Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hoka Stinson Evo: First Impression

Ok, I finally did it . . . I bought a pair of Hoka’s  I would have bought them sooner, but the Mafate and the Bondi didn't quite feel right on my feet and I didn't want to risk it with such a steep price tag.  I generally wear an 8.5, but the Mafate was just too tight in the toe box.  I ended up buying the 9 about a year ago, but returned them the next day.  They hurt the top part of my foot just sitting in the chair at home.   No matter how I tied them, their was just too much pressure on the top of the foot. 
Over the weekend, I put on the Stinson EVOs at the Boulder Running Company and they felt so good,  I bought them on the spot.   It wasn’t an impulse buy, I was planning on trying them and hoping they felt good. They felt great.   
First Run: Considering I ran 30 hard miles over the weekend and was beat up, my first run with the Stinsons on the following Tuesday was awesome!  I ran 12.1 miles with 3056’ of gain on both gravel road and single track.  The fit of the shoe was very comfortable, and I felt that my toes had freedom to move around without touching upfront.  I was leery at first of the new lacing system, but it seemed to work well.  I think I did crank down on my right shoe a bit too much though – easily done.  I don’t think the quick lacing system evenly spreads out the tension which caused a slight pain on the top part of my foot.   I didn’t stop to loosen it though.  I will see how it feels next run and then switch to the traditional laces.  *Definitely not a deal breaker. 
One of my fears is the stability and twisting my ankle with such a high purchase.  I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way, but after running in them, I am not concerned at all. They seem to just to absorb any rocks that could potentially twist my foot, but it could happen. 
During the run, I landed on my forefoot the entire time and I was really surprised by that.  I felt like the shoe was almost forcing me to land there or at least it felt natural.  I did not expect that at all and would have predicted to be an overly pronounced heal striker, but it wasn't the case. 
Also, I got into a little sprint with another runner, uphill, and switched to my toes.  The shoe has a very obvious slant with minimal foam under the toes and It felt very natural and not awkward to break into a sprint.  Considering it was mile 11, I felt fast and fresh.  
In the back of my mind, I am worried that the extra foam and squishiness will increase the movement of my foot within the shoe resulting in hotspots and/or blisters on the bottom of my foot.  Now, I have not experienced this yet, I am thinking it could happen though. I wore toe socks during my run and plan on wearing a combination of toe socks with a second thin pair over them in future longer runs – two socks. 
Overall Impression: I am sold on the shoe, even though I was told I was wearing ‘cheater shoes’ during my run.  *They all had minimalist shoes on and were all in there twenties, at least fifteen years younger.  I will follow up in a month or two. 
First run with the Stinson EVOs : 12.1 miles with 3052’ of gain & 3055’ of loss.  (gravel road & single track)


Also see . . . “Don’t Let the Hokas Beat You!”


Ally said...

I have Achilles tendonitis--do you think these shoes might help or hinder?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, it is hard to say . . . Not really an expert in that area and haven't ever had any Achilles tendinitis, but I am sold on the Hokas. I definitely feel less impact on my body and my recovery seems to be much better. They are worth checking out.

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