Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Hoka One One EVO Mafate 2 Review - Max Cushioned Trail Rocket with Upper Improvements

Article by Jeff Valliere, Dom Layfield, and Canice Harte

Hoka One One EVO Mafate 2 ($170)
Hoka One One Ultra racing shoe the EVO Mafate returns with upper tuning to increase comfort for the long haul. Ultra cushioned and as fast as any on all but the most technical terrain it features a low water absorbing very breathable single layer Maytrx upper reinforced and supported by woven in Kevlar like cords and fibers, a versatile Vibram MegaGrip outsole and a lively responsive ride.

Canice: Long miles on mellow terrain and you’ll float along the trail.
Canice/Jeff:: Downhill Strava segment be warned, the EVO Mafate 2 is coming for you!
Canice/Dom/Jeff:  Cushion, allowing you to run longer with less damage to your legs.
Dom/Jeff:  Springy, bouncy ride, with lovely roll onto toe-off.
Dom/Jeff:  Comfort improved over predecessor.
Canice/Jeff: Traction
Canice: Relaxed fit

Canice: Loose midfoot and heel undermine this shoe on technical terrain.
Canice: With all that cushioning you lose ground feel. This trade-off affects your speed when precise foot placement is needed.
Dom:  Outsole durability remains questionable. (EM1 was disappointing in this regard.)
Dom:  Expensive at $170 MSRP.

Tester Profiles
Jeff runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 
Canice, 50 is a 2 x finisher of the Wasatch 100, the Bear 100, Moab 100 and Western States 100 as well as many other Ultras.He regularly competes in Expedition Length Adventure races with his longest race to date 600 miles. Beyond ultras and adventure races, Canice has competed in traditional road races and triathlons.
Dom 47, trains and competes mainly on trails in Southern California running about 3000 miles and 500k ft of vert per year.  In 2017 he was 14th at Western States 100 and in 2018 finished 50th at UTMB and 32nd at the Los Angeles marathon in a time of 2:46.  

Official Weight: 10.3 oz. 291g WOMEN: 8.9 oz. 251g
Measured Weight: 10.8 oz / 305 g size US M10.  [Dom]
M’s: OFFSET: 4mm HEEL: 33mm FOREFOOT: 29mm
W’s: OFFSET: 4mm HEEL: 31mm FOREFOOT: 27mm
$170. Available July 2019 in the color of our samples as well as original blue/yellow.

First Impressions and Fit
Canice:  When you slip into a pair of the new EVO Mafate 2’s you can’t help but feel the pillow like cushioning 33mm of foam in the heel and 29mm of foam in the forefoot. Then after you walk around like an Apollo astronaut on your first moon walk you’ll notice the fit. Roomy and relaxed, yet with the addition of neoprene across the top of the toe box you’ll feel secure.

Canice:  The shoe has a wide heel pocket and the midfoot of the shoe is comfortable, but also a bit loose. These are not deal killers, but it does affect the way the shoe runs.  If the shoe was more secure in the heel and midfoot, it would be an amazing shoe.

Canice: Out of the box I ran these shoes in deep sloppy mud, on dry rocky trails, up a creek and in the snow for their first run and my feet were well protected and I have no blisters to report.

Dom:  As Canice says, the overwhelming sensation when putting on the EVO Mafate 2 is the really big stack of marshmallow foam.  Whether you regard this as too much sponge is a matter of opinion, but it works for me. The original EM1 (same sole stack) was a shoe that could soak up high miles and leave me feeling surprisingly fresh.

Dom:  Compared to the EM1, the most noticeable change is the black lycra insert across the forefoot.  This allows a little stretch to the notably inelastic “Matryx” upper. This change makes the updated shoe more comfortable and easy-going for the long haul.

