For Spring 2015, HOKA greatly expands their line of road and trail shoes. As the industry moves away from the more minimalist shoe for running, HOKA is poised to capitalize from offering a more cushioned yet stable ride.
The unique HOKA midsoles offer up 2.5X the volume of your standard running shoe and are made from softer density, lightweight, and greater rebounding foam. You might think that this huge midsole would be really unstable, causing you to fall or turn your ankle if you should hit a rock or root wrong. However, HOKA created the midsole so that your foot actually sits quite deep inside the shoe, creating a more stable platform.
With the “barefoot” craze, everyone was talking about drop or heel to toe differential, wanting a zero drop or minimal drop shoe. Even though HOKAs use a higher volume midsole, the drop is actually more minimal at 4mm-6mm. In addition, HOKA’s rocker shape encourages a continuous and natural roll from heel-strike to toe-off.
For Spring 15, some highlights include the new Constant road shoe ($160) that uses a combination of cushioning EVA and RMAT high-rebound material in an over-sized active foot frame (up to 30mm cushioning in the heel and 24mm in the forefoot). A mono-wrap tongue coupled with asymmetrical lacing supports your foot through the arch while reducing pressure across the top of the foot.
For trail runners, the new Challenger ATR (pictured top) is built on the current award-winning Clifton road shoe but adds increased support in the upper and a more aggressive outsole. Independent rubber pods with 4mm lugs offer great traction on a variety of surfaces. The lightweight Challenger ATR weighs just 8.6 ounces (men’s 9) and retails for $130.
Who has tried running in HOKAs and what do you think?