When I started running back in 1996, I was an ASICS girl. When I was training for the London Marathon in 2015, I was noticing I was getting hot spots on the balls of my feet. Graham at the Body Rehab said you should really try Hoka’s. Pronounced ‘Oh-nee’, this is a brand developed in 2010 by two Frenchmen who previously worked at Salomon, searching for a modern trail shoe to play in on the Alps mountain paths. The wide sole is based on powder skis and mountain bike tyres.
The sole is THICK and they look like they would be a really clunky running shoe but don’t be fooled, they are super lightweight with excellent cushioning. The sole tips up at the ends, this meta-rocker geometry is supposed to encourage your natural running gait, giving you a smooth roll to lift off your toes designed to help prevent lower limb injuries. There is added stability within the shoes as your foot sits within the midsole which the brand calls ‘the bucket seat’.
I thought I would hate Hokas and would be too weird to run in, but I didn’t. I really, really loved them. They were so light and bouncy! After years of my toes poking through the end of my shoes after a bit of wear, I realised I was wearing too smaller sizw. A measure in my local running shop, Pete Blands in Kendal, and whilst I usually wear a size 6.5 shoe, a running shoe in a size 8 was a much better fit. Also, when training for and running marathons, your feet swell so wearing a bigger size is much healthier for your feet.
I am now on my 4th pair and cannot recommend them enough.