Jeff:  With maximum cushion, excellent response, low weight and great traction, the EVO Mafate was my co-favorite shoe last year along with the Hoka Torrent.  Though effective, the Matryx carbon kevlar weave upper is a little on the stiff side and required a bit of a break in period for me. Even after break in however, on longer runs, I still felt a bit constricted in the forefoot because of the relative taut fiber not providing much give.  Hoka has modified the upper in the EVO Mafate 2 to add a bit of welcome give to the upper over the forefoot by way of the lycra patch over the center/top of the forefoot. Additionally, the remainder of the upper has also been refined and polished. Otherwise, everything else looks and feels the same and I reach for the EVO Mafate for just about any run, long or short, steep and technical or lower angle and fast, or if my legs just feel beat and I need some recovery.

Key changes are a breathable stretch lycra insert over center toes and the gusseted tongue.

Dom:  The upper of the EVO MAFATE 2 is fascinating.  The primary fabric, called ‘Matryx’, is a tunable weave where different transverse “weft” fibers (including kevlar and other polyamides) can be substituted to adjust the local mechanical properties.  In the EVO Mafate 2, several different reinforcing fiber types are visible that become more dense in the midfoot.
Look at all those different colored fibers: gray, black, orange, and black & white.  Oh my!
Only the orange fibers stand out from the inside.  Note the amount of daylight coming through the open mesh.

Dom:  The same ‘Matryx’ branded fabric was also used in the original EVO Mafate, albeit with an apparently simpler construction with only one visible supplemental (black & white) weft fiber reinforcing the midfoot.  In the EM2, there is a tapestry of at least three supplemental types: orange, black, and black & white. Maybe I’m unduly skeptical, but I find it hard to believe these are all precisely chosen to fine-tune the mechanical properties of the fabric: my guess is that at least some are cosmetic.  Nevertheless, this does look rather splendid, particularly up close, and is rich fodder for shoe geeks.

The original EVO Mafate was so amazingly primitive that it only had ONE color of supplemental fiber added to the weave!

Editor's Note: The orange filaments are Kevlar-like aramid fibers intended to provide structure and support to the upper  The black-and-white fibers woven in elsewhere are also Kevlar-like aramid fibers for support and durability but of a finer gauge than the mid foot cords.  

Dom:  In the EM1, I thought the forefoot felt a little constricting. In 

In the EM2, Hoka have added a central insert of stretchy black lycra.  The start of the laces has also been shifted slightly to the rear. While this does mean the forefoot retention is slightly lessened, the comfort of the shoe is improved markedly, allowing a small but crucial amount of toe splay.  For me, this change alone elevated the EM2 from excellent to outstanding.

Dom:  The EM1 tongue was a notable weakness of the shoe, being barely long enough to cover the laces, minimally padded, and lacking in a gusset.  In the updated shoe, Hoka have extended the tongue and added a bootie-type gusset connecting the tongue the sole. The new tongue is much improved, and the bootie has the serendipitous side-effect of providing an extra layer of protection between foot and the scratchy Matryx fabric.

Dom:  Another tweak to the design is visible in the heel, where the height of the heel collar has dropped slightly compared to EM1.  Another detail that Hoka One One improved is the laces. In the EM1, they were too short, and had just a little too much friction through the eyelets so that getting the lace tension right was finicky.  Both are improved in EM2.
Dom:  The open weave of the Matryx fabric is so translucent that one can see daylight right through from one side of the shoe to the other. This makes the shoe exceptionally breathable. And given that the fabric really doesn’t retain water at all, I would expect the EM2 to improve further on the EM1’s ability to dry out rapidly.  

UPDATE: After publication, I wore the EM2 at the Canyons 100k race, which involved many water crossings. I found that while EM2 upper does indeed dry quickly, the open-cell Ortholite footbeds (blue foam) absorb a lot of water, and remain wet and squishy for several minutes after being soaked. I've found that this material is excellent in terms of providing durable cushioning that doesn't pack out as some of the cheaper alternatives do. However, it has the notable disadvantage of absorbing a lot of water. If you expect to wear the EM2 in wet conditions, I would suggest switching out the footbeds for an alternative type made of closed-cell foam. For example, the white foam used in many other Hoka shoes, like Challenger ATR, does not absorb water.

