roads are slick. “Traction is a bit compromised on wet surfaces,” said a tester.