Minimalist running shoes have been getting all the buzz over the past year, but a bulkier pair that’s well, attention-grabbing, caught our attention recently. The Hoka One One Conquest shoes feature a very large sole, designed to provide maximum cushioning that helps decrease impact from running. This is great for many long distance runners, since higher impact is often the cause of injuries. The Ultra Running crowd was the first to latch to the show. But now short to middle distance runners are quick to use the shoe as a go-to. You will see some of the athletes ranging from top milers to Olympic 1500m runners using HOKA as a recovery shoe.
The Hoka One One Conquest sole is made up of two layers. The top layer of extra plush Cmeva foam supports the entire heel for extra stability, and the second layer of unique Rmat midsole material helps absorb shock. The shoe also features a unique “Meta-Rocker,” a Hoka One One signature feature designed to help your feet move more efficiently and promote a consistent rhythm.
While the shoes are extremely comfortable thanks to the thick layer of padding, they are a bit bulkier than other running shoes. That means they’re not ideal for sprinting or short races, but better for longer distance runs, like an ultra race or trail running, where you need the increased resilience they provide.
The Hoka One One women’s Conquest shoes are $170 at hokaoneone.com.
If you often run on pavement or concrete surfaces, you should consider investing in the Hoka Stinson Evo Tarmac shoes. An improved outsole means more traction on hard surfaces, along with responsive cushioning, stability and efficiency. These shoes look oversized yet feel light, breathable and stable to help maintain your perfect gait, just like the Conquests.
Even though they’re designed to help you run better on pavement, the Stinson shoes also work quite well off road or on the trails. These are another solid option for long distance runners, ultrarunners, or triathletes, especially those training in an urban setting.
The Hoka One One Women’s Stinson shoes are $160 at hokaoneone.com.
Although the Conquests and Stinsons look a little silly, if you are planning to go the distance and want to protect your body from the effects of running they are both good choices.