Friday, August 08, 2014

Outdoor Retailer Summer 14: Hoka One One- Challenger ATR (Clifton for Trail), Bondi 4, Constant(stability), Valor, Vanquish, Odyssey

Times are very good for Hoka One One, the original "maximalist" running shoe company. While the minimalist trend was in full force bucked the trend and went with super cushioned shoes. I have run in various Hokas since their inception and until the super versatile Huaka (review here) and Cliftons (review) came along found them more suited for long slow hauls than speed. No question fresher legs for me day in day out in Hokas.

Hoka introduced several new models and updates at Outdoor Retailer. The new models (Valor, Vanquish, Odyssey, and Challenger ATR) will be sold at both speciality running retail and "sporting goods" stores such as REI, etc...

Other Hokas such as the Mafate Speed, Clifton, Bondi, new Constant, Huaka, Stinson Lite and ATR will only be sold at speciality running retail.
As Hoka grows they have found the need to segment their lines. Interestingly it does not appear that the sporting goods models will be lower priced than models found at speciality running stores.

Reviewing the product grid (at bottom of post)  I see the original Mafate and the Rapa Nui will no longer be in the line for Spring 2015.

The highlights:

  • The Challenger ATR, a 8.6 oz, 5mm drop 24mm forefoot/29mm heel trail version of the Clifton. All new shoe. The Challenger will launch  Dec 1st at REI exclusively for 60 days then available at all channels. This will be a popular trail runner for sure! I just wish that Hoka made a beefier lugged version of the Huaka.

  • The Constant, $160. a 10.7 oz, 4mm drop, 26mm forefoot/30mm heel stability oriented model with firmer RMAT for stability combined with EVA, asymmetrical lacing combined with a medial lycra wrap of the midfoot. All new stability concept from Hoka.

  •  Bondi 4, now has a padded tongue and is updated with a rounded heel, helpful in my view to initiate roll forward as well as longer wearing rubber at the heel and toe, key wear areas on the road with conventional Hokas' softer outsoles.

  • The Valor is a 9.6 oz 29mm forefoot, 33mm heel with the stack heights of the Bondi 4 but a somewhat different midsole configuration and a bit lighter than the 10.6 oz Bondi.. Note white is just one of several potential colors! 

  • The Vanquish, $170.  is a 11 oz 25mm forefoot 29 mm heel RMAT and EVA midsole combination. Basically a sporting goods channel Conquest with a different upper. 

  • The Odyssey is a 8.4 oz 24mm forefoot 29mm heel with EVA based midsole and a different upper. Basically a bit heavier Clifton as Clifton comes in at 7.7 oz. 

    Model Comparison Chart 2015 
Hoka One One Spring 2015 Product Grid
With the exception of the Challenger XTR available exclusively for 60 days at REI by Dec. 1st then in wider distribution other models are for Spring 2015 

A few other notes from my visit to Hoka. Speed laces will disappear from the line over time.  The next version of the Huaka will likely have a few more overlays and potentially a somewhat more durable outsole materials in the heel and toe high wear areas. A good thing.

Can't wait for all these goodies? Consider the Huaka, a super versatile firm yet super cushioned road and trail speedster or the Clifton, a bit lighter than Huaka with a somewhat softer EVA midsole. Purchase via the links below and you support my blog. Thanks!


Josh said...

Do you thinking the Challenger ATR would work as hybrid (road/trail) shoe?

Sam Winebaum said...

Challenger ATR should be a fine road trail hybrid despite large lugs which should be relatively soft. .i bet it will be real good in snow. Huaka as it is firmer and more stable a better trail choice for unstable terrain although less leggy so for non muddy slick trails. understanding I have run in road Clifton close cousin to Callenger and Huaka but not Challenger, as of yet.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the reply, I am new to running and I've got an upcoming marathon and 20 mile trail race. I know the Challenger would be perfect for the trail I'll be running, I'm just unsure how running the marathon in these trail shoes would affect my time/feet & legs? Currently running in Pearl Izumi Trail N1 and Road N2, I'd like to give Hoka a shot, but with only one shoe....maybe I'm asking for too much.

Sam Winebaum said...

Josh as you like the PI you should consider the Huaka vs Challenger. Firmer

Sam Winebaum said...

Sorry Josh wrong link. Here is my Huaka review

Anonymous said...

Do you know the difference between the Clifton and the new Odyssey shoes? They appear to be similar. I am currently running in Cliftons but wouldn't mind a slightly heavier version to run in on the roads.

Sam Winebaum said...

If I recall the only difference between Clifton and Odyssey is the upper. If you are looking for a Hoka that is a bit firmer and more stable on the roads consider the Huaka or the New Challenger ATR, essentially a Clifton with firm rubber lugs. More a trail shoe but more stable and firmer than Clifton on the road. links to info on both and other 2014 favorites at my year end post