Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

XTEP 300X 2.0 Review: Everything, All At Once
By Senior Contributor David Salas

XTEP has released a new line of running shoes aimed at tuning paces and catering to certain marathon times. The 300X is a bit of hybrid between the super shoe scene and the training scene. Per XTEP, the shoe is meant to be for those running in between 4 and 6 hours, as well as for higher weight individuals. The shoe has a little more structure to it compared to the the 160X 3.0 and 160X Pro and rides a little more trainer like as well. The shoe has worked well for very well controlled easy efforts during the testing phase. Main features of the shoe include a PEBA-based midsole as well as a carbon fiber plate configuration with a mild to moderate stability package. 

XTEP 300X 2.0
Price: (unconfirmed)
Weight: 9.3 oz, 264 g (men's size 8), women's weight not provided
Stack Height: 39.5 heel /31.5mm forefoot
Drop: 8 mm drop
Classification: Long distance training/ racing shoe


The XTEP 300X 2.0 is a hybrid shoe between the super shoe category and daily training category. The model certainly leans more towards the daily training category and is designed to meet the needs of those running around a 4 hour marathon. For me, the shoe has worked well as a recovery shoe and has maintained decent structure and stability across a variety of surfaces.


The XTEP 300X fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The shoe does run a little snug throughout the full platform, but not overly so to the point of irritation anywhere. The shoe resembles that of a performance fit with secure lockdown similar to most racing shoes. The mesh material itself is pretty comfortable and maintains pretty good security throughout. It feels like a nice little hybrid between thin speed shoe and daily training shoe. The tongue is thinner but made of a material that holds its structure rather well, having a thin suede inner and padded outer. The whole platform is normal width to slightly narrow, hence the performance analogy earlier. There is a decently structured heel counter present, but it is padded really well and provided no irritation for me. The toe box felt a tad narrow to me for longer efforts, but provided no irritation on daily efforts. For those sensitive to shoes that run a little more on the snug side, this may not be the shoe for them. I have a little bit of a hard time picturing this shoe for the larger runners in the fit section mainly due to foot and ankle swelling over long efforts. I feel the shoe may be a tad too tight. 


The 300X is an interesting shoe. The shoe has a very fluid ride throughout for me and is different than a lot of the other PEBA-based shoes I have tried. The foam certainly resembles the resilience and bounce of a PEBA foam, however there is a lot of structure throughout the platform that change the elements of the ride. The first thing I noticed was the heel construction. There is a large, sharply beveled heel that is coupled with a high amount of sole flaring. Where your heel sits the plate also extends out medially and laterally and gives you a little platform to rest on. The feeling in this region gives a soft PEBA-esque feel but with the firmness of the other structures. I actually really appreciated the rolling sensation with some stability in the heel. The midfoot to forefoot transition was pretty good for me as well. I was expecting a little instability through the midfoot with the narrow platform and the quick change from the wide structured heel. Fortunately I didn't have too many problems. There was a little laterally I noticed, but the transition itself is pretty smooth through the midfoot. The midfoot to forefoot transition is where I think the shoe could be cleaned up a little. It feels pretty smooth as is, but it feels like it needs to make a decision. The toe spring isn't very sharp up front and provides just enough rounding to roll a little bit off of the forefoot. There isn't a whole lot of flexibility in the forefoot because of the stack and the plate. So I found I actually wanted either a little more forefoot flexibility or just a slightly sharper toe spring. I'd be happy with either. Other than that, this shoe has served me quite well for daily training mileage. I have even been able to take this in some runnable off road conditions.

For more Xtep, visit the following reviews:
Xtep 160x 3.0
XTEP 160x Pro


I alluded to this before, but I was surprised by the stability of this model. XTEP did a really good job with the heel mechanics in this model and I really feel like I am rolling forward quickly without sacrificing body mechanics. The heel has a large bevel that is integrated with sole flaring and the plate itself right underneath the calcaneus. The sensation is like a slightly firm elevated bucket that just rolls you forward centrally. The midfoot is a little more on the narrow end though I didn't have any major issues. On road I seemed to do pretty well if there were minimal turns, however I do think the shoe would benefit to cover the midline groove a little more with foam, or to widen the platform slightly and give more surface area to the medial and lateral aspects of the midfoot. Essentially where the X is under the foot, the platform aspects on the medial and lateral aspect have some give. This did give me some weird turning and adaptive responses, especially if I am off road in runnable trail conditions. The traction seems to work pretty well for most conditions and I have nothing to comment on there. The upper security itself was pretty good throughout. 


