The HOKA One One CarbonX Experience
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
As many of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram know, started a search for new running and racing shoes in December of 2018 because of nagging foot injuries. I tried a number of brands and styles including the VERY popular HOKA ONE ONE Clifton. I loved the cushion but it wasn't as responsive as would have liked. I decided to keep them because they DID feel amazing to walk in after hard work outs and for easy runs.
About a week after testing the Clifton, I "found" the HOKA ONE ONE Hupana when I forgot my workout equipment for my strength training session and had to buy gear for the session in a rush. #TrueStory for another time. I immediately loved how they felt on my warm-up run for the training session. I decided to use them the next week for all of my running. I was hooked. They are light, bouncy and responsive. My legs and feet feel GREAT and I am recovering a lot faster, which allows me to run more.
I have since tested several HOKA One One models. I have been happily racing and training in the #HokaHupanaEM. I do my track work in the #HokaEVORehi. I do my recovery and walking in the #HokaClifton5 and #HokaRecoverySandals.
I am ENJOYING running again and was crazy excited about testing the new Carbon X!
"Looking at the website, I was not thrilled about all WHITE running shoes......"
OUT OF THE BOX
Initially trying them on I did notice they run about one half size large for me. I did not like how they were laced. It made them feel to tight around the ankles. I decide not to use the top holes. The toe box was roomy and allowed my toes to splay. I really wasn't thrilled about WHITE running shoes but after seeing them "in-person" they look nice.
My initial run was only 2 mile at half marathon pace. The feel of the shoe was firmer than the Hupana EM but not stiff at all. The CarbonX has a spring too it versus the bounce of the Hupana. Like the Hupana EM, because of the low drop (5mm), the shoe encourages you to forefoot strike. The shape of the shoe and the carbon plate THEN encourages you to roll forward off the toe. What I also noticed, was I felt as if the rolling motion encouraged a natural increase in cadence. I REALLY liked how it felt. I did decide moving down from a 7.5 to a 7 was the better choice. When the size 7 arrived I went out on a 5 mile tempo. With the better fit, I was even more convinced that the HOKA One One CarbonX would be my long distance racing shoe. All of the positives I experienced even with the slightly too large fit were enhanced. I purchased some aqua lock laces to match the logo and the the size 7 HOKA One One CarbonX are officially home.
"The CarbonX is slightly heavier than the HupanaEM......"
The HOKA One One CarbonX is the perfect balance between protecting your legs and responsiveness. The Carbon plate adds an assertive SPRING to my stride and encourages me to quickly roll off my toes. The shoe is slightly heavier than the Hupana EM but I cannot physically feel any difference. The CarbonX would be great shoes for racing and training. Because of the hefty price tag, $180, I will probably only use these shoes for key workouts, a few long runs and racing.
Since the arrival of my shoes last week HOKA has introduces a royal blue and red version. You can see them HERE. It IS STILL primarily white though. HOKA wouldn't be HOKA if they followed what everyone else was doing though by giving us the standard BLUE, Orange and Neon Green/Yellow. Overall the HOKA CarbonX is a GREAT shoe for me, worth the hefty price tag and worth a test run if you are racing the half marathon distance or longer.