This weekend, I ran a local event (trail race) in Georgia. Having previously run 3 hours the day before (Saturday) doing multiple trips up and over the mountain, my intent for the Sunday event was to run for half the race (4 hours) at significant pace, focusing on running well with tired legs.
A secondary goal was to try different shoes to possibly consider for UTMB since everyone says I’m nuts to stick with MT100s on Alps terrain.
Flat-out loved the Peregrines. Period. I run in Saucony racing flats anyway, so I appreciate the flexible non-restrictive upper style of the Saucony line. The Peregrines have a bit more beef than I like, but they felt light and sturdy on the trails. I like this shoe a lot. Good grip. Good flex. No BS support stuff.
But the Hoka’s?
Dude, just like the poles seemed to be such a glaringly obvious advantage in my hill training, it seemed to be glaringly obvious that the Hokas are NOT FOR ME.
I felt like they made me shuffle. I hate that “rolling” concept they promote where the shoe feels as though it automatically rolls you forward. I don’t run like that. I pick my feet up snappy with the hamstrings, and land mid-foot, and then snap up again quickly. I specifically concentrate on less foot-on-the-ground time, not more.
Whether right or wrong, it’s how I run and the Hokas are not suited to that style.
And “oversized” is truly an understatement. I felt like I was running in my Dad’s old Polo corrective shoes.
Also, they promote “control” on the web site, but I found anything but control. I felt like I was wearing platform shoes and while I didn’t have any issues with ankle rolling, I kept feeling like I was on the verge. Felt too high up. Felt a “lack of control” instead.
Anything good? well, yea – they are light, but I run minimalist anyway, so this wasn’t anything special. It feels weird to be so heavy looking, but so light feeling. Reminds me of the first time I experienced carbon fiber.
Also, the shoes do make rocks and roots just about nonexistent; but I’m not sure I liked that. Interestingly, I prefer to feel the earth, and all its nooks and crannies, below me. I feel I have more control and I appreciate the instant feedback minimalist shoes offer me. True, one could walk up and all-out kick the crap out of a tree, root, rock, whatever and probably barely feel a vibration, which would be nice ‘cuz doing the same thing in flats makes me scream things that could nominate me for an afterlife in Hell.
But I didn’t give up totally.
So far, it looks like one of my beat up, but o-so-loved, pairs of MT100s are crossing the pond with me.
Critics be damned.