Monday, March 04, 2013

A new breed of running shoes

Hoka One Ones...Time to Fly

By Peter Watson

No matter the day, workout, race or event, your feet will always let you know how the rest of your body is doing.

What are they saying?

Proper footwear can spell the difference between success and failure, injury or being un-injured, happiness and sadness the list goes on. No matter how far you are moving on your two feet, there are new ideas in running footwear that are taking the market by storm.

Minimalist footwear has been a hot topic of the last couple years. Certain principles from this movement are shaping the shoes of today and the future.

We can all agree that there is no one perfect shoe for everyone. But there are shoes that all people should at least try.

An overview of the brand

Hoka One One Stinson B Evo
Hoka One One, has taken the minimalist principles, with a low ramp in the shoes and just stacked the shoe another 25mm of additional  light foam cushioning for extra shock attenuation. Ramp refers to height difference between the heel and toe of a shoe.

Despite the height of the shoe, they remain incredibly light!

Hoka in Maori means "fly" and O-nay O-nay (spelled One Onemeans "earth", hence, "fly over the earth. More on the Hoka story here.

For those like me who are vertically challenged, we appreciate the extra inch of height as well!

The premise behind Hoka's are similar with that of other outdoor brands that produce 29” mountain bike tires and fatter skis, where bigger is better for more shock absorption and contact.

Hoka One One Bondi Speed
With both road and trail versions available, I (along with many others) believed them to be for those running and walking crazy long distances only. Recently my thoughts have changed though. And in fact my favourite runs in them are my shorter tempo road runs.

Dan Empfield over at has an excellent review of the Hoka One One Mafates. I encourage you to have a read.

So whether your next goal is to find possibly the most comfortable shoes you've ever been in, walking the seawall, running the Sun Run or taking on your first Full or Half Marathon this spring, make sure you let your feet to the talking and listen to them. Try out a pair of Hoka One Ones!

The staff at North Shore Athletics (sister store to Kintec) are here to help you achieve your goals and do it pain and injury free. Both Kintec and North Shore Athletics carry a full line-up of Hokas, or you can check them out or shop online for them at Kintec's web store.

Peter Watson is the Manager of North Shore Athletics at 1200 Lonsdale Ave in North Vancouver. He is not only an accomplished on-road and trail runner, but also has more than a decade of retail footwear experience.

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