After reading the descriptions of each of their shoes on the market at the time, I decided to go with the Bondi for my first pair. The Bondi promised high performance cushioning for road runners. I was excited to give them a try! When they arrived on my doorstep I eagerly ripped them out of the box. They looked like no other shoe I had tried before. The clown shoe of running you may say. But just as you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I knew I shouldn't judge the Hoka on it's appearance. I laced them up and went out for my first run. Based on their appearance, I couldn't believe how light they felt. They didn't feel oversized at all on my feet. I remember distinctly feeling like I was flying down the road with springs under my feet. I was immediately a huge fan.
I still wear the Bondis for all of my longer runs and races. I have worn them through 2 marathons, a number of half marathons, and even a 5k (not the same pair).
|they even made the trip with me to South Korea|
While I love the Bondis for longer runs, I wanted something a little smaller for shorter runs and speed work. I started using the Kailua Tarmacs, which have lightweight cushioning with a faster ride according the the Hoka website. The Tarmacs are not as softly cushioned as the Bodis, which make them great for shorter, faster runs. I used them on the track, as well as for races shorter than a half marathon, and easy runs. I loved having more than one shoe to switch between that compliment each other very nicely.
|Kailua Tarmacs for Ragnar|
|also great on the trail|
|as well as the track|
One of the newest additions to the Hoka family is the Clifton. After first seeing them at the Hoka booth at the Vermont City Marathon, I couldn't wait for them to be available. They are extremely lightweight, but offer the same amazing cushioning that I've come to know and love about Hoka. The Hoka website says "if you want to take the feeling of running on grass with you to the concrete jungle, look no further than the Clifton." I have to agree with them. I was amazed by how light they are (6.6oz...the Tarmacs are 9oz and the Bondis are 8.8oz). Again, I was in love after the first run.
|Falmouth Road Race in Cliftons|
Currently, I rotate between the Bondi 3, Kailua Tarmacs, and the Cliftons. Before switching to Hoka, I never used to wear more than one pair of shoes at a time. While I don't believe it's necessary, I do think it has really helped me stay injury free. Every shoe has a purpose. I am now on my third marathon training cycle wearing Hokas and I have never once looked back. I haven't experienced any major injuries since making the switch (knock on wood) and I feel as though I am able to recover from the long runs more quickly than when I was running in Mizuno. While I'm sure Hoka may not be for everyone, I am big fan and think they are worth giving a try if you're at all curious like I was.
|Current Hoka line up from L to R: Bondi 3, Clifton, Kailua Tarmac|
|I was sent these beautiful new Bondi 3s |
from the very generous people at Hoka for no charge.
However, every other pair of Hokas I have owned,
I purchased on my own.
All of my opinions are real and genuine.
Tell me, have you tried Hokas? Which model and what did you think? Any questions for me?