A Readers Review of Hoka One One Shoes

This post comes from a reader’s comments. I’ve posted their comments here so they are easier to find. This is good firsthand experience and may be helpful to others considering the Hokas as a shoe for the Ridge Run.

The Editor

Good Support and Relieved Foot Pain

I have wide feet, big arches and am a big guy and have been suffering a little plantar fasciitis which i attributed to quickly shifting from a full support road shoe to a minimal trail shoe. I’ve been successfully stretching and training through it, but the next two weeks i really want to focus on miles not managing foot pain.

After reading your review and considering the cons, I tried on and eventually ordered a pair of Hoka Ones and did some moderate miles on them. I ran in them today from Bridger to the M. For the first time in weeks, my foot with the Plantar’s felt no pain after a run with steep hills in it. The supported the heck out of my arch up, down and sideways. I felt unsteady on some of it, but getting used to running in them took a while. No way to describe it other than to tell someone to run in them. The roll forward, and are not generally nimble, but seem super spongy and absorb some foot placement errors – an odd but interesting sensation.

Big Toe Blisters

I too developed some blisters – one on each big toe on the top. I’m pretty sure these were mostly a function of the last mile when it is very steep down.

Great Grip

These shoes stick amazingly well on down hill on the loose gravel. So much that the shoe stops, and my toes were repeatedly jammed into the front of the shoe (I’m not so nimble as many trail runners -this might be a problem specific to me).

Not Nimble

They also weren’t particularly nimble on the rocky, very uneven sections between Saddle and Baldy. In those areas, especially until i was used to it, I sort of felt like I was falling off the base all the time. However, on moderate downhills and the better section of trails, they were a joy to run in. Uphill i don’t move fast enough that the lack of nimbleness is a big concern.


I think these are going to be great shoes for going up Sypes or Truman Gulch, but perhaps not the ultimate Ridge Shoe. But for now, give me toe pain and blister management over the plantar’s anyday. I’ll be making the game day decision on these for the BRR.

About Bridger Ridge Run

The Bridger Ridge Run blog is an information portal for all those seeking to learn more about the Bridger Ridge Run event held every second Saturday of August in Bozeman Montana. This blog contains notifications about important registration dates and deadlines, history of the event, training advice and other stories and entertaining tidbits of information about the Bridger Ridge Run.
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3 Responses to A Readers Review of Hoka One One Shoes

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just ordered a pair of these to try. http://www.tecnicausa.com/collection/outdoor/trail-running/inferno-max-ms-1801101
    Maybe these will protect my feet without smashing my toes. I will see.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have had some off the same results with this shoe. It has helped me with the recovery tremendously. I can run more often and longer with these shoes. Without foot pain. I believe I injured the underpart of the front of both my feet. Dont know what its called but it hurts. I can feel the pain just walking in my normal shoes. But I can still run and run hard in these shoes. But I have had the same issue with them. My foot repeadedly slams into the front of the shoe on the very steep downhills. So much so that both of my big toe nails are black. I went to Schnees and talked with Curt about this and he heard of similar problems with others. He is going to order tonque pad material. Hopefully to push my foot back in the shoe so it cant slam into the front. I guess others have done this with favorable results he says. I have came to the conclusion that this is a great training shoe put I am questionable about the race capabilities of it. I like the fact I recover faster and the fact I feel no pain other than the toe issue. But I think for a race situation I wont care about those things as much in favor of a faster overall time. There is some sections of the ridge course between Bridger and saddle that were very questionable with these shoes. They are too wide. You find yourself instinctively slowing down for fear of rolling ankles. Especially when you need to stuff your feet between rocks. When you get tired it gets worse. I would really like to try a pair of Bondi B the road version. Because they are narrower and may be the ticket. They seem like they would be more ideal for me. I dont know if I can run the course in my regular shoes because the foot pain is so bad. Maybe I will get a pair and try them. Schnees does not have them yet but after talking to Curt I think he will get some.

    • I’ve given the Bondi B a try. It is slightly lighter than the Mafate and does not get in the way as much, but it is still a heavy and clunky shoe. It fits a little shorter and narrower than the Mafate in the same size. In fact, my toes jam the front of the shoe in the Bondi B, but not in the Mafate.

      I’ll write up a more complete review in the near future.

      In the meantime check out Dave Mackey’s blog post on the Bondi B. There is also a good comment thread there. He is sponsored by Hoka so you have to take his comments with a grain of salt or humor. Describing the Bondi B as a minimalist shoe is way beyond a stretch! And the Bondi B is not a light 8 ounces like he says. My size 10’s are 11 ounces.


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