Santa came early up in here. And her name was Sandra, The Organic Runner Mom! I WON A PAIR OF HOKA ONE ONES!
Sandra had a Fresh Giveaway that I entered and low and freakin’ behold I WON! I suggest you head over to Sandra’s Blog. She is fantastic. Fresh Giveaways, Fresh Reviews, Fresh Inspiration, Fresh Recipes. Girlfriend is FRESH in every sense of the word. THANK YOU SANDRA!
I had wanted to try these sneakers for a while. Especially after seeing them on at least half of the ultra runners at the VT50. In fact, Hoka was there with tons of sneaks to demo. Admittedly, it crossed my mind. But I quickly decided that test running a pair of Hoka ONE ONEs in a 50K might
be suicide not be in my best interest, so I politely declined. I was however curious. You can imagine my DELIGHT in discovering that I had WON WON a pair! See what I tried to do there? Yeah. It’s not Hoka ONE ONE as in, Hoka FIRST, FIRST it’s actually pronounced “Hoka O-nay O-nay” which means “It’s time to fly” in Maori. Who knew? Not this girl.
I won the Women’s Conquest, in a very jazzy Paradise Pink/Bright Citrus blend. Understated, they are not. I’m also a GIANT in these, which pretty much puts me at about 3.5 Apples Tall. Heights don’t scare me. I was born in heels for Pete’s sake. According to Hoka’s website, here’s what I have:
The CONQUEST features a unique Rmat® midsole material providing the state-of-the-art weight-to-resilience ratio and that HOKA ONE ONE signature maximal cushioning protection. An early stage Meta-Rocker is designed to promote accurate foot roll through the gait cycle. A highly breathable layered, no sew upper construction provides a seamless and secure fit that compliments the uniquely engineered Water Drainage System. An ideal shoe for runners looking for a fast, highly responsive, and performance cushion running shoe.
Holy engineering. They are different. I’ll tell you that much. And that isn’t a bad thing. I’ve run in them for two weeks which is hardly forever. I will say that are going to take a little getting used to.
Here are my first impressions:
1. They are cushioned. Well. No shit, Dick Tracy. One look and you can see that. I state the obvious because they do a tremendous job of saving the bottoms of your feet. They offer incredible sole protection. And that’s a serious plus on long runs. The Conquests are not their trail model, but I did run off-road with them and I felt nary a rock, branch, pebble, stick—nothin’. Now I get why trail runners dig them.
2. They are stiff. For all that cushioning, it doesn’t feel like I’m running on clouds…Yet. I will say that they are “loosening” up a bit. Initially, I felt as if my feet weren’t flexing as much while running. Felt a little Herman Muenster, if you will. That sensation is going away with more miles. (I’m up to 40 in them.) Once really broken in, I have a feeling that longer runs will be easier on the legs in these kicks. And that would be a sneaker game changer for me come marathon training time. Expect a follow up report.
3. They are light. Shocking, I know. They look like they weigh 100lbs. But trust me, they don’t. And they’re not supposed to weigh a ton in the rain either due to that whole state of the art drainage thing they’ve got going on. They sort of propel you forward a bit. I think in techno-Hoka speak that’s the “Meta-Rocker,” which could also be the name of an all girl Maorian punk ban, but I digress…
4. They have speed laces. You just cinch ’em right up. Done. Forget about laces becoming untied. They stay completely put. Initially I got a little over zealous with the cinching, and I felt like my right foot had a tourniquet fastened around it at mile 5. Easy
amputation fix. Live and learn, People. Live and learn. They come with regular laces if Speed Laces aren’t your bag. And they’re cute too.
In short? I plan on alternating between these and my regular kicks. Stay tuned for progress reports! I am incredibly anxious to run super long in them. Or even run in them the day after a super long run. I have a feeling my legs will love me for it. 🙂
Have you ever tried maximalist running shoes? Ever won anything? Minimalist or maximalist? GO!!!