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hoka one one Reviews

HOKA RINCON 2 REVIEW

Brian Metzler reviews the HOKA Rincon 2, the breakout from HOKA launched last year. Is the second edition of the style snappier? Read on to learn more.

THE BUZZ

Featherweight and fancy free, the speedy HOKA Rincon 2 continues to the defy reality with being such an impossibly light maximally cushioned trainer.

It’s light and fast enough to be an energetic performance trainer, but it has enough cushion to be a long-run shoe or even an everyday trainer.

Hoka Rincon 2 - what's new?

WHAT’S NEW?

HOKA revised its early-state rocker geometry for quicker heel-toe transitions, giving the second edition an even snappier, faster feel.

The engineered sandwich mesh upper provides more security along the mid-foot and better breathability across the forefoot.

There is an accentuated heel pull tab behind the heel for easier entry. The slim tongue design helps keep the weight down and allows for a streamlined fit.

The wide outsole remains unchanged, with a mix of exposed foam and carbon rubber segments at key places to align with common foot strike patterns. The wide foot print allows for maximal ground contact and a touch of inherent stability. Meanwhile, the small carbon rubber sections provide enhanced durability and traction in high wear areas.

Hoka Rincon 2 running speed

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The HOKA Rincon 2 fits true to size and similar to the original version, with a medium volume from heel to toe. Runners with narrow feet will really have to torque down the laces to get an optimally snug fit.

The step-in feel is plush and comfortable, but it’s the rockered geometry that you feel right after you lace up this shoe. That convex curvature of the outsole-midsole chassis produces a significant rolling effect. This helps smooth the ride from foot strike to toe-off and promote forward propulsion.

The ride is buttery soft but extremely agile and lively. It doesn’t produce a bouncy sensation, but more of a snappy, fluid motion.

The HOKA Rincon 2 inspires quick-cadence running and a slightly faster pace than you might expect, even on long runs and recovery runs.

All in all, this new edition puts a distinct burst of energy in every stride, especially at faster paces.

WHO IS IT BEST FOR?

Runners who appreciate a lightweight, energetic training shoe will absolutely love the HOKA Rincon 2. It promotes fast, efficient leg turnover in every type of workout, no matter what speed you’re running.

It can be a do-everything training shoe for runners who prefer neutral shoes without much structure or support. The Rincon 2 is capable of inspiring long runs and faster efforts like tempo runs, fartlek runs or even track intervals.

Add to this, this versatile style is also a great race day shoe for distance from 5K up to marathon distance.

Hoka Rincon 2 - pros

Pros: HOKA Rincon 2

The single-layer engineered mesh upper has been updated to create a better lockdown at the midfoot and improve breathability. It gives this version of the Rincon a more performance-oriented fit and adds to the fun, fast feeling.

The Rincon 2 is unfettered and fast, but it still has a lot of cushioning in every stride thanks to the full-compression EVA midsole. It doesn’t feel like a stripped-down racing flat, but the soft, smooth and energetic demeanor allows it to perform like one when you want it to.

The Rincon 2 sits between the super-soft Clifton 7 ($130) and the firm Carbon X ($180) in the Hoka line. All three are great shoes for racing a half marathon or marathon, but the Rincon 2 ($115) a blend of both soft cushion and energetic snap at a value-oriented price.

Hoka Rincon 2 - cons

Cons: HOKA Rincon 2

Like its predecessor, the Rincon 2 doesn’t offer much in the way of support or structure. It’s a decidedly neutral shoe and runners who over-pronate or supinate will have find this shoe a bit unstable at times, especially when running fast and cornering.

SHOP HOKA RINCON 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.

As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - trail running
Brian Metzler - Trail racing
Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
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HOKA ONE ONE CLIFTON 7 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The original HOKA ONE ONE Clifton was the game-changing model that helped HOKA go big by meeting the needs of runners who wanted lightweight, well-cushioned shoes. 2020 sees the new HOKA Clifton 7 arrive on the running scene.

The max-cushioned Clifton has continued to evolve through the years, getting lighter, providing a better fit and enhanced heel-toe performance.