Canice: The upper of this shoe is incredibly breathable and holds its shape well. The material doesn't feel very soft to the hand but I never noticed it when running. If anything, I like that the upper feels more durable.
The EVO Mafate 2 will also be available in the original colors as shown above
Canice: The lycra insert across the top of the toe box is a nice touch. It gives what is a relaxed fit, a secure feeling. And in general it is quite comfortable.

Canice: Another nice touch is the gusseted tongue. It has a nice feel across the instep and really helps with the overall fit. It’s a small feature that makes a big difference.
Jeff:  The lycra patch over the top of the toe box does a great job at relieving the pressure of the stiff Matryx weave, allowing for just enough give to accomodate for toe splay and foot swell, while maintaining a secure feel.  I have not really noticed any degradation in stability and performance, even on technical terrain and at higher speeds.
Editor's Note: It is our understanding that the Lycra insert was on early prototype versions of the EVO Mafate 1, didn't make it to production but Hoka elites preferred this approach and ran versions with Lycra inserts in 2018. It returns for real in EVO Mafate 2.

The lacing as mentioned above also has a better feel to it, not quite as static and more forgiving to make it achieve optimum snugness on the first try without having to readjust.

The tongue in version 1 was too short, thin and somewhat finicky to position, but the taller, slightly more padded and gusseted tongue really adds some comfort, ease of entry and a bit of security, so this alone is a worthy upgrade.

The heel collar on v2 is a bit lower also, but I have not noticed any difference in comfort, feel or performance.

Canice: The lightweight compressed EVA midsole provides comfort, while the rubberized foam midsole/outsole is responsive and resists compression.  The sheer volume of material means you will barely feel the ground yet get plenty of bounce in your step.

Canice: Ultimately the midsole of this shoe is what it’s all about. It is the heart and soul of the EVO Mafate 2.
Dom:  The midsole of the EVO Mafate 2 is impeccable.  As with its predecessor, the EM2 gives a plush, super-cushioned, and highly forgiving ride.  This shoe soaks up the miles without leaving your feet beaten up. For high volume training, I think it is without equal.

Dom:  The downside of the high stack is stability: the higher you make the tower, the easier it is becomes to tip.  One approach to the high stack problem (as employed in Speedgoat 3, for example) is to clamp the foot firmly to the sole.  The relaxed fit of the EVO Mafate 2, with more give to the upper, makes it more comfortable but less secure in technical terrain.  

Jeff:  Same midsole as v1 and is superb for eating up miles at any speed on most terrain.  I find the EVO Mafate (both versions) to be very fast and lively, uphill, downhill and on the flats, they want to go fast.  As Dom mentions, stability is compromised some by the tall stack on top of tall lugs and this took me some getting used to at first with version 1.  Same with version 2 (though I had already perfected my technique with v1), it takes some getting used to, especially if you run fast over uneven moderately technical terrain.  Though ground feel is muted, with so much cushion, I find that I don't really want/need ground feel, as I am comfortable just steamrolling over anything underfoot. Early on with v1, I found myself being tentative in tricky, technical terrain, rock hopping, steeps, off camber (the EVO Mafate would still would not be my first pick for runs where I want more low to the ground stability/control), but over time have become very comfortable running at full speed through moderately technical terrain and only slightly hesitate on more technical stretches of trail.  I have recorded several downhill PRs over varied terrain in the EVO Mafate 1 and expect more of the same with the EVO Mafate 2.

Canice:  Hoka has outfitted the EVO Mafate 2 with the same Vibram® Megagrip outsole as version 1 boasting 5mm lugs and grip for days.
Big, soft, multilevel lugs on outsole of EVO Mafate 2
Canice:  With all the cushion it would be a shame not to have the grip you need to take advantage of all that float. You’ll be happy to know the EVO Mafate 2 comes ready to tear up the trail so give it all you have. For my part I found the traction just perfect to rip a fast descent and a new Strava record.

