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  1. #1
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Default Hoka's

    Anyone tried any Hoka Shoe's? http://www.hokaoneone.com/
    Noticed Karl Meltzer was a fan (or sponsored at least).
    Also I believe that Disco @ the trail show mentioned making the switch.
    They aren't true zero's, but folks that like a little heel and max cush would likely enjoy them.

    Still pretty happy with Altra's overall; some of these shoes look very similar and some of the latest gen Altra's have not been too great.
    Tried the one2 from Altra- bad toe box, had to return.
    Instinct 2.0, not worth the money and getting clunky even for Altra's
    Still happy with the Lone Peak overall, but that's only really for VT, NH, Maine type territory IMO, little overkill for most trails.
    For most stuff I'm happy with the Merrell M-connect series that shows up at the local outlet.

    Considering these too if anyone has any experience-
    http://www.sportiva.com/products/foo...running/helios

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    I haven't tried the Hoka's, but have been loving my Altras so much that I'm going to pick up a pair of Paradigms this weekend. Maximum cushion and that awesome altra toe box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynate View Post
    I haven't tried the Hoka's, but have been loving my Altras so much that I'm going to pick up a pair of Paradigms this weekend. Maximum cushion and that awesome altra toe box.
    Careful...
    I tried the one 2, which appears to have the same upper as the paradigm and 3 sum. To save weight they attach the tip of the shoe differently with a more traditional toe. As a result there is not the normal Altra height in the toe box. Long story short, the sizing was correct(length), but without the height they feel 1 size too small for me and had to go back. Reviews call for ordering a size bigger, but that will leave them very long and increase your toe snags.
    I would hold out for the Olympus if you want the max cush- or try the Torin- basically a Lone Peak with a road tread.

  4. #4

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    Not only do I not have a pair, I never even heard of them. Interesting "crazy technology" as they call it. As we age many people get what I think is called Big toe Arthritis...I have it, a larger than normal build up of boney over growth in the big toe Metatarsal jernt, that doesn't allow for 90 degree bending anymore, or even 60 degrees, so toe-off when running (this I rarely do this anymore) or waking often aggravates it. So I'm wondering if the 30mm rise in the rear would relieve some of this pressure at toe-off. Interesting shoe.

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    The other thing is I'm some what slew footed, and any rise in platform height would likely have me rolling an ankle (this often happens to me when stepping off a curb say, where the lager disatnce above ground gives my slew foot time to roll or twist laterally) but it says the foot is recessed down in the bed...hmm pretty interesting. Might have to give em a try.

  6. #6

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    Just Bill, I purchased a pair of Hoka Bondis in January due to knee pain that I was experiencing on longer runs. I normally run in Sauconys so I was a little concerned about wearing a shoe with a 29mm heal. They did feel a little unusual at first but after a mile or so they felt really good. While I do not hike in them, I have worn them on mild trails and rough right-of-ways without any stability issues. I don't know how they would do when wearing a pack.

    One of the criticisms that they have gotten in the past is that they are prone to wear out very quickly. I have not found this to be the case though. Mine suffered no unusual or premature wear. They are very minimalist shoes and due to this I found that I had to wear a thicker sock in the winter than I normally do. This caused me to purchase a half size larger shoe than I normally wear. The fit and sizing seems very close to my Saucony Triumphs.

    I am planning on buying a pair of their shoes with 26mm heals in the near future. I would recommend them. Hope this helps.

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    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    XCountry to WB!

    Yar, for any of these big cush shoes folks need to realize that the cush layer fails long before the shoe. I have a few pairs of shoes that are to all appearances, perfectly fine, but putting on the a new pair of the same shoe quickly shows how much the cush layer has broken down. The upper and outer sole will outlast the mid sole (assuming decent construction) in all of these shoes.

    I think many hikers would appreciate the slight heel of the Hoka's, although I do prefer the true zero's these days. Fixing form and making the switch has solved many issues for me as well, but like you say, takes some getting used to. I like using the true slippers like Merrell's or New Balance for training in and using a cushier shoe for backpacking in. Either way, I'm with you on the socks, I find a thicker sock manages moisture and blisters better as well regardless of the shoe. I wear a full 1.5 sizes bigger than my measured size.

