Where it really differs from fatter-soled Hoka One One models, is that you get far more feel for the trail from the forefoot and that gives a more confident feel on rough descents in particular where you need to get foot placements just right. There’s decent grip on firm to medium surfaces too thanks to multi-directional 4mm lugs – it says here – and ‘strategically placed high abrasion rubber’.
It’s a stable shoe too, despite the not inconsiderable sole thickness – 24mm of padding at the back, 20mm up front – thanks in part, we think, to the flared sole unit being a fair bit wider than the base of the foot.Overall, we’ve found them a confident, reassuring ride even on rougher trails, but with more cushioning than most trail running shoes.
That makes them great on longer runs and also on the sort of outings that mix up, say, a bit of pavement from the front door, followed by rough, moorland trails and maybe taking in the odd stretch of stone flags along the way. Hoka says that the additional heel cushioning is designed to come into its own when tired runners revert to heel-striking, but it works equally well for just taking the sting out of harder surfaces all round.