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Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

The Hoka One One Carbon X is the most requested shoe review I’ve ever had. Keep in mind, I’m not a Hoka athlete (or “sponsored” by any running shoe brand) so just because a shoe comes out doesn’t mean I immediately get a pair. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Luckily our local running store carries them. The Hoka Carbon X came out in early May during the Project Carbon X with Jim Walmsley in Folsom, California. Ultramarathoners and elite runners debuted the shoe while chasing the 100k and 50-mile world records.

The Hoka One One Carbon X is designed to be ultra-cushioned while still be very light and a responsive ride. It’s intended to be a distance shoe for half marathons, marathons or ultras.

Quick Stats:
Drop: 5 mm
Weight: 7.2 oz
Category: Road racing or soft groundHoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Upper:

Like the Cavu (my favorite shoe),  I appreciate how the upper is light and simple. It’s just a single layer of breathable mesh. I wear anywhere between a women’s size 10-11 wide and the women’s 10.5 fits well. There is minimal structure to the upper, so your foot floats around. Your running shoe should always have space. Most “racing shoes” fit much more narrow, so this is the first racer that has plenty of room.

One thing to keep in mind is there is no heel counter. Your heel might not feel as secure as other shoes, but I’ve run just over 50 miles in the shoe and haven’t had an issue with sliding.  It does take patience the first time you put the shoe on. There is still the back eyelet that you can use to secure your heel more into place if you find it to be an issue.

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Ride:

This is what I was most curious about. Would I feel the carbon plate like the Nike Vaporfly? The ride is smooth, and you feel the cushion but also feel the propulsion of the carbon plate.

If you’ve never run in Hoka before, Hoka uses a “Meta-Rocker”. Most Hoka models are low heel to toe drops (usually between 1mm-5mm). Think of the Meta-Rocker like a rocking chair which helps a smooth transition from heel to toe during the gait cycle. Hoka breaks down the Meta-rocker into “early stage” and “late stage”. The Carbon X is an early stage meta rocker which means it’s designed to be a fast shoe.

In the Carbon X, there is Profly foam both above the carbon fiber plate and below (think of it like a sandwich). Profly foam is Hoka’s lightest and most resilient foam. The Carbon fiber plate curls under the lateral toes to spring you forward.

If you love the Hoka Clifton, this is a very different feel. If you’ve been running in the Hoka Bondi or the Mach, it will feel more similar but faster. The transition is smooth and rolls right through the gait cycle.

I’ve run tempo runs, easy runs, and workouts. Do I feel faster in the shoe? Yes. Would I race a 5k in it? Probably not, but I would be more likely to do a longer race or approach half marathon race day in it. I am curious to see how the Carbon Rocket compares.

Finally, to reduce weight in the shoe, there is minimal traction. On a typical day with no moisture on the ground, this is fine. When it’s rainy or wet, I’m not sure how the shoe would respond without sliding (just like the 4%).

Conclusion

Debut shoes can be tricky. Sometimes, they are fantastic, and sometimes they miss their mark. For me, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the best for a 5k but do believe for a half marathon or above it’s an excellent option for race day. I do feel faster when I run in the shoe. Like the Cavu, I appreciate the minimal upper with less seams to irritate the foot. I’m curious to see how the carbon plate stacks up against the Vaperfly.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: Topo Fli-Lyte 3, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about getting the most out of your running store.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Hoka Carbon X?

What shoe do you like to race in? 

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Hoka One One Bondi 6 Shoe Review

Like the Clifton, the Bondi was one of Hoka’s first shoes. When you think of Hoka, you think of maximum cushion and something like the Bondi.

If you’ve never run in Hoka before, the Bondi is a lot of shoe. In fact, the Hoka Bondi is probably the most shoe in the industry. The 6th version doesn’t bring a lot of changes like previous versions. Throughout the last few versions, Hoka has made the Bondi much firmer. There is a big difference in feel of the cushioning. If you like a softer, marshmallow type of shoe: go with the Clifton, if you like a firmer cushioning go with Bondi.

I am team Bondi, as well as Mach, and Cavu, which all are much firmer. (I still like the Clifton, I would just choose the others before).

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Shoe Review

Fit:

Hoka has started to fit big throughout the last year. Not big enough I would go down a size, but big enough that you will have more space. You can’t go wrong with a bigger shoe. You can have plenty of problems when the shoe is too small.

I usually wear between a 10-11 wide in running shoes, and 10.5 regular width is fine. (The Bondi does come in wides which is awesome!).

The major update in the Bondi 6 is a better upper. The mesh has been redesigned to allow more breathability as well durability.  (so hopefully your toes don’t poke through the top). Plus as your feet sweat, they will be able to breathe.

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Shoe Review

Ride:

Explaining how a Hoka feels before someone has tried it on is next to impossible. If you’ve never worn Hoka before, they use Meta-rocker technology which allows you to roll forward.

