Saturday, December 17, 2016

First Run Impressions Review- Hoka One One Hupana with Comparisons to Huaka and Others

Hoka ONE ONE Hupana

Hoka ONE ONE Hupana
Weight 8.2 oz/232 g Men, 6.3 oz/178 Women's
Stack: 25mm/20mm, 5 mm drop
Available Now

The Hoka One One Hupana is one heck of a shoe! Don't be fooled by the snazzy lifestyle look. 
It sure warmed up my first run on a 12F/-11C sunny afternoon!. This post is after only a fews runs in cold to moderate conditions and one indoor track work but I definitely reached some early positive conclusions about the Hupana.
Hoka ONE ONE Hupana
The knit upper, a first for Hoka  is sensational, totally supportive with no tight spots, a bit narrow at the toe but with overhead room for toes. I fit fine at true to size as I like a snug fit. Given the supportive upper sizing up half a size should not be an issue for foot hold,
Hoka ONE ONE Hupana
The mid foot saddle has white overlays inside on the medial and lateral sides to provide support and structure. 
Hoka ONE ONE Hupana
The knit is dense and fairly stiff but extremely comfortable. Likely the Hupana will be on the warmer side, so good in cold maybe to warm in very warm conditions although it does have a very open ventilated toe knit.
Hoka ONE ONE Hupana
The ride, and in cold midsole foams do harden, was super smooth, very decently cushioned and responsive as it should be as the entire midsole and outsole is one material. I expect they will soften in warmer temperatures but hopefully not to much as the "cold" cushion was just about perfect. Update: 2nd run in temps 50F/10C and midsole is softer, a bit bouncier than in cold temps reminding me of Boost with a more well mannered rebound. 
Update: an indoor track workout on a track with 4 tight corners was fantastic. Great foot hold, very stable and I really appreciated the combination of forefoot cushion and decent toe off spring. The ride in these controlled weather conditions was amazingly smooth and consistent,  

The heel landing is particularly good, quick transitioning with the forefoot plenty cushioned. I imagine in warmer temps they will soften a bit although compared to some, say Fresh Foam, the RMAT seemed to harden less. 

My ground contact time as measured by RunScribe Pro 2x pods was relatively low (300ms) and my cadence high (177 steps/minute) for the 8:52 mile pace of the run, potentially indicating a fast efficient shoe for my running style

Comparison to the Hoka One One Huaka
The direct descendent of the Hupana in being a light all RMAT shoe the Hupana has a far superior upper and a somewhat narrower, more sculpted on the ground platform particularly at mid foot.

Left:: Hoka ONE ONE Hupana   Right: Hoka ONE ONE Huaka
As such it feels considerably more agile, quicker particularly at the front of the shoe where the Huaka's width on the ground was a bit of an impediment at toe off. On the flip side the Hupana may be less suitable as a road trail hybrid where the Huaka excelled. 
 Left: Hoka ONE ONE Huaka Right:: Hoka ONE ONE Hupana 
The upper and fit of the Hupana is snugger and narrower but the knit has more give than the Huaka's dense plasticky mesh and the lace throat is wider potentially accommodating, given the slight give of the knit construction, some higher volume feet.

The Hupana is one sensational shoe and is a more than worthy successor to the Huaka, also an all RMAT midsole construction, and one of my favorite shoes of recent years. Although only one run in, it is supportive, fun to run at any speed, and well cushioned. Given the all RMAT construction  midsole also the outsole, so no traditional rubber outsole, I will be closely looking at durability. Given its light weight, responsive lively ride and great cushion it can serve as a daily trainer (if wear holds up) or longer race shoe. And yes if you like the looks, as I do  it can be a lifestyle shoe.
Full review and updates soon but need to run them indoors where it is warm!

Brief Comparisons
ON Running Cloud
Hupana is more cushioned and has a shorter stiffer flex. It is more stable. Cloud has a wider front of the shoe around the metatarsals. 
Saucony Freedom ISO
Freedom ISO has a considerably less structured and less snug upper. Even though they only differ by 1mm in stack the Freedom feels lower to the ground at the heel likely given the more compressive Everun The Hupana has less bounce but is more responsive, quicker off the ground and more stable overall for me.
adidas Boston 6
The Hupana upper is more supportive and likely warmer too. The road feel of the Hupana is more consistent from heel to toe with a little less of the snap of the Boston, but a smoother one as Hupana is stiffer and does not have the plastic Torsion system of the adidas. Hupana is a bit more cushioned overall particularly in the forefoot.
Hoka One One Clayton
The excellent Clayton is firmer and stiffer and lighter by an ounce. The Clayton is more responsive in the sense of having a firmer feel of and pop off the ground, Hupana is smoother and flows better for me. It is a more comfortable smoother running shoe overall so far for me, from the upper to the slight bounce in the ride from the RMAT.

The Hupana was provided at no charge to Road Trail Run. The opinions herein are entirely our own.

