The Hoka One One Story


Co-founders Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard understood the advantages of oversized skis, golf clubs and mountain bike wheel sizes, and intrinsically believed the same benefits could be brought to running shoes. Driven by the need to improve the experience of trail runners, and separating themselves from the conventional wisdom of running shoe construction, they designed shoes that allowed athletes to run faster, safer, and farther downhill.

The result of this mindset is a range of trail, road, and track shoes that puts performance and comfort first. From drastically improving ultra-runner’s experiences in 2010 to the introduction of the original Clifton in 2014 HOKA ONE ONE has been changing runners enjoyment of their chosen passion.


Jean-Luc Diard, the co-founder of HOKA ONE ONE has been a pillar in the running, mountain and outdoor industries for decades. His experiences prior to founding HOKA ONE ONE in 2010 were CEO and president of Salomon, chairman of Arc'Teryx and a member of the Adidas and Amer Sports board.


Currently, he serves as the VP of innovation for HOKA ONE ONE and Deckers, where he leads the product innovation team in thought leadership on performance-based technologies. As a pioneer of footwear and outdoor equipment, he is a creative and curious product designer who pushes teams to create category-defining footwear.


Jean-Luc has an insatiable appetite for two things; understanding athlete’s needs and then taking the time to create solutions to those. His willingness to spend time speaking to consumers, engaging with run specialty store employees, and digging into data around product development and testing is critical to driving innovation that benefits every HOKA ONE ONE user from the 5K jogger to Western States Champions to Olympic Trials qualifiers.


These are the defining characteristics of the HOKA ONE ONE shoes. The innovative use of a low drop, oversized midsole, forefoot and heel rocker, and active foot frame, allows for a natural range of motion while harnessing the a unique geometry to help move energy longitudinally and propel runners forward.


HOKA ONE ONE continues down this innovative path with the new PRO2Lite technology in the Tracer, Clayton and soon to be released Speed Instinct.