The Meta-Rocker is designed with a lower heel to toe drop to create a fulcrum effect. Think of it like a rocking chair.

If you’ve worn the Bondi before, the update in the ride is minimal. If you ran well in the 5, you should run well in the 6. Since the 4 to 5, was a more significant jump, Hoka kept this version very similar.

The Bondi 6 is one of my favorite shoes for recovery and easy days. Days I don’t care about pace. Since there is so much cushion to them if you are looking for an easy day, recovery day, walking shoe, these are going to keep your legs and feet happy. While the shoe isn’t a stable shoe, it’s got a wide base, so it is going to provide some stability. You feel like you are well cushioned from the start, middle, and end of the run. Sometimes after a run in the Bondi, I think…did I even run?

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Shoe Review

Conclusion: 

The Bondi is an excellent choice for recovery or easy days. It’s also a great choice if you work somewhere where you are standing all day long. I feel like out of any shoe I’ve ever reviewed (Yes, any), if I needed a shoe I could be in for hours or days, it would be this shoe. If for some reason I was running for 10 hours, I would choose this shoe.  It’s not the fastest shoe out there, but not designed to be either.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka, Bondi 6, Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about the differences between social media runners and running specialty.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried a Hoka shoe?

What is your favorite recovery shoe? 

Exploring Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Exploring Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Tyler State Park (Newtown, PA)

Recently I found myself just north of Philadelphia in Bucks County. Since I was already up there, I thought it would be fun to check out a new park and see what I saw. I spent about 2 hours at Tyler State Park and walked between 4-5 miles. Some of Tyler State Park is a paved trail, some is grassy, muddy, and rugged terrain. It truly has a bit of everything.

At the 1,711 acres of Tyler State Park, there are plenty of runnable paths and it would be a good spot to run if you’re in the area again. In addition ot the nature trails, there are picnic areas, and swimming area in Neshaminy Creek.

At Tyler State Park, many of the trails are paved which can be used for biking too.  During my time at Tyler State Park, I saw bikers, walkers, hikers, and even horseback riders. In fact, when I stopped to let a horse pass, it licked me.

I enjoyed all of the different surfaces at Tyler State Park.  I wanted to test out my Hoka Speedgoat Midis on new surfaces so opted to wear them. They were great for all-terrain including pavement, dirt, grass, and muddy water (my feet stayed dry when I sunk into a few inches of mud).

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

At Tyler State Park, it starts off walking across a dam.  It’s all paved and people were fishing as well.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

While there isn’t a lot of drastic elevation change at Tyler State Park, there is some.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

At Tyler State Park, we walked through huge fields as well. I thought perhaps it could be used as a cross country course too. Maybe it has been.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Even found some “creatures” at Tyler State Park

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

I also thought it would be funny to try and fit into this tree that had fallen and was hallowed out. Why, I don’t know.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

There is even a beautiful covered bridge in the middle of Tyler State Park as well.

Hiking Tyler State Park Newton PA

In all, Tyler State Park was a quiet, fun, hike. If you are in the area and looking for something relaxing to do, I recommend it.  There is so much to do even if you don’t choose hiking. I would love to go at the swimming area.

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite low key park?

Have you ever been horseback riding?

I did when I was much younger.

Hoka One One Mach 2 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Mach 2 Shoe Review

Recently I started running in two new Hoka Models. The Hoka One One Mach 2 and the Hoka One One Cavu 2.  Both of the original versions (Mach) and (Cavu) were favorites of mine last year. Each shoe is from the Hoka Fly Collection which are more responsive and faster shoes.

I was excited to see what updates they had made. The first version of any shoe can be hit or miss. Usually, a few significant changes are made for the second version depending on what customers preferred or didn’t.

So what was updated? The second version is slightly firmer but also slightly lighter. The fit remains similar, and dare I say it, even a tad big? Not big enough to go down a half size.

hoka one one mach

Hoka One One Mach 2 Fit:

The Hoka Mach 2 upper has been updated to include an open engineered mesh.  The Mach 2 delivers a breathable mesh upper. It also has perforations for increased breathability in the mesh. It’s much lighter and more breathable than the previous model. It breathes extremely well, if not one of the best I’ve seen from a running shoe.

The Hoka Mach 2 fit itself is slightly big (almost unheard of these days in the running world!) but nothing I would adjust sizes with. I’m usually between a 10-11 wide. The Mach isn’t made in wide, so I went a 10.5.  I think if it were made in wide, I would order the wide.

Ride:

The Hoka One One Mach 2 uses Hoka One One’s early stage meta-rocker. What does that mean? The Meta-Rocker combines a low heel lift that promotes a smooth transition from heel to toe.  A smooth “rock.”  It’s designed to run faster.

