THE SITUATION: For several years, most of the running shoes on the market were going minimal. Shoe manufacturers removed material and put the foot as close to the ground as possible. Hoka One One did the opposite. After launching in 2009, they hit the market with an unusual name and even more unusual shoe. It went for the “maximalist” effect, creating almost a cartoonish amount of cushioning when compared to a traditional running shoe.
The shoes became popular, particularly in the trail running and ultra-running communities, which appreciate the added cushioning while pounding out endless miles.
A NEW SHOE: Now the company’s newest offering is the Clayton, a shoe designed with that same extreme cushioning in mind, but targeted at road runners. For the all the cushioning, the shoe remains surprisingly light, just 7.3 ounces in a men’s size 9.
THE DETAILS: A softer heel helps absorb the impact with the road while a firmer forefoot provides better push-off. Rubber has been eliminated from the outsole in favor of Hoka One One’s proprietary RMAT material, which is both lighter and offers a quieter ride. It comes in two color schemes, citrus/white and poppy red/acid, in sizes 7-14.
AVAILABLITY: Go to hokaoneone.com.