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Jeff Valliere said...

Wow, sounds like an amazing shoe! I love the looks of it too, would be great for general civilian wear. Now, only if they could slap some knobs on the bottom and make a trail version.... ;)

Anonymous said...

Nice review! Very informative. How did the Hupana fit sizing wise? Just wondering if its true to size or suggested to up 1/2 a size due to the toe box.

sam winebaum said...

Thanks Anonymoua! I am just right, I like a snug fit, at true to size with light socks and as I have gotten some miles on them the toe box upper has gotten more accommodating. This said if you want a bit more room going up half a size should not be an issue as the overall upper support is snug and secure, Thanks for reading RoadTrailRun, We are also on Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter.

Andrew Burong said...

Nice review Sam. This shoe looks so damn sexy. How would you compare the toebox to the Huaka?

sam winebaum said...

Hi Andrew, Overall the Hupana has a snugger fit in the toe box area and overall than Huaka. This said the knit is quite compliant if not particularly stretchy and is not as plasticky as Huaka's upper, so great foot wrap everywhere, unlike Huaka. I have noticed with some miles that the Hupana upper has gotten a bit less snug more compliant. As there are no toe box overlays as in Huaka my sense is there is decent volume over the toes and certainly for me absolutely no pressure points anywhere despite the snug overall fit. Hope this helps. Sam, Editor,

Unknown said...

How do these compare with the Tracer? I have a narrow, low volume foot and absolutely love the Tracer. It's the first shoe from Hoka that I would buy again.

sam winebaum said...

Compared to Tracer not quite as narrow or low volume but for sure leaning that way. Another option Nike Pegasus 33 Shield in a women's last B width, same color as men's version . Nike sent me a women's model and it is fine for me but clearly narrower and lower volume. Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

I have run in Hokas for several years now. I started with the Bondi and recently got the Vanquish 2. I really like the Vanquish 2 and wondered how the Hupana compared. I like the looks of the Hupana better than the Vanquish 2.

sam winebaum said...

Anonymous, You will find the Hupana has less of a pillow super cushion feel than either of the other Hokas you have run. It is still a Hoka in terms of great cushion but in a faster more agile, flexible form than those other 2.

Steven kim said...

Thanks for the great review! I was wondering if ya could help a wide foot kinda guy...So in the review where you say "...a bit narrow at the toe but with overhead room for toes. I fit fine at true to size as I like a snug fit. Given the supportive upper sizing up half a size should not be an issue for foot hold" You recommend going half a size large to accommodate a wider foot? How is the tow box compared to the clifton1? That has been the only Hoka I have tried but that was a bit tight for me...thanks in advance!

sam winebaum said...

Hi Steven, First as I have run more in the Hupana the upper has stretched somewhat. No longer a near race shoe fit as out of the box but now a snug pressure free fit. No issues have emerged with foot hold at half a size up. This is not a wide shoe but seems decently adaptive to some wider feet, mine being medium. Trying to recall Clifton 1 and if memory serves I would say the toe overhead room on the Hupana is better as the knit has some give. The width about the same but again with some give in the Hupana knit. Hope this helps. Thanks for reading Road Trail Run, We are also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with additional posts. Sam, Editor.

Anonymous said...

I did not care for the Tracer. Although it is light weight; and, I liked the feel of the shoe when I ran, I found the toe box to be very narrow and I experienced toe pinching at about 9 miles into my run; and, had to stop running. The tongue was another issue. It's very flimsy. I know this might sound weird, but I also found that I walked pigeon toed in the Tracer. Additionally, the colors bled onto my socks. This would be a great shoe; but, there needs to be a few improvements.

Michael Avestro said...

So I need to add 1 shoe to my rotation right now, and I've read your reviews on this Hupana, as well as the Skechers GORun 5 (NYC). If you had to choose between the two, which way would you go? Both sound like solid all-arounders, and you seem to like them both very much.

Just came across your site recently, and love the reviews... keep up the great work.

Michael Avestro said...

^Btw, I should note that I have been a big fan of the Skechers GOrun series, and I've owned multiple pairs of the GR3, GR4, and GR4'16. Hokas were always hit or miss for me, but the Clifton 3 finally worked for my foot. It became my go to long run / Ironman marathon shoe.

jhbugsy said...

I thought I found the perfect marathon shoe in the Clayton ( no blister problems for me). It is really light weight and has a lot of cushioning for its weight. But the Hupana looks sooo comfortable! I am not a speed demon and am doing my marathons at a 10:15 pace or slower. I am wondering if it is worth adding an ounce as a trade off for a softer ride for my sore 67 year old legs. Thoughts?

sam winebaum said...

Hi jhbugsy,
Both great choices. Don't worry about the extra ounce in the Hupana. The RMAT ride is really fine combining rebound and more and softer cushion than Clayton particularly upfront with a smooth if a bit stiff flex. The upper is snugger so better for those later miles if you get a good fit, its a snugger upper due to the knit but stretches some. Thanks for reading! Sam, Editor You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

jhbugsy said...

