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XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 Review
By Senior Contributor David Salas


Here in the United States there seem to be some dominant "running" companies that have their share of the market. In fact there are many companies that people who run daily have still never heard of. XTEP may be one of those companies. Overseas XTEP has had some good success in the running market and have their fair share of running shoes ranging from daily trainers to racing models. The XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 is a neutral daily training option that would fall into the budget category in the states. Bang for buck I think the shoe is actually really worth looking at. 


XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0
| Use Code DOC15 for 15% off
Measured Weight Sample Men's size 9.5: 9.75 oz / 276 g
Classification: Neutral Daily Trainer; Budget Trainer


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Priced at US $75.00 the XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 is a budget-friendly neutral training shoe that offers a good amount of bounce and responsiveness. The midsole seems to be a blended compound and certainly runs softer and bouncier than a normal EVA midsole. The shoe is firmed up with a plastic plate through the midfoot. The result is a bouncy yet semi-firm riding shoe that works well for daily training miles. 


FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

The Euro 45 fits true to size in my normal US Men's 9.5 but does run on the long side. The width throughout is normal and is not overly wide or narrow in any specific regions. The toe box is very normal width as well. I did get a little bit of heel slippage I believe secondary to the slightly long length. There is a heel counter present that is semi-rigid. It certainly has a little bit of flexibility, but is not unstable by any means. The mesh construction breathes well and does not have much stretch to it but there is plenty of volume for swelling. The toe guard is fortified well but does not provide any irritation. Outside of the length issue and slight heel slippage the upper is actually quite nice. 



PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

The XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 was a pleasant surprise with how it performed. The shoe was pretty lively throughout and provided good responsiveness for a daily trainer. The midsole certainly has some softness and bounce to it throughout. There is a plastic plate present that does firm up the ride. The midsole feels like it is similar to that of Floatride Energy of Reebok or Blast foam from ASICS and the shoe rides pretty similar to that. The plate does firm things up though and so the shoe rides like a slightly firmer riding dynablast/novablast. The forefoot does have some flexibility at toe off and reminds me a lot of the Floatride Energy Grow. Overall the ride is pretty balanced throughout. There is a central heel bevel that seems to work pretty well. Traction is good throughout. There is some slight flexibility throughout the shoe both medially and laterally as well but the midline grooves do seem to help with this.  Outside of a little heel slippage and some general slight instability the shoe performs really well for the price point. 



STABILITY

The XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 is a neutral riding shoe and does not have many stability mechanisms. The full length outsole and midline grooves do seem to help with improving stability. The plate also seems to create some inherent rigidity as well. The length issue does provide some instability sagitally at the heel. The shoe also has a narrow midfoot with some flexibility in both directions that creates a small amount of instability. The stability on the shoe is decent, but for those that have issues with stability might want to look for other options. 

THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

I am not an engineer or anything but I want to talk a little bit about durometer and material science today. Normally in a shoe that is at $100 US Dollars or less, they will use a mass produced basic EVA midsole to provide enough protection and durability to the shoe to last the average person with normal activities. EVA is not inherently bad, in fact it revolutionized footwear at the time. Chances are 90% of the shoes you have worn have been some variation of it. The foam however can come off as a little dull and unresponsive throughout. The midsole that XTEP is using does not feel like a traditional EVA. I am not sure the composition, but it feels like a TPU or PEBA/ EVA hybrid. The foam holds its structure decently but still provides a good amount of decompression and rebound. This is a feeling you usually wont feel without a newer generation midsole or a plate geometry. I think there are certainly improvements that can be made on the shoe but I just want to give XTEP some kudos that they decided to make a shoe that lively for the price point. A lot of times you have to pay at least $130 if not more to get a shoe that has a sensation like that. One new addition to a similar shoe is the Dynablast from Asics. Both soft and bouncy feels with a touch of responsiveness. These are both different shoes but refreshing to see at an affordable price point. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

For the pricing of the shoe I think the XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 is a pretty solid option. I think some improvements could be in the fit and length of the shoe however. I also think that the midfoot could be widened as well. This would help with creating a little more stable platform and make the ride more fluid. 


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

The XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 is for someone that is balling on a budget and still wants a shoe that has some liveliness to it. I probably would recommend wearing a size down in Euro sizes if possible but it still fits true to size in normal US sizes as well. The shoe is bouncy and semi firm riding with some slight instability throughout. Overall the shoe is a very fun shoe to run in for the price point that it is at and can certainly handle daily mileage. 


GRADING (SHOE CATEGORY)

David
Fit: C+ (Mesh is good, length is long, heel slippage, volume a little high, tongue is long)
Performance: 
B (Fun and lively for pricepoint, midfoot a little unstable)
Stability: B- (Heel instability, midfoot flexibility, slippage, full contact outsole good though)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (It is good to see a midsole with this level of bounce and durometer at the pricepoint)
Personal:  B (A fun shoe for the price point but I would still choose some other shoes out there for my daily trainer, but a viable option for those that have monetary difficulty)
Overall: B- (A lively neutral riding shoe at a very intriguing price point, some fit issues and instability could be reworked but overall a decent shoe)

VIDEO REVIEW



David provides some more feedback on the Ultra Fast 2!

SHOP | SUPPORT DOR


Shop the XTEP Ultra Fast 2.0 here. Use the DOC15, to save 15% off! This is not a affiliate link/code for Doctors of Running. We thank XTEP for providing the code for readers.

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FURTHER READING

Compare Budget Trainers
Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0
- One of our favorite budget trainers with a smooth neutral ride
Asics Dynablast 2 - Version two nicely tidies up the ride with a new upper and drops the literal drop from 12 to 8 mm to create a cleaner ride
Brooks Launch 8 GTS - For stability runners looking for a very mild shoe with guidance and a lighter frame

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Reebok Floatride Energy Adventure - A new upper helps add a layer of stability for some minor off-terrain running
Hoka Rincon 3 Review - New outsole rubber and a lighter upper highlight the latest Rincon

Thanks for reading!

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TESTER PROFILE:


David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 70 to 80 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing,

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at XTEP for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at doctorsofrunning@gmail.com

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