Sponsored Post Content. All opinions are my own.
Running shoes are a personal thing. These are my thoughts on Hoka.
I have been running in all sorts of running shoes since I started triathlon 2010. I began with Brooks Adrenaline. While they seemed to give me excellent support, they felt sort of heavy. This was also the phase where I was having major hip problems–whether a cause or not (no evidence that the shoe caused anything), I was definitely not in the right shoe for me. I then switched to Saucony Kinvaras, which I really loved for the quick turnover and lightweight factor (finished my first Ironman in them)–but after a while, I realized that I just needed more support. After a bit, I tried Altras (too much heel slippage, but liked the roomy toe box), and then Newtons (fun and fancy, but scared of the lugs on the 5th metarsal which I broke in 2012).
With a wild idea, I tried the Hoka One One “moon shoes” in the Stinson Tarmac (now discontinued). I laughed when I first saw them… I mean, afterall, the older version was much more… well, moon-like.
But for me, it was love at first run.
^Hoka Stinson Tarmacs^
Immediately, I noticed a few things about the Hokas: support, cushioning, surprisingly lightweight and ease of running. I finished my second 140.6 wearing those Hokas–and have been a fan ever since.
Recently, I was asked to review the Hoka Conquest 2, which have a similar ride to the Stinsons.
So what’s the “secret” with Hoka?
First, the Conquest 2 is considered a high mileage road shoe. It has an engineered midsole volume which is up to 2.5X the volume than standard running shoes, made with performance-specific cushioning material. This results in superior shock absorption and an inherently stable ride.
Next, their “Meta-Rocker midsole geometry” is specifically engineered with a low heel-toe differential and a sculpted outsole radius in the heel and toe–to create a unique fulcrum effect and encourages a guided foot gait cycle.
I notice the difference in running in Hokas after each run. Due to the amazing cushioning, the recovery time is great increased–the “beating” on my body is significantly less. This is even more important as a heavier runner.
The toe-box is wider than most shoes, which is nice.
Running shoes are such a personal choice, but I really have been happy with the Hokas, all around. I feel like I can run faster and further when I am in these shoes–and my training has actually supported that feeling as well.
I am on my fourth pair of Hokas, and currently running in the Conquest 2, and 50 days out from Ironman Lake Placid.
- Offset: 4mm
- Heel: 27mm
- Forefoot: 23mm
- 10.3 oz / 291 g
Here’s a review of the Bondi, another Hoka shoe.