Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hoka ONE ONE Rincon Multi-Tester, In-Depth Review: Flying Fast, Very Light and Cushioned!

Article by Peter Stuart, Sam Winebaum and Jeff Beck
Sam:  There is much nostalgia for the groundbreaking Clifton 1, a sub 8 oz maximally cushioned shoe with noticeable bounce and for me so so rear stability. Subsequent Cliftons have gotten heavier, more stable, and longer lasting but for many lack the original“magic”. Roll forward to 2019 and here comes the Rincon.

The Rincon can be thought of as the up tempo, racing sibling of the Clifton. It utilizes a new more “balanced” vs. Clifton’s “soft” foam according to Hoka, has a light airy upper similar to the Carbon Rocket’s, and mostly midsole for the outsole. Checking in at an estimated mere 7.1 oz / 201 g (based on our samples), so more than half an ounce lighter than the Clifton 1, it shares the exact same 30mm heel, 25 forefoot with the upcoming Clifton 6 (which loses loses a full ounce, 28 g of weight compared to the 5)  to come in about 8.9 oz / 28 g of weight. Review soon.

Watch our A/B Test Rincon vs. Clifton 6 and Clifton 6 vs. Clifton 5 videos at the article here

The combination  super lightweight plus maximal cushion sure was intriguing . Were they a racing shoe or a training shoe or as the original Clifton was a combination of both?  How do they compare to shoes such as the NB Beacon, Pegasus Turbon, Epic React, Skechers GO run 7, and Hoka’s own Mach, Carbon Rocket, and of course Clifton, Peter Jeff and I set out to test but can tell you already they are a delight!

Peter: The Hoka One One Rincon came along at a perfect time for me. Due to a recent foot injury (plantar plate tear=ouch), I have been instructed to wear shoes with little to no flex in them. The logical result of that prescription is that I have been running in various Hoka models over the past couple of months as they are the only shoes (except for the skechers Razor 3) that don't seem to hurt my feet.

That said, I've been frustrated with the Hokas I've been running in. I'm on the lighter side of things (around 145) and while my feet don't hurt when I run in the Bondi I also don't really enjoy running when I run in the Bondi. It's a lot of shoe and it feels like a chore for me to push them (especially after 10 or so miles or up hills). I picked up some Cliftons (Clifton 5) which were better, but still left me feeling kind of uninspired. While the Cliftons are a lighter than the Bondi, they still don't thrill me. I figured that I'd run in Cliftons until healed and then ditch them.
So along comes the Rincon. Ahhh, what a relief. These puppies are light (7.1 oz in our test size 9 weight--which puts more than 2 ounces lighter than the Clifton 5), comfortable and a joy to run in. I've always wanted to really enjoy a Hoka--and have never been able to really enjoy any of their shoes (even when it got close there were fit or blister issues). That's all changed  with the Rincon.

Jeff Beck: Looks are deceiving, and on the surface the Rincon is a lightweight neutral trainer, with a very reasonable price tag. There isn’t much to go crazy over. The upper is comfortable and pliable, but not super premium. The midsole is one of the lower stack heights Hoka has put out there. And the outsole is largely exposed midsole, with a little bit of strategically placed rubber. Yet the result is nothing short of outstanding. A friend who works in the industry said his understanding is that the Rincon was positioned as a great daily trainer for the average high school track or cross country runner. I’m sure the high school kids are going to enjoy it, but I think nearly everyone else is as well.

Well cushioned
Flexible very breathable upper
Great price point at $115
Sam: first Hoka (except Rehi) with a distinct flex point. Rocker plus flex is a great combo!

Exposed midsole could be a durability concern
Forefoot is adequate width, wider footed runners won’t be able to experience an amazing shoe.
Sam: Softish heel but not nearly as soft and unstable as Clifton 1 as there is a less pronounced heel bevel. A touch more rear rubber would help stabilize the heel and provide more pop
How will the new foam hold up? Given the light weight and foam characteristics they are expected to pack out more than Clifton. The trainer pair becomes a racer?

Tester Profiles
Peter lives in Austin, Texas and is sub 3 hour in the marathon in recent years as well as a 1:25 half marathoner.
Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less.  Jeff runs 30 miles per week, both roads and desert trails in North Phoenix, Arizona. He has a PR's of 4:07 marathon and 5K at 23:39 
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 62 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a very ancient 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the 1:35-1:41 range and trains 40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces in the 9 minute range. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 165 lbs.

Hoka One One Rincon ($115)
Estimated Weight: 7.1 oz / 201 g
Sample 8.5 men's: 6.8 oz / 192 g
Sample 10.5 men’s 7.9 oz/ 224 g
Stack Height: 30mm (heel), 25mm (forefoot), 5mm drop
$115. Available July 2019

First Impressions and Fit
Jeff: The fit is as close to perfect as I’ve found. True to size, plenty of security though the midfoot, and while the toe box isn’t spacious, the upper has enough flexibility/pliability I have yet to experience anything close to resembling a cramped space up front.
Sam: Light in hand and sharp looking, they scream fast in the all red version. Other colors will be available.
The upper is a very soft, highly pliable, very thin single layer mesh with not much stretch if at all with an inner overlay with open circles and then at midfoot additional thin overlays. There is no toe bumper or stiffener beyond the curved up outsole.  
Needless to say to make the fit work two things have to happen: the thin upper can’t be overly stretchy, voluminous or wide and Hoka took full advantage of its bucket seat approach of sitting the foot down into the midsole.

