The XT series from Adidas has always been about a stripped-down experience for performance-oriented trail runners. In this respect, the original XT that launched in 2009 was a bit visionary. As we mentioned in a recent blog on streamlined trail shoes, we expect 2012 to be the year when more elemental models really catch on.
The XT 4 is a bit of a fresh start in the XT series. The design is new from heel to toe. It definitely looks the part of a lean and mean trail race shoe, and at 10.2 oz should compete well with models like the Salomon S-Lab Fellcross, Saucony Peregrine 2, and Inov-8 Mudroc 290.
Given that the XT 4 carries the Adizero name, some of you may have thought that this shoe would slot into an even lighter and leaner class of trail shoes. But shoes such as the Asics Fuji Racer, New Balance MT110 / WT110, Brooks PureGrit, and Saucony Kinvara TR all come in well under 10 ounces and are even lower to the ground thanks to slimmer lugs. We’d love to see Adidas release an 8.0 oz trail shoe with stack heights under 20mm to compete in this class, which is the hot spot of the trail shoe market right now.
The XT 4 releases in July 2012, exclusively as a Men’s model. MSRP will be $100.00.
What to Watch For
- Redesigned Last: The XT 4’s upper looks and feels more like that of a racing flat than a trail shoe. It’s close fitting from the heel through the midfoot, with a wider forefoot for a more stable transition during offroad running.
- Low Drop: Like prior XT models, the XT 4 is designed with a 6mm offset. Combined with the redesigned last that gives more room in the forefoot, the shoe should be a comfortable match for midfoot strikers.
- Seriously Luggy: The TRAXION outsole lugs are engineered for stable grip in the heel and secure push-off in the forefoot. The outsole is also designed to prevent mud from sticking in the lugs.