I’ve wanted to try the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket for quite some time, but it seems always to be sold out on Hoka’s website. I guess that’s because Hoka doesn’t make many true racing flats and it’s popular. Hoka is known as a maximalist shoe brand, so racing flats go against the grain.
Before this year, if you were looking for a racing flat, the Tracer was the best option. I also argue the lightweight Hoka One One Cavu is another excellent racing option for Hoka (it’s my all-time favorite shoe for fast runs). Now Hoka also has the Carbon X, which I recently reviewed as well.
So where does the Carbon Rocket Fall into place? Why is it always sold out?
The Carbon Rocket is a lighter, more responsive version of the Tracer. For many, (including myself), the Tracer is still too much shoe for a short race like the 5-10k.
The mesh upper of the Hoka Carbon Rocket is lightweight and breathable. It’s a relatively simple design which I appreciate. There are minimal seams so it won’t rub on bunions. Theoretically, you could probably wear them without socks, but I choose to wear socks.
The shoe is unisex, and a size 9 (which is about women’s 10.5) fits well. I am a size 9 in almost any racing flat I use. It’s true to size, something Hoka shoes have done well with.
To make the Carbon Rocket as light and responsive as possible, it uses Hoka’s “ProFly” technology. ProFly is softer in the heel but much firmer in the forefront. The heel is soft for cushion while the forefront is firm for propulsion. There is also a carbon fiber plate sandwiched between to minimize energy loss.
Another thing I appreciate is the rubberized foam outsole on the bottom of the shoe. Many flats this year have gone away from the rubber, but there is plenty of traction.
I’ve done a few different types of runs in the shoes, including runs at slower paces, as well as faster runs and workouts.
For me, I think it fits best as a long/fast run or on workout days. I am still in the process of figuring out my marathon shoe, and right now, this is a contender. With the carbon fiber plate, I do feel fast. If you are using any model of Hoka and want a fast 5k-10k shoe, this is a good option.
One final thing to add is that it does have a 1mm drop. I don’t know of another shoe that does, plenty of 0mm and 2mm drops.
The Hoka Carbon Rocket is the best true racing flat out there for shorter distances. If you are running a marathon or above, I think the Hoka One One Carbon X is better. For below a marathon, I would prefer the Carbon Rocket. I believe either is probably suitable for the marathon, along with the Cavu but I’m still in the process of figuring that out. (You’ll be much more injury-prone in the Cavu). I do appreciate this is a much more cushioned shoe and racing flat.
Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Hoka Mach 2,
Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike Streak Lt,
Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Mizuno R2, Hoka Cavu 2
Races: Reebok Run fast Pro
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Questions for you:
Which shoe do you use for the 5-10k?
What is your favorite racing shoe?
Nice review! Have you tried the EVO Rehi?
I have not, Steve. Have you?
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