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‘Out of the box’ review: Hoka One One ‘Huaka’.


Only recently, I received a pair of Hoka One Ones.

For a very long while I’ve been a little prejudiced against them.  Not for any good reason (I think that’s how prejudice works), but I just considered them a little excessive.  ‘Moon Boots’ I used to call them.

Huaka from Hoka One One

Well – for the last year, I’ve been perfectly happy in the deep cushion road shoes I was using, which are themselves a massive 29mm deep at the heel – actually deeper than the 27mm in the Hokas.  So there you go.

Regardless of my opinion ahead of trying them, when they finally went on earlier this week, I was impressed.

Not only have they less depth than other shoes I’ve tried, but they’re a 2mm drop from heel to toe, which is a new one for me.  I’ve used 4mm and 3mm and zero drops, so this was no issue.

The RMAT midsole/outsole (Blue).

The RMAT midsole/outsole (Blue).

They’ve a fab midsole material called RMAT which is cushiones but not too soft and it’s resilient enough that only key areas need to be reinforced for added traction and wear resistance.  This keeps the weight down and means that to wear such a big looking shoe doesn’t actually feel heavy in any way, shape or form.

In short – good running.  Actually a lot of fun.  I’ve only had a couple of 4 mile runs in them, but they’re a nice blend of cushion and responsiveness.  I can lounge about at my level 1 heart rate, or turn on a bit of speed for a (short lived) level 3 and in both cases, they offer bags of comfort, with the efficiency to move well.  Surprisingly responsive for such deep shoes, stable despite the stack height and when I want to put force through them, they don’t ‘bottom out’ – they seem to let me put some force through the ground (as much as I can spare in any case).

They’ll have to go through a few more miles before I can decide their usefulness on anything longer than half marathon distance, but my suspicion is that I might have found my new ultra distance shoe.  But let’s not get carried away.

Look out for my full Magazine Review in the next couple of days/weeks.

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