Sunday, April 02, 2023

Hoka Transport X Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Hoka Transport X ($200)


The Transport X is called out by Hoka as a “crossover shoe designed with everyday appeal  geared to propel runners through daily life.”  Hoka’s description, the features, and my test indicate that it is not a pure run shoe but part of a category of shoes with state of the art run shoe technologies and here even with a carbon plate and supercritical foam designed to bridge gym, all day wear, sneaker style, and running.  Others in the category include the Saucony Freedom, Strike MVMT, Brandblack Kanji and even the Tracksmith Eliot Runner. All of these shoes feature quite firm stable midsoles, gym ready outsoles and stable platforms, and very secure lateral movements uppers. The Transport X is no exception. 

The Transport X has clear origins in the Deckers X Lab, a branch of Hoka’s parent company focused on innovation and more “sneaker” oriented styles with the head of the Lab one of the co-founders of Hoka. The swallow tail and rear overhanging Hubble geometry now seen on many Hoka originated there in wildly exaggerated forms as well as the broad rear platform in the Transport X clearly as well. 

At 9.1 oz / 258g US8.5 sample with a stack height of 35mm heel / 30mm forefoot on a broad platform it is commendably light and for sure sharp looking. Let’s find out how they performed!


Star feature: superb fitting secure upper with higher volume and a broader toe box than customary for Hoka: Sam

Flat, broad and stable on the ground: gym use and long days on fee, also a con for run uses: Sam

Moderate and multi use effective toe spring and carbon plate impulse : Sam

Snappy carbon rolling power walking option: Sam

Versatile, stylish single shoe for the all day wear and travel : Sam

New Solid light and lightweight stability run trainer option in the Hoka line up: Sam


Firm supercritical foam lowish on rebound for run uses : Sam

Broad, flat rear of shoe lacks decoupling, a bit ponderous to transition, also a pro for other uses: Sam

Is the carbon plate and its expense really needed? Sam


 Sample: men’s 9.1 oz / 258g US8.5

Stack Height: men’s mm 35 heel / 30 mm forefoot, 5mm drop

$200. Available now including at our partner Running Warehouse US HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Modern and stylish in black and white with a saddle shoe design, the Transport X has a both run and lifestyle vibe fitting the shoe’s crossover purposes. 

The upper is the star feature of the Transport X for me.  It has a broad fit up front and a very secure hold all over and appears to represent a new last or foot form for Hoka. It is made of 2 different sections of engineered mesh. Upfront we have a relatively dense soft and pliable mesh with an extensive equally pliable toe bumper. The fit is broad so wider feet should be well accommodated, more so than in a standard width Hoka (unisex sizes here, no wides available).

My narrower feet are very held with no bunions pressure. The fit is for sure true to size for me. 

The rear darker portion of the upper is a saddle type design in looks and function. It is almost equally as pliable but has less stretch and more substance from its outer white stitching. 

While quite thin with pliable ankle collars the rear of the shoe as it is built as a single unitdraws the foot forward and secures it with the thin but not particularly soft “leatherette” tongue with its gusset completing a great foothold for the shoe's multiple purposes. 

The heel counter is rigid with short side walls reaching up for additional stability and there is plenty of rear stability here.


The midsole foam is called out as “supercritical” (type not specified but non expanded beads and with a touch of rubbery bounce). With a 35mm heel / 30 mm stack height and broad platform it is light in weight at  9.1 oz / 258g US8.5 for so much substance. The platform is 95mm at the heel, 75mm at the midfoot, and 110 mm at the forefoot.  These dimensions are comparable to super road racing shoes although I think the weight is heavier than those due to density of the foam, the almost full coverage outsole and the upper.

The foam is quite firm with a dense feel but with some rebound so not at all a dead firm feel. This is not an airy light feeling supercritical foam but one focused on a stable ride and stable platform for non run activities such as gym, walking, etc.. while remaining light. 

It is somewhat firmer feeling than in the similar more road focused Carbon X and clearly firmer than the supercritical foam layer in the trail Tecton X. The foam feels closest in firmness and also reactivity to ASICS Flight Foam Turbo, Brooks DNA Flash or Saucony PWRRUN Pb as found in the first two (but not third) generations of the Endorphin Pro and Speed.

