Monday, 27 August 2012

Hoka One One - Bondi B Running Shoes

I think it is about time for me to let out one of the bigger kept secrets in Ultramarathon running or any form of running for that matter. They go by the name of Hoka One One. They are a brand of running shoes that I have recently come familiar with.....really familiar. Through winning the Hoka One One Kep Ultramarathon back in June, the winning prize was a voucher to get a pair of Hoka's. Leading up to the Kep Ultra race I actually had a really good mate of mine Dan buy a pair of the Hoka's out of curiosity for something new and different. He had been wearing other brands religiously throughout the bulk of his personal training for The North Face 100km Race in the Blue Mountains, Sydney. When he got the Hoka's he never looked back. He ended up doing all of his running in them and loving every step of the way. He ran the 100km race and took over 2 hours off his time from the year before. Part of  this was due to a really good block of training but I have no doubts that the Hoka's had a part to play as well.

When I received the voucher I was sceptical to say the least. Even though Dan rated them so highly I couldn't get my head around the looks and how different they were compared to all of my numerous other pairs of running shoes. In the end Dan convinced me to just give them a whirl as they didn't cost me anything and that If I didn't like them that his brother would take them. I thought about it for a good while and eventually decided to give these Hoka's a go!

I was made to eat my words and take back everything negative about these shoes. They are absolutely amazing shoes to run in. Right from the first time wearing them I could tell they were going to be different and felt good. The shoes arrived on the Wednesday before the Geraldton Marathon and I was pretty tempted to wear them for that. I was a little worried though that I wouldn't be able to get a decent run in them before hand due to tapering so I opted for my Asic Gel Hyperspeed racing flats as I had used them numerous times before. It was quite funny as I had just gone through about the 38km mark at  Geraldton, in cruise mode by that stage and the balls of my feet started getting a bit sore. I instantly thought "I bet I wouldn't have sore feet in those bloody Hoka's!"

Since then, I have literally done all of my running in them. The Bondi B model is classed as a road shoe but after reading reviews including one from top ultra runner Speedgoat Karl Meltzer who runs pretty much any terrain in them including technical stuff, I thought if they are good enough for the Rockies then they should be sweet for the Perth Hills.

I'll put a link below for a good review on the Bondi B so I won't delve into the specifics of why they are so awesome, I'll let the gear experts explain things a bit better. However, I will say a few things:

1. Yes they do look pretty crazy!
2. They are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.
3. They make downhill running way more fun!
4. They really do feel like they prolong the fatigue setting in your legs on long runs.
5. I feel they are huge in helping with the prevention of soft tissue injuries.

I have run pretty close to 800km in the past 5 weeks all in my awesome Bondi's. I believe that I would have pulled up lame at least once or twice if I was doing this kind of volume in my old runners. The simple fact is that they are an absolute pleasure to put on day after day and you know what you are going to get every time you lace up.

If you have any questions or anything you want to know about these shoes please ask me.

Some links for information on the Hoka's:

6. Give them a go, TIME TO FLY

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