Although the Clifton 6 was an outstanding shoe, the Clifton 7 has been improved with a few minor updates.

Hoka Clifton 7 Review - What's new

WHAT’S NEW?

HOKA made a few small but significant changes to the Clifton 7. They have reduced its weight and improved the fit and experience.

These updates include a more ventilated, engineered mesh upper providing greater breathability at the mid-foot, a gusset connection on each side of the tongue for greater fit consistency on the run and a new extended vertical pull-on tab behind the heel for easier entry. 

The outsole of the Clifton 7 has strategically placed durable, lightweight rubber segments in high-abrasion areas. There is exposed foam where there is less significant interaction with the ground.

HOKA Clifton 7 Review - Cushioned Running Shoe

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The HOKA Clifton 7 has a medium fit from heel to toe. The slight tweaks to this year’s model allow it to be snugged down better on narrower feet. It oozes soft, plushness when you step into them and lace them, but it feels even better when you’re running.

Like all HOKA shoes, the Clifton 7 includes a Meta-Rocker design geometry and a slightly beveled heel. These together create a rolling effect as the foot transitions from touch-down to toe-off.

Combined with the lightweight and modestly responsive qualities of the max-cushioned midsole, it creates a natural, propulsive feeling in every stride. It doesn’t give off a high-energy, bouncy sensation, but it certainly facilitates forward motion.

WHO’S IT BEST FOR?

Runners who value a lightweight shoe and soft cushioning will love the HOKA Clifton 7.

Beginners will enjoy the soft, inviting fit and feel, while faster, experienced runners will appreciate the smooth, efficient and very consistent ride.  

HOKA Clifton 7 - Pros

PROS: HOKA CLIFTON 7

The midsole is unchanged from the Clifton 6. Why mess with a good thing? The thick layer of full-compression EVA foam offers exceptional impact cushioning and resiliency and a soft, smooth ride with a touch of liveliness.

The wide footprint provides inherent stability by way of maximal ground contact. 

The pull-on loop behind the heel has been replaced by an extended vertical heel tab that makes the shoe easier to put on, but it also creates soft support along the heel and Achilles tendon. It looks a bit like an elf-like flare, but it is a noticeable improvement.

Hoka Clifton 7 - Cons

CONS: HOKA CLIFTON 7

There’s little to complain about with this shoe, but some runners might find this shoe a bit too soft and not energetic enough for faster workouts or all-out racing.

Although it can still move fast, the responsiveness of the foam midsole isn’t on par with more performance-oriented lightweight training shoes.

TECH SPECS

Hoka Clifton 7 - Tech Specs

SHOP HOKA CLIFTON 7

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He’s the author of “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - Boulder Running Company
Brian Metzler - Trail racing
Brian Metzler - Les Alpes

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INTRODUCING THE HOKA CLIFTON EDGE

HOKA Clifton Edge - White

The HOKA Clifton Edge has arrived, and we’re impressed at JackRabbit at this exquisitely energetic shoe.

When HOKA ONE ONE debuted a decade ago with maximally cushioned running shoes, it started a foam revolution. One of the first HOKA models that made waves was the HOKA Clifton, which combined copious amounts of midsole cushioning in a super-light package that created an almost euphoric floating sensation in every stride.

While the updates to the original Clifton continue to provide runners with that joy, the new HOKA Clifton Edge is a soft, light and exquisitely energetic shoe that puts a springy sensation in every step.

This new forward-thinking style combines HOKA’s most responsive midsole and softest, lightest foam ever and its signature rocker-shaped outsole with a unique, extended heel geometry that results in a soft, gliding sensation at foot strike and lively feel as the foot rolls to the toe-off phase.

Hoka Clifton Edge - JackRabbit

The HOKA Clifton Edge is an impossibly light and smooth shoe with a next-generation design that produces a smooth, resilient ride. A vertical pull tab for easy entry, a padded collar for ultimate comfort and a rubberized EVA outsole for a light, snappy ride round out this innovative new shoe.


SHOP HOKA CLIFTON EDGE

ABOUT BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He’s the author of “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”

Brian Metzler - Les Alpes
Brian Metzler - Boulder Running Company
Brian Metzler - trail running