Over the past couple of years, Hoka One One has without a doubt carved out its niche in the running shoe marketplace, with many runners trying and sticking with their ultra-cushioned footwear models. One glaring drawback to their offerings, however, has been their weight – with their lightest models sitting well above the 10oz mark. Not very appealing to the runner seeking the benefit of lightweight.
Enter the Huaka and the Clifton, two shoes that smash any weight associations you may have with the brand without diverting from the high level of cushioning or the early-rockered ride you expect from their shoes.
The secret to this accomplishment? Hoka’s RMAT midsole material. Already seen on the soon-to-be-released Conquest, RMAT promises a resilient, responsive ride at a lower weight than the compression molded EVA seen on other Hoka shoes. While the Conquest features both EVA and RMAT, the Huaka and Clifton both feature a full RMAT midsole, allowing these shoes to fully capitalize on the material’s low weight.
The Huaka is intended for those who want a lightweight, low drop ride without the pounding. A 2mm offset is low enough to allow for an uninhibited ride without totally killing the calves, and at 8.9 oz, this shoe looks to be a great choice for faster-paced runs on surfaces both paved and otherwise.
The Clifton, on the other hand, is a road shoe all about bringing you the lowest weight you can expect from a shoe with Hoka-levels of cushioning. A thin mesh upper and high abrasion rubber only in key areas on the outsole bring this shoe down to a very impressive 7.9 oz for a men’s size 9, which Hoka will point out is comparable in weight to a Saucony Kinvara (with twice the cushioning).
One more thing to get excited about with these two new shoes: the prices. With the Huaka at $150 and the Clifton at $130, these shoes are undoubtedly easier on the wallet than many of Hoka’s other offerings. This, in combination with the low weight of these shoes, should make the smooth and cushioned Hoka ride that much more accessible in 2014.
Expect these shoes to become available Fall of 2014.
*Footwear specs are supplied by Hoka One One.