Monday, May 19, 2014

HOKA ONE ONE Conquest - 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 comfortfeatures 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.

PRODUCT: HOKA ONE ONE Conquest
MSRP: $170


DESCRIPTION:
"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."

COMFORT
These are a good fitting and comfortable shoe. The toe box and heal cup feel a bit more narrow than the Stinson. 
The "no sew" seamless upper has no rub or pressure points. The quick tighten/tie system is a complete waste and I changed out to the included real shoe laces to tighten and lock heal in for a solid fit.
The shoe feels less mushy, more snug and performance ready than other HOKA ONE ONE models.

FEATURES
As pointed out above, I find the quick lacing system to be a complete waste. The sole and upper feel more narrow and the cushioning is not as supple as previous models.
The "no sew" seamless upper is much improved and feature to cut on rub/hot spots.

PERFORMANCE
This is a solid shoe. Not as cushioned and mushy as the Stinson and a bit stiffer foam under foot. It provides a cleaner feeling run. I felt like the tread pattern was a little more significant and helpful when on gravel/dirt surfaces.

OVERALL
Like the Stinson, I experienced a fair amount of stretch in the uppers after only 30 miles and found myself needing to tighten the laces. This is another good long run training shoe. I would recommend it to people training for marathons and struggling with injuries.
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