Dom:   If you flip over the EVO Mafate 2 and eyeball the rows of toothy, multi-level lugs, you would expect its grip to be outstanding.  It looks like a caricature of what a layperson would expect a trail sole to look like. And to be sure, grip is good. It might be better still, but the outsole rubber is soft and flexible, and anchored to even softer midsole. Consequently the lugs have a tendency to buckle and fold.

Dom:   The EM1 (which appears to have an identical sole stack) had excellent grip on loose sandy trails, and was also surprisingly pleasant on road.  I didn’t find the lugs noticeable, but did notice the exceptionally plush ride and the rockered construction that made for a quick and springy toe-off.
Dom: Comparison of EM1 (LEFT) and EM2 (RIGHT) outsoles.
Dom:   However, one disappointing aspect of the original EVO Mafate was that the outsole wore down quickly.  Obviously, the wear depends on the surface you run on, but on sandy, gritty trails, I found that the lugs disappeared a lot faster than I would expect.  My hope for the EM2 is that the rubber composition has been tweaked to improve longevity. Is the black outsole compound any better? To the hand, It feels to be mechanically similar to the EM1’s yellow rubber, so I’m not optimistic.  

Dom:  I should probably note also that the original EM1 outsole had a tendency to pick up small stones in the narrow recesses at the bottom of the outsole grooves.  

Jeff:  The pronounced and somewhat flexible lugs took some getting used to for me at first, seeming to exacerbate the tall stack height and feeling a little distracting.  Wear rate for me seemed rapid at first in version 1(I run primarily on rocky, technical terrain), but seemed to level off after 70 or 80 miles and I am hoping for better than that with the EVO Mafate 2. 
TOP: EVO Mafate 1  BOTTOM:  Evo Mafate 2
As the outsole wears down some, I find the performance of the EVO Mafate to increase. As the lugs reduced somewhat in size due to wear, the shoe seemed to roll along better without compromising traction and the lower lugs meant less leverage for them to flex underfoot, something I found noticeably distracting at first.  With 154 very rough miles on my first pair of EVO Mafates, I still have plenty of lug left (maybe half or more over most of the shoe) and wear seems comparable or perhaps slightly better on v2, but otherwise appears/performs the exact same. I am hoping the black tread on the v2 is slightly more durable, which it feels like it and early wear observations indicate as such, but will report back with a long term follow up.  Otherwise, traction is excellent on a very wide variety of terrain, though not quite up to par with La Sportiva or Salomon Premium Wet Traction Contagrip in wet conditions, particularly wet rock and wet slab.

Canice:  It can be hard to separate the ride of a shoe from the midsole but the EVO Mafate 2 is different. You can separate the two because of the early stage Meta-Rocker. What is an “Early Stage Meta-Rocker” you ask? Think of it as when you transition from heel to toe, it’s where you feel the shoe no longer on the heel or mid-foot but rather when you feel you’re on the ball of your foot. This is not a precise explanation but when designing a shoe you can choose where the shoe ‘breaks’, and in the case of the Mafate 2, Hoka wanted you to feel this sooner rather than later. This is important because with this much foam and thus stiffness underfoot you want to feel as close to a natural toe-off as possible.  Having the ‘break’ occur earlier should give a more natural heel-to-toe transition and hopefully a quicker toe-off.

Canice:  Put more simply, the shoe has a natural ride for a max-cushion trail-eating machine!

Jeff:  Because of the Meta Rocker, the EVO Mafate 2 has a very quick and smooth transition, combined with the stiff midsole adding response.  Unlike many other maximal cushioned shoes, the EVO feels surprisingly lively, giving a refreshing and surprisingly amazing blend of all day cushy comfort and race day speed.

