The Hoka Tecton X is one of the most requested running shoe reviews on the blog yet. The truth is, it’s taken me a long time to write the Hoka Tecton X review because it’s taken me a long time to buy the Tecton X. A $200 running shoe is hard to get up and buy, and since I haven’t been running trails as much lately, it was not a need for me. Is any running shoe a need? No, but a trail shoe is less of a need.
Hoka Tecton X Introduction:
Carbon plated shoes have taken over the road running world, and even Hoka has three different models for the road. There haven’t been a ton of carbon-plated shoes to hit the trail world, or if they do, they aren’t great. The exception is the $375 Speedland SL: PDX Trail Shoe, but that price is also scary. Hoka is coming into the carbon plated trail world with the Hoka Tecton X.
Hoka Tecton X Quick Facts:
Weight: 8.5 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm
Hoka Tecton X Fit:
As with most Hoka shoes, the fit of the Tecton X is wider. It’s not too wide and you don’t need to size down but the toe box is roomy.
I firmly believe the best running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and for the most part, the Hoka Tecton X does just that. The Hoka Tecton X uses a single-layer of a jacquard engineered mesh upper. It’s thin and breathable and gives your feet room to splay.
Hoka has additional padding around the heel and ankle, but it features one of my lesser favorite thin Hoka tongues; I often find this type of tongue to cut into my ankles and prefer anything else. Please Hoka, stop making this type of tongue. Give me a plush or just a regular tongue.
The Tecton X wraps comfortably around your foot with a single-layer jacquard engineered mesh upper. The thin, breathable material gives your feet room to move naturally while remaining comfortably locked in. The tongue is my only real complaint about the fit of the Hoka Tecton X.
Regarding fit, I usually wear a size 10-11 wide in running shoes. The size 10.5 in the Tecton X fits the best. Sometimes Hoka runs a little large, but that isn’t the case here, and the Hoka Tecton X fits almost true to size with some extra width.
Hoka Tecton X Ride:
The Tecton X is Hoka’s first carbon fiber plate trail shoe. Do carbon-plated shoes work on the trails? It depends. You’ll undoubtedly run faster if you have a smooth, runnable trail. But if you’re running up and down rocky and technical terrain, you aren’t going to get much of an advantage from a carbon-plated trail shoe. The more rocks, roots, and debris a trail has, the less benefit you are going to get from a carbon-plated shoe.
How does the Hoka Tecton X work? The Tecton X features two parallel carbon plated in the midsole. It’s more responsive than any other Hoka trail shoe because of those plates. It has the signature ProFly midsole cushioning, which makes the sure feel “less harsh.” Without the ProFly buffering, the midsole might feel too harsh and uncomfortable to run.
Durability and Traction: The Hoka Tecton X features a Vibram mega grip which means you will get a lot of traction. It’s designed for bad weather days or courses with a lot of mud. You can use it for any trail, but the traction is excellent in inclement conditions. Regarding durability, I predict it will last between 200-300 miles. You might still be able to run it with more cushion, but you aren’t going to get that carbon fiber plate advantage. And at that point, you might as well pay for the Zinal or Torrent 2, which are cheaper without a carbon plate.
I’ve used the Hoka Tecton X for a few different types of trail runs. As mentioned, the carbon fiber plate excels on smooth trails where you can pick up your pace. The more rocks, the less advantage of the plate. That being said, the Tecton X also excels in inclement weather due to the traction of the Vibram midsole. It’s not my first choice for technical or wet terrain because I would instead save the carbon plate for fast trails. Finally, I feel like this is self-explanatory but the Hoka Tecton X is not designed as a road racing carbon-plated shoe. Don’t do that. You’re just wasting time and money.
Hoka Tecton X Concluision:
The Tecton X is a fast trail shoe. But it’s only fast on smooth, fast, runnable, trails. If you are running on rocky trails, you’re much better off getting something that doesn’t have a carbon plate (the Zinal or Torrent) and saving money. I like the Tecton X and will continue using it, especially on faster trails. It just wouldn’t be my first choice for most East Coast Trails.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Are you 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 Tecton X?
What is your favorite trail shoe?