Monday, December 15, 2014

The story of how I met my new true love... Hoka's!!

It is finally time for the *much* anticipated post about how I broke up with my Mizuno's.

When I met my first pair of Mizuno Wave 16's, it was love at first sight. I slapped those bad boys on my feet and never looked back. (and this was after 2 pairs of Precisions, 3 pairs of Enigma's (one of which I hated) a pair of Wave 15's, and a fleeting moment with some Sayonara's... So, Mizuno was my middle name.)

I loved you, Wave Rider 16's, I loved you very much. I literally put thousands of miles on you (well. a few of you. I get around.) I overlooked some model inconsistency that would periodically give me black toenails.... Because in the end, I loved you! You loved me! I got a solid 450-550 miler per pair not to mention that I never, ever paid full price for you!!
But then you changed.... You suddenly wanted to be called 17 and it was like you were an entirely different shoe. We no longer saw eye to eye on anything! I was able to keep my torrid affair with the 16's going thanks to my acceptance of retiring colors which were possibly no longer hip on fitfluential. Awwwwwww.
But in my heart I knew the end was near....
I laced up my final pair of Mizuno 16's for the last time in late October, weeping tears of sadness and loss.

A woman scorned....
OK. So that is not exactly how it played out. My final pair of 16's were notorious for giving me massive blisters so I basically threw them in the hopper.

But what to do then?

I cruised over to Maine Running to check out some other brands. While I did pick up a temporary pair of kicks to get me by, absolutely nothing was feeling that great to my picky feet and rapidly aging hips. CRISIS MODE!

I had been aware of Hoka's for a while, not necessarily in a positive way.
I thought they looked absurd, like Skechers Shape Up's, or maybe like something your Nana would wear to work out in at Curves. Not exactly the kind of shoe that had me frothing at the mouth to obtain it.

Over the summer I did notice that they were streamlining the shoes a bit- instead of looking like Ronald McDonald shoes they looked like gigantic mattresses that I would surely trip over repeatedly. Quite trim, obviously....
I made the assumption that they, like Newtons, must be a specialty shoe because they certainly had a specialty price tag. I had taken note that "on the internet" it was mostly trail runners in them. I did see them here and there at road races but I still categorized them with the Newtons- shoes for people with a very specific gait, a gait that I do not have. (I am a Forrest Gump style runner. Specialized shoes for "front foot gait" basically get a big failing grade from me!)

Then, suddenly my friend Danielle was running in Hoka's. I literally, was like "WHAT??"
And she was swearing by them.
Being that she is a real person, who clearly has the same exact gait as myself, and does the same kind of running that I do, I began to perk up and take notice.

SAME gait. We are awesome.
I found the Kailua's on sale for 50% off in late October. I also had a coupon code so about 2 days and $60 later I was in possession of my first pair of Skechers Shape up's!!
I kid, I kid.
To be honest, when I whipped them out of the box the first thing I said was "Well, these almost look normal!!"
I walked around in them a bit and they felt funny but not in the way I had expected.
They were firm but cushiony at the same time, I found that there was plenty of room for my toes to cohabitate, they did not feel ungainly at all. Still, I did not particularly enjoy walking about in them. (they are NOT walking shoes.)
Furthermore, I was very concerned about the "quick lace" system- I did not think I would find them adjustable enough and I was SURE that the little tabs would click and clack around and drive me bat shit crazy.
Neither of those things happened.

Once I started running, as much as it irked me to admit it I could see what the hype was all about.
I was like an amazing stealth-ninja, literally prancing at top fucking speed along a cloud of pavement.

Except that the right shoe pissed off my ankle bone to no end.What started as an occasional little ow rapidly transitioned into full blown "Oh HOLY HELL OUCH!!!"
If I had paid full price for them I simply would have sent them back! And forver have regretted that decision....
After putting a few miles on them (25 or so) I concluded that the ankle issue was simply unacceptable but that I would take matter into my own, capable hands.
Armed with a utility knife and a terrifying pair of ultra sharp scissors I basically hacked the crap out of my poor shoe until it was deemed comfortable.

Mess with me? I WILL CUT YOU!!!!!
And DUDES, what a good choice!!!
They are now PERFECT.

I love them. I have completely forsaken my previous involvement with Mizuno in favor of a stable, comfortable relationship with my new favorite Hoka's! (fickle woman that I am....)
Happy feet, happy hips, fast recovery, you guys- it almost feels like cheating, running in these things.

The current model that I have is pretty awesome for winter running, it is the warmest thing I have ever slapped on my foot and it chugs thru snow with magical 4WD skills.
Obviously, it would not be my favorite summer shoe so I'll have to make some changes prior to hot weather.

So. The moral of the story. can find love again.....!!!!!

Oh Jeez..
But really, don't judge a book by its cover. While they might look a little funny they run like a normal shoe, they are not too soft AT ALL even for picky me, you do NOT feel like you are running on high heels, and you don't even notice them after a few runs.

I believe that there is a good shoe out there for everyone, and while *my* favorite might not be yours I feel that I can recommend the Hoka's with no reservations.
I'm actually getting all giddy looking at the 2015 models, so clearly I have defected!  



  1. ugh maybe I'll give them a try. I had been loving my Altras but just recently my hip hurts like hell so I don't know what's up with that. Shoes or something else? I can't have a hip issue..... I just PR'd my half and now have a marathon on schedule.

    1. There are still a bunch on sale at Runners Warehouse. That's the way to do it- halfprice shoes are hard to find halfprice is the best way to try something new!
      I really like mine a lot- they get my approval!
      *and NO, nobody is paying me to say this!* *the day I get given merch to review is the day that all the other bloggers have quit haha*

  2. What a wonderful love story! I have the same pair (and from the same sale). The Hoka One One folks sponsored the trail to ale this year and I was able to try out their Clifton model (same cushion, lighter weight!) on a few preview runs! Enjoy your winter together! I'm looking forward to introducing mine to the hills of Caoe Elizabeth for Midwinter Classic training!

    1. I'll look for you at the 10 miler, we an be shoe twinners!

  3. I have been so tempted to try these out but I almost feel like I'm married to my Sauconys. Plus I usually use a minimalist shoe for racing. Do you race in these? But, my post-baby body is not the same as pre-baby body. I ache after all my runs and I've had terrible problems with my hips and shins post-baby. I might have to try to give these bad boys a run.

    1. I have not raced in them yet but will be this winter. I'm pretty sure I'll be trying the Cliftons- or one of the models they are releasing in January for my Late winter racing season.
      Try them! They aren't nearly as bulky as they look, I think you will be pleasantly surprised (and your legs will thank you!)

  4. I have not one but three pairs of Hokas in my closet waiting to be worn that I got on sale.

  5. Are Hoka Bondi's only beneficial to runners? I am considering the shoe to add support for intense Shred circuit training that includes running, jumping, burpees and god only knows what else. I have had knee issues as well as achille tendonitis all from wearing the wrong shoes, hence my search for a good support sneaker. Would you suggest the Hoka in case?

    1. I can't even speculate. I know my sister, who is a huge gym goer would not use them but that is as far as my knowledge goes.
      All I know is that they are a quality running shoe! And running is basically all I do so I'm sorry that I'm basically no help :-(