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Hoka Mafate demo & review.

July 24, 2011


Thanks to the generosity of Hoka and the ordination of the running store in Park City, ZBSports, I was able able to get a Yummy taste of the Hoka Mafate. Over the past year these shoes have spread like wild fire in the Utah trail community. With the likes of people like Karl Meltzer wearing them, they are on the majority of runners feet. Go to any UT trail race, and you will surely see almost 50 percent of the runners sporting these absurd looking shoes.

Taking this week to demo the shoes have given me a chance to see if these were hype, hip, or my next new purchase. I took the shoes for a full week and about 40 miles of running including a trail marathon and a technical 10 mile run. Temperatures ranged from 60s to almost 100  degrees. I even did. Bit of road time would them at the tailed of the marathon.

The first thing that came to my attention was the sizing. The shoes seem to fit snug to the feet, so a half size up might work best. I have seen this same report on several other reviews. Once you have he sizing adjusted, the general feel of the shoe is fantastic. Some reviews have mentioned breathablity issues, which were not a significant concern even when I was running in late afternoon heat. Perhaps, this is related to why some people have said they notice hot spots. To be fair, I did have a few hot spots and a cut developed on my ankle from the shoe. I would credit this more to the trail conditions I was running, which were more game trails then anything else.

I specifically, liked how the shoes made me cruise on technical descent or flats, even roads. They seemed to not only cushion the force of impact, bit almost spring load my response motion. The added cushioning aided in keeping my legs and feet less exhausted then normally in those conditions. Certainly, a justification for using in longer ultra distances.

I would be happy to own a pair of the Hoka in my arsenal of shoes, not however as my exclusive pair of trail shoes. I would certainly, recommend these shoes for any trail runner, especially one with knee problems, cushioning needs, rail trail runners, and those running Ultra distances at or exceeding 100 miles.

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