Hoka 2014 Running Shoes Preview

The word Hoka is derived from the ancient Maori language and roughly translated to “now it is time to fly”.

We caught up with Hoka at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City and talked about their newest shoes. Keep reading after the video to find out more about the Conquest, the Huaka, the Clifton and the Bondi.

Hoka One One Conquest

MSRP: $170
Weight: 11.8 oz (Men’s size 9)
Drop: 4mm
Availability: Now

 

Hoka’s most maximal model debuted at Summer Outdoor Retailer 2013 and was looked at with cheers and jeers alternately. A basically seamless upper sits on top of a full length RMAT midsole. This foam is new for Hoka and was engineered to provide increased rebound, better durability, and exceptional outsole grip.

Just a few minimal areas of Hi-Abrasion rubber cover the midsole which allows this incredibly cushioned shoe to come in at only 11.8 oz. The Conquest also features Hoka’s Early Stage Meta Rocker system which is less supportive but provides a really fast transition through the foot strike.

This is a shoe that looks a lot smaller on the shelf than it does in a photo and deserves a look from runners seeking the ultimate experience in neutral cushioning.

Hoka Huaka

MSRP: ?
Weight: 8.9 oz (men’s size 9)
Drop: 2 mm
Availability: Spring/ Summer 2014

For those who think that Hokas are only for mid-packers or ultra-runners, it is helpful to know that Sage Canaday ran a 2:22 at the Carlsbad marathon in these bad boys. The Huaka is one of Hoka’s first lower profile offerings that still features an incredible amount of neutral cushioning thanks to a full length RMAT EVA midsole.

Again, Hi-Abrasion rubber is placed very sparingly on the outsole to save weight. The upper features no seams and is form fitting but has very minimal overlays as well as Hoka’s Race-Lace System which is a more pliable version of boa lacing which uses regular nylon shoelaces but locks them into place so that they stay tied.

The Huaka is a shoe that will definitely convert those who try it to the feel of Hoka’s cushioning and rocker system.

Hoka Clifton

MSRP: $110
Weight: 7.9 oz (men’s size 9)
Drop: 5mm
Availability: Spring/ Summer 2014

The lightweight Clifton boasts what Hoka is calling “Quite possibly the smoothest-riding shoe on the market”. A featherweight upper with welded overlays sits on top of a full length midsole which provides full contact with the ground. Carbon rubber is placed in high wear zones only and the overall feel of the Clifton is absolutely featherweight.

When compared side by side with shoes of similar weight the amount of cushioning in the Clifton is absolutely flooring. This is the Hoka racing shoe capable of withstanding a beating from daily training while being light enough to race 10k to the marathon.

Hoka Bondi B 3

MSRP: $150
Weight: 10.8 oz (men’s size 9)
Drop: 4.5mm
Availability: Now

Hoka removes a couple of millimeters of highly cushioned CMEVA midsole foam of the midsole to make the new Bondi B a full ounce lighter. Retaining the same rocker feel with a midsole that cradles the foot and provides some stability, the Bondi B 3 is a surprisingly agile ride.

The newly anointed will take note that the foot sits further down in the midsole than it appears and the rounded edges work well on trail surfaces as well. The Bondi B 2 helped me get through the last forty miles of my first trail 100 miler and I’ll never forget the feeling of relief and comfort they provided me over the ultra distance after wearing traditional trail shoes for the first 60 miles.

If you’re looking for the traditional Hoka One One experience, the Bondi B 3 is a great place to start.




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