That should be their marketing strapline. The first time I saw someone wearing a pair of Hoka was in the Alps and I nearly died laughing. His shoes were the size of newborn babies. So radically different and in such garish colours, he didn't exactly blend in. Since then I've heard them referred to ridiculous/daft, along with the words never and ever. I'll have to admit, it took me a long time to get over the hilarity of them. Even when Richie rolled up to the 24-hour race a few months agao, there was wave of pointing and giggling from the Scotland camp.
Anyway, you know I'm a complete sucker and it would only be a matter of time until I succumb to something new. Although I bought the Bondi B, which I consider to be a much more "toned down" version of their original shoe. Less like the Tweenies and more like a road shoe.
Sonic took great pleasure in mocking my latest random purchase. Although I think he finds it moderately less embarrassing than my winter running gear and ear muff combo. Personally I find that serves dual purpose. They keep my ears warm on frosty days AND they mortify my husband. Double bonus.
Here's something to illustrate the comparison...
...after seeing my Hoka, the Crazy German has made the leap. Wonder how long it will take Sonic to follow suit... :-)
With an RRP of £125, they're not exactly cheap - Although, let's be honest, you don't get much change from £100 for trainers these day - So, I'm saving them for times when I need something special. The thinking behind this purchase, would be to use them on the epic races like the 145m Grand Union Canal Race and for my next 24-hour (you knew I was going to succumb that that never-ever too!) race. Of course, I would need to try them out and break them in.
I have to admit I was slightly nervous about launching them on the streets of Glasgow. It's not a city for the faint-hearted, so my Tweenie shoes were in danger in attracting some unwanted attention. They were almost rendered nocturnal.
They do feel strange at first. Very bouncy. I was more conscious of every step, which I put down to being a little bit taller. They're so light. So light, that when the box arrived, I thought it was empty. After a few tentative miles, I was loving them. Although I still think they will take a bit of getting used to.
My second run (last Sunday) was in daylight. A nice 10-miler around the west end. I was watching people eyes to see if they would dart to my shoes. Like the attraction of person with their zipper down. But nothing. I think I can away with these. Although I did have to adopt the dance-like-you-need-to-pee tactic at the traffic lights to ensure no one's eyes became fixated on my feet.
Let's just say so far, so good. I've been converted. I'm eating my words. Or choking on my chuckles.
Here's the science bit:
Rolling: Hoka OneOne running shoes utilise a unique rolling motion to deliver superior underfoot performance. The sole features a 50% rockering profile to provide a smooth, energy efficient stride transition from the heel strike through to the push off from the forefoot. It is this progressive motion that propels you forward with each and every strike of the foot.
Oversized: Hoka OneOne running shoes are the only shoes of their kind to make use of unique oversized technology. Using up to 2.5x the volume of EVA in the midsole compared to standard running shoes, they offer outstanding impact absorption and a highly comfortable underfoot feel. This oversized approach to design ensures a natural stride whether on smooth road surfaces or the most uneven trails.
Control: Hoka OneOne running shoes feature a unique patented bucket seat design. This is recessed between 20mm to 30mm into the midsole so that the heel is firmly supported allowing for precision striking and optimum stabilisation of the foot. The recessed nature of the bucket seat also ensures that there is still a superior level of responsiveness between the foot and the ground, despite the high level of cushioning.
Stability: Hoka OneOne shoes aren’t just oversized in terms of height and cushioning; they also utilise a 35% wider platform that is designed to enhance underfoot stability. This profile works to counteract the height ensuring that you are comfortable and confident with every strike. All of our uppers are engineered with flexible, reinforced sidewalls, precision fit and close lacing systems to enhance the feeling of stability and support.
Grip: All Hoka OneOne shoes are designed to synchronise with the terrain on which you are running. That is why they feature a wide variety of tactile lug constructions with a selection of depth profiles best suited to the terrain in question. The midsole is also designed with grip in mind allowing for the correct amount of deformation, so as to provide constant contact with the ground.
Lightweight: Hoka OneOne running shoes are engineered with weight in mind. All individual shoes are considered first class in their respective categories. Being so lightweight they help to alleviate fatigue over longer distances and are ideal for those who crave high-levels of performance without being weighed down.
I bought my Hoka Bondi B from Pete Bland Sports. They're on offer just now for £110, including delivery. I ordered them in my usual running shoe size, but had to exchange them for the half size up. That's a personal thing though, as I like room for expansion.
Anyway, Time to Fly. Yeah, they're best to stick with that strapline.