Dom:  The ride of the EVO Mafate 2 is everything you would want from a Hoka trail shoe.  It is soft, plush, and yet still springy. Despite the thick stack, the many layers of sole, cut-outs, and grooves allow the shoe to flex naturally without feeling stiff.  The rockered profile makes the shoe roll forward for a rapid, energetic toe-off. These factors combine to an almost magical ability to run further, faster, and do less damage to your legs.  With the EM1, I noticed that I would consistently run longer than in other shoes. The extra comfort of version 2 promises to improve this still further.

Conclusions and Recommendations:
Dom:  The original EVO Mafate was generally well-received, and appeared on the feet of many Hoka-sponsored athletes.  (At UTMB 2018, you almost felt flagged as a non-elite runner if you weren’t wearing them!)  Personally, I found a lot to like about the shoe -- the combination of easy rolling with bottomless cushioning made fast miles easier on the body.  But I felt the forefoot to be a little narrow and constricting. With version 2, Hoka have made many improvements to the shoe, most notably a lycra insert on the top of the forefoot that allows considerably more stretch than before.  This change makes the shoe more comfortable, more forgiving, and more likeable.

Dom:  All the strengths of the previous shoe remain.  This is a shoe that soaks up miles on trail and leaves your legs noticeably less beaten up.  It is reasonably light, very breathable, and dries quickly. Given the considerable (33/29 mm) stack height and compliant upper, stability is decent, but this is not the right shoe to wear for blistering efforts through loose rubble.  However, for long efforts on moderate trails, I regard this as state-of-the art. The whole world knows that Jim Walmsley broke the course record at Western States wearing this shoe.

Dom: The only major concern that remains is durability.  My experience with the previous EVO Mafate 1 has been that while the upper is bombproof, the outsole wears down quickly.  I hope that version two will be better in this respect -- although there are no obvious changes to the materials employed.
Dom's Score:  9/10 
An almost perfect shoe for racing 100-milers and for high-volume training.  The updated version is more comfortable, and fixes several minor defects.   Deducting a point only for the questionable outsole durability.

Jeff:  The EVO Mafate 2 is a worthy upgrade over the previous with a more forgiving forefoot, upper refinement, improved lacing and gusseted/padded tongue.  All of the other great qualities, fast smooth ride, response, max cushion and traction have been retained, making the EVO Mafate 2 an ideal pick for anyone looking for a long distance racer, uptempo trainer, or just a maximally cushioned trail shoe for any distance at any speed.  With excellent traction, the EVO Mafate 2 is versatile over a wide range of terrain.
Jeff's Score 9.8/10 - .1 for tread wear - .1 for instability in technical terrain for those who may not be well accustomed to a tall stack

Hoka One One EVO Mafate 1 (RTR Review)
Dom:  Weight and stack height are unchanged from version 1.  The addition of a stretchy insert in the toe box transforms the feel of the EVO Mafate 2, the extra ‘give’ in the toebox makes the shoe more comfortable, with a forgiving fit that allows a little toe splay.  In technical terrain, foot retention is perhaps slightly compromised, but on moderate trails the new shoe soars, soaking up the miles with even more ease than its predecessor. The new tongue is a clear improvement, and other minor tweaks all contribute to a better shoe.

Jeff:  I echo what Dom said above, though did not really notice any performance compromise with the forefoot upper improvements.

Hoka One One Hoka Speedgoat 3 (RTR Review)
Dom:  I liken the Speedgoat 3 to rolling over the trails in a HumVee.  The Evo Mafate 2 -- while also a highly-cushioned, high-stack shoe -- is softer and  forgiving, with more ground feel (i.e. “some”) and more soul that the bulletproof ride of the SG.  On smooth ground, the Mafate is clearly faster. On technical, the greater security of the SG wins out.  

Jeff:  SG3 is more stable and secure with more durable tread, though is not as lively, nimble, responsive and fast as the EVO Mafate.