We have a dual forked carbon plate in the mix, similar to the Tecton X's. Its purpose, and what it delivers, is some mild propulsive effect. The propulsion is most clearly noticeable walking but for sure is also present while running. I think due to the denser  foam than typical in super race shoes the plate is in no way harsh or over present in feel. The Transport X has some flex, not much, but more than in the totally rigid Carbon X and somewhat less than the Tecton X.


The outsole is called out by Hoka as “sticky rubber”.  It handles wet pavement well and certainly will have good grip in the gym but doesn’t not much profile so I am not seeing it as an ideal off road outsole. The outsole is almost full coverage with minimal Hoka logo flex areas. I wish there were more to give the shoe more flex.

I particularly note the “squared off” rear outsole and broad flat platform geometry. For run purposes, deeper decoupling grooves and a crash pad at heel would be in order although as a cross over shoe also focused on other activities and rear on the ground stability in addition to some running, it is appropriate if not pure run ideal.  

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

I tested the Transport X at mostly slower daily training paces (9:15- 10:30 mile) as I was tired after a half marathon the prior weekend. As previously stated, the rear broad flat rear geometry provided great stability but with a rear of shoe that is fully in contact with the ground and a bit ponderous to move forward off the heel. 

The run ride is dense and quite firm with the carbon plate upfront providing a nice if more mellow impulse. While walking the plate is more noticed as providing some end of step spring, having me think the Transport X would be an excellent if a bit deluxe in pricing “power” walking shoe. For sure if you are on your feet all day the supportive upper, inherent stability and dense cushion should make it a solid choice  I have not tested in the gym as of yet but as with its strengths for all day on your feet wear adding in its flat full contact outsole it should perform well there.

Hoka gets close with Transport X to a do it all shoe that is light enough in weight, carbon plated and with a supercritical foam midsole.  It is certainly run-able but leans more towards the cross side of the equation than pure run. On the run side its strengths of a broad rear platform will benefit those seeking some light stability on the run.

I do think slightly softer foam (why not the softer foam of the Tecton X), a less squared off flat rear geometry, and more flex would improve the ride for running and I doubt affect  the “cross” uses much. 

At $200 it is in the price range of similar deluxe crossover “sneakers” with evolved styling and top notch materials. I do wonder how it would ride and if it could be priced lower, be slightly softer with no plate or a nylon plate. 

Sam’s Score (with a run focus): 8.8 /10

Ride: 8.5 Fit: 9.4 Value: 8.4 Style: 9.3



I ran Transport X on one foot and the Hoka Carbon X 3 (RTR Review) on the other as the X 3 also has a carbon plate, supercritical foam and a similar stack height while weighing about 16g less largely due to its narrower platform, 10 mm narrower on the ground at the heel and 5 mm narrower at midfoot and heel.  

Its midsole/outsole combination of foams is slightly softer, its rocker and profile more aggressive and rigid with less mass and flatness at the rear. It is clearly more run focused with both more rebound and more front spring.

While there is nothing wrong with its somewhat stretchy more performance oriented fit upper, the Transport’s broader and almost equally secure fit is superior. Both true to size.

I did not test the new companion Transport (RTR Review), also a crossover shoe. I do note it is 2 oz heavier with a sugarcane based EVA midsole and has a more aggressive mostly petroleum free Vibram outsole. Our testers concluded it is not that run able due to its firmer yet and stiff midsole leaning more walking and off road walking/light hiking more than the more “urban” focused Transport X.  At $140 it is a better value for most for daily non run uses.

The Tracksmith Eliot Runner (RTR Review) clearly wins the style victory for my personal tastes with a classic New England prep look to the more modern black and white of the Transport X. Both have super critical foam midsoles (PEBAX in the case of the Eliot), both are very stable and quite dense and firm and both have extensive outsoles.  The Eliot also has extensive overdone for me rear rubber. Both are run, gym, everyday in blended focused with Eliot less broad at the heel but without the carbon impulse of the Transport X up front and that is felt. As neither is run focused per se for its style, the Eliot's gravel and dirt ready outsole, and greater run focus I prefer the Eliot but both could be more fun to run with some changes.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 was Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets lucky,, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run or nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

The Transport X is available now including at our partner


Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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