Hoka One One Stinson Evo Review
If you eat, sleep, and drink running shoes, get ready, this review of the Hoka One One Stinson Evo trail running shoe will be wildly disappointing. To paint a clear picture of how little I know about running shoes, I’ll tell you that I know two parts of a running shoe’s anatomy by the correct name; the laces, and the rest of the shoe (sometimes I call the latter “the shoe part“). So, if you want a quick novice review of the Stinsons, by all means read on. I am loaded with honesty and excitement, so that is what you will mostly get.
Haven’t seen a pair of Hokas in real life? You probably haven’t been within 100 yards of them. They are enormous and unmistakable. Think Sketchers Shape-ups, but bigger, and with the word Hoka on the side in one-thousand point font. The side of the sole seriously says something about Hubble Zero Gravity Technology, likely because they resemble something developed by NASA for moon exploration. From most online photos of the Hoka shoe lineup it is hard to really get a sense of how much taller these are going to make you, but let’s just say that if you are struggling to make the height requirement for the big-kid rides at the local amusement park, these are going to be a game changer. The first time I took them out on the trail I even had a little bit of “special” shoe self-consciousness in the parking lot when a mountain biker gang showed up.
So, what does a non-shoe-expert have to say about the Hoka Stinsons that is worth while reading? And why did I preface this with what sounds like schoolyard bullying of a fat kid? Because they are amazing shoes, and despite being the shoe that only a mother could love, they are so worth it. The first time I put on a borrowed pair, even at a full-size too small, they rivaled any shoe I had ever put on in the comfort category.
Let me keep this simple. Here are three reasons I love them, plus I’ll include a few pictures of them next to my pair of Brooks Green Silence for a visual comparison of magnitude.
- Cushion and Springy Goodness
Lots of it. Sure a minimalist might say that these are wrecking the anatomy of your feet by making them lazy, but even if so, they feel so good. And if the laws of physics didn’t say otherwise, I’d believe that their springiness is actually doing at least 10% of the running for me.
- Light Weight
Never has more shoe making material been used to make a shoe so light. Think, Igloo Cooler.
- Surprising Stability
On first glance these look like they would roll your ankle in the car on the way to the trail, but they are remarkably stable. Take a look at the picture below of the sole compared to my Brooks Green Silence shoes. Trying to roll these things over is like trying to tip over a floor rug. My size thirteens leave a print in the dust that is so big it looks comical, like a lost snowshoer walked out of the woods in July.
To wrap this up it wouldn’t be fair to say that everything is great about the Hokas. What starts as a energetic skip to the shoe store can quickly change into a post-marathon limp after seeing the price. Amazon has them here, but I’d probably try to find them at either www.backcountry.com or www.rei.com. If you are already considering picking up a high-end trail running shoe for ultra-distances I don’t think you will regret the extra $30-50 for the Hokas. Happy running.
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