I am totally fine at true to size with the upper having an uncanny sensation of not being there at all. Everytime I lace them up I wonder how it can work. Yet this upper wraps and holds the foot oh so gently and uncannily effectively at all paces. And I find that minimal lace adjusting is needed and no need to overtighten even on my narrower right foot. OK it is not a race flat or even a more conventional “secure” hold. It’s something quite different, incredibly comfortable yet more than adequately secure. While a somewhat more performance oriented fit up front, folks who might steer clear as they have higher volume feet should at least give it a try as while they may be snug for you there is literally nothing much in the way to irritate or constrict the foot

Sam: The upper is made of a thin very pliable, soft, non stretch single layer mesh. Simple, light, and effective-and probably keeps costs down compared to fancy engineered mesh so why not!  It is so pliable and unstructured off the foot than it is difficult to shoot “glamour” pics without stuffing a foot or paper in them. It is very similar to the Carbon Rocket’s mesh's upper whose weave seems a hair tighter. It is less thick and dense than the fully lined Mach 2 and clearly far more airy than Clifton 5 or 6’s upper.
The outer mesh is completely lined with an underlay with large circular holes. The underlay for all intents and purposes is as pliable as the outer mesh but does provide enough support.  To hold the midfoot we see an additional layer of underlays on both sides of the foot.

The sock liner is flat and glued in providing more room between foot and arch area midsole side walls. I had none of the infamous Hoka irritation issues there. I did in the original Clayton 1 for the first run when the shoe was very stiff. The flex of the Rincon likely will also help.

Breathability, low water absorption and water draining should be outstanding, making Rincon a fine tri choice, and there is hint of that potential use in the large rear pull tab, The conventional tongue is lightly padded and somewhat more padded than the Carbon Rocket’s bootie style tongue and less is padded than the Clifton 6’s. It works to perfection for me,
Peter: A great mesh upper that holds the foot really well, is ultra breathable and has had no hot spots or blister issues. Toe box is roomy without being ridiculous. There's a great big tab on the back for putting them on or even hanging them from a carabiner on your bag.
Lacing is simple and direct. These are going to be a great summer shoe.
Jeff: Everyone has an engineered mesh these days, and most of them are pretty good. In this case, the single layer mesh is thin, comfortable, and very lightweight. The upper has very little reinforcement anywhere. The midfoot and toe box are nearly shapeless to accommodate your foot, and the heel counter has very little reinforcement. Even though it is mesh rather than knit, it reminds me quite a bit of the Nike Zoomfly Flyknit upper, but it holds the foot much better. I could see runners with narrow or relatively wide feet both enjoying the shoe. That said, if you have a very wide foot, there might not be enough room for you. The upper does flex quite a bit, but the platform of the shoe is only so wide.

The tongue isn’t built up, and doesn’t have any reinforcement on the side to keep it in place. That said, it has a pair of thin loops that laces ran through, and those keep the tongue locked down. The tongue is thick enough that if you crank down the laces you feel overall pressure, not individual laces pressing against the top of your foot - but just barely. If it was much thinner you’d likely feel more of the laces.
I didn’t need to employ the extra eyelet to help lock the shoe down, it did that well enough as is, but if you experience heel slip normally you have the option to really lock the shoe down. The sides of the heel collar are low, soft, and flexible, and even the pull tab off of the back seems well engineered. For a no-frills upper, this one is done right.

Hoka describes the foams used in Rincon (and in comparison to Clifton and others) as follows:

  • Soft Clifton 6 uses our universal foam. It is in shoes like the Bondi, Arahi, Challenger. It is soft, but also balances durability and resilience.
  • Balanced Rincon uses a foam that is more forgiving. Tech wise: slightly lower specific gravity, moderate resilience and compression set. Can feel a bit mushier, and will pack out more in the long term.

Well mushy it is not for me. It is less mushy soft than the original Clifton 1 if memory serves and the platform while maybe not quite as stable as Clifton 6 is plenty stable for such a light shoe. It is less densely bouncy than the rubberized foams in shoes such as the Mach 2 and for me is more consistent, smooth, less dense and more energetic in its rebound than Mach, Clifton 5 or 6. The cushioning is soft but in no way mushy and the changes to the geometry of the midsole never had me sensing I was sinking or lingering anywhere in the gait cycle.
It will be interesting to see how long this feeling lasts but as it firms up a bit I expect response will increase, leaning the ride more to racing as now the feel is softer and more training at any pace oriented.

