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The Hoka Thread
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repoman




Joined: 19 Nov 2006
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Location: Riding eternal, shiny and chrome

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: The Hoka Thread Reply with quote

I have trawled through a few threads looking for information on Hokas so I thought I would start a thread specifically about them so people can throw in their two cents.

In case you donítí know anything about them this is the manufacturerís site:

http://www.hokaoneone.eu/en/hokaeurope.html

I bought a pair (Stinson B) a couple of weeks ago because I was looking for something that might cosset the feet a bit more and stop them feeling so beaten up in ultras.

My initial observations are cautiously positive, with one reservation which is personal to my awkward gait.

Despite the Spice Girls / Boy-with-caliper-and-orthopaedic-shoe-holding-a-collecting-box-outside-a-newsagents-in-the-seventies look which leads you to think they will weigh the same as ski boots, they donít. They are very light. I suspect they may be made of marshmallows in fact.

They do feel ďtallĒ when you have them on but so far I havenít had any untoward ankle rolling moments, and they arenít anything like as ungainly as they look. The squidgy ride is great, particularly down hills and the amount of absorption in the soles means that small stones and rocks get eaten up without needing a rock plate for protection. I have run easy and hard in them and the soft ride isnít an impediment to putting the hammer down.

I havenít yet tried them on more technical trails but the fact that the area of the sole is allegedly 50% bigger than other shoes sounds to me like it could be an issue on rutted terrain. The outsole on mine isnít particularly aggressive, but they coped with moderate going on grass and track ok.

My personal issue relates to my right foot whichtends to splay out slightly compared to the left one. I get the slight sense that this is amplified in the Hokas because they are higher off the ground, meaning that a perpendicular line through my heel to the floor puts less of the shoe under my heel compared to something lower. Hard to describe but itís definitely an issue.

For this reason I havenít yet tried anything over 8 miles but I will do soon and report back.

For me sizing was pretty much spot on to what I expected but some reviews suggest that they come up small. I always err on the large side anyway when in doubt to allow a margin of error for thicker (Drymax) socks or feet swelling.

No denying they are expensive though. RRP is £125 - £140 although Pete Bland has various models on sale at £80 which is what I paid. Pricey experiment but maybe prices will come down.

Interested to hear any other thoughts.
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fat buddha




Joined: 13 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you've mentioned most things there Repoman but to add a couple of points from my experience

as most Hokas are designed for trail use, you will find rapid wear on the soles if doing long road runs, so if possible, get hold of the Tarmac versions for road running as the sole is harder wearing. when I have run off-road in my trail versions, they do offer excellent grip.

I have run a marathon in Hokas (Brighton) and seeing as I had chronic PF last year, these beauties have helped me overcome that and I had no post-Brighton PF issues. some discomfort, but not pain.

if you drive in Hokas, then you may have to drop the seat back a bit - those deep soles do make a driving difference!!

people will laugh at you - especially the minimalist crew - and wonder what the feck you're wearing. just ignore the twats...... Wink

finally - they are comfortable without socks (Tarmac ones at least) so good for tris. I've raced in mine without socks in standard distance and no issues of rubbing over 10k. either that or I'm just 'ard...... Razz
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Bokkeuk




Joined: 22 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok please excuse the life history but...
Always ran in neutral asics shoes and never gave it a thought until a knee op in 2012 after which the surgeon advised me to knock running on the head.

I then started trying all different shoes and forms in a bid to try and keep running whilst limiting the damage to my knee. The ones I found to be the best (for me) were the on cloudrunners / surfers. Far less swelling in the knee after running and less pain two to three days out.

Then on a whim about a month ago I bought a pair of hoka bondi b. I tried them in a 10 km run and quite liked them even though they took some getting used too. I then ran them twice more, an 18and 14km. What I seemed to find was that I had far less feedback from my hips, lower back etc and seemed to recover quicker. The jury was out on my knee though as it seemed a little less happy than when in my cloudrunners.

Anyway to cut a long story short last Sunday I decided to use the hokas over the clouds for IM Nice. I finished ok and the run went better than expected considering I've run no further than a half marathon in the past two years.

I also had no problems with my knee and felt that I recovered quicker and had less stiffness generally.

So I guess like you repoman I am cautiously positive and can see myself using hokas a lot more - perhaps exclusively in the future.

Granted they certainly wont be everyone's cup of tea but I figure that if a person stays open minded and actually tries things before knocking them they might be surprised on the odd occasion...

