Thursday, September 26, 2013

HOKA ONE ONE Stinson Tarmac - Review

*DISCLAIMER: I look at running shoes a lot like ski boots. Because we all have different foot types, running forms and terrain choices, we all seek different comfort, features and performance from our footwear. Like choosing a ski boot, it is important to visit a retailer who will take the time to analyze your foot and running style to allow you to select a shoe that might be the right choice. But, only after running a few times in the selected shoe can you determine if it is the right one.

*I love getting new shoes. I love opening the box, the smell, how clean they are and their seemingly perfect fit when you first slip them on. And, more often than not, the first run (or even first few runs) in a new pair of shoes your mind is in a state of euphoria, which is why I wait until I have at least 25 miles run in pair of shoes before determining how right they are for me and then reviewing for others.

MSRP: $170.00

"The Stinson Tarmac highlights Hoka One One’s second largest midsole volume featuring vertical sidewalls with an adaptive decoupling zone to reduce load to the body on foot strike. Late meta-rocker in the forefoot makes the Stinson very quick from foot strike to toe off. Features a road friendly outsole. RECOMMENDED USAGE: Road and smooth trail running for any distance."

These shoe start out comfortable. They feel like super-light moon boots, but over time they have a little stretch in the body increasing the size of the toe box and the need to lace up tighter. The result of lacing tighter has created pressure points on the seam that sits right on top of the pinky toe. I'm not impressed with the pronounced internal seams and the rough feel they produce. There is no way you could wear this shoe sockless.

The increased cushioning does exactly what it is intended to do and softens the impact. The sole rocker is effective in creating the mid-foot strike point and helps instill solid running form and mechanics. I'm not sold on the quick draw lacing system as the laces are thin and it feels as though I need to lace the shoes tighter for the lacing to be correct. These shoes are remarkably light for the amount of material and bulk they carry.

I do like how these shoes ride on long runs. I do feel like they are sluggish when running up hill and amazingly comfortable, fast and stable when ripping down hill.

A good long run training shoe and a shoe that helps combat injuries. I think the internal seams need some work and refinement for this to be a great shoe. I would recommend it to people training for marathons, struggling with injuries and/or work on improving their running mechanics.

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