This smooth feel has a lot to do with overall geometry of the shoe. Recall Rincon s the same stack as the Clifton and has 3mm more stack front and back than the Mach 2. Yet for the first time in a Hoka other than the Rehi race flat ,we don’t have a stiff platform which relies on the Hoka Meta Rocker to move along, for old me the stiffness requiring knee drive I no longer or never had. The Rincon has a distinct flex point fairly far forward.
LEFT: Rincon RIGHT:Clifton 6
Under foot side by side with the Clifton 6 we see deeper more continuous decoupling grooves in the forefoot and a more continuous cavity from heel to midfoot. All contribute to a far smoother easier transition than the Clifton.
Further we see  a “revised” Meta Rocker which when compared to the Clifton 6 sweeps up more aggressively.
What does all this translate to on the run? There is none of the customary drive the knee push to toe off of other Hoka’s by using the rocker. An easier smoother and more “conventional” gait cycle and toe off is what I felt.

Peter: The midsole feels great. There's a really good amount of cushion (it actually feels pretty soft--in a good way) and plenty of energy return. For me they're a little softer than the Clifton 5 but also bounce a little more. Hoka’s description of “feeling a bit mushier” is right on. The only thing this midsole doesn’t feel right for is high speed racing. It’s just not quite firm enough to rip through a 5k. Everything else feels great with this foam. Interested to see how it evolves over time. I’m a little over 50 miles in them and they feel great.

Jeff: And this is where a good shoe becomes a great one. The midsole is plush without being too soft. There’s a soft firmness (which is right there with jumbo shrimp) that gives the shoe a great feel at all speeds. The Rincon has ample cushioning underfoot that will allow you to run virtually any distance in it, but it does not lose much flexibility by being too thick.

The shoe’s design clearly gives a nod to its sibling Clifton, with angled grooves cut into the side of the midsole - present on the the Clifton since day one. The grooves continue into the underside of the midsole, and ostensibly help give the shoe its flexibility.

I took the Rincon out on a variety of runs: easy, speed work, and long, and the shoe excelled at each. Speed work included six half mile intervals at 5K pace, and the shoe felt just as good as it did during a leisurely recovery run or a slow thirteen miler the day after a sixteen mile trail run.

Peter: This is the only potential trouble spot on the Rincon so far. There are sections of blown rubber and a lot of exposed outsole. I'm not so worried about the exposed material as I expect that to show wear, but after only about 14 miles there's some wear on the blown rubber that seems like a potential problem. I'll keep an eye on it, but there's a little more wear than I'd like to see early on. Reporting  back at over 50 miles and the initial wear has been the only real wear--and it seems pretty cosmetic. Expecting these will hold up just fine.

Jeff: Some folks feel that perfection is unattainable, and if that’s your philosophy - the outsole is this shoe’s flaw. The vast majority of the outsole is exposed midsole, and while it has decent durability, it isn’t great. The Rincon does have some blown rubber pods, mostly up front and at the extreme heel, and I haven’t experienced much wear on the rubber, just the exposed midsole. Over a long enough time frame the midsole will almost certainly be the point of failure, but at this point it is hard to say if the midsole will last to 300 miles or more. One bright spot - it doesn’t struggle in the traction department. One of my runs encountered some rain and I had zero issues.
Sam: Not much rubber here and less than Clifton 6 but something has to give for such light weight. I do wish for a touch more heel rubber coverage and thickness yes for wear but also to provide a touch more stable platform there. The coverage should be less of an issue for midfoot strikers. I am a heel striker and softer heel shoes with minimal rubber there can be more unstable that I like. The Ciifton 1 was such as a shoe for me. Incredibly fast but strange achilles twinges always seemed to emerge after running them. Clifton 5 and 6 made great progress in that regard for me and while not quite the stability of the newer Clifton the Rincon is stable enough.

Peter: Oh. So. Smooth. The Rincon is in a really sweet spot for me. It's soft without being mushy, protective without being clunky and light without being insubstantial. It feels really good at any speed and I'd easily use it for long runs, a daily trainer and tempo days. The only thing I'm not sure about is real speed. I haven't tried a true speed workout in them yet, but they may be just a tiny bit soft to be able to get turnover as high as you might with a firmer shoe. I'll report back after some more runs. Okay--reporting back. I’ve done two speed workouts in the Rincon now. They are actually more adept at face paces than I thought they’d be. I still wouldn’t race a 5k in them, but they were actually great at 10k and half marathon pace segments. They are just plain fun to run in.

Jeff: This is one of the smoothest running shoes I’ve ever worn. It feels comfortable at any pace, and virtually any distance. I’d grab this shoe for a marathon or a 5K, and feel very confident it would excel at either length. At the end of my long run my feet felt better than any part of my legs, and during speed work the shoes felt almost energetic.

Sam: Not much more to add to what my colleagues said. Tons of cushion which is easy on the legs at all paces and distances, an easier far smoother transition than any prior Hoka (and any shoe of 2019 so far me) due to the decoupling, the flex point, the very light weight , and the barely there yet supportive upper What more could you ask for! This shoe can do just about anything you ask it to do but the ride and associated fit shine best for medium length training runs of 6-13 miles at tempo paces. Hard racing paces do benefit from the pop from carbon plus somewhat firmer midsole and slightly more supportive upper of a shoe such as Hoka’s Carbon Rocket.

