Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X Shoe Review

The Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X is the updated version of the Hoka Rocket. As road races start to come back, I’ve been working on finding a good road racing shoe.  Like Princess and the pea, it’s been hard. I still miss the 2016 racing flats.

The Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X has significant updates since the original version. There is a new upper, and it’s more durable. It’s actually one of the more durable carbon-plated shoes out there.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X Shoe Review

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X Quick Facts:

Weight: 7.4 oz

Heel to toe drop: 5 mm

Cost: $180

Hoka One One Rocket X Introduction:

First, finding a carbon-plated shoe under $200 is rare. It makes you wonder, is the Hoka Rocket X even good? Why is it “so cheap”?

What’s new?

The Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X is updated with a streamlined upper, more rubber on the outsole, and it only uses a single density midsole.  An even bigger update is the heel-to-toe drop has been increased from 1 mm to 5 mm.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X Shoe Review

What is the difference between the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X and the Hoka Carbon X 2?

  • Both now have 5 mm drops.
  • Weight: the Carbon X is 8.8 oz, and the Rocket X is 7.4 oz
  • Carbon X 2 less durable but has more cushion (better for ideal weather days and ultra marathons)
  • Rocket X has less cushion and a more responsive ride (better for road racing)

Hoka One One Rocket X Fit:

The Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X fits more like a traditional running shoe versus a tight and slim-fitting racer. Both the Carbon X 2 and the Rocket X are the widest of any of the carbon-plated shoes. Since no carbon plated shoes come in wide, I always suggest trying these if you wear a wide.

The logo is printed on with no seams to irritate or rub.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X Shoe Review

The upper of the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X uses an airy mesh with no stretch. It feels a lot like the Rincon 2.

I don’t know what is going with Hoka lately, but the shoelaces are way too long. Why do they keep making their shoelaces longer and longer? Especially in a racing shoe? This is not really a big deal, and I swap them out, but it seems unnecessary.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X
Thin, meshy, upper

As far as fit, I usually wear between a woman size 10-11 wide in running shoes. The size 10.5 fits perfectly. Hoka is known to fit slightly long, and this does, but it feels secure enough my foot isn’t flailing around. Overall, it’s one of the more true to size-fitting Hoka shoes.

Hoka One One Rocket X Ride:

The Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X is designed for racing. Whether you are racing a 5k to a marathon, it’s designed to take on the roads. There isn’t as much cushioning as many of the other carbon-plated shoes (I have to wonder if that is why it’s cheaper), but there is enough cushioning for running a race.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X

Unlike many carbon-plated shoes, it feels as though the carbon plate is concentrated around the midfoot. You don’t feel like you’re being “pushed to the front” or rocked forward. It’s a lot flatter with a lot less cushion than many carbon-plated shoes.

The midsole is made from compression-molded EVA, so it’s not a soft as the Hoka Clifton. In fact, I would say if it’s one of the firmest shoes Hoka has, which makes sense because it’s a racing shoe, and instead of your foot sinking into the abyss, you feel the ground.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X

I’ve run several types of runs, from easy runs to workouts, and I find the best place for the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X is tempo and longer workouts. Which obviously makes sense; that is what the shoe is made for. It’s extremely smooth and rolls from heel to toe well. It has one of the most smooth transitions I’ve tried.

Durability: The Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X has blown rubber on the bottom. In fact, it has even more rubber than the first version! That makes it more durable, plus it has traction on inclement weather days. Unlike the Carbon X 2, I’m not worried about sliding all over the place if it’s raining.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X

Hoka One One Rocket X Conclusion:

As far as carbon-plated shoes go, the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X is one of the more firms rides out there. If you miss the “2016 racing flat days,” you might really like the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X. I appreciate you can feel the ground more! To me, the Asics Metaracer and the Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X are 2016 racing flats but brought into the carbon-plated world. Low profile. I don’t love (read: my body gets injured) racing in soft shoes, so this has been a good shoe for me. Plus, at $180, you aren’t taking out a mortgage to buy them.

It’s not that flashy, but it gets the job done. I have to wonder if Hoka has something even flashier in the works to compete with even more of the Carbon Plated shoes.

If you are looking for a carbon-plated shoe to try but don’t want to pay $250 or have never tried one before, the Hoka Rocket X is a great option. If you liked the 2016 style racing flats or liked a firmer ride but want to get in one-carbon plated footwear, this or the Asics Metaracer are the best choices.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket X

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs Saloman Sonic 3 Balance,   Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3, Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo, Brooks Ricochet 3, New Balance 1080 v11Hoka Bondi 7,

Speed Work: Nike Tempo Next%, New Balance Fuelcell TC Shoe ReviewReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro,

Long Runs: Hoka Clifton Edge,  Under Armour Sonic HOVR 3

Trail Running/Hiking: Hoka Torrent 2, Saucony Peregrine 11, North Face Flight VECTIV

Races: Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero ProAsics MetaRacerNew Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin ProNew Balance fuelcell TCReebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Hoka One One Carbon X?

What is your favorite racing shoe?