Hoka One One Mach 2 Review: I Didn’t Expect This


(feet pounding on treadmill) – Morning Trainiacs. Little 90 minute ride. When we, you know, 40 minutes
total around race effort. 15 minute run, 5 minutes
at the end of race effort. Getting back into it. Somebody said
(shakes bottle) these Spirulina drinks are like Tony Stark’s,
(pops bottle top) is that Iron Man 2 drink? That kept them alive? (unscrews lid) (pops lid) (bangs table) (sips drink) Nailed it today. What I was running in
there, that I’ve been using for some of my base models lately is this. This is the Hoka One One Mach 2. And we’re gonna talk about
how I feel about it today. (phone rings) Wanted to feel different
ways about it than I do. (upbeat music) (upbeat dance music) So these are the Hoka One One Mach 2’s in a lovely greige color. Not quite gray, not quite beige. Greige. They have a five
millimeter heel to toe drop with a 27 millimeter heel
and a 22 millimeter forefoot. They are a $140, and in a men’s size nine, they are 7.8 ounces. So they are, in theory,
just as the specs show, a very racey, kind of nice lightweight but cushioned, because it’s
Hoka, racing shoe for the road. Now what Hoka says is
this is a highly cushioned lightweight running shoe
with a super responsive ride, lightening fast and ready for racing. Now why I use those air quotes for racing is because you would think
based off of all those specs, all of that hoopla by Hoka,
the description of it, that this would be a really fast shoe. In fact, that’s why I got this shoe. I had intended to race in this coming into Half Iron Man Puerto Rico. I thought it was going to be super fast. In fact, a few years ago,
when this first came out, some pros that I talked to actually said that they had ordered this
to be their racing shoe, and they had a similar experience to me, in the sense that it is a racing shoe. So they’ve got a really
nice light, breathable upper as you would expect from a racing shoe. Super minimal. They are very flexible
as far as Hoka’s go. They don’t have a really big heel cup, so there’s nothing digging in there. They don’t have much beyond
just this tiny little tab here as far as getting it on
in the middle of a race. They’ve got no loop to grab onto. But they’ve got a really nice thin tongue. Nothing’s too big and bulky. And these oddly long, skinny laces, which you can actually
feel as you put them on and then run around in
them, like they flop around. They’ve got an all-foam outsole, whereas some of the other shoes, like the Hoka One One
Bondi has a rubber portion on the outsole to make it more durable. This is nothing but foam, so
while you’re going to get, you know, workhorse kind
of miles out of Bondi and a lot of the other Hoka shoes, this is not going to last
that three, 400 miles that you would get from this. The sole is just going to
degrade as it gets scuffed up. And it’s also not super grippy, so don’t expect this to do really well if you’re using it for trail
running or off-road running, gravel running, things like that. Like this is made for the road. So why the quotes? Why all these funny faces that I’m making? Why this story about pros who
thought it was going to be their racing shoe but
aren’t actually using it as a racing shoe? Well, fact of the matter
is that the specs, everything about the design of it, should lead to it being a racing shoe. But I tended to lean more
towards just base steady miles on the treadmill, long runs outside, walking around, a little bit
of working out in the gym, but definitely not my speed runs, and my experience, this
was a nice, cushioned shoe. Like it did take away some
of the impact from my body. But as far as responsiveness,
as far as energy return, as far as lightening
fast, I would actually say this is one of the most
dead shoes that I have tried in the past two years. There is just literally no responsiveness, no energy return, that
is shooting you forward. And when you’ve got shoes
like the Adidas Boost, the Nike VaporFly 4%, the
Newtons On Running Clouds, which are all starting to be able to offer that feeling where after
you land off the ground and you start toeing off, you
get shot forward a little bit. That’s sort of the new
standard of racing shoe. So when we have this shoe
that just has no energy return in my experience, it’s kind of a let down when it comes to racing shoes. As a running shoe manufacturer now, you can’t just take a bunch
of weight out of a shoe, put a nice thin upper in it, make it nice and breathable, and say that it’s a racing shoe anymore, because people have better options. One thing to note that
might lead to this being just a little bit less responsive for me and not quite as drastic is
that it fits quite large. This I ended up getting the shoe size that is my normal shoe
size, and it has a ton of room all around the
sides, all in the front. That tends to lead to a little
bit less responsiveness, more flopping around. So it’s probably not as bad as I’m saying, but it’s certainly not
as good as it could be. And if you are getting the shoe, probably go a half-size down. So that leads to the question of who is the Hoka One One Mach for? Why would you consider getting this? Well you might consider getting this because it’s a decent all-around shoe. It’s a shoe that you can
wear on your long runs. It is going to provide
a fair bit of cushioning with that nice Hoka sole that we’ve got. But it’s also nice and light, so you can go out and do some speed work. So if you’re the kind of person that only has one shoe, this
is not a bad one to get. However, when I compare it to other shoes that I’ve reviewed in the past. The Hoka One One Bondi. This probably has more energy return, it’s going to last a little bit longer. I actually even found this
to have decent performance in speed workouts, kind
of similar to this. It’s not nearly as breathable though. It’s a little bit more
heavy, so it’s not going to perform as well in like that
really high-end speed work. But this is only $10
more, and in my opinion, it’s probably a better shoe. One of the only differences between the two is that this shoe here actually has a bit of a
wider base than this shoe. So while this shoe I wore
all around my travels in January, and like it kind
of felt tippy a little bit, because you’re sitting really high up, and the platform is fairly narrow, this I traveled in walking around in Half Iron Man Puerto Rico, and I really liked it for that. And if you also want your
running shoe to be your gym shoe, this is the shoe that pro
triathlete Tim O’Donnell wore for a whole bunch of the
pro triathlon training strength training course. So like it’s kind of like
a decent all-arounder shoe, but it’s not really good at any one thing. I wanted to really like this shoe. On paper, it’s a great shoe. I just have kind of come to the point that I like shoes that
are specialty shoes, shoes for going long and
taking a lot of the load of your body. Shoes for going fast and
still having some cushion towards the end of a race
but being really aggressive. And this doesn’t quite accomplish that. Now that said, there are a
some very good shoes out there, and what I would recommend
is going to our pals at Tri Shop in Plano,
Texas, who sent this out, and my boy Raoul, who himself
is an ultra-distance runner, he actually likes this shoe a fair bit. And they’re really good solid people, and if you are a Team Trainiac member, you can get 10 percent off anything from Tri Shop out of Plano, because they do online
ordering all across the U.S., and the coupon code is
in teamtrainiac.com. So thanks to Raoul and Tri
Shop for sending this out, letting me try them. I’m sorry I can’t give
them a better review. But those are the Hoka One One Mach 2. That’s my review. If you like these shoe reviews, and you aren’t already subscribed, we’re working hard to be
able to do more shoe reviews over the course of the year. Apparently, a lot of people like them, so hit the subscribe button below. Later Trainiacs!

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