Peter: By far my favorite Hoka to date, this will be a great shoe for lots of different runners. I'm eager to put it back to back against the Skechers Razor 3 and a couple of other shoes for comparison. It's a great ride with a very comfortable upper and looks terrific too.
Peter’s Score: 9.9
The upper could be just slightly more dialed--it’s a tiny bit baggy and could afford to lock the foot just slightly better.

Jeff: Midfoot, forefoot, or heel striker - I think all runners will enjoy this shoe. It checks virtually every box: lightweight, comfortable, good for speed and distance, and incredibly well priced. The only real concern is durability, the exposed midsole shows a lot of wear for the first fifty miles, the big question is what it will look like with a hundred more. That said, I have no doubt that I will put several hundred miles on this shoe. Some shoes get reviewed and immediately move on, others become mainstays - the Rincon has quickly become my goto shoe for everything. It is that enjoyable to run in.
Score: 9.7/10 Ride: 10, Fit: 10, Value: 9.5, Style: 8.

Sam: The Rincon challenges my all time favorite Hoka the Huaka. It is lighter more energetic and easier to toe off than any Hoka including Huaka to date. This said, I also don’t see running trails in them as I did the Huaka. There are not many of the dozens of shoes I test yearly that make me smile and want to reach for more frequently than testing should allow.  The Rincon is such a shoe. It is fun to run, comfortable top to bottom, and has personality. How to improve? While the upper hold is excellent, I think the bootie tongue of the Carbon Rocket would be a good add here.  I also think a touch more rubber at the heel is needed to improve stability there for heel strikers. Don’t change the forefoot at all beyond maybe firming up the rubber there for a touch more response and stability.

In 2018 the Reebok Floatride Run Fast, NB Beacon, Pegasus Turbo and Skechers Razor 3 were the very lightweight cushioned marvels. In 2019 the Rincon is leading that pack. And yes, it is a very worthy and I think improved successor to the original Clifton,
Score: 9.75 /10
-0.10 for a touch more mid foot upper support, bootie tongue?
-0.15 for more heel rubber for durability and stability

Hoka One One Rincon vs Clifton 5 and 6 (RTR full review soon)
Peter: The Rincon is fun, fast and smooth. The Clifton 5 just doesn’t do it for me. I want to enjoy them but they feel a bit ponderous. I’m eager to try the 6. The Rincon is much more like what I wish the Clifton 2 had been--it feels like the logical next step to the OG Clifton.
Sam: It’s pretty clear the Clifton 5 or 6 is the trainer version of the Rincon. Heavier likely more durable, a slightly roomier and more secure upper, and not as much fun or as fast as Rincon.

Hoka One One Rincon vs. Hoka Mach 2 (RTR Review)
With 3mm less stack front and pack and a rubberized foam outsole the Mach 2 is both firmer and slightly bouncier than the Rincon. At about an ounce more it is also heavier. It may be a "faster" shoe for racing but its stiffness compared to Rincon gets in the way for me at all paces.

Hoka One One Rincon vs. Hoka Carbon Rocket (RTR Review)
Sam: The Rocket is much firmer feeling with firmer foam and a full carbon plate. A 1mm drop racing shoe which feels a bit "flat" and not to everyone's preferences is while firm very well cushioned and super stable. Surprisingly easy on the legs I would for sure race it for any distance up to a half before the Rincon. It can easily double as a trainer but its firm "feeling" ride is not as much fun and easy as the Rincon's. It shares a similar upper with Rincon adding a bit more support through a slightly denser weave, bootie tongue, and toe bumper.

Hoka One One Rincon vs Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit  (RTR Review)
Jeff: There’s a lot of give and take between these two - the Rincon is two ounces lighter while the Zoomfly has a higher (but not necessarily better) stack underneath the foot. The Rincon upper holds the foot better, but the Zoomfly has more rubber in its outsole and will likely last longer. For the give and take this is an absolute no brainer, I’ll take the Rincon all day. The only runners who should favor the Nike are those with wide toes. The Rincon is good up front, but not as roomy as the Zoomfly.
Sam: I find Zoom Fly considerably firmer at the forefoot than the Rincon with both versions having not as refined uppers: roomy in v1, snug and scratchy in v2. The Zoom Fly is more explosive on toe off and also more tiring, Rincon all day any day for me as well for daily training,

Hoka One One Rincon vs Skechers Performance Razor 3 Hyper (RTR Review)
Jeff: These two shoes are cut from the same cloth. As light as the Rincon is, the Skechers is even lighter, and very similar in underfoot protection. The Skecher also has more rubber on the outsole, and while it has a very smooth ride, I much prefer the ride of the Hoka. The Hoka upper is more pliable as well, so if you find the Razor 3 Hyper upper problematic, then it is an easy choice. Razor 3 Hyper gets a lot of (well-deserved) love, but I’ll still take the Rincon.
Sam: I would reach for the Razor for shorter races say up to 10K for me and the Rincon for both training and racing with racing at longer distances than Razor. The Razor is clearly more responsive and firmer than Rincon but rougher on the legs.
Peter: I ran these back to back and with one on each foot. Man, the cushion is similar and they are both just stellar shoes. I agree with Sam--I’d race in the Razor and train in the Rincon. The Rincon are just slightly more forgiving all around. That said, the Razor fits more like a race shoe--becomes an extension of the foot just slightly more than the Rincon does.

