Hoka One Review

So based on several recommendations I decided to purchase the new Hoka One shoe this weekend.  My local running store finally got them in and I was dying at the bit to try them on.  As soon as I did I realized they fit very nicely.  Usually it takes me several attempts and several different shoe sizes to find a shoe that works just right for my weird feet.  These seemed to work right away.  But is the Hoka all it is advertised to be? The shoe that let’s you run pain free.  Let’s find out!

Monday: I went on a nice recovery 4 mile run inside on the treadmill as it was raining outside and I didn’t want to ruin the new shoes on the first day. My left knee was still sore from my Sunday run and it didn’t seem to matter what shoe I was wearing, it hurt.  After about 2 more miles the pain seemed to go away or became less noticeable. Whether it was the shoe or me I am not sure.  The big thing I noticed on this run was that the shoe feels surprisingly light! You would think a shoe this big would be a heavy sucker, but the weight felt just fine.  I noticed I seemed to “bounce” off the treadmill a little more than I usually would, when I started to go fast.  The other thing I noticed was that my left foot, near my toes, started to feel cramped and like it was forming a blister.  I think a longer run would do a better test.

Wednesday: Didn’t get a chance to go for a run yesterday but I went for an early 6 mile run today.  Everything felt pretty good up until mile 2 or 3 when I started to feel a bit of that “blister” weird feeling in the front part of my foot.  It started on my left side and then moving to my right.  I am going to be keeping an eye on this as it may be an indication that the shoe is too big.  I should mention the shoe size does seem to be wider than most.  This is perfect for me because I have wide feet, but for those looking for a perfect fit, you might have some extra room.

Thursday: Another short 4 mile run this morning, I felt the weird feeling in the front of my foot for the first 2 miles on both of my feet, it seems to be related to the road and if I am running on a slanted road or a flat road.  After about 2 miles, they seemed fine again.  I am eager to see how these handle on a longer run, hopefully I can get one in this weekend.

Sunday: Finally got to run a bit longer in these things. Today I ran 10 miles and the shoes felt pretty good. My left knee was still acting up about 5 miles in, but the pain slowly receded, or was dull enough for me to ignore.  Didn’t really notice the foot issues of the last runs, maybe I finally broke in the shoes? Ultimately, I would say slanted roads are the culprit.  But the shoes felt pretty good for the whole 10 miles.

Verdict:

When I went to the gym this morning I wore my old Ghost 5’s I have 3 pairs of these shoes and run them into the ground during my training cycles. They seem to only last one cycle, which in my case is about 3-5 months, sometimes even less. The one thing I will say is that I literally FELT the ground when i put these on and walked to the gym.  When I wore the Hoka’s I just felt the shoe and it’s padding, not what was underneath. This might take some getting used to for runners, but I don’t mind it. They definitely elevate you to a new height.  But do they make you “fly” as the ad campaign suggests?  No, but they feel good on my feet and if they save my knees in the long term I am all for it. At $160 a pop these are not the cheapest shoes to buy, but with added cushion these should last longer than my normal Ghost 5’s.

Overall, I would recommend this shoe if you want to try a more padded solution, and if you suffer from knee pain, grab them. But if are on a budget, you might want to go for something else as I am not 100% impressed just yet.  Do they eliminate all the pain you have when running? No, but they sure do feel nice.

The real question is… will they last till October?

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