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 (RTR Review)
Dom:  With about 4 mm less height underfoot, the ATR 5 doesn’t have quite as much cushioning, and has a simpler construction.  It is lighter (by ½ oz per shoe) and cheaper (by $40) shoe. So far, I’ve found the ATR 5 to have better outsole durability, although I am concerned about the fragility of the upper.  ATR 5 also comes in a “wide” version, although the difference to the regular shoe is slight.

Jeff:  Both are great shoes, but I find the EVO to be more responsive and secure at high speeds and personally, I prefer the beefier lugs of the EVO, even if less durable.  It takes me over 150 miles of hard running on rough terrain to wear the EVO lugs down to the level of a brand new Challenger ATR 5, so something to consider there. The $40 price difference though is not insignificant.  

Altra Timp 1.5 (RTR Review)
Dom:  Of the Altra Trail line-up, the Timp 1.5 with a stack height of 29 mm, is the closest shoe to the EVO Mafate 2.  Like the EM2, the Timp has no rock plate, but tons of cushioning. Like the EM2, It is also somewhat squishy underfoot.  Timp 1.5 is wider in the forefoot, and marginally heavier (323 g vs 310 g), but there’s not much in it. The Timp is less stiff in torsion, making it slightly more agile in rocky, uneven terrain.  On the flats and smooth trails, the EM2 flies, with a springier sole and faster toe-off thanks to its rockered profile.

Jeff:  Again, Dom nailed it here.  The Timp 1.5 is an excellent shoe, but the Altra shape needs to work for your foot shape and running style/preferences.  EVO Mafate 2 is much quicker and more responsive, a race/uptempo training shoe vs. a more casual all day trainer.

Topo Athletic Ultraventure (RTR Review)
Dom:  The Ultraventure is a hair lighter (303 g vs 310) and a little lower-stack (30/25 mm vs 33/29), but still has plenty of protection for all-day runs.  Anatomically, the Topo has a wider toebox. It offers a firmer, more responsive ride than the pillowy squish of the EVO Mafate 2.

Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 (RTR Review)
Jeff: Not necessarily in the same ballpark, but since they are both targeted at the ultra crowd.  S/Lab does not have the stack, protection or response, but does have better overall trail feel, is more stable and has a more precise and refined upper, despite the recent improvements to the EVO Mafate 2.  Price and weight are comparable. For 50 miles or more, I would for sure suggest the EVO Mafate 2, but for shorter distances or if you want more ground feel and stability, the S/Lab Ultra 2 is a fine pick.

Salomon Ultra Pro (RTR Review)
Jeff:  Both have excellent all day protection and cushion.  Ultra Pro has a more relaxed, accommodating, easy to adjust on the fly fit, but is heavier and less responsive.  The Ultra Pro however does have overall better all around traction and superior durability at a lower cost.

Saucony Peregrine ISO (RTR Review)
Jeff:  EVO Mafate 2 has more cushion and response, but the Peregrine ISO is fast too, with a more refined upper and more durable luggy outsole.

La Sportiva Kaptiva (RTR Review)
Jeff:  The Kaptiva is lighter and very responsive with top notch tread/durability, though not as cushioned for longer distances as the EVO.
Read reviewers' full run bios here
EVO MAFATE 2 is available July 2019

The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
Comments and Questions  
Welcome Below!
Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook: RoadTrailRun.com  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun
RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below. 
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!

FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

Join VIP Family and get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, details here


Jeff Valliere said...


Jeff Valliere said...


Stromdiddily said...

Stretch insert down the middle should work to eliminate top of the toe irritation experienced with the previous version. Can't wait to try these

Dowdy said...

Ohhh YES please..!
I love my EM1, but the stiff folding of the toe box Matryx is a little frustrating.
I definitely also agree that the laces are very hard to get into goldilocks, with most runs needing an adjustment or three. (i'm considering throwing Lock Laces in actually).

