Hoka One One Stinson B Review
- MSRP: $149.95
- Weight- 10.5 ounces, size 9
- Midsole Height- 40mm, with 13mm rockering profile
- Life span- close to 400 miles depending on use
The first thing you notice about the Hoka One One shoes is that they have a HUGE midsole. This huge midsole acts as a cushion which not only absorbs the rocks and roots of any trail, but comforts and supports ankles, knees, hips, and back movements for longer distances or to help maintain a running career for a longer time!
When I first checked out these crazy cushioned shoes, I was working at a running shoe store where the latest and greatest came through the door. The second time I got a closer look at them was at the 2011 Summer Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. I was excited and honored to hear about the product from the man himself, co-inventor and co-owner, Nicolas Mermoud. We discussed how the shoe is similar to a minimalist shoe due to the fact that it forces a mid to forefoot strike and feels somewhat like running in sand. I used this shoe, the Stinson B, on both the road and trails. A mix of the original trail Mafate shoe and road Bondi, it performed well up the Manitou Incline, down Barr Trail as well as on the Pikes Peak Ascent. Since there is virtually NO time needed to "break in" these shoes, I literally tied them up and ran out the front door the day that I got them. Here's what I noticed during my runs:
-I didn't have a heel strike anymore thanks to the "rocker" profile. It wasn't even possible and I had to force myself to get one.
-The Hoka's gently roll over and "swallow" rocks, twigs and debris on the road and trail. (Look at that cushion!)
-They are very cushioned yet supportive. The wide platform is stable without being a stability shoe.
-It was hard to roll my ankle even though I tried many times.
-No blisters, hot spots or the like, even after wearing them on a run right out of the box!
-The laces seemed hard to tighten and tie which will change with the speed lacing system coming on the 2012 Stinson B EVO in February.
-The shoes are BIG. Due to this fact, and the fact that I was not used to them, I scuffed my toes a lot and my knees rubbed together a lot more than usual.
I did make one big mistake and almost paid for it with a broken wrist. Running down the trail, I ended up stepping on top of a medium sized rock that had somewhat of a point on the top. The shoe ended up rolling over to the side and I tripped and fell. Not being familiar with the size and how they might modify your running style, I would caution new trail runners from using these shoes. For a more advanced trail runner (like Dave Mackey), they are heaven because they allow the runner to "fly" quickly down the trail. The Stinston B EVOs also come with a customizable midsole where the runner can drill holes for a softer feel or insert pegs for a stiffer ride. (See dots on grey area of the midsole near the bottom of the shoe.)
For me? I will stick to wearing them on the road. They really are good for everyone and I do see them working wonders for long distance runners, runners or hikers looking to cushion some joints or back issues, or who simply want to extend their running habits. Regarding the price point? Think about your health. It's like shopping at Whole Foods vs the convenience store, pay now, or pay big time later.
Here is Hoka's Story:
Hoka One One is the brainchild of two gravity sports enthusiasts Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud. Both men have been adventuring for as long as they can remember, and their trail running experiences have taken them across the globe.
Both Jean-Luc and Nicolas are committed to the values of freedom and enjoyment and feel that this is integral to the running experience whether running on the trail or in the city. With this in mind they started to look at the variables that affected the performance of different types of runners.
They quickly came to an important conclusion; fatigue, impact and muscle strain were challenges that runners of all stripes had to deal with every day. So Jean-Luc and Nicolas came up with a brilliant idea, why not design a shoe that would help to alleviate these problems - so that freedom and enjoyment could be guaranteed every time you go running!
From that idea Hoka One One was born. The word Hoka is derived from the ancient Maori language and roughly translates to "now it is time to fly". That's just how it feels to run in a pair of Hoka One One shoes; with each and every step your foot takes flight.
Today runner's from around the world are learning about the benefits of Hoka One One, they have been used by marathon winners. 50 mile, 100 mile and even 2000+ mile ultra-runners as well as runner's just like you or I who want to enjoy running, perform at their peak and feel that important sense of freedom whilst maintaining top physical performance and protecting against shocks, jolts and injuries.
So put your best foot forward, it's time to fly!