Monday, August 26, 2013

How Hoka OneOnes saved my fitness life

Rebecca Stewart
Kintec Fitting Expert, Kintec North Vancouver

If you’ve walked into your local Kintec recently, you’ve probably seen the new Hoka OneOne models that are gracing the shoe wall. Brightly colored, these “moon shoes” tend to be a great conversation topic with all of our fit experts. Yes, they are kind of strange looking with almost an anime character feel to them, but what is it that makes the Hoka the talk of the town with everyone from doctors to ultra-marathoners wanting to use them?

Hoka OneOne (derived from the ancient Maori language and roughly translated to "now it is time to fly) set out to design shoes with the goal of maximizing performance, control, and efficiency with every stride. Read more about their history here.
Whether you are an avid runner or a weekend warrior, trying on a pair will make you realize that this shoe really has something different. The first comment I hear when a customer looks at a Hoka is “wow that looks so big! Isn’t it heavy?” Well the Bondi B, Hoka’s pioneer road running shoe ,is designed to be 15% lighter than a traditional running shoe. Looking at the oversized midsole, this claim just doesn’t make sense! Once you pull it off the shelf you will be able to see it really is feather light!

As mentioned, Hoka One One is loosely translated to mean “time to fly.” The Bondi’s oversized midsole allow runners to feel as if they are floating on air. The midsole foam is 30% softer than a traditional runner, and with 2.5 times more midsole, the Bondi dissipates over 80% of the shock associated with running. This helps to reduce vibration fatigue, cramping to make you run further or faster. To counteract the imbalance that one would associate with the excess height, the Bondi B’s outsole platform is 25% wider to ensure balance and proper footing.

My story

8 years ago, due to a medical condition as a result of a car accident, I was no longer able to run. I grew up running and it was my passion. But the impact of pavement pounding was more than my back was able to handle. To make matters worse, I developed osteo-arthritis in my left knee 2 years ago. Yes, I’m only 30 years old. Though I had converted to trail running over the past 6 years, the impact from that was now too much for my knee to handle. I had given up on running. If you are a runner, you can only imagine what that would feel like.

Then I came across the Hoka OneOne Bondi B. Despite it’s interesting look, I listened to my fellow co-workers and tried it on. I was surprised at how incredibly light it really was. And then I started to feel the cushioning. I knew I had to try these on the road.

I purchased my first pair of Bondi Bs and hit the street that same night. I literally felt like I was running on pillows. It was a short run- 7km. I just wanted to test the claims and see what this shoe really had to offer. For the first time in 8 years, I was pain free. Not only did my knees and back feel great during my run, but post run I had no onset of soreness like I normally would have. I was sold. For the first time in 8 years I was free to run again.

I would absolutely recommend the Hoka One One Bondi B to anyone who suffers from knee or back pain, even if they aren’t a runner. Wearing my Bondis around our store for 8 hours was and still is like heaven to my feet and my back. Whether a runner or a walker, or just someone looking to pamper their feet, anything in the Hoka OneOne range gets my thumbs up.

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