Pricy and ugly but hey - cheaper than the surgeon!
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Old Bob




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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of these - most of my running is on tarmac/pavement in cities these days and the impact is starting to feedback and cause hip/knee pain. Nothing extreme, but its not going to get any better I guess.

How much bigger are these than normal shoes? Reading some reports, it seems like they are like big clown feet or something from Lord of the Rings? They look relatively 'normal' on their website, I don't suppose anyone has a picture of them next to a standard running shoe?
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repoman




Joined: 19 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bokkeuk - glad they worked for you, and well done on IM Nice Cool

Bob - funny enough they were on the shelf next to my Newtons the other day and I thought - "that would make a good photo"

I'll reprise it for you and try and recapture the spontaneous magic Wink
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Bokkeuk




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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks repoman - just happy to be out there again! Smile

Bob, this certainly doesn't fall under the nice photo category but it'll give you an idea... The asics is a uk 8 and the hoka an 8.5 uk as i found them a bit small)

The missus promises me (between sniggers) they look fine - she's a Newton girl! Seriously though they are not that different and for me it's who cares - I'm comfy! Very Happy

Ps excuse the bird like legs!

http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/userpix/26876_image_3.jpg
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veggieboy




Joined: 13 Jul 2007
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Location: Wearing Hokas/Altras/Sketchers and Ashmei - looking good is more important than running fast

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have got some Stinson Tarmacs being delivered next week

If these work out ok then I will get some trail ones. I'm keen to get something to float over the mud at CC100 and Winter 100 later this year

Also CC has a lot of up and down which is where the Hokas are meant to excel
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The Iain




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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be interested to know how people find them in ruts and things, one of my concerns was would being slightly raised up cause greater torque on one's knees? It's a problem I found with my Newtons, the lugs caught me out running over those raised bits by pedestrian crossings.
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Carlito




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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always been against them but seeing some of the runners flying past me on the descents in the West Highland Way Race last weekend I am wavering.
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Phil G




Joined: 05 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using Hokas now for the past 12 months, and am loving them. Started to get lower leg niggles as I upped my mileage last year in prep for IMUK but these seem to have fixed my problems!

If you don't fancy the full on Hoka they've just brought out a new mid version, the kailua, same heel toe drop, etc, but 3/4 of the cushioning of the likes of the Bondi. But still much more cushioning than a standard shoe!

I had the bondi's originally and they seemed to have a very large but square toe box which bruised my toes, but have just bought the new kailua's which seem to have a more normal longer toe box and haven't bruised my toes in the 20milers I've done in them so far! So these seem to be great for me so far!
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martinp....ink




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Location: Running on the trails laughin at the tarmac munchers

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Repo's up at the 12hr conti run today, I wonder if he's using his?

I forgot to ask him yesterday Rolling Eyes
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recoil




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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrecked my knee about 2-3 years ago now and havent been able to run since then. Lately I've had the inclination to get out and do a sprint just to kick off my return to fitness, and to lose the 4-5 stone I put on Smile

I got a pair of the Mafates for christmas for £60, Im ususally an 8.5 EE in New Balance but after some discussions with the shop I went for a 10.5 which is actually a perfect size for me.

First time I went out in them I knackered my back, not sure if it was the trainers or what but it put me off for a couple of months, I've been out in them since and it seems ok so far, only short runs but they seem to be working ok for me at the moment.
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Old Bob




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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bokkeuk wrote:
Thanks repoman - just happy to be out there again! Smile

Bob, this certainly doesn't fall under the nice photo category but it'll give you an idea... The asics is a uk 8 and the hoka an 8.5 uk as i found them a bit small)

The missus promises me (between sniggers) they look fine - she's a Newton girl! Seriously though they are not that different and for me it's who cares - I'm comfy! Very Happy

Ps excuse the bird like legs!

http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/userpix/26876_image_3.jpg


Actually, they're not as bulky as I thought. Thanks for that mate.
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Polish Special Forces




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wore mine for the first time today. Quick little 4.5mile to work. Felt quite good I must admit.

For those that dont know, I had surgery on both feet in Dec and have struggled with heel pain since. Bought these on advice from Repo, to lessen the impact pain, and first impressions are good.

Oh yeah, I also went to Brazil a few years back. Not many people know that.
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veggieboy




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Location: Wearing Hokas/Altras/Sketchers and Ashmei - looking good is more important than running fast

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

about to set out for their first test.

A 12 mile run to work, mixture of trail and road

Currently feel very wierd
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