Hokas – revolutionary or fad?

August 12, 2017

Hoka trainers are a controversial topic in the running world – amongst a serious trend of minimal/zero drop trainers, these trainers look a lot like those platform trainers you could once buy in Tammy girl all those years ago (and have actually made a re-appearance from brands like Superga!)

If I’m totally honest, my approach to buying trainers so far throughout my running life has been this – whatever my Dad first bought me for Christmas, which has always been the female version of his own! For us that has been Asics Gel Kayanos for road running (most races) and Soloman Speedcross for trails (most of my training). If you’re a runner that like to geek-out on the kit and the science behind these decisions, you’re probably confused by our choices (me too!). The Speedcross is extremely minimal, and Kayanos rather clumpy! I can only guess that it’s because both are best sellers and we have never had a problem with either.

I have never been one to really get caught up in the idea that trainers make you faster – I do accept the different research and results, but generally I think you have to be comfy and go with what feels best for you…. focus on the training to make you faster!

That being said, I have always been seriously paranoid about changing my trainers, worrying that if I strayed from my trusty road Keyanos or trail Speedcross’, I may wind up injured!

My dad doesn’t stress on things like this and actually buys and try’s a ridiculous amount of running shoes, he literally has a pair for every single type of trail, terrain and weather conditions! In his most recent challenge – his first ultra run (62 miles from London to Brighton) he decided to copy some of his running friends (who had done a few ultras and swore by them) and get some Hoka’s.

After his first run in them he was convinced, “your legs just don’t get tired in them” – this naturally left me intrigued as someone that routinely has to run off the bike when my legs are shot and don’t want to move!

The Hoka Clayton 2 

“Redefining what’s possible with a fast shoe, this lightweight marvel boasts a PRO2Lite dual density midsole, which makes for a forgiving landing and responsive toe off. The CLAYTON 2’s responsiveness is further enhanced by the RMAT outsole which eliminates the excess weight of traditional rubber. This is a truly premium offering for those looking for a lightweight and responsive shoe. A refined midfoot fit and wide base makes this an uber comfortable and stable ride. The Clayton 2 is ready to compete when you are.”


First things first, this particular pair is for the road. My first impressions of this shoe (pre-run):

  • I love the colour and also the clumpy looking exterior (I’m not sure if people agree with this or not?)
  • Surprisingly light. I mean REALLY light, and not for the amount of shoe, light in general! Probably my lightest pair of trainers.
  • They do look really comfy and bouncy.
  • Surely these are going to make me heel strike, but I bet my quads do thank me for it.


Post run:

  • I still love the colour and clumpy exterior.
  • They are definitely my lightest pair of trainers.
  • I wouldn’t use these for any fast tempo sessions – but definitely for normal runs.
  • Despite these being a road shoe – I think they’re great on dry trails.
  • My quads really do thank me for these trainers.
  • They do potentially make your legs and feet a bit lazier (which is why I would definitely alternate trainers to suit different runs) – I think this is because you can’t feel the ground as much, so your feet and legs don’t have to respond to the terrain.
  • Despite what most people argue against them –  I think these will actually protect me from injury!
  • Great for long distance.
  • They always offer me that bouncy feeling – the feeling that comes with new trainers (when you seem to run faster, easier) except it doesn’t wear off.


Ultimately I love my new Hoka’s and they will definitely be making my very small and select choice of running trainers!

Have you tried them yet? What are you thoughts?

Em x



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