Will we get both colourways as seen above?

Telemarker said...

The shoes shown in the photos above are the original EM1 (blue/yellow) and the new EM2 (orange/gray). However, you're in luck. The Hoka summer 2019 catalog says that the EM2 will be available in two colors, the orange/gray shown above *and also* a blue/yellow version that looks very similar to the original shoe.
-- Dom

Jeff Valliere said...

Dom, I nearly replied the same, but after reviewing post, I see that Sam slipped in a photo he probably took at TRE of the blue/yellow colorway, which looks similar to version 1. Both look awesome, now I want one of each!

Telemarker said...

Thanks for the catch, Jeff. I'm drawn the blue-yellow colorway, since it looks like Hoka team issue.

Anonymous said...

I’ve really had forefoot fit issues with Hoka. The speedgoat is ridiculously narrow and the mafate Evo felt too narrow to risk very long distance. The torrent fits great, and I’m very excited to try hoka’s flexible solution on the e2. It looks AWESOME.

Morgan said...

Bought the EM1 as Hoka said it had a roomier toebox than SPG2 it doesn’t it drains great better than torrent but when I choose I always drawn to theSPG2 first and that’s the ultimate test!

Anonymous said...

i thought this wasn’t coming out until fall! has the release been pushed up?

Dowdy said...

thanks Jeff/Dom,
Yes, I was referring to the single shot of the EM2 in blue/yellow.
I prefer that colourway, so would go with that again.

With the toebox hopefully dealt with (and the slightly lower heel), I'm looking forward to release.

Tom said...

Thanks for the review. How does the cushioning of the Malfate 2 and Salomon Ultra Pro compare?

Jeff Valliere said...

Hi Tom, EVO Mafate 2 has more cushioning and is MUCH more responsive and fast.

Anonymous said...

How much extra flex does the new version have? I returned version 1 since my pinky bled in less than 5 miles. No such problems with other shoes such as Salomons (or the Torrent). Thank you!

Jeff Valliere said...

Though I have not had the same issues as you, I do find that the stretch in the newer version helps a lot in adding some flex and forgiveness to the fit of the forefoot. Of course I can't guarantee how any shoe will interact with anyone's foot/run style, I would lean toward giving the EVO 2 a chance.

Dowdy said...

Follow up on the issues noted with EM1 Laces in the article.
I had/have that issue also, where i find the laces are to stiff and require several stop and fixes during most runs.

My set of Lack Laces turned up earlier in the week and i've got to say, its transformed the shoe for me.!
They now have a much more sock or flyknit type feel to them and i'm not adjusting laces at all in any of my runs anymore. $6 well spent.
(and they have yellow...)

(no affiliation or anything like that whatsoever... )

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Dowdy,
Thanks for sharing what really seems like an effective improvement!
Sam, Editor

Andreas said...

Is there any update regarding release date? It was said to be summer, then it's said autumn, now I just talked to a Hoka dealer in Italy and he was like we won't see those before winter even 2020?

Dowdy said...

I'll second that Q...
Any chance someone could chase an update on likely release date..?

Σπύρος said...

Unfortunately it is only available in USA. It is ot listed in Hoka EU site.

Dowdy said...

They have now released the Blue colourway in Oz.
Also they have upped the damage by $10 on v1.

Emre said...

Is the sizing on these similar to the SpeedGoat? So for example; 13 in SpeedGoat = 13 in Mafate Evo 2?

Unknown said...

I’ve noticed a slight bump in the arch/instep with recent Hokas. Does this sound familiar and, if so, does the Evo 2 have it?
Thanks, Steven

Jeff Valliere said...

Emre, sizing is the same.

Unknown, have not noticed this in any Hoka, including the Evo Mafate 2 (which I ran in yesterday).

Lewis said...

Hi guys. How do these compare, fit wise, to the Torrent? I find the Torrent to be the best Hoka shoe, fit wise, out of all I have tried.

