Shoe Review – Hoka Rapa Nui Trail 2
About two years ago I noticed all my ultra running friends wearing these funny looking shoes called Hokas. Myself I was wearing my tried and true Nike Air Pegasus. To me these new “maximal” shoes looked like another coming fad and I for one did not want to make a shoe swap in hopes for a “more cushioned” ride. After-all I had no complaints with my Pegs that I had been running on for over 12 years. Likewise I could hardly believe any shoes could have a more cushioned ride then my Flying Horses. I love my Pegs. (still run 80% of all my miles in them)
Last year I decided to give a pair of Hokas a try. I purchased a pair of Stintson tarmac and concluded from the very first run that there was a place in my running shoe arsenal for these new shoes. Over the summer months I grew more and more confident in them and ran my first race, a 50k in them. I’m sold…after the race my feet felt great with no blister issues.
Then…a friend sent me a sales promotion for Hokas shoes.
I wanted a trail version and selected the Hoka Rapa Nui 2 trail shoe in my regular size 10.5. I’ll be honest part of what scared me away from going with Hokas was the price. After-all they are a pricey shoe, but at a discount of nearly 50% I was happy to invest in another pair.
My first run in the Rapa Nui 2 shoes was at a local park, Windsor Castle Park, with it’s improved crushed rock/dirt trail surface. Within the first few steps I noticed a big difference in these shoes, my typical road Pegs and other trail shoes that I’ve wore.
The fit was near perfect. My feet felt right at home, comfy and secure. I was told that the toe boxes of Hokas run a bit tight but I did not notice this in either pair. My footfall felt even, secure and balanced. The cushioning was soft and light. Instantly I loved my new shoes. The most noticeable trait outside of fit was the extreme grip of the aggressive multi-directional traction design. Might sound funny but this tread pattern literately felt like it was grabbing the surface I ran one. You could hear the shoes grasping at the stones in the parking area, digging into the the dirt of the trail and even grabbing at the wooden planks of the bridges I ran across. Climbing 18 of the hills that make up one loop of the park, I never once felt the tread slip, nor my traction compromised, and that is saying a lot as I ran on a rainy and wet day.
If your looking for a good ultra shoe, I recommend a pair of Hokas and if your looking for a good trail shoe, Rapa Nui 2 are a great pair of shoes.
I purchased my shoes at the Running Warehouse.