For those already running in Hoka, the Mach 2 feels much more responsive without sacrificing cushion. The heel is light and cushioned. It feels soft on ground contact. The Profly outsole allows you to feel responsive and it’s a great speed work, or even racing shoe. For those running in a traditional brand but wanting to try Hoka, the Mach 2 provides the Hoka cushioning but without the drastic change of going to either the Clifton or Bondi.

If you ran in the first version of the Mach, you’ll notice a much softer heel but a firmer forefront in the Hoka Mach 2. Hoka chose to do this to make for a more smooth heel to toe transition. The rubberized foam midsole allows you to feel cushioned through the entire shoe. If you’re a heel striker but are looking for a racing shoe, the Hoka Mach 2 is one to consider.  For me, it’s light, smooth, and been a good addition to my long run shoes. It’s a great road running shoe.

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Ran another solo 5k today. . 19:51| (6:27, 6:22, 6:24)

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Hoka One One Mach 2 Thoughts:

I like the Hoka Mach 2 and I’ve put just over 100 miles in it. For me, it works best as a daily cushioned shoe. I like more cushion for recovery and less shoe, like the Hoka One One Cavu, for speed work.

Current Rotation:

Daily Runs: Hoka One One Mach 2, New Balance 1080

Recovery Runs/Easy Runs: New Balance 1080, Brooks Glycerin

Speed Work:Nike LT, Nike Fly

Tempo Runs/Quality Long Runs: Nike Fly, Hoka One One Cavu

Races: Nike LT, Nike Fly

If you’re interested in weekly shoe reviews and running industry trends, subscribe to my newsletter. 

Questions for you:

Have you tried Hoka?

What is your favorite shoe? 

Hoka One One Mach Shoe Review

Hoka One One Mach Shoe Review

The Hoka One One Mach is a brand new model from Hoka One One. It is basically the replacement for the discontinued Hoka One One Clayton 2. So if you’re looking for the closest thing to the Hoka One One Clayton, then the Hoka Mach is your best bet.  It’s the first model I’ve run in.  I have run in both the Hoka One One Clifton as well as the Bondi.

My apologies, but I took photos when I first got the shoe and lost them.  I realized I had lost “clean photos” of the shoe, so you’ll have to deal with them with over 100 miles of mud and dirt.  At least, you know I run in them.  😉

hoka one one mach shoe review

While I work in a running store, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no perfect running shoe.  Not everything works for everyone, and Hoka is not paying me to write about their shoes.  Here is a stock photo for good measure. hoka one one mach shoe review

Hoka Mach Quick Stats: 

Weight: Men’s size 9: 7.7oz Women’s size 8: 6.5oz

Drop: 5mm

It always seems to surprise people that most Hoka Shoes are a 4-5mm drop.  It’s like running on a flatter elevated platform.

Hoka One One Mach Fit:

The Hoka One One Mach is one of the wider Hoka models.  It has a full open knit upper.  The open engineered mesh upper means it’s seamless and allows feet to spread out as appropriate.  As I’ve mentioned in many reviews, but more shoe companies are going towards a seamless upper.  It accommodates wider feet, including bunions but also is a more comfortable fit.

Knit uppers are more seamless and a more flexible fit.  Personally, I prefer smooth and knit uppers because they fit my foot much better. I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide. The size 10.5 size and fit well.

Hoka Mach Ride:

I like the ride of the Hoka Mach a lot.  While I never ran in the Hoka Clayton, I do know it’s the most similar and meant to replace it.  It’s lighter and more firm than any other Hoka model.

Why is that?

The Mach uses a new material from Hoka named: ProFly.

The ProFly midsole makes the heel firmer in the forefoot but softer in the heal.  The early stage meta rocker in the Hoka Mach is designed to roll you forward, and the difference also helps protect the feet, especially if you are more likely to heel strike. According to Hoka, the Profly is more durable and resilient. The dual density foam makes for a more responsive ride.  Many people were looking for cushion and responsiveness, and the Hoka Mach accommodates both well.

I found it to be the springiest and most “fast” of any Hoka shoe I’ve run in so far. The lower heel to toe drop and dual density ProFly foam make for a smooth ride with plenty of energy return. For me,  like the Hoka Mach for fast long runs.

Plus the rubberized foam outsole makes for a cushioned ride.

hoka one one mach shoe review

Hoka Mach Summary:

I’ve logged just over 100 miles in the Hoka Mach and like it a lot.  I wasn’t sure how much I would, but new shoes are always fun to try (if they are appropriate for your foot).  I haven’t had any issues, or blisters, which is essential as well.  I’ll keep the Hoka One One Mach is my rotation until the cushion is gone.

Current Shoe Rotation:

Daily runs: Hoka One One Mach, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph ISO 4
Workouts: Nike Zoom fly, Altra Escalante
Races: Saucony Type A or Endorphin

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe? Have you tried the Hoka One One Mach? 
Do you prefer more or less cushion?

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