A sunny day in Windsor is the the perfect climate and location for a meet up with our Ambassador Crew and the mighty HOKA ONE ONE! It’s Thursday, Sept 13th and we’re a couple of weeks away from the Windsor Half Marathon which we’ll be at with Hoka. It’s a great race (few uphill bits) and we’re very much looking forward to it.
Enough of that though. Today our Ambassadors will be testing out the course at Windsor Great Park – which by the way is a seriously stunning location with views of the castle, and a horse statue thing which we all paraded around for a multitude of pics. And you can’t test out a course properly without some new shoes on your feet… and as aforementioned we have Hoka here with all the shoes to try on.
Joe Wade from Hoka knows his Hoka-history and talks us through the unique brand and a bunch of their models from the road, trail and track range. As a recent Hoka convert, I am salivating at most of them and wanting to wear them on all on my feet at the same time. The Ambassadors are given a shoe on request to try around the mainly tarmac park paths… we run a steady 5K around the park, enjoying the late Summer weather and stopping to take as many pics and vids as possible, much to the amusement of the park’s plethora of tourists.
Some quotes from our team about the shoes:
“All my misconceptions about this brand disappeared in the space of a few metres! I thought a crazy shoemaker had just got a normal shoe and glued some foam on the bottom! This could not be further from the truth, I got to try the Bondi shoe, this is designed for road running, We ran on three surfaces – grass, trail & road. The Bondis like the beach did not disappoint – the shoe absorbed all the surfaces we ran over with ease and I enjoyed a smooth ride. I look forward to testing them out again and of course using them at the Windsor Half Marathon.”
“This was my first proper experience of Hoka shoes, I got to try out the Elevon road shoe, which is neutral and responsive. So it has a really nice cushioned feel but with a little more firmness in the outsole which gives a overall nicely balanced ride for long marathon training runs. The upper part of the shoe also feels great, with a seamless design. Since the Ambassadors day I’ve run in the Elevons several times and they’re definitely a keeper in my shoe lineup!”
I chose to wear the Hoka Speedgoat 2 as they claimed to be the ‘go everywhere, run everything’ shoe. Whilst I rarely go out and run a 100% purely technical route, it is fair to say my routes often cover a multitude of terrains (road, woodland path, mud, gravel) and so to wear a shoe I’m comfortable and confident in is fantastic. I’ve had more than one occasion of regretting my shoe choice and slipping in mud or getting stones caught in the tread so for me, these shoes will elevate those decisions and result in a good solid run. I’m also a big fan of the Hoka cushioning, my feet get more than enough of a pounding so the extra cushioned upper in the shoe results in a really comfortable run. Loving the colour ways too!
The Challenger ATRs are different to any running shoe I have tried before. They we’re a comfortable fit from the start and pleasant to jog around in on the sociable trail run. It wasn’t until taking them for a spin on a faster club run that I appreciated the soft cushioning the soles have to offer when pounding the roads. It felt like my legs had grown longer and I had a new spring in my step. The Challenger ATR get a big thumbs up from me, they are very responsive and a delight to run in, making the running feel effortless. I look forward to wearing my Hokas in a half marathon later on this month”
“I ran in the Hoka Speedgoat 2 a shoe which has been designed to attack all breeds of technical trail. Straight away I enjoyed the additional cushioning and stability that this shoe offered. It was a much softer ride than I would expect from a trail shoe but it also felt light and responsive. It responded well on firm trails, grass and rock. Just need a bit of rain now so I can see how it performs in the mud!!”
“Having tried Hoka before and finding them a bit narrow I wasn’t expecting much. I trialled the Hoka Torrent and it was nice to finally get a pair of Hoka’s that didn’t crush my little toes. The wider toe box was a welcome surprise and allowed the feet enough wiggle room to move naturally; you instantly feel the cushioned effect you would expect from a Hoka shoe, but it didn’t feel heavy and was both agile & supportive. Having run some wet Scottish & Lakeland trails in them, the grip and response live up to the marketing hype. They are agile and comfortable and give you confidence in your foot placement, and will definitely be a shoe I will look to for longer trail runs. Finally a wider footbed means I can benefit from the famed Hoka cushioning.”
HOKA is a different shoe… it’s heard to explain, if you know – you know. The bucket seat inner for your foot to sit in, the extra cushioning and the unique meta-rocker in the middle all combines for a unique running experience in any Hoka shoe. As you can see, the crew are now converts!
A massive thank you to our Ambassadors for taking the time to come and run with us and test the shoes – we appreciate everything they do for us! Especially (and very enthusiastically) lying on a park in the bank to spell out the word ‘HOKA’ in humans… again the tourists were giggling.
If you’re running the Windsor HM, don’t forget to come and say hello to us and of course – try on a pair of HOKA!
Follow us on Instagram.