Andreas said...

I did size down in the Torrent. Have them in 42. All other of my shoes (including ATR5 and Evo Mafate) I have a 42 2/3

Jeff Valliere said...

I wear a 10 in both and that is perfect for me and consistent with my usual sizing. The Torrent is slightly roomier in the forefoot I think, but the addition of the stretchy strip over the center of the forefoot of the EVO Mafate 2 provides a welcome bit of give without sacrificing performance and control.

AndyHyde said...

Hi team RTR. Have any of you ran in the mafate speed 2? and if so how does it compare to this. We have much easier access to the MS2 in the UK and Ive used it for long stuff before. I really like how it runs but would love to see if its worth upgrading to the evo version. I also use the evo speedgoat which I love, but find the MS2 bit better for more mellow trails, saying that, ive taken the MS2 on pretty rough fell runs in the lake district (bob graham round legs) and its been decent with the exception of steep downhill mud/grass traction as well as a tad unstable but manageable with practice.

Cheers for your help

Jeff Valliere said...

I can't compare directly, but if I had to make an educated guess, I would say that the EVO Mafate 2 is faster and more responsive (it also weighs less according to the stats), yet can attest that it is a great shoe even if not pushing hard.

theorist said...

Have you had a chance to try the Mafate Speed 3 (MS3) ? I run on steep, technical terrain (up to and including where you need to switch to hands and feet) that is often markedly off-camber. I've been using the Speedgoat 4 (SG4), which works well for this—great grip and stability. Plus it fits my forefoot well. The downside is that it doesn't give me quite enough cushion, and its firm midsole leaves my feet sore.

So I just tried the Evo Mafate 2 (EM2). I *love* the feel of the midsole on these—better cushion than the SG4, so it's easier on my knees, and a bit softer, so it's easier on my feet. Plus its midsole is livelier than the SG4's. The problem is that, compared to the SG4, these shoes are much less laterally stable—too unstable for me. There's four reasons for that:

1) Higher stack
2) Softer midsole
3) Narrower base: In my size, the sole of the EM2, measured at its widest point, is 6 mm narrower than the SG4's.
4) Stretchier forefoot. In the SG4, my forefoot is pretty much locked down. However, the forefoot of the ME2 has so much give that, on off-camber terrain, the outside of the forefoot of my downhill foot can press out beyond the outside of the midsole. That's not a good thing, and has been a fatal flaw for me in other shoes.

Based on the pics, it looks like the midsole/bottom of the MS3 and EM2 are identical, so nos. 1 and 3, above, aren't going to be different. But what about no. 4? Does the MS3 lock down the forefoot any better than the EM2? I'm guessing it doesn't, because it doesn't extend the rigid rubber forefoot bumper to the sides of the forefoot like the SG4 and the Stinson ATR 6 do, and it seems to have the same lycra insert as the EM2.

I'm wondering if the Stinson ATR 6, with its wide base, and rigid forefoot sides, might be the only way I can get more cushioning than the SG4 yet still have acceptable stability on technical, off-camber terrain. Though I don't know if it would be too wide for my narrow forefoot.

Jeff Valliere said...

Just received Mafate Speed 3 today in fact and ran in them this evening. They are still not as stable as the Speedgoat 2/3/4 on steep, off camber terrain and really rocky, technical terrain, but I find the upper to be very confidence inspiring and tread is excellent, so I feel like they managed quite well all things considered. It got dark on me, so was being a bit extra cautious, but will have a full review and comparison soon.

theorist said...

Thanks Jeff. So can you say at this point if the upper of the Mafate Speed 3 has less lateral stretch than the Mafate Evo 2 (and if the midsoles feel different), or will those comparative points need to wait for your full review?

And what about the Stinson ATR 6 for stability on steep, off-camber terrain vs. the SG and Mafate? RTR's review of the Stinson ATR 6 commended its stability, but didn't compare it to either the SG or Mafate.