Hoka One One Constant General Info:
The constant is all new for 2015 and is the first stability shoe made by Hoka One One. It is an attempt at a shoe that provides both maximum stability and maximum cushion.
The shoe has a slightly oversized look to it. It looks like it is very cushioned. Putting them on for the first time I noticed that the upper is very comfortable and feels nice on my foot.
The extra material in the midsole makes me feel a bit taller in these shoes but they are missing those signature soft and cushy qualities that many other Hoka’s possess.
Hoka One One Constant Sole Unit:
This shoe was designed to provide both maximum stability and maximum cushioning. The idea is that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice cushion for stability. The midsole is slightly oversized with thick foam material.
There is a small strip of eva foam on the outside of the midsole that is also part of the outsole. The rest of the midsole is infused with strategically placed RMAT material. Some of that RMAT material is also part of the outsole and directly contacts the ground when you run.
For those who aren’t familiar with RMAT, it is a type of foam made by Hoka that is more durable than EVA and is used in both midsoles and outsoles across their shoe line.
In addition to the EVA and RMAT materials, a good majority of the outsole is covered with a rubber material which is strategically placed to provide support. The rubber material is thick, hard, durable, and didn’t show signs of wear at all.
The small amount of EVA foam that is exposed on the outsole did wear pretty quickly and almost looked like it was being “shredded.” This didn’t really effect the integrity of the shoes ride at all but over time it probably could.
I really can’t describe the ride of the shoe as anything but firm. The shoe provides as much stability and support as anyone could ask for but the firmness of the material on the medial side of the midsole/outsole cancels out any attempt this shoe makes at providing extra cushion.
Hoka One One Constant Upper:
The upper of the shoe is made with quality materials and has shown no signs of wear after 50+ miles. It feels soft and comfortable on the foot. The eyelets for the laces are further apart than usual across the tongue/ top of the foot.
It is subtle but I think the wide spacing adds a little comfort to this upper. It really allows the laces to spread across a bigger surface area on your foot and makes it so that even if tied extra tight there’s no irritation across the top of your foot.
The tongue of the shoes is unique as well. It is basically a long piece of fabric that is part of the inside wall of the upper (similar to some nike free models) , this give the shoe more of a sock like feel.
Another thing adding to the soft feel is that this shoe is on the wider side. The upper leaves more room for your foot than usual especially in the toe box area. I was a big fan of the wider toe box in this shoe.
The upper also holds your heel in place really well with a piece of plastic type material that wraps all the way around the upper and connects to the midsole. This like many features of this shoe is to provide support where it is needed most.
One thing I also noticed about the upper is that it is made of a thicker material, so breathability suffers slightly. This actually kept my feet warm in some low temperature running but I noticed a lack or breathability compared to other shoes when running in higher temperatures above 50 degrees.
Hoka One One Constant Conclusions:
I think this shoe falls in line with a lot of other stability shoes. It provides a firm ride because in order to achieve the goal of stability, it has to. I had expectations that this shoe would somehow bridge the gap between stability and cushion and unfortunately that’s not what I discovered.
I really like the wider toe box in the upper. I also think the shoe does a stellar job at providing stability but if you’re expecting this shoe to be a “softer” stability shoe I don’t think it will meet your expectations.
If you are looking for a shoe with a soft, roomy upper that provides maximum support I think this shoe is worth trying out.
We thank the nice people at Hoka One One for sending us a pair of Constant to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.