    Socks- You may find a stability shoe like these- http://www.altrarunning.com/fitness/...epetition-mens
    gives you the benefits of this style without the drawbacks you mention. I'd find me a good shoe store and get an expert opinion. But some of these wider, flared platform shoes may help your issue for sure.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post

    Socks- You may find a stability shoe like these- http://www.altrarunning.com/fitness/...epetition-mens
    gives you the benefits of this style without the drawbacks you mention. I'd find me a good shoe store and get an expert opinion. But some of these wider, flared platform shoes may help your issue for sure.
    Cool beans, thanks for the link brada. those look interesting as well. These issues I'm having have just started within the last year or so, so I'm running to catch up and need to invest in a little more time learnin' rather than just buyin' shoes off the shelf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Careful...
    I tried the one 2, which appears to have the same upper as the paradigm and 3 sum. To save weight they attach the tip of the shoe differently with a more traditional toe. As a result there is not the normal Altra height in the toe box. Long story short, the sizing was correct(length), but without the height they feel 1 size too small for me and had to go back. Reviews call for ordering a size bigger, but that will leave them very long and increase your toe snags.
    I would hold out for the Olympus if you want the max cush- or try the Torin- basically a Lone Peak with a road tread.
    Thanks for the heads up. I'll try on the Olympus as well. I've wore out one pair of Torins, and I've got about 300 miles in a pair of torin 1.5. I know a few guys locally who swear by Hokas, and the get about 800-1000 miles trail running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    Cool beans, thanks for the link brada. those look interesting as well. These issues I'm having have just started within the last year or so, so I'm running to catch up and need to invest in a little more time learnin' rather than just buyin' shoes off the shelf.
    Barefoot three times a week for 20 minutes, does more for you than any shoe ever will, and it's free!
    But medical issues is medical issues best handled properly if that be the case.
    One notes- I was out in the field again (strappin on the ol pouches) early this week doing some field repairs. It was a reminder how much wearing a 20lb tool belt effects your walk/gait and forces you into heel striking and toe splay. Specially when one side is loaded up with screws, nuts and washers giving you the ol' pegleg walk to slug around all those galvanized zinc coated goodies. Mayhap years of tool belt wearing and not so long since hanging them up may be your problem just now showing up as you attempt to retrain muscles long habituated to that type of work. Maybe time for a visit to a PT to get checked out if you haven't already.

  11. #11

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    All of the initial misconceptions I had about these odd looking shoes proved to be wrong! heavy, unstable, feeling like I was teetering forward on the edge of cliff, I'm going to roll an ankle in these, they are pricey(read further), inappropriate for long distance hikes, etc. Hoka Stinson ATR(loved these) and bought a pair of Bondi II(much like the Bondi III). I was planning on hiking in the Bondi II's on maintained wide not overly steep mostly fair weather trails (despite not being defined as a trail shoe/mild trails as XCountry also said) but the toe box fit was different with the Bondi II compared to the Stinsons. If I remember correctly Hoka didn't make or I wasn't able to find size 13.5 Bondi II's so I returned the size I did have. I see HOKA does offer 13.5 sizes though. There are new models that I should preview since my last demoing of Hokas was about a yr ago. I find HOKA's one of the few running/trail shoe brands where I don't absolutely require an after market orthotic which in my case are SOLE Dean Karnazes so as far as cost, for me, these shoes overall are less costlier or equal in cost to than say the Solomon models I wear. HOKAs are by far the most cushioned shoes with the most forgiving ride I ever wore. Again, all of the initial misconceptions I had about these odd looking shoes proved to be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynate View Post
    Thanks for the heads up. I'll try on the Olympus as well. I've wore out one pair of Torins, and I've got about 300 miles in a pair of torin 1.5. I know a few guys locally who swear by Hokas, and the get about 800-1000 miles trail running.
    New Torin's the same or better? Got the new instinct 2.0 and they are more like a pair of Van's now with all the extra padding in the upper compared to the first version.
    800-1000 miles is impressive! Specially at the $$$ you gotta pay to burn through these guys every 300-500 miles.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Barefoot three times a week for 20 minutes, does more for you than any shoe ever will, and it's free!
    But medical issues is medical issues best handled properly if that be the case.
    One notes- I was out in the field again (strappin on the ol pouches) early this week doing some field repairs. It was a reminder how much wearing a 20lb tool belt effects your walk/gait and forces you into heel striking and toe splay. Specially when one side is loaded up with screws, nuts and washers giving you the ol' pegleg walk to slug around all those galvanized zinc coated goodies. Mayhap years of tool belt wearing and not so long since hanging them up may be your problem just now showing up as you attempt to retrain muscles long habituated to that type of work. Maybe time for a visit to a PT to get checked out if you haven't already.
    I think you nailed it, no pun intended.


    ...puns are always intended, and likely subliminal. no charge for that one folks! it's on the house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Socks- You may find a stability shoe like these- http://www.altrarunning.com/fitness/...epetition-mens gives you the benefits of this style without the drawbacks you mention. I'd find me a good shoe store and get an expert opinion. But some of these wider, flared platform shoes may help your issue for sure.
    Wow, thank you for this! My poor mashed up toes can't wait to try their women's trail runners. I'm looking for place nearby right now...


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
    "


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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    I think you nailed it, no pun intended.


