We are shipping. If you are in a L3 or L4 Lockdown area, there may be some delays.

Please allow additional processing time.

WHAT’S THE BEST HOKA FOR TRAIL RUNNING?

December 21, 2020

WHAT’S THE BEST HOKA FOR TRAIL RUNNING?

Whether you’re an experienced trail runner, or a runner looking for the right shoes to start running trail, we hope this guide helps.

Please feel free to email any questions to info@allsports.co.nz or contact HOKA ONE ONE NZ through our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Trail running as both a sport and personal recreation has really exploded over the last decade and a bit. With New Zealand's most prestigious trail ultra– Tarawera Ultra – it has grown to over 3300 competitors in that time. Many trail runners say that road is boring, but it’s just different. If you’ve only ever run one surface, it’s hard to know what you’re missing out on.

As runners, most often our focus is trying to get that PB. Every road runner knows what that means – consistent training, increasing volume, monthly and even weekly time trials, Sunday tempo and long road runs.

But that challenge of slippery tree roots and steep muddy steps, with constantly changing textures and uneven surfaces, getting away from the regular rhythm of the road and seeing new scenery offers a kind of a thrill.

Most road runners who switch to trail will still prefer road-style racing, on well-groomed trails or unsealed gravel roads. These mean they can still run at a pace close to what they manage on-road, allowing for slower sections with long and sometimes steep climbs, and long and sometimes punishing descents.

But as more and more road runners have filled up the starting lines of faster trail races, there is a growing body of runners are also enjoying different types of trail – especially technical terrain runs.

With all of the gear that now goes with trail running – multiple different sizes and styles of running packs, lightweight jackets, different brands of hiking poles, compression gear, gels, drink powders, waist belts, and even running vests for your dog (these are pretty cool actually) – it’s easy to feel baffled. So hopefully there’s some information here that will help with one of your more important gear questions – which shoes?

The “which shoes?” question has some difficulty. A shoe that sounds awesome but that doesn’t fit your foot properly or work well with your own style of running is not going to be a good choice. A shoe that might feel brilliant to you over a certain distance might be too cushioned or not cushioned enough over a different distance or different surface.

Ultimately, the more you run on trail and try different things, the more you will probably find not just the shoe that works well for you, but that a mix of shoes is really what works well. Doing technical runs with agile shoes that grip well will protect the more all-terrain or even road shoes that you use for longer smoother runs, and you’ll enjoy the various surfaces more with more appropriate equipment too.

THIS TABLE IS MEANT TO HELP AS A GUIDE.

Try on a variety of models at your local HOKA stockist or check them out online.

See the COMPARISON TABLE below or download a pdf version here>>

 

MODEL

BEST FOR

FIT

BENEFITS

DISADVANTAGES

TORRENT 2

Runners wanting low profile, lightweight, and more ground feel. A great fast shoe.

Generous volume, natural shape on foot. Upper very forgiving.

Drains super-fast. Balances protection & responsiveness beautifully. Extremely breathable. Sticky grippy outsole.

If it’s all about the cushion and you don’t want to feel a thing, pick another model. These feel racy.

CHALLENGER ATR 6

 

Runners who mostly use light road shoes (like Clifton 6) on-road and want a similar ride but with off-road traction.

Standard volume and shape. Less volume and give than Torrent. WIDE very popular.

WIDE available. A bit more cushion for long descents without feeling spongey. Robust all-terrain outsole ideal on access roads and fire trails. Drains quickly.

Trail purists might prefer a dedicated trail outsole, as in Torrent or Speedgoat.

SPEEDGOAT 4

Runners hitting trail for a long time, wanting epic grip matched by epic cushion.

Relatively straight fit. Some shallowness through forefoot for technical hold. WIDE gives higher midfoot volume than Torrent.

A very smooth ride that takes a lot of impact. Sticky Vibram outsole great for slippery descents. WIDE now available. EVO (Goat 3) available for gram counters and fast draining.

More outsole tread means slightly more weight. Standard upper takes about 1500 metres to really run the water out.

EVO Mafate

EVO MAFATE 2

Runners who want unbeatable traction with a heap of protection, and dynamic pronation control, in an impossibly light package.

Standard volume, but stretchable fabric insert over toebox allows for extra volume. Deep heel cup.

EVO Matryx drains insanely fast and breathes fresh on hot days. Grippy Vibram outsole. Fastest drying highly cushioned ride ever. Possibly the world’s best long technical mountain racer.

Thicker midsole and deep teeth will feel chunky to some runners, but mostly these just feel impossibly protective for how light and structured they are.

STINSON ATR 6

Runners with high volume mid-foot and forefoot wanting a truck tyre to crush the trail before them.

Generous forefoot splay. Really deep heel cup and full length cradle for feet shaped like South America.

Huge toebox. The thickest midsole. Eats gravel and long runs for breakfast. Committed all-terrain running. You may never feel the ground again.

Underperforms on technical single track. Slowest drainage in range.

 





Also in HOKA BLOG

HOW BREE WEE AND SKYE OMBAC LEAD WITH COURAGE
HOW BREE WEE AND SKYE OMBAC LEAD WITH COURAGE

October 08, 2021

The bond created over shared miles is something unique to distance training. Bree Wee and Skye Ombac are both teachers in Kona, Hawaii, but also lovers of running. Bree, a former professional athlete, is currently training Skye to take over the world of triathlons.​ “Skye is the next triathlon queen of KONA and just knowing her heart I’m never going to hand it to her. I’m going to make her work for it. I want her to just become her best.”​ Learn more about this awesome duo, their journey with running, and advice they have for the next generation.

Continue Reading

TRAINING CONSIDERATIONS FOR INJURY PREVENTION
TRAINING CONSIDERATIONS FOR INJURY PREVENTION

October 06, 2021

The major challenge for most athletes is to remain injury free in the lead up to an event. We know that our success lies in the ability to train day in and day out, to get to the start line in as good a shape as possible. The problem though, is that many of us have dialled in on the training side of things and we don’t think as much about the recovery side of things.

Continue Reading

THE HOKA CARBON SHOE LINEUP WITH SAGE CANADAY
THE HOKA CARBON SHOE LINEUP WITH SAGE CANADAY

September 22, 2021

With marathon season upon us and so many carbon fiber-plated racing shoes to choose from, how do you decide? We sat down with our pro athlete and self-acclaimed “shoe geek” Sage Canaday, to break down our three carbon fiber-plated shoes: the Carbon X 2, Rocket X, and new Bondi X. What are these three shoes best for, and who? Sage uses his knowledge and experience to shed light on all three models to help you determine which shoe(s) is best for you!

Continue Reading