Hoka One One Rincon vs New Balance Beacon (RTR Review)
Jeff: Virtually the same weight, the Beacon has even less rubber on its outsole than the Rincon. It is also a great all speeds shoe, and the upper is even softer (and the toe box slightly larger) than the Rincon. As much as I like the Beacon, for me it tops out around 10-15 miles and wouldn’t make my short list for a full marathon, and the Rincon is near the top of that list. Wider footed runners will favor the Beacon, everyone else, Rincon.
Sam: Last year Beacon was one of my favorites but its heel feels lower, its upper while more secure is not as comfortable and its transitions not as smooth. Agree with Jeff Beacon that Beacon tops out at 10-15 miles for me.
Peter: Running these back to back is really interesting. The Beacon is noticeably firmer, and therefore feels more efficient. It’s easier for me to get up to speed in the Beacon and feel like I’m not working too hard. Agreed that it doesn’t feel great after 15. While not as efficient feeling, the Rincon is crazy comfortable and a little softer. The Beacon might be a hair ahead on the ‘one shoe for everything’ scale, but it’s personal preference. Man, I love them both. I think the Rincoin is easier on the feet.

Hoka One One Rincon vs Nike Pegasus Turbo (RTR Review)
Jeff: In this case, the Nike is the mushy one with the cramped toe box, and the Hoka has more room up front (and a more comfortable upper) with a much better feeling midsole. Save the $65 difference, and go Rincon.
Sam: Mushy, bouncy and sloppy riding in comparison the Turbo with as Jeff says an awkward toe box.

Hoka One One Rincon vs Reebok Floatride Run Fast  (RTR Review)
Sam: Fast has more conventional 8mm drop, and feel, from its lower forefoot stack with a higher performance midsole both soft, bouncy and with the fuller outsole and EVA layer underfoot in the mix more stable and responsive. Fast shares a super light mesh upper with Rincon with Rincon’s a better fit especially at lace up. It is lighter yet than Rincon at almost a full ounce less and that is felt. If you want more cushion the Rincon, a faster, somewhat firmer more stable ride the Fast.

Hoka One One Rincon vs Skechers Performance GoRun Ride 7(RTR Review)
Jeff: Just about the only shoe out there that costs less than the Rincon, the GRR7 has plenty to like about it. I’ve found that removing the insole makes it a more responsive shoe (with the insole it feels very unstable and mushy), but it isn’t nearly as smooth to run in as the Rincon. Rincon also has a better feeling upper, that is much more breathable. While the GRR7 outsole is a win, ultimately, choose the Rincon.
Peter: I’d go Rincon here. The GRR7 was fun to run in, but ultimately I ran into some foot issues (i think partly due to the softness). The Rincon has all of the things I liked about the GRR7 and combines them into a more exciting shoe.
Sam: Concur with Jeff 100% here.

Hoka One One Rincon vs Skechers Performance GoRun 7 Hyper (RTR Review)
Jeff: I don’t have nearly the miles in the GR7H as I do the Rincon, but so far the latest from Skechers feels very close to the Rincon in running feel, which is superb. It also has lots of rubber coverage, which is surprising since it is the exact same weight as the Rincon. The GR7H upper is pliable, but not as pliable the Rincon, and while it holds the foot decently well, it doesn’t lock down enough to run speedy stuff confidently. I’d recommend the Rincon, but only if you want to run fast - if you are looking for an easy daily trainer you can flip a coin and either way get a great shoe.
Sam: I find the GR7H ride firmer and springier than Rincon. It is clearly less cushioned than Rincon in terms of midsole stack. The GR7H upper does not have the feeling of security of the Rincon’s due to its stretch knit upper approach which will either work or not whereas the Rincon’s non stretch thin wrap can should fit more foot shapes.
Peter: Where the Rincon feels smooth and works well with my stride, the GR7H makes me feel like I’m fighting it a little bit. The upper doesn’t hold quite right, it runs as if it were slightly heavier than it is, and mostly it just feels stiff in a way that neither the Razor 3 nor the Rincon does. The Rincon gives me a smile, the GR7H does not!

Hoka One One Rincon vs Nike Epic React (RTR Review)
Jeff: An ounce heavier and $35 more, the Epic React is a really good shoe going up against a really great shoe. Epic has a little more toe room, a lot less midfoot room, and overall less protection underneath the foot. React foam is nice and bouncy, but the Rincon is bouncier, better at distance, and better at speed. Get the Rincon.
Sam: A fine shoe with lots of cushion at a shade under an ounce more, the Epic React has a more boring ride for me. Dense and flat in comparison with a more labored transition and toe off. I do think the combination of React foam and the outsole will be longer lasting than Rincon’s.

Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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Bernardo Asbun said...

Great review, I'm excited to try it and see if it could work as my next marathon shoe. How does it compare to the Kinvara?

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks Bernardo!
What has worked for you for prior marathons and what not so well. I would say the Kinvara is less cushioned overall, more stable with a slightly more secure but not quite as comfortable upper. The midsole foam feels about the same firmness but... there is 4mm more front and back in the Rincon and in weighs about 0.7 oz less.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

hardcoredds said...

