Short version: I love them.
Long(er) version: Read on…
I’ve worn the same running brand and model for more than four years (Brooks Ghost) and I’ve been in the camp of “don’t fix what isn’t broken.” I loved, and still love, those sneakers and they aren’t going anywhere. They just have a new friend in the rotation now.
I first heard about Hoka One One in November after reading a review on Sarah’s blog. More recently, I’ve seen posts about them on other running blogs (Amanda and Monica). As they are all runners with a lot of experience, plus Sarah works at a running store, I decided to get a pair of my own. Positive peer pressure right there.
To say I am impressed is an understatement. What looks like a super chunky, heavy shoe is honestly one of the lightest and most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. Prime example of not judging a book by its cover.
I bought the Clifton model, which is a labeled a neutral shoe. Funny story: when I told my mom about them she thought I said I bought a “hookah” and was very confused. I have a very high arch (people think I’m a ballerina) and I was nervous to run without my normal inserts. But so far I haven’t had any problems or pains. In fact, I haven’t thought about my feet at all while running (is that normal? My feet are always on my mind…).
What I like:
-The comfort. The extra cushioning is new for me and it feels like a treat to run in something so comfortable.
-The weight. Other than my XC and track racing flats, I’ve never run in something so light.
-The strike. I’m not a heel striker but I am a heavy runner. I can already tell how the sneaker’s low heel-toe drop forces you to land on the mid foot (proper form). I think this could prevent the random knee pain I occasionally get.
What I don’t like:
-Limited color options. Not a huge deal but the colors are really bright.
-Not the most attractive. Let’s just say that I don’t plan to wear these with dress, at least until my wedding…
-These ran true to size, if not a bit small. I run in a 9 in Brooks and an 8.5 in the Hoka’s.
The longest run I’ve had in these is 5 miles so I’m hoping to do a longer run soon. Be prepared for a follow-up note after that happens. While I was skeptical leaving my literal and physical comfort zone, this experiment has proven to be very beneficial. It also leaves me wanting to try more products…but I’ll enjoy what I have for now.