When taking a look at the biomechanics of runners, there are a few things that we can note rather quickly. Many people will divide stride patterns into either a hip or an ankle strategy. Often times this will also overlap quite nicely with the classic heel versus forefoot striker. The majority of runners studies do tend to land from the rearfoot and transition forward, though there is certainly a population of genuine forefoot runners. With the unique heel components in the XTEP 300X I wanted to look at this a little bit. The heel on the 300X has a very sharp bevel, big sole flaring, and medially and laterally extended plate sitting underneath the calcaneus. The result is a very quick transitioning, yet structurally fortified, landing zone for the heel.

When looking at muscle activation, there are a couple things that can be noted. We have seen that muscle activation in the tibialis anterior is higher in those that rearfoot strike, versus activation in the medial gastrocnemius being higher in those that forefoot strike (Landreneau et. al., 2014). The tibialis anterior essentially helps control the quick plantarflexion moment of the foot to prevent your foot from slapping the ground with multiple times your body weight in force. The rounding of the heel and the structures put in place in the XTEP 300X do seem to help with this portion of gait making the transition at initial contact and loading response a little smoother through the calcaneus. The midfoot, however does seem to make things a little difficult in regards to medial and lateral stability. At this point in the gait cycle we have a lot going on. We are rolling forward as our plantar flexors (calves: gastrocnemius and soleus) are easing the transition and getting ready to engage for push off.  Our peroneals are also concurrently active stabilizing the foot and ankle and also preparing for push off through the great toe. Along the medial side of the shin our tibialis posterior is doing similar jobs, acting like a stirrup with the peroneals. These muscles help with stabilizing the medial longitudinal arch.

When you don't have enough coverage underfoot in the midfoot region, the foot and ankle is going to try and counter balance itself. This feels like it happens a little bit in this model with the foot pushing back both medially and laterally when in turning or off clean road situations. It's mild, but these things add up over the course of marathon.


Landreneau, L, Watts, K., Heitzman, J., Childers, W. L. (2014). Lower Limb Muscle Activity During Forefoot And Rearfoot Strike Running Techniques. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 9(7). 888-897. 


I really enjoyed my time in the 300X. The main recommendations I have for this model lie within the platform, and with some small upper changes. I feel the material and integration of the upper is done well, though may be a little too snug or not accommodating enough for the population it is designed for. It fits a little more like a performance trainer and could benefit from just having a tiny bit more width or volume. The midfoot platform does a good enough job, but I do think it could benefit from being filled in a tiny bit more so you don't feel like you get pushed medially or laterally when in uneven conditions, i.e. turning or dirt. With that said, I don't think it is too narrow per se, I just think having a little more coverage along those medial and lateral pieces would go a long way. The other thing is the forefoot feels like it needs to make a decision between being a little sharper toe spring and remaining relatively rigid, or staying the same and being a little more flexible. The transition is still pretty good as is though.


The XTEP 300X is a training / long distance racing shoe for those looking to have PEBA foam and carbon fiber plate materials in a more training-esque package. The shoe is designed for those around the 4 hour marathon mark and has worked well for me as a daily trainer. The shoe has a quickly transitioning heel and midfoot and a slightly more gradual forefoot. For those that want a lightweight trainer with new generation materials, a little more structure underfoot, and don't mind a slightly narrow package this is a pretty solid option. 


Fit: B (Good materials with good security, a little snug and I think it does miss the target population for the shoe a little bit)
Performance: B+ 
(As a smooth training shoe it does really well, I do think the midfoot could be cleaned up a little and the transition in the forefoot could also be cleaned up a little, but otherwise fun training shoe)
Stability: B (Heel mechanics are good, forefoot coverage and traction good, the midfoot just feels a little off with the amount of foam/outsole/platform underneath you in that region. It feels like if its going to be a little narrow it should probably be covered in that region)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Rearfoot mechanics and apex with calcaneus are done pretty well, especially with usage of medial and lateral stability, though integration with the midfoot/forefoot could be improved)
Personal: A- (Fun shoe that works pretty well with my mechanics at daily training efforts, loses some versatility off roading but can handle runnable conditions)
Overall: B+ (A fun daily training shoe that uses new generation materials, though I do feel they miss the mark a little on their target population. Though performance-esque feel with fun daily training vibes.)


Xtep 300x 2.0
Price: (unconfirmed - XTEP remodeling website currently)

*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!


Altra Escalante 3 - The latest update to the zero drop daily trainer from Altra
Vuori Apparel Review - So soft.
Brooks Glycerin 20 - The latest in the long running maximum cushion series from Brooks is the lightest ever
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 - A wider, more stable base highlights the new update
Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 - New DNA Loft v3 softens the premium stability trainer

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Strava: Doctors of Running
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable
Pinterest: Doctors of Running

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 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

Altra Escalante 3

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>