Great review, excited to pre-order! Sizing was "spot on", but vs other Hokas specifically or other brands? I seem to be 10.5 in Kinvara and Epic React but 11 in Speedgoat 2 and Beacon.....any advice?

Bernardo Asbun said...

Thanks Sam. I'm considering racing my next marathon (Berlin) in the Razor 3, Vaporfly Next % or Vaporfly Flyknit (however the Flyknit made my feet feel constricted during my last marathon). After this review I was thinking that it could also be a good idea to include this shoe into consideration. The Kinvara feels great (maybe because I have a wide feet), even for long runs, but its 4mm drop over long distances has made my lower legs feel tight in one or two occasions.

Anonymous said...

A great review as always :)
How does the Hoka compare with the Reebok forever floatride energy? I am considering either one as a faster cushioned daily trainer. Thanks :)

Sam Winebaum said...

I am true to size in all you mention but find both Speedgoat 2 and Beacon "shorter" than Epic React 2 and Kinvara 10 (soft toe box)
Sam, Editor

Sam Winebaum said...

HI Anonymous,
Thanks Anonymous!
Both are faster trainers with Rincon considerably lighter than Forever. The Forever has more ground feel and less forefoot cushion in particular but its foam is very dynamic and it has considerably more outsole rubber so likely to last longer, not only outsole but overall packing out and stability. As far as upper quite a contrast in materials for both shoes near the same reasonable pricing: Forever a more traditional engineered mesh a bit dense and rough but a fine upper with more security if a bit less comfort than Rincon's.
Forever review below at the index page.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Michael McGowan said...

Hi Sam. Great review. I’m excited to try this shoe but was wondering if it caused any issues with your Achilles‘ tendon as you mentioned this was an issue with the original Clifton. I recently replaced my adidas Boston Boost 6’s with the Reebok Floatride Run Fast, and am getting some irritation in my left Achilles. No problems with the Boston. Out of your reviewers, my running profile most closely matches Jeff’s. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Could you make a comparison with the Hoka Napali? I'm looking at my next pair of shoes after the Napali, and these look like a good fit. Thanks!

Jim said...

+1 for a Hoka Napali comparison. It's also in my road shoe rotation currently @ a touch over 200 miles, so a summer-time replacement for the "Hoka spot" in my lineup would be pretty good timing. :-)

The other shoes currently in my rotation:
*Nike Pegasus 35
*Nike Odyssey React (v1)
*Reebok Floatride Run Fast
*Reebok Floatride Forever Energy
*Reebok Sweet Ride 2 (@ 150 miles and love the upper, but never have loved the ride 100%)

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Jim and Anonymous,
None of us tested the Napali. It weighs 1.5 oz more than Rincon and about 1 oz more than Clifton 1. My understanding it was firmer than Clifton 1. I believe the Rincon is as close to Clifton 1 as one is going to get but lighter with a slightly firmer but for sure more stable ride,
Sam, Editor

Unknown said...

Hi RTR....What is the Rincon width like compared to the Hoka Mach2?

Adam said...

Only thing I find disapointing in the review is the release date, I want them NOW:-)

Anonymous said...

I found out today the Hoka Rincon is going to be $199 Aus dollars when it comes out in July in Australia. Why is it so expensive when its $115 where you are.:( The reebok forever will be $130 AUS and you can get another 15 %.:)
Out of interest how does the Rincon compare with the NB 1080 v9 for cushioning, versatility and responsiveness (for tempo runs etc) Thanks. Steve

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Steve,
The 1080v9 is considerably heavier somewhat more stable and should be more durable. It has denser somewhat more stable cushion and less bounce. Its upper is more substantial and secure in hold although Rincon is fine too. It fits more into the category of daily trainer than performance trainer where the Rincon sits although for sure there is more than enough cushion for daily miles in Rincon.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam! I'm currently looking for a marathon racer to replace my Kinvara 9 for my fall marathon. If you would have to name one shoe besides the obvious vapofly(s), which would it be? Does the Rincon have a shot? I'm aiming for a 3:10h finishing time.

All the best, Nils

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Nils, You said one so I might answer Rincon! Other solid choices Reebok Floatride Run Fast and Kinvara 10. But Vaporfly...
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
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geomaz said...

Hello Sam! Can you please compare the rincon with the altra duo? Which is faster, more cushion, which one runs smoother, more stable? Thank you very much once again!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am curious is it fair to comparing Rincon and Salomon Predict RA? They seem both fail into a firm cushioned category. But looks like Rincon is a heel lighter than Predict. Is there any edge Predict holds towards Rincon?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
You will get a more stable ride in Predict RA with more ground feel and decent cushion. It has a far more substantial upper and should have a longer lasting outsole. Rincon by the numbers has 6mm more forefoot cushion and 3mm more heel cushion but that may come at the cost of cushioning longevity and stability vs the Predict RA. Rincon is a faster shoe but a more stripped down one all around except in shear cushion thickness.
Sam, Editor

Unknown said...

