I recently had the pleasure of trying out these shoes thanks to my friend Corey Tunstall (a Hoka One One Representative) with whom I had the pleasure of meeting through my friends over at The SoleRunners Running Store in Miami, FL.
Now to be completely honest, I really didn’t have time to break these bad boys in because I received them the day before I left to Washington State, and I never had run in Hoka One Ones before prior to me leaving either.
What was in Washington State you may ask? That’s where I was headed to take on my first ever 50 mile ultra marathon, The White River 50, which was held in Crystal Mountain, Washington. I also put up a post about it that you can check further down my blog!
Now I know I’ve heard the expression time and time again, “Never try something new during your race” but honestly I was dying to try them out and what better place to test them than on a 50 mile ultra that took me up and down two mountains with a bunch of beautiful single track trails!
Here is some information I pulled from the website:
- CATEGORY: Neutral Cushion Trail
- GEOMETRY: Offset: 4mm, Heel: 35mm, Forefoot: 31mm
- WEIGHTS:12 oz.
- SIZES:Men: 7.5 – 14
- Lightweight No Sew SpeedFrame Construction
- External Monomesh Debris Screen
- Lightweight External TPU Heel Counter
- HOKA Race Lace
- Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
- Lightweight Cushioned CMEVA Top Midsole
- RMAT® Midsole/Outsole
- Sculpted Arch Pod Support
- 4mm Heel to Toe Offset
- Full Ground Contact Design
- Strategic Hi-Abrasion Rubber Zones
50% MORE CUSHIONING
Engineered midsole volume which is up to 2.5X the volume than standard running shoes, made with performance-specific cushioning material.
Excellent shock absorption and an inherently stable ride.
Meta-Rocker midsole geometry, specifically engineered with a low heel-toe differential and a sculpted outsole radius in the heel and toe, creates a unique fulcrum effect and encourages a guided foot gait cycle.
Supports a runners form, and encourages a continuous Positive Gait Speed roll from heel-strike to toe-off.
ACTIVE FOOT FRAME
Uniquely engineered Active Foot Frame midsole geometry allows the foot to sink deeply into the shoe’s midsole.
Designed to provide integrated stability which is adaptable to a wide range of feet and running styles.
My evaluation of these shoes is based on the 50 mile ultra in whole. There were no real portions of the race where my foot was completely drenched in water or where I had to trudge through mud, so I will not be accounting for those factors.
The types of terrain I encountered were simple trails, technical trails (a bunch of roots and rocks), single tracks(climbing up a mountain, running down a mountain) and some gravely/rocky portions & road.
I will base it off the following ratings: Excellent, Great, Good, Bad, Terrible
So here’s what I think:
–Simple Trails: Excellent: Didn’t have to worry about a thing, was able to just cruise and focus on my race.
–Technical Trails: Good/Bad: It was okay on some portions, but I was worried I would role my ankle if I wasn’t careful.
–Single Tracks: Great: Had an easy time climbing up and running down the mountain.
–Gravel/rocks: Excellent: Didn’t have any problem/didn’t even notice I was running on rocks.
–Road: Great: Was awesome running down the road in these bad boys, but I would rather one of the variety of road shoes they offer for roads.
-Was easy to get comfortable with: it really did feel like I was running on a cloud with all that extra support.
-Was able to ascend and descend the mountain with no problem at all.
-Fit extremely well and true to size (for me at least).
-The Hoka Race Lace
-Had no problems running the whole race with them and didn’t even think about changing my shoes at any point during the race.
-Blisters (Now let me reiterate, I did not break these shoes in before this race and it was also my first time ever wearing Hokas, so that was my fault, but I am not going to omit that fact from my review.)
-The Hoka Race Lace (Now I have this in both categories because while convenient, I had to stop a couple times to re-tighten them because they kept getting loose. Again, probably my fault for not practicing with them prior to running the race.)
-Was not a fan of running on technical trails with them (Normally I use a shoe with less drop, so my feet are closer to the ground and it’s easier to maneuver. With this type of shoe, while having the extra cusion/support, I found a bit dangerous running through the technical trails because my feet didn’t have that much contact with the ground and there were times where I could have rolled my ankle if I didn’t rebound quick enough.)
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Piggys:
-Would use these for longer/endurance runs again, just have to make sure what type of terrain you’re running in.
-Get fitted, while awesome, these shoes may not be the right ones for you.