SummaryThe name JAWZ explains itself upon first inspection of the Hoka One One Evo JAWZ. The shoe has 6mm lugs and they remind you of something you would see on a soccer cleat, only shaoed differently. If you use your imagination it really does look like shark teeth from the side profile.
The EVO JAWZ has a very thin layer of midsole foam,a Vibram rubber outsole with 6mm lugs and an incredibly thin upper that has Kevlar incorporated into the material for durability. The shoe has a firm and responsive ride. This shoe is very snappy on terrain that allows the lugs to dig in and fulfill their purpose. The shoe grips extremely well and shines when the trails are slightly wet to muddy. The lugs are so large that it actually feels a little odd running on hard packed trails because they can’t sink into the ground. On harder surfaces you can actually feel the lugs flex beneath your foot almost acting as suspension underfoot.
The upper provides a narrow fit and the shoe actually fits slightly longer than usual sizing which is a first for me with Hoka's. There is very little protection or support from this upper. It is basically a racing flat so if you roll your foot slightly and bump it on a rock you feel it every time. The JAWZ is as light as a feather (7.2oz) and you’d be hard pressed to find a shoe this light with this much grip anywhere else. This was a very fun shoe to run in but it is a specialized shoe that’s not for everybody. This one’s for the speedy trail racers. If running on rocky trails It requires absolute precision or you pay the price in the form of bruised up feet and ankles. I personally would not race further than the half marathon distance in the JAWZ, and I would even consider that to be a slight gamble given the firm ride and lack of protection.
Buyer beware: The shoe came with a warning that some of the dye used in the upper may bleed onto your socks. It certainly did, and then some. I ran in these shoes in the rain one day and they actually turned the skin on my feet blue. I thought it would come off easily when I saw it but I was mistaken. It took about 4 days before the blue went away and even then it wasn't completely gone. This type of thing isn't a deal breaker for me but I thought readers should at least know about it. I have included a picture of my beautiful feet in all of their glory for reference.