I’m doing a 100km event this summer which will be on hard packed trail (nothing too technical). Do you think the Rincon could do the job?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Unknown,
Not sure the upper over the distance would provide enough support particularly late in the race. A marathon for sure they would be fine. I might suggest the EVO Mafate 2 (review at link below) what the Hoka elites use for that kind of race and most others. Torrent would be another option from Hoka.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Unknown said...

Thanks Sam. I had the first Evo Mafates, but they gave me arch pain (seemed to have more of an instep ‘bump’ than I’m used to). Torrents, I liked, but was after a bit more cushion. Currently running the Timp 1.5 and SG3, but not completely happy with either. I’ll find that Goldilocks shoe one day!

Francis said...


Is it purely a road shoes? or can this model be good for light trail (forrest or sandy paths) ?

Thanks !

JimO said...

After these glowing reviews, I may very well skip the Carbon X and grab the Rincon for my faster longer efforts for the fall marathon build-up. Racing in the Next% so Carbon X pricing might be just too much for a trainer. Thoughts?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Unknown
What are your goal paces for the marathon? Carbon X (or something else) I think a better heavy mileage choice than Rincon but it all depends on your preferences. Rincon more the up tempo shoe or even marathon racer. What do you train in now? For sure %Next will be a hot racer. Can't wait to try.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Hey Sam,

Could you please compare the Rincon to the upcoming Zoom Fly 3 (do you already have those in house?)? I assume those are two of the hottest marathon racers for the upcoming fall marathon season for everyone who can't (or don't want to) spend 250+ on any kind of Vaporfly.

Thanks alot and best regards!

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Nils, no Zoom Fly 3 yet. Obviously big difference is between stiff Carbon plated and more flexible cushioned forefoot in Rincon. For marathon I would for sure “invest” in %Next
Sam, Editor

Pele said...

Thanks for the great review and recommendation Sam
Great shoes - super slow run fine (I am talking 12 minute mile warm up), tempo fine, interval work great (6.30 mile 400 meter pace). Great upper that is in no way constricting and light weight
All I can think of is this is a Kinvara with enough cushioning for a marathon (flexible with great transition) and the most un-HOKA like HOKA I have ever tried (and I have tried many)
The only negative on a stretch is it lets a few fine pebbles in on a cinder dust track but obviously not made for off road so can’t really moan

Anonymous said...

Any update on when this arrives in Australia? Thanks. Steve

Unknown said...

The Clifton 6's just didn't work for me at all. Felt sloppy especially on hills and just normal road cornering. And after about mile 4 I'd get a dull feeling in my forefoot, not pain just a dull feeling. Also couldn't get a complete locked down feeling without cinching the laces painfully tight. Sent the Clifton 6's back and exchanged them for the Tracer 2's.... So far so good, fingers crossed...
Question; how does the Rincon compare to the Tracer 2's? Thinking about them for my second pair.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Unknown,
Tend to agree with you on Clifton. I think it is as they are stiff, Rincon less so for sure. Tracer 2 is much firmer than Rincon.
Sam, Editor

Em said...

Hey guys, sizing question here, I wear 13 in SG2, 12.5 in Huaka, 13 in Carbon-X, 12.5 in Kinvara 10, 13 in the latest Kiger. What's the verdict for the Rincon, go with 12.5 or 13?


Greg S said...

Got these and had to return them after my 19 mile long run. Left shoe felt great but right was too roomy and after trying to tighten laces they pinched around the ball of the feet. Just could not get a decent fit!

Coming from Nikes, you notice the 5mm drop difference, but the ride is like a caddy...smooth, not fancy just solid.

I wanted to like these, but the upper has some odd pinch points and is not as good as the newer flyknits or bootie uppers of late.

True to size.

Unknown said...

OK the Tracer 2's showed up and so far I'm loving them! They are everything the Clifton 6's weren't! Responsive, stable, locked in, I only have a few nitpickey points so far;all the overlays can make the shoe a bit warmer, toebox could be a hair wider, tongue could be sewn to the inside of the shoe.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Hoka Rincon to New Balance 1400 V6 which one do you think more suitable for marathon race?

I know that these 2 shoes cannot considered to be in the same category. In my opinion, I think Hoka Rincon would be more suitable for daily training or racer up to marathon while New Balance 1400 V6 would be ideal for speed workout and racer below half marathon. So what do you think?

Anonymous said...

How is the wear on the Hoka Rincon going. How many miles would you get out of it. Less than the Hoka Clifton 6. Thanks.

DH said...

Any thoughts regards comparison of Rincon versus New Balance FuelCell Propel ?

NordicRacer said...

Sam, great site. I love that you have some diversity of reviewers. I am 30 miles or so into the Rincon. I largely agree with your views and give it a 9.85. I have tested against Clifton 6 on treadmill including one on each foot test. At the end of the day, the Clifton is a touch heavier but stronger foot hold and more durable. I didn't notice so much foam difference.
(I do half mild trail/half road, mild overpronate, moderate heal strike, 6'2" at 190 lbs, elite masters nordic skier, 5-mi, 18-5k, 39-10k, almost 50:). In the end I really love the Rincon and will likely use for all training except technical trails and racing for anything over 5k. Still love the floatride for 5k. I can't get more than 4 months out of a shoe so if it falls apart so be it- $115 or less in future is awesome. It may be that goldilocks shoe where I buy 6 pairs...Two extra insights- I did find I needed insert for arch support with that thin upper and softer trails under 6:30 pace started to slip at toe off. Amazing shoe!

