I’m a little late to the party but I finally joined the crowd and got a pair of Hoka One One’s. Or as Jesi and I affectionately call them “moonshoes.” I typically wear the Brooks Pure Flow when they don’t change it so much that it hurts my feet. Thinking back to Pure Flow 2 when they decided diagonal lacing would be a great idea, I had so much ankle pain I thought my foot was broken. Thankfully enough people complained that they changed the lacing back. Setting aside the brand, I prefer to run in a minimal drop shoe. Anything more than a 5mm drop is uncomfortable for me.
For those new to the running world, the drop refers to the difference between the heel height and the forefoot height. As you can see from the screen shot of the Running Warehouse website, the heel of the Pure Flow 4 is 24mm while the forefoot is 20mm, the difference between these two figures: 4 is the “drop” of the show. The lower that drop figure the closer to a “natural”/”barefoot” experience you will have.
As much as I love to run in shoes with a minimal drop, I have been finding that my knees and ankle joints are becoming a bit stiffer. I am experiencing a bit more discomfort especially after longer distance runs. I realized after reading about Hoka One One shoes I could get the best of both worlds, minimal drop (they have a 0 drop) and padding.
I decided to take the plunge and buy a pair. Running Warehouse was having a sale and the Clifton 2, a pair that I tried at an expo last year and liked, were on clearance. I figured it was the perfect excuse to try them.They arrived on Monday to my excitement and I wore them yesterday for my 3.25 mile run.
I will admit that they don’t response quite like my Pure Flows, though I think that’s because it feels like there is fourteen feet of foam and cushioning on the bottom. As an aside, I do feel very tall in them, which for me is ALWAYS a plus regardless of comfort. Once I got use to how my foot hit the ground and the difference in response, I must admit I really enjoyed them.
They are super lightweight and they felt as weightless as my Flows. The Clifton’s were a little stiffer than I thought they would be, but I think that is a result of them being brand new out of the box as well as having a lot of nice padding.
A few of the reviews I read said that they were tight in the toe box, which for me is a good trait to have. I have very narrow feet and find that the spacious toe boxes result in my forefoot moving TOO much. I am looking forward to having a shoe that hugs my foot in the right places, giving me the stability I need.
I was glad that I read about the “how it fits” section of the website and ordered a half-size smaller than usual; at 9.5 they give my size 10’s ample room.
This isn’t meant to be an extensive review, 3.25 miles isn’t really enough pavement time to give a thorough review of the product. But so far my initial testing/run with the Hoka One One’s was a positive experience. I am looking forward to my long run this weekend and trying them out. I will alternate between the Hoka’s and my Brook’s especially when it involves speedwork. I do that think that might be the one downfall of the Hoka’s is their ability to quickly adapt for speed. But again, without having tried that I can’t speak specifically to that.
I was very nervous about trying something new, especially shoes but I felt that i needed something for those longer runs that would be help alleviate the pounding on my joints. My ultimate goal is to be a life longer runner, but if I beat the crap out of my joints in my 30’s my life long running career will end in my 40’s.
Have you found an alternative shoe that works well for you on long runs? How did you discover it? Have you found it to be a successful addition to your running closet? Comment below and let me know.