OK, so I have been running on my treadmill with one broken in clayton and one new Hupana. I had to check my feet because each time the clayton felt more cushioned! What's going on? should I do the same test on the road when the weather warms up? Since I'd rather have lightweight + cushioning than responsiveness, I'm trying to decide between these 2 shoes for my next maraton.

also I moved up on the Hupana a 1/2 size bc of a little toebox pinching after 5-7 miles. I need comfort for 26.2. But now i am concerned that when the upper stretches the shoe might be a tad too big. Please solve my conundrum!

sam winebaum said...

Hi JHBugsy,
The Clayton does have more midsole stack being 28/24 vs Hupana at 25/20 so more underfoot. This said I find it a firmer and overall stiffer cushion particularly up front where the foam is firmer than in the rear. I prefer the extra bounce of the Hupana's RMAT midsole and overall smoothness and the fit. The Clayton for some has caused blisters irritation under the front of the arch. Watch for that. I solved it by substituting a more substantial sock liner from another shoe, in my case from an adidas Boston or Energy. It comes down to preferences and what feels best to you. You said you tried them on a treadmill. I have found that the Hupana when running in cold 15F is somewhat firmer and more responsive than when warmer. What is your planned marathon time? Hope this is helpful Thanks for reading Road Trail Run.! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews, Sam, Editor

Francis Raymores said...

I live in the caribbean, had a great experience with huaka and clayton, and was looking forward to try the Hupana, but with our climate I will definitely have to wait for the new model.

demian sims said...

How do the Hupana compare to the Sketchers GORun Ride 7's?

sam winebaum said...

For sure the GORun Ride 7 has a more comfortable yet secure upper. The GORun Ride is more cushioned, slightly softer, less stable and heavier. The Hupana has a denser feeling midsole with a more dynamic feel but a less lively one. Sam,Editor

Matt said...

For a slightly downhill marathon (Mountains2Beach - I think about 700 ft decline overall) would you choose the Skechers GoRun Ride 7, or the Hupana? Those are the two shoes I'm deciding between. I think I will run about 3:30 - trying to work on a midfoot strike, but definitely heel strike as I fatigue, and I've just overcome some shin splints that limited my training. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

sam winebaum said...

Hi Matt, tough call. How much have you run in Ride7? And Hupana? You will have more and bouncier cushion but it will less stable than Hupana. Sam, Editor

Matt said...

I have about 40 miles on each. Have set them both aside for the race after a short break in. I'm totally torn as well. I like both. Have done one tempo and one long run in each. I agree, I like the cushion of the Ride7 and it is a little more fun for me, but the Hupana seems to be the safer choice. I thought I'd get your opinion. In the end, I don't think my shoe choice will have much of an affect on my race - so I think I'll need to chill out a little bit about this choice. Thanks for responding so quickly to my post - and you guys do a great job with your reviews. I spend way too much of my time perusing your reviews, which isn't a bad thing.

sam winebaum said...

Hi Matt,
Thank you for kind words! The team works hard to dig deep and like you we spend way to much time geeking out on run shoes and stuff! Part of the fun when tools and athlete all click in a race.
As long as the uppers and particularly the snugger Hupana fit you well after break-in as it looks you have done including a long run either is a fine choice. Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
Sam, Editor

Steven said...

I bought a pair of these on a whim because they were on a sale and partly because of this review. I had a pair of Clayton 2's and was happy with them despite the arch blisters. I got a pair of Clifton 4s and so far I don't like them so much, I think they're too heavy and I prefer the lighter Hokas

I wore these for a bout 3 miles then ran a Half Marathon and I'm very impressed by them. A lot of the reviews I've seen basically say these aren't serious running shoes, but I would say they definitely are for anyone who is on the fence about them

Matt said...

Hey Sam, I ended up spraining my ankle 9 days before the race. The race director was super nice and has forwarded my entry to next year. I dealt with some shin splints that limited my training back in March. I think a major issue was ramping up my mileage too quickly. I haven't run competitively since I was in my early 20s, and didn't realize that my body would react differently to more serious training (I've just run casually for the last few years to stay healthy). I'm actually excited about getting my ankle healed and then having a much more thoughtful training plan with more careful mileage build-up. Plus, I'll turn forty a few weeks before race day next year, so it'll be nice to be at the lower end of the age bracket rather than the upper. I'm also looking forward to trying more shoes out before race day. I'm going to go ahead and use up my Hupanas and Ride7s and then try the Forza as Running Warehouse has pairs for under $50 right now. Thanks for showing interest in my race. I'm over the initial disappointment of the injury and realize it was probably for the best that I didn't run the race a few weeks back. I want to have a good first marathon experience and hopefully inspire myself to run more of them over the next several years. Thanks again.