Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Hoka One One TenNine Initial Review: Innovative New Way to Really Make it "Time to Fly"!

Article by Sam Winebaum and Canice Harte

Hoka One One TenNine ($250)

Official Weight: 360 g / 12.7 oz men's US9
Estimated Weight based on sample: 12.35 oz / 350 g
Sample Weight: 330 g / 11.75 oz men's US8
Heel: 33mm Forefoot  29mm, Offset: 4mm
Available March 5, 2020 including Running Warehouse HERE
Shoe size: unisex M7/W8 - M13/W14


Born in the French Alps and created by two ski and sport gear designers who "on the side" were also superb ultra runners.  Hoka emerged during the height of the minimalist running movement with the super cushioned Mafate, a shoe the founders cooked up to be able to bomb downhill runs with the the running shoe equivalent of the suspension of a downhill mountain bike.
My circa 2010 Hoka Mafate I hiked around the Mont Blanc with
The rest is history as their super cushioned approach has swept the running world and the brand now owned by Deckers has grown tremendously with road, trail, walking, and lifestyle extensions.

But like all great companies Hoka has never forgotten that fast downhill DNA and original motto "Time to Fly" and especially downhill.

The TenNine reaffirms that DNA with a radical shoe designed to maximize ground contact on technical terrain and particularly downhills!

The TenNine name comes from the size. As we were re-defining oversize the initial name was Giga. Following  physics representations Giga is represented 10 to the power 9. This is where Tennine is coming from

We designed this product as a piece of specialized equipment specifically for running. It's not a lifestyle shoe or a hybrid shoe. Think of these like ski boots or cycling shoes.  Using this product for anything other than running may impair balance and dexterity. So, don't wear these on stairs or while driving. 

The ground contact surface is truly enormous. In the photo below a Speedgoat EVO, already a relatively gigantic on the ground contact  surface is compared to a half size smaller TenNine.


Canice Harte and I had a brief set of test runs sharing the shoe. We ran steep pavement up hill and downhill as well as a steep snowy unplowed  but packed road with a more moderate grade. We particularly noted amazing cushion and stability at the heel on the downhill road sections, sort of a broad smooth levered and shock free landing from the rear section, Canice noted they were way more cushioned and forgiving than the Speegoat 4 on steep pavement downhill, The Speedgoat is within 1mm the same overall stack height. 

Sam noted they seemed to climb better than the Speedgoat, and while as stiff, this may be due to the less extensive softer front rubber being more flexible and also less aggressive in profile,

The fit is generous. The test pair is a half size down from my normal 8.5 and fit just fine but I would go true to size for length just barely. The stretchy soft front vamp panel (very similar to the Speedgoat EVO's in material and construction) makes for an accommodating toe box with mid foot wings over a stout bootie helping secure for a decent range of widths. Canice was 2 sizes down from his normal. While clearly too short, they were runnable for him on the short stretches we did. 
In a second longer run on hard pack snow and pavement Sam was super pleased with both the climbing and descending on snow with the amazing cushion and propulsion on a longer downhill paved stretch he has run many times and this time with no shock, great stability, and speed stunning. 

The outsole is on the lower lug height side,maybe about 3.5mm and overall coverage compared to the Speedgoat and I would say ideal for smoother trails and road and with that super broad platform there is plenty of traction none the less even on snow but maybe not for mud or loose snow but who knows!

The flatter road section to the finish went by faster than expected, the shoe feeling considerably lighter than its weight and very well balanced. That rear outrigger in no way felt like the shoe was back weighted, Not sure how but that is what I felt

Watch Sam and Canice detailed first run review video here with comparisons to Hoka's original Mafate and the current Speedgoat 4 (13:00)

Given the snowy conditions we were not able to test on rocky or technical terrain to see what the effect of the rear of the shoe is on agility and what happens with trail obstacles in the mix,

TenNine Features

Lightweight, high-abrasion-resistant mesh for protection
Ariaprene tongue provides comfort, breathability and water management
Internal tongue wings provide foot lock-down
Lycra vamp adjusts fit to accommodate foot swelling over long distances
Heel collar pull tab provides extra support and comfort
Hubble geometry in midsole designed to provide a stable, smooth ride
Wider platform designed to maximize ground contact and provide a stable ride

The TenNine will be available from March 5
Read reviewers' full run bios here

The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below.
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!

USA  Unisex sizing 
SHOP HERE TenNine Available Now!
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
AUSTRALIA Men's & Women's HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Join VIP Family, Get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, Details here


Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

RTR YouTube 2020 Run Introductions Playlist

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun


Christopher Rusch said...

Aesthetically, that has got to be among the worst shoes I have ever seen. I think this will be a total bomb.

Anonymous said...

April fools came early. Actually, I think I saw a photo of this months ago, but thought it was a Photoshopped joke. As a fast downhiller, I wonder how it feels though!

Jim Beam said...

I saw a photo of this on the internet before but thought it was a joke of over the top design in the spirit of Nike´s recent failings.

How do you run in this and what if you don´t heel strike?

Martin said...

"So, don't wear these on stairs..." for trail running with any stairs during the course?

phl0w said...

I think what's even worse than the design is that brands have managed (thanks to Nike) to charge ridiculous prices for shoes, that many of us have to replace after a month or two of running/racing. €160,- is the new baseline it seems, everything below is seen as an instant buy, and above that you are treated with supposedly performance-enhancing shoes, letting the expenditure appear, again, as an easy choice.

Thomas said...

$250!?!?! This must be a joke from Hoka. I can't imagine anything worse than running down technical terrain with a big lump of foam attached to the back of my foot. If it's not a prank then I just don't understand who these are for.

Anonymous said...

>How do you run in this and what if you don´t heel strike?

How do you not heel strike when running downhill??

I for one think this is an actual joke but if you're running 30% downgrade don't pretend you don't heel strike.

Sam Winebaum said...

You are exactly right Anonymous. We all heel strike and for sure on downhills. Here the rear creates a levered highly cushioned shock free feel. The question we need to test more for is what happens when terrain is more technical at the rear. On smooth it is so far incredible.
Sam, Editor

azer89 said...

It looks like the shoe is aimed at super long distance races, maybe 100 or 200+ mile races, in these races you move slowly so the massive cushion would help, and my guess is the shoe would not be useful for fast running.

Anonymous said...

I'm a really fast downhiller (first Anon in this thread - have Strava downhill CRs on popular trails) and generally don't land on the heel when on 30% grade. Look at Kilian on youtube, and he's forefoot striking on steep downhills (drop to slo-mo, 0.25 speed). Also, his Salomon team manager(?) is a very fast downhiller and teaches landing on forefoot for fast downhilling:

Jim Beam said...

By Anonymous: " Look at Kilian on youtube, and he's forefoot striking on steep downhills (drop to slo-mo, 0.25 speed)." Yes indeed, not everyone lands on their heels even downhill. So, I´m looking forward to Sam´s review, especially how the ride feels while running on flats or uphill (or do I have to take the helicopter uphill) and while forefoot/midfoot running.