Hoka shoes: which One One’s for you?

No compressionSince I reviewed Hoka One One shoes a while ago, I’ve received many questions about which models are best for various reasons and uses. So I asked the folks at Hoka to give me some of their technical info and created this chart with my recommendations.

Your own feet and legs will tell you what’s best, though! For sizing, your best bet is to try them on, of course. (I haven’t found the Hoka chart to be especially accurate: by their calculation, I should wear a U.S. size 8.5. I might be able to squeeze into that without socks on, but the right size for me if I were to, say, go out for a recreational run in midweight socks, would be a 9.5. Since I like to run long and need to allow for swelling, I wear a 10. Big difference. So if you use the chart, size up a bit.)

That’s me, above, at my 19th Badwater Ultramarathon, wearing one of two pairs of Hokas I put to work out in the desert this year. Love ‘em!

Mafate    My personal favorite: I love these for all terrains. Widest toebox, highest volume, most aggressive tread. Provides stability and max cushion. Great for trails to absorb rocks and roots. Also good for high mileage (marathons+). Durable! Specs: 4 mm drop, women’s 12.9 oz, men’s 14.7 oz. Stiffer Metarocker underneath the ball of the foot (balanced).
Bondi B, Bondi Speed Lightweight and efficient, a little narrower than the Mafate, so some folks go up 1/2 size, though I don’t. (The Bondi Speed has a fast-entry heel and quick-lace system for triathletes. It’s also a little lighter and is my first recommendation for a walking shoe.) Cushioned everyday trainer with a reduced midsole thickness that can handle roads or trails. Smooth and easy ride.  Specs: 4.5 mm drop, women’s 8.8 oz, men’s 10.8 oz. Lowest volume but still 1.8 x the volume of an average running shoe. Metarocker is early, before the ball of the foot.
Stinson Evo Trail Offers  support, propulsion and cushioning for long runs on the trail. Could also be used on the road but is mainly used as a lightweight, stable performance shoe on trails.  Specs: 6mm drop, women’s 10 oz,  men’s 12.2 oz. 2.2 x volume of the standard running shoe. Metarocker is closer to the toes.
Stinson Evo Tarmac (Low) Most stable shoe because of the cradle and how deep you sit in the shoe. It offers a more snappy/quick take-off for the road. (My first recommendation for medium-distance road running and non-technical trails, and my second choice as a walking shoe.)  Specs: 6 mm drop, women’s and men’s 9.7 oz. 2.2 x volume of the standard running shoe. Late stage Metarocker, underneath toes.
Kailua   Trail, Kailua Tarmac (for women) Shoes for off-road (Trail) and road (Tarmac) with lower profile. Lightest weight. Injected midsole provides higher resilience and rebound. Faster ride that is lightweight, performs well, and is responsive.  Specs: 5 mm drop, 9.3 oz. Lowest volume shoe (1.8x volume). Metarocker underneath the ball of   the foot (balanced).
Rapa   Nui (for men)  Trail shoe with low profile: smaller volume; responsive and performance shoe that will give a faster ride.  Specs: 5 mm drop, 10.8 oz.  Lowest volume shoe (1.8x volume). Metarocker underneath the ball of the foot   (balanced).

 

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