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HOKA ONE ONE Huaka Shoe Review

August 26th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 4mm offset (26mm heel, 22mm forefoot)
  • Weight: 9.2 ounces (men’s size 9); 8.2 ounces (womens size 8 )
  • RMAT midsole for smooth shock absorption
  • High abrasion rubber zones for sticky grip
  • Lightweight SpeedFrame upper maintains breathability and prevents debris from entering

Verdict

A soft, low offset road trainer, the HOKA ONE ONE Huaka provides maximal cushioning for plenty of shock absorption along with a performance-oriented feel when paces pick up.

Synopsis

With the addition of elite athletes such as Olympics silver medalist, Leo Manzano, HOKA ONE ONE was inspired to make a fast, performance oriented shoe that still matches their oversized midsole design concept. With the introduction of the Huaka, we see a lightweight neutral trainer that encourages a fast transition.  Weighing in at 9.2 oz, with a Running Warehouse measured 4mm heel to toe drop, the Huaka has ample cushioning for daily training while also providing a fast, lightweight ride when paces pick up.

A Deeper Look

In the midsole, RMAT technology is used to provide exceptional durability as well as smooth shock absorption. RMAT was first introduced in the HOKA ONE ONE Conquest and has since been added to the Huaka and Mafate Speed to provide a responsive ride at a lower weight than the compression molded EVA seen on other HOKA ONE ONE shoes. An Early-Stage Meta-Rocker geometry was also utilized to encourage a faster transition from heel to forefoot. This design, engineered with a low heel-toe differential and sculpted outsole, encourages a guided foot gait cycle.

RMAT Midsole

On the outsole, we see the use of a Full ground contact design with Hi-Abrasion Rubber Zones strategically placed on the forefoot and heel for increased traction and durability. While the Huaka was designed as a road shoe, the sticky high abrasion rubber provides adequate traction to maneuver over light trails with ease. Since performance was also a critical factor when developing this shoe, three small sections of the outsole were carved out to help reduce weight and provide a faster feel.

Huaka Outsole With Carved Out Sections

Sticky High Abrasion Rubber

A SpeedFrame upper is used to further shed weight and provide substantial breathability. The shoe also did a fantastic job blocking debris from entering the shoe and made running on light trails stress-free. A Lightweight External Heel Counter was also added to help provide a secure heel that will be sure to keep your foot in place when taking on quick descents.

Within the Hoka ONE ONE Family

The HOKA ONE ONE line has created a unique experience for runners seeking maximal midsole volume for unsurpassed shock absorption. Throughout the HOKA ONE ONE family, a variety of shoes have been designed to provide a max cushioned feel specific for different needs. With the introduction of lighter weight models, HOKA ONE ONE continues to expand it’s line and create a performance oriented feel. In terms of weight and cushioning, the Huaka finds itself in a category between the Clifton and the Bondi 3. If you are familiar to the HOKA ONE ONE family, the Huaka can be seen as a lighter weight version of the Bondi 3.  The Huaka has a slightly stripped down midsole and weighs 9.2 oz, approximately 2 ounces lighter then the Bondi 3, providing a faster, more versatile feel. The Clifton, on the other hand, provides the least amount of shoe in the HOKA ONE ONE line and utilizes the HIP CMEVA midsole for further reduced weight.  Weighing in at 7.8 oz, the Clifton is going to be the lightest HOKA ONE ONE shoe but lacks additional cushioning felt in the Huaka.

HOKA Clifton (7.8 oz)

HOKA Huaka (9.2 oz)

HOKA Bondi 3 (11.1 oz)

Wear-Tester Findings

  • Enough cushioning for daily training while also having a quick enough feel for tempo runs and marathon racing.
  • At slower paces had a very forgiving feel that absorbed impact from heel to toe.
  • As paces picked up, it was able to provide a smooth effortless transition.
  • Suitable on roads or hard packed trails
  • Closed mesh upper was more than sufficient at keeping out unwanted dirt.
  • Sizing ran long, sizing down a half size is recommended.

Whether your looking to pick up the pace or let your legs recover, the HOKA ONE ONE Huaka is ready to go.

Available now:

HOKA ONE ONE Huaka Men’s Shoes

HOKA ONE ONE Huaka Women’s Shoes

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