    ...puns are always intended, and likely subliminal. no charge for that one folks! it's on the house.
    LOL- as a righty, I most all my fastners in my left tool belt. Noticed walking around the last few days that the right foot splay was quite bad as a result.
    Might just be the diagnosis right there if you notice the same pattern. Sparky tends to have a balanced tool belt, but fitters and wood butchers rarely do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slbirdnerd View Post
    Wow, thank you for this! My poor mashed up toes can't wait to try their women's trail runners. I'm looking for place nearby right now...
    Make sure you hit a good shoe store (if you haven't already) Not everyone needs a stability shoe- but every hiker can use a footshaped shoe and tall toe box, specially anyone who's ever got the ol' black toe or lost a nail. A very preventable issue. http://www.altrarunning.com/webapp/w...952#FootShaped

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    What's a "true zero"?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    Any opinions on whether the Hoka's or any zero drop shoe might help with IT Band Syndrome?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    What's a "true zero"?
    All that means is that the heel and forefoot are at the same level. Same as if you are standing on a bare floor.
    The thickness of a shoe is called the stack height, most shoes have a heel of some sort. A typical tennis shoe has a 12 mm heel, which means the stack at the heel is 12 mm thicker than the stack at the forefoot area.
    A dress shoe is easiest to see this in, especially a men's. The basic sole of the shoe would be a zero. Adding the heel block creates the heel.
    Oddly, many women are turned off by minimalist shoes but regularly tout the comfort of "flats" which are simply zero drop shoes.
    These hoka's show a 26mm heel and 21 mm forefoot- which means a 5mm heel (or drop) http://www.hokaoneone.com/mens-trail...gid=mens-trail

    This page is one of the best to show all the features of minimalist shoes- http://www.altrarunning.com/webapp/w...952#FootShaped
    Most of the shoes we are talking about feature a low drop or zero drop design. In addition though these shoes all have high stack heights, meaning a thick, or thicker than normal cush (EVA FOAM) layer.
    A true minimalist shoe generally doesn't have much cush, but many backpackers find that a minimalist design, with the high stack height is an excellent choice.
    Here is a good example of a true minimalist shoe; zero drop, wide forefoot, taller toe box, only 4mm cush, and 9.5 mm total stack height.
    http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Prod...-Trail-Glove-2

    Pretty much every shoe has
    outsole- rubber- 3-6 mm (plus lug depth on some shoes)
    midsole- cush- zero to 36mm (like the Altra Olympus)
    Insole- not every shoe has one, but if it does it is removable.

    The merrell above- no insole, 4mm cush, 5.5mm outsole.
    An Altra Lone Peak (very good backpacking shoe)- has 23mm total stack, made up of 5 layers (good pic in their photos)- http://www.altrarunning.com/fitness/...e-peak-15-mens

    Insoles help with orthopedic issues, but if you are looking for more cush- a high stack shoe and a thick sock will do more for you (and be more stable) than an aftermarket insole.

    I'd give you a short answer but we both know I'm not good at that. Hugz!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    All that means is that the heel and forefoot are at the same level. Same as if you are standing on a bare floor.
    The thickness of a shoe is called the stack height, most shoes have a heel of some sort. A typical tennis shoe has a 12 mm heel, which means the stack at the heel is 12 mm thicker than the stack at the forefoot area.
    A dress shoe is easiest to see this in, especially a men's. The basic sole of the shoe would be a zero. Adding the heel block creates the heel.
    Oddly, many women are turned off by minimalist shoes but regularly tout the comfort of "flats" which are simply zero drop shoes.
    These hoka's show a 26mm heel and 21 mm forefoot- which means a 5mm heel (or drop) http://www.hokaoneone.com/mens-trail...gid=mens-trail

    This page is one of the best to show all the features of minimalist shoes- http://www.altrarunning.com/webapp/w...952#FootShaped
    Most of the shoes we are talking about feature a low drop or zero drop design. In addition though these shoes all have high stack heights, meaning a thick, or thicker than normal cush (EVA FOAM) layer.
    A true minimalist shoe generally doesn't have much cush, but many backpackers find that a minimalist design, with the high stack height is an excellent choice.
    Here is a good example of a true minimalist shoe; zero drop, wide forefoot, taller toe box, only 4mm cush, and 9.5 mm total stack height.
    http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Prod...-Trail-Glove-2

    Pretty much every shoe has
    outsole- rubber- 3-6 mm (plus lug depth on some shoes)
    midsole- cush- zero to 36mm (like the Altra Olympus)
    Insole- not every shoe has one, but if it does it is removable.

    The merrell above- no insole, 4mm cush, 5.5mm outsole.
    An Altra Lone Peak (very good backpacking shoe)- has 23mm total stack, made up of 5 layers (good pic in their photos)- http://www.altrarunning.com/fitness/...e-peak-15-mens

    Insoles help with orthopedic issues, but if you are looking for more cush- a high stack shoe and a thick sock will do more for you (and be more stable) than an aftermarket insole.

    I'd give you a short answer but we both know I'm not good at that. Hugz!
    I am down with the word smiths rotflmao.gif

    well I just learned so much from that post, thanks for the tutorial. I think the thing that always threw me was the term "Drop" which is really raise, or am I just being lysdexic again?

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