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A growing new category of hybrid road / trails shoes has a new contender with the asics Alpine XT. Oddly names as its hardly built for alpine conditions but it does offer amazing value for money. I really like this new hybrid product range as we do really need shoes for off road running, but if you are like me and live in an urban environment I often do most of my running on road and park / trail in one run, so the ability to go on both surfaces easily makes this a great shoe for me.
A pretty uninspiring shoe out the box with basic overlays and simple midsole construction, but on the foot the new last with a wider toe box is extrememly comfortable and the underfoot cushioning feels pretty good. The shallow full lenght lugs gave great grip on lighter trails and the shoe coped prefectly well on the road to and from my house. I really like the responsiveness of the low profile midsole, and the lack of rock plate allowed the shoe to flex beautifully. The key to this shoe seems to be hitting a great price, so its pretty stripped back when it comes to technology, but this in turn made it a simple, easy to wear shoe that was great for everyday road to trail running.
A full length SpEVA midsole offers good rebound and becuase its asics the compound is a very high quality even on this entry level shoe. I did not really feel the rocks and stones through the midsole so it gave decent protection, and the 6mm off set is enough to give good ground feel but still offer a nice level of cushioning on the road.
Overall the shoe felt pretty low profile and fast on the runs, and it was unusually flexible for a trail shoe, and I really could get on my toes and run quickly without much issues. I ran in the Saucony Koa TR at the same time as this shoe, and that shoe was way more cushioning but less responsive underfoot.
Nothing really much to talk about here! A good air mesh was breathable and the standard welded overlays were unrestrictive and supple so combined with the new oblique last shape (more rounded at the toe) I got a really comfortable shoe. A gusset tongue is a bonus for keeping out gravel etc and the toe bumper offered good protection but i did slightly damage the mesh on the toe area as its slightly exposed.
Guillie lacing gave a nice range of movement and i could tie the shoe very securely on wetter trail days, so overall a great yet uninspiring upper.
A good lug design, with grip the whole length of the outsole that coped easily with light trail and a little mud. Too and from the trails the outsole performed pretty well on the road with no obvious sliding on wet surfaces. This is definately more a trail than road hydrid shoe, as the lugs are solid, but overally its a good all round outsole pattern.
If you are in the market for a good value second shoe to use along side your primary training shoes, the asics Alpine XT is a super little hybrid trail shoe that performs great in off road urban conditions. The shoe is not as plush as the Saucony Koa XT which it seems to be pitched against, but its definately cheaper!
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|Release date||March 2018|