Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Outdoor Retailer Winter 14: Hoka One One- No Longer Oversize means Overweight- New Huaka, Clifton, Mafate Speed

One of my very first stops at OR was at Hoka One One. I have followed Hoka since 2010 and tried multiple models along their journey swimming against the now receding"minimalist" tide.  With rising popularity and  funding and energy from new owner Deckers they do not disappoint with their fall 2014 offerings.

I focus here on 3 new models (Mafate Speed, Clifton, and Huaka), with the 11.8oz Conquest just now releasing with notes on other stalwarts such as the Stinson, Rapa Nui, and Bondi all receiving or having just received updates.

Mafate Speed
This is a brand new 12.8oz.version of the original Hoka, the Mafate.  The Mafate 3 (14.7oz) stays in the line. With a supportive Speed Frame upper and a durable RMAT (blue) outsole midsole with harder rubber patches over Hoka's CMEVA under foot this is the trail beast in the line.
Hoka One One Mafate Speed

Hoka One One Mafate Speed.
Update: Road Runner Sports reports the Mafate Speed will be available around July 1st, 2014 and can be pre-ordered now.

Update 7/14:  I have been running in the Huaka, over 100 miles of road and trail. Fantastic versatile, flexible, and light Hoka that is still... a Hoka with great and now responsive cushioning.
Review here.

A 2mm drop 8.9 oz racer/trainer  with the entire midsole made of the new RMAT material. A bit heavier than the Clifton which comes in at 7.9 oz so I am guessing the RMAT is a bit denser and heavier but more responsive. Likely takes away a bit of the mushy feeling at speed in Hokas.  Some patches of harder rubber. Technically a road shoe but with more than adequate lugs for most trails.  Sage Canaday a recent convert to Hokas, and one of the top ultra runners at less than 100 mile distances, just ran a 2:22 road marathon in Huakas to finish 2nd at the difficult Carlsbad Marathon. I believe a world record for Hoka shod marathoning.  While the drop is lower than I like,  I can't wait to try Huakas potentially retrofitting them replacing the flat insole with an insole with a bit more heel lift.

Hoka One One Huaka Outsole
 Note the deep carve outs in the outsole to reduce weight and increase flexibility.

Update: Boulder Running Company and Road Runner Sports (pre-order now) are showing the Huaka will be available very early July 2014

The Clifton will be "value" priced by Hoka standards at $130. Entire midsole is made of CMEVA. Remarkably light at 7.9 oz. 4mm heel toe drop.  This is the shoe I am most interested in as a long haul road runner and marathon shoe. The other "lightweight" Hokas the Bondi 3 and Rapa Nui 2 come in at 10.8 oz and they are fine shoes indeed.
Hoka One One Clifton

Hoka One One Clifton Outsole.
Update: Boulder Running Company and Road Runner Sports report Hoka One One Clifton will be available around July 1st, 2014.

My understanding is that the Mafate Speed, Huaka, and Clifton will launch for Fall 2014 so July.

Across the line common themes emerge:

  • RMAT a new midsole/outsole compound which has a bit of rubber in the mix for " increased rebound, better durability, and exceptional outsole grip." Full RMAT in the Huaka racer, partial RMAT outsole/midsole in the Mafate Speed and Conquest, rest of the midsole on these Hokas have Hoka's special EVA under the foot.  All other models including the new Clifton have different densities of Hoka's special EVA with Clifton having something really special in that department to achieve such a low weight
  • 3 kinds of meta-rocker or rocker profile. I finally understand this Hoka signature feature: 
    • early stage with the rocker "behind the met heads for a smoother ride and faster transition to the forefoot ( Mafate Speed, Conquest, Bondi 3, Huaka, Clifton, 
    • late stage with rocker in front of the met heads. "Designed to create a more stable base for forefoot support. More the Hoka "stability" shoe. ( Stinson Lite road and ATR trail, 
    • balanced stage meta rocker ( Mafate 3, Rapa Nui, Kailua) 
  • Speed Frame-a new kind of upper construction..
    • Speed Frame on newest models Stinsons, Huaka, Clifton,Conquest and Mafate Speed with more no seam thin overlays. I believe this upper is contributing to weight drops.
  • Lighter weight Hokas. Over sized geometry no longer means overweight. Due to the combination of new midsole and upper materials, Hokas are lighter across the board with the highlights the new EVA based Clifton at a remarkable 7.9 oz and the RMAT based Huaka 8.9 oz. Note also the big weight drops from Mafate 3 at 14.7 oz to  Mafate Speed 12.0z and Stinson Lite now 11 oz. 
  • Heel to toe drops remain in a very "natural" 4-5 mm with the Huaka coming in at 2 mm, so a very low drop entry.


Johan said...

wow thanks a lots for this amazing news, i hope we will see those models in France soon :)

Rod the runner said...

Those Mafate speed's look awesome! Can't wait till my Mafate 3's wear out so I can get into the new model :)