You have probably seen these shoes out and about on the Internets and the road ways. Maybe you even wear a pair. What you may not know is the technology and science behind these crazy ass looking shoes called Hokas. Let me tell you.
Fact: These shoe have 50% more cushioning than your average running shoe.
Why You Should Care: Because this helps with shock absorption and keeps you stable (at least physically stable. I am not sure if they make you mentally stable – that is your problem).
Fact: Lab tests have shown that Hoka's rocking midsole geometry and low heel-toe drop encourages proper form by allowing a runner to easily strike the ground near the midfoot. Supposedly this helps with injury prevention,
What That Means and Why You Should Care: Because this should give you a smoother ride and support decent running form. And you can pretend you are in a cradle, for old time’s sake.
Fact: These shoes stabilize you on trails and hills
Why You Should Care: These shoes are especially suitable for ultra and trail runners. They are ideal for running trails with steep climbs and descents as well as obstacles such as rocks, roots and trail debris (no guarantee you won’t still fall – falling happens to be my specialty on the trails and it probably doesn’t matter what shoe or color underwear I have on).Basically, Hoka One One shoes are designed to allow your feet to move freely and naturally. Even though they look big and bulky, they are actually quite lightweight (about 15% lighter than the average running shoe) and nimble!
I decided to try the Clifton Hokas (MSRP: $130).
They are the lightest of the Hoka shoes, weighing in at only 7.8 ounces. They have a 6mm drop, so heel to toe-wise, they are somewhere in the middle between the typical running shoe and total minimalist shoe.
Sizing: I found that they ran BIG. I usually wear a size 9 in running shoes (size 8 in regular shoes), yet I wear a size 8 in the Hokas.
How they felt: Given the dramatic look of the shoes, I expected a dramatic running experience. However, the Hokas did not feel terribly different to me than any other shoe. I liked how lightweight they were and I noticed that my feet naturally followed a rocking motion as I ran. I have been having some foot pain on the side of my left foot, and this did not occur with the Hokas (maybe due to the cushioning). I found it just as easy to keep a moderate pace in these shoes (long distance run pace) as a tempo or interval pace. Overall, I found these to be a comfortable, well fitted shoe that offers ample cushioning, but not marshmallow-y feeling.
Trying Out the Hokas
- Long shelf life. You may be able to get more miles out of these than a typical running shoe because they are so sturdy. The sole will not break down easily.
- There is a 30 day guarantee on these shoes, so if you hate them, return them.
- Reduces impact, which may help prevent injury. Many Hoka wearers have reported less knee pain or no knee pain at all when wearing these.
- Great foot protection, especially on trails.
- You meet many new friends when you wear these because they are a conversation piece. You might even meet your future husband or mistress.
- Price. They run $130 to $170 (ouch!). However if they do prove to prevent injuries, the cost is probably less than when a typical injury costs.
- Many report they take some getting used to, although I did not have that experience.
- The toe box is rather tight and narrow.
- The fuchsia color bled onto my white running socks. At $130/pair, this shouldn’t happen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hoka One One company provided me with the pair for my review and the giveaway item. All opinions are my own.