Hoka One One

Hoka One One Running Shoe Review

Fatty fat fat isn’t normally something you say as a compliment but that is the first thing that popped into my mind when I laid eyes on the Hoka One One’s a few years ago.  I’ve always wanted to give them a try and, while planning for a week long cross country road trip, decided the time was right to put these babies to the test.  I needed to stay in shape while driving for 8 hours a day and I planned to go running every day when I stopped for the night.  I’d be facing conditions ranging from a hotel’s treadmill, trail run in the Rocky Mountains, and long flat stretches of Midwest pavement – I couldn’t think of a better test. I also need to quality this post with this statement – I hate running more than going to the dentist.  Running distances isn’t part of my traditional training regimen (I find other ways to build my legs and maintain cardio endurance) so what better way to motivate me actually go out and run than a new pair of interesting shoes.

Outside of the need to motivate me to actually run the new (ish) trend that bucks the minimalist running movement has garnered more and more of a following lately and is something that personally intrigued me.  I don’t not run for more than the fact that I think it’s boring – just over two years ago while skiing I had accident that resulted in a compound spiral fracture of my tibia and fibula which required a titanium rod and several screws to fix.  Even since then, while my leg is back to normal and I’m able to do everything I was before, it hurts to go running.  Pounding the pavement jars my leg enough that I can notice the slight difference in flex between my regrown bones and the hardware that remains in my leg.  I’ve wondered if the extra kush provided by fat bottomed shoes could prevent that pain from happening.

When I first tried them on I couldn’t believe it – it was like walking on air.  I know that sounds corny but there is no other way I would describe it.  I’ve never tried on a pair of shoes that gave me as much spring in my step as the Hoka One One’s do and, even though their thick sole’s finally make me feel like a tall person, they are incredibly light (and not just light for fat shoes but even compared to my other lightweight shoes). I also love that they use speed laces. A jog around the store was enough to convince me that I should take the plunge and so I poneyed up a $160 for a pair.  Over the next couple days I wore them around the house to make sure there weren’t any hot spots and found they really did continue to fit as well as they did in the store.

Then came the real test – actually running in them.  After two days in the car I got a chance to stretch my cramped legs and feel the pavement under my feel.  Or more accurately, NOT feel the pavement under my feet.  I was able to run for three miles with no pain in my legs and feet that felt fresh.  Over the next several days I took them for more runs in a variety of conditions and I can say that in the overwhelming number of scenarios I enjoyed these shoes.  There are a few things I didn’t enjoy with them through – the first is stairs.  You will need to readjust how you place your feet going down stairs.  I almost fell down the stairs and died… twice.  I also didn’t enjoy using these on a treadmill.  For some reason on a treadmill I was constantly tripping when I wore them.

Overall I really did enjoy my experience using these shoes and I’ll continue to use them from time to time when I am forced to endure the hellish experience that is running.

Conclusion:

If you are even the slightest bit intrigued by the Hoka One One’s go try them! You might find yourself converting from the minimalist shoe movement.

Hoka One One