I have a running shoe addiction. Take a look see…
I told you. It’s a problem. I’m constantly on the look out for the next big thing when it comes to running gear…especially shoes. When people approach me and tell me they either want to start running or have just started running, one of the first things I’ll ask is if they have proper running shoes. Obviously, I’ve taken this to the extreme when it comes to my own collection. Call me picky or something. Something. My husband would go with crazy.
Several years ago I decided I needed to go with a more minimalist style of running shoe. I was running half marathon’s and sprint triathlons, so I didn’t need a lot of support. I wanted speed and that’s what I got. So, I tampered around with different brands. The Brook’s Pure line was where I started and was very happy with them. Then I found a pair of Newton’s…on SALE! So obviously, I had to get them. I was happy with the one pair I tried but other styles just didn’t seem to work for me…even though I really do love Newton’s. Then, I tried Saucony’s. LOVE. I fell in love(can you tell I fall in love…a lot?). Mainly because of the wider toe box. I have fat feet. I love the Kinvara 5’s but once I got up over 9 or 10 miles I was hurting and again feeling the need for more support.
I was at a total loss. I have a neutral foot so I knew I didn’t need anything fancy, but I also felt like I was taking a beating. That’s when a friend told me about the Hoka’s(a friend who had just done a full Ironman in them by the way). I had seen them before and honestly, I thought they looked a bit ridiculous. It looked like a boat. And it looked heavy. I’m training for a marathon for crying out loud. I need a light and fast shoe that will cover some distance.
I decided to just “try them on” which for me is like looking at puppies. You never just go “look” at puppies, you come home with a new pet. So, I went to a local running store and decided to try on the Clifton. I put it on and literally felt like I was walking on a cloud. It was cute, colorful, lightweight, and easy to walk in. But could I run in these?
Here’s the deal. The Hoka’s tecnhology is different. We’ve been in such a minimalist craze over the years that for us to see a shoe with that much cushioning seems strange. The mid sole volume is up to 2.5x that of other running shoes, providing 50% more cushioning. It has a surprisingly stable ride(I was afraid of breaking my ankle because they were so high up ha!) and I didn’t feel the pavement pounding under me.
Obviously, the Hoka’s came home with me. I had a 10 mile run the next day and my Kinvara’s(which I still plan on using for short runs and speed work) were way over their mileage maximum and I knew running in them wasn’t smart. So, the Hoka’s it was. Ya’ll…10 miles..out of the box!!! I was shocked. I’ve never had a shoe perform that well and provide that much comfort fresh out of the box. The upper is a little higher on the front of the foot than I’m used to. It’s seamless and lightweight. It kind of hugs your foot all around and the tongue is a bit longer. I thought this would rub and cause issues but it didn’t. I do have to tie them a little tighter to get a nice snug fit. I’ve had to do this a bit more as I put more wear on them as they are a little bit wider, which is actually great for me. Also, according to Hoka the shoe has a
“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.”
This basically means the shoe rocks. Laymen’s terms ok. When you look at the shoe, brand new, you will notice it looks worn in already as far as the roundedness of the shoe. It looks like it’s going to rock you forward. That’s exactly what it does. It propels you forward so to speak making it a faster transition to the forefoot. It has a 4mm heal to toe offset. If you are like me, I used to read that about shoes and wonder what on earth it means. The heal to toe offset or drop is basically the difference between the heal height and the forefoot height. If you have a 20mm heal and 10mm toe, the difference would be 10mm and that would be your heal to toe drop. It’s how much higher your heal is than your forefoot.
The higher the number, the higher your heal is than your forefoot. The fact that the Hoka is a 4mm is amazing considering the padding. I never felt like my heels were flying up in the air and the rest of my foot was down on the ground. They are very even and cushiony(it’s a word).
So, what does all this mean? To me, the Hoka is very easily the best shoe I have ever run in. Ever. And I’ve run in a lot of shoes. I left out a lot of the shoes I’ve tried over the years. You have more important things to do today than read about my shoe collection. However, the Hoka wins hands down. It’s verstile. It’s light enough to be used for speed work, supportive enough for long runs OR recovery runs, and fast enough for racing. They have other shoes in the line that are more supportive or meant for trail running. The Clifton hands down is my shoe. I’ve covered a 16 mile run in them and had very little to no soreness the next day. I LOVE this shoe. Love. I can’t even tell you how much. I’ll never wear another shoe for long distance running and plan on running my marathon in them in December.
I know shoes are very individual and what works for me may not work for you, however, I was a huge critic of this shoe..until I put it on my foot. I’ll never go back. So, if you are a distance runner and struggling to find a lightweight supportive, yet fast, shoe…the Hoka OneOne may just be the right thing for you.
Do you have a favorite running shoe for distance running??
Do you have an obsession with running shoes the way I do? Tell me all about it…
*Disclaimer: I am not being paid to advertise or write a review for this product. This is purely my opinion after testing the shoe and this review reflects only that.