Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Fascinations - Hoka One One

Can you believe it?  This is my 100th post and as soon as I realized that, I knew my 100th post had to be about my favorite shoes.  Today, I am going to write a little love letter review of why I love my Hokas.

The word Hoka is from the ancient Maori language and is roughly translated to mean "now it is time to fly".  From their websiteHOKA ONE ONE incorporated minimum drop geometry along with a rolling rocker design to promote consistent rhythm in the runner's foot strike.  This just means that even if you have poor form, these shoes are so well cushioned, you will be protected against your own self!  

Here is my story of how I found and fell in love with this brand:

When I decided to start running, I thought I could download the Runmeter App and lace on my cute Nike Frees and just start running.  But you know, that isn't how it works.  I started noticing, almost right away, that my feet HURT.  I got to the point where I could barely walk and someone told me about Laces Running store.  

I didn't even make it thru the door when Coach Mike at Laces "diagnosed" my Nike problem.  He said, "You are in the wrong shoe!"  So we tried on a bunch and he finally said the original Hoka Bondis would work for me.  These shoes, especially compared to the Nikes, felt like I was running on pillows.  My feet felt protected and my foot pain healed over night!

Look at those shoes!  I didn't know what to think of them.  Are they supposed to look like orthotics?  Some of my running friends made fun of me and called them "moon boots."  But hey, if Laces thought they would work, I believed.  And I wore the heck out of this first pair!  I still use them for trail running and hiking!

I moved onto the Conquests per the recommendation of, you guessed it, Coach Mike.  The Conquests aren't as gushy as the Bondis and are a much more rigid shoe.  They are about $170 retail (ouch!).  I got my Half Marathon PR in them at the SD Women's Half.

But I wanted the comfort and the wide toe box of the Bondis back and I found a great deal on the Bondi 2 on Gear Buzz.  

These shoes I love.  LOVE LOVE!  Gushy and wide toe box and still feel like you are running on air.  And they are black and white and pink and not the "boyish blue."  But again, all good shoes must come to an end and I recently had the opportunity to try on and fall in love with buy the Cliftons.  

Here is a picture of a whole bunch of Cliftons:

These shoes have been winning all sorts of awards and are hard to come by.  I haven't really run in them yet (they are so pretty!) so expect a full review soon.  But here is what the "experts" are saying about them, specifically Holabird Sports.

Runners World LOVED this shoe!

I also have my eye on the Huakas ($150).  Pronounced Wahka and not HooAhKAh.  Check out this video all about them.

So stay tuned for a review on the Cliftons and then, a review on the Huakas.  I want to incorporate trail running and the Huakas are a dual surface shoe.  So excited!

What is your favorite running shoe brand?  Why?  Have you ever tried Hokas?  Do you love them as much as I do?

In case you were wondering, I was not compensated in any way shape or form for this post!  These opinions about these shoes are my own.  Honest solid opinions!

As always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom


  1. Smitha, great review. I have never heard of this brand of shoe, totally new to me. Thanks for the info

    1. I had never heard of them either until I started running in them and I haven't looked back. Worth a try!

  2. Nice review! I've never tried Hokas but do run in neutral/cushioned shoes currently. I admit they do look a bit moon shoe-ish! But I'd like to at least try them on to see how they feel. It's always great to find the perfect running shoe that works for you and keeps you injury free - glad you found yours!

    1. Just don't look down at your feet. In fact, if you are sure it is safe, just close your eyes and run for a minute or two. It feels like clouds!

  3. Nice review! This brand is new to me. I was officially fitted for my first running shoes and I am in a Asics running shoe- but I will look for these the next time I go! Have a great weekend!