Today is a guest post from Almine Barton with her review of the Hoka Mafate trail shoes. Almine is a licensed acupuncturist and certified fitness trainer based in Bend, OR. She writes a great blog covering nutrition, CrossFit, fitness, climbing and all of her crazy fun adventures along the way.
I'm no ultra-runner. In fact, I'm not even a distance runner. This, ironically, may be why I'm qualified to do a gear review for a running shoe. Let me explain how I came to relish in my Hoka Mafate trail shoes.
A friend of mine, Catra Corbett, kept putting a cyber bug in her friends ears: Hoka shoes are where it's at – buy them now, or run forever in the "other shoe". Naturally, a woman who logs between 4,000-7,000 miles per year has a right to her running shoe opinions.
Myself? Well, I'm a climber and multi-sport athlete. I relish in all things high, steep and varied. I enjoy a good adventure race, with as much variety in race course and sports involved as possible. Beforehand, I test drive every piece of gear I have, from running shoes to mountain bikes, in all types of weather.
Two years ago I decided to take up running during the climbing off-season here in Bend, OR. Without much frozen vertical to climb here, I became a bit antsy. I began to run. I ran in snow, over ice fields, in the pouring rain, through mud, and over streams. I still do.
Since I began running, I've been searching for a trail shoe that would deal with the varied Oregon climate and therefore varied trail terrain. After several suggestions from seasoned runners, I tried the Hoka shoes. I was promised these trail shoes would make me feel like I was running on a cloud of marshmallows. I thought O.K., sounds nice, but REALLY? Verdict: Yes. REALLY.
I was completely taken aback by both the Hoka Bondi B road shoes and the Mafate trail shoes. My experience with each run, particularly with downhill, scrambling, and hill-sprints, has continued to surprise me and surpass every expectation. I come home muddy, wet, soaking, with feet that feel as if they didn't step foot out of their morning slippers. Yes. REALLY.
The Hoka Mafate trail shoes deliver. When Hoka say "It's Time To Fly!" they mean it. Put them on and feel the wings.