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Nordic Racer,
Thanks for your feedback! I am with you on Clifton 6 dull ville in comparison and heavier at same stack height but likely will last longer. Fast times for a "youngster"! You might also look at Reebok Forever Floatride Energy and Harmony Road 3 and just posted new Brooks Revel 3 (might not have enough mid foot upper support). Reviews at tab above
You must Nordic ski too! My favorite sport, really! Especially classic on a special blue day! No longer race but do a ton when in Park City
Sam, Editor

Soli said...

Hi, I'm in love with Hoka Clifton 1 and 2. Now I'm in doubt if I buy the new edition of Clifton 1 or the Rincon. Which is more reasonable and similar to the previous ones? .Regards, and thank you very much

NordicRacer said...

Good point on the Floatride Energy- i missed that one. Will have to try before any bulk purchase. Agree on size down one half- applied to the Run Fast.
And yes Nordic Ski Racing is my focus sport, three years back into competition and classic technique is the best! Skin ski technology will help keep our tradition alive. (2019 Birkebeiner Short Course Classic age group champion)

60 said...

I love the Rincon. Just put 250 on the Clifton 6 and was getting sick of them. 6 is durable and stable but slow and dull. The only thing bad about the Rincon is the exposed foam. Well see how fast it wears... My Mach 1 was worn down a lot by 200 miles. I'm sure the Rincon will barely make it to then but we will see. Btw, tons of room in the Rincon, I find them more comfy and roomy than the 6s

Anonymous said...

Is it so difficult for Hoka to put a thicker insole? This one is far too thin and i don't think it will last for long.

NordicRacer said...

Update- after over 100 miles on Rincon, 3 criticisms emerged. 1. drop just too low for me 2. back outside heel outsole worn off for this big heel striker (just like I blew through original Turbo Zoom in same spot) 3. thin insole and thin upper means needing aftermarket insole
But there is also a tone to like and may be perfect for others.
Based on your recommendation I went to the Reebok Floatride Energy and they are almost perfect for my needs (about 100 miles in) and they address the 3 problems above. Everyday training in these and fast work or races in Reebok Run Fast. Energy runs only 1/4 size big for me so I didn't size down while I could have gone down 1/2 size in Run Fast (so adjust with socks and laces).
Thanks for your advice! Thanks Reebok!!

Sam Winebaum said...

Nordic Racer Thanks for useful insights and feedback! Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Just got Rincons and they are awesome !

Elite Pediatrics said...

Nice post!! keep it up!! thanks for share it with us,!!yearly check up for kids Clifton

Anonymous said...

Hello roadtrailrun,

I bought these recently and like the shoes, after reading your very positive review. However, I need to replace the insoles as they are too flat and thin. Do you have any recommendations about what medium arch support over the counter insoles would be compatible with the rincons? I know that hokas are shaped different to other shoes so any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!

MarkP said...

These are my first Hokas and I was a bit reluctant to try the brand. However, I'd tried a few shoes in the hope they would be suitable for me to wear at the Snowdonia Marathon and had different issues with each so decided to give the Rincon a try. I'm so glad I did, my first run with them was my final 20 miles training run and they were light and comfortable. I did a few shorter training runs in them before the marathon last week. It's a hilly road marathon but with two off road sections of a mile or so each. The first is a downhill gravel track and the second a section of flat, stony track followed by a very steep, muddy path 24 miles in when your legs are tired. It had also been very wet. The final mile then includes a very steep surfaced road. The biggest compliment I can pay the shoes are that I didn't even think about them, they got very wet in puddles towards the end but drained quickly and grip on all but the muddy section (where trail shoes would have struggled) was fine. Other than sore calves caused by severe cramp my legs recovered well. Anyone looking for a perfect long run and marathon shoe should consider these.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi MarkP,
Thanks for your feedback and congratulations on your marathon! Calf cramps.. I used to get them all the time as races especially long and hilly are always more stress (nerves under stress are what cause cramps). I always race in calf sleeves and lately really like Rockay as they are light and not overlly snug.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Great site and awesome reviews. Like one of the authors I require very stiff shoes due to hallux limitus. Would you describe this as being stiff in the toe area? Kind regards, Mark.

Sam Winebaum said...

HI Anonymous,
Thanks for kind words about RTR. Much appreciated. As for Rincon I would say it very stiff in the toe area but note that the rubber coverage is not full up front and the foam while not super soft is quite soft so not sure how this might affect your toe.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

I love everything about my Rincons except how it fits on the ball of my foot. On the insides of my feet right beside the ball of my foot, it get blisters constantly from these shoes. It got better when I used the top lace holes, but it's still worse than any other shoe I've had. Such a shame, I love everything else!

Any similar feeling shoes with just a few extra MM of width in the forefoot?