As you may or may not have guessed by the title, I have jumped on the Hoka band wagon. They caught my eye early on in 2013 and have been on my radar ever since. Recently I read more about them, talked to a few folks who run in them, and then checked them out at my local running store. I got a pair of Stinsons in mid-January.
I have had ongoing issues with shin pain for years. Sometimes it will be gone for months and other times it plagues me constantly. I figured why not give some maximum cushioned shoes a try. The above picture is from a 10 mile treadmill run at the end of January, after which I didn’t have any shin pain at all.
They are like running on clouds, marshmallows, etc. just like everyone says. It has gotten to where it feels normal to me, now, but at first the extra cushioning was very noticeable and very strange feeling. Switching to these shoes has been a bit of an adjustment for me, since the heel to toe drop is much less than my Asics that I usually run in. The Stinsons have a 7mm drop, while the Asics have an 11 mm drop. My calves were screaming in my first run, but over time they have adjusted.
The first full week that I had them, I put in 22 miles. Now I have been doing almost every run in them, except trail runs. The running store employee that I worked with warned me about the hazards of tripping on trails due to the larger sole. I already trip on trails enough in ‘normal’ shoes, so for now I am sticking with my Asics on trails. My shins still seem to do well, thanks to the softer surface.
Overall, the main reason I gave these shoes a try was to see if they would help with my shin pain. So far they seem to. I am still being diligent with my stretching and icing. Maybe (hopefully) I’ve found a solution to help me run the miles I want to run. I’ve read some criticism that the extra cushioning actually causes runners to heel strike, but I feel like I land more on my mid-foot.
At first, I was a little self conscious about how big the shoes are and how I looked in them. But I’ve been so happy in the shoes that it no longer matters what they look like. I needed a full size smaller in the Stinsons than I usually wear in traditional running shoes. I also decided to give the Kailua’s a try and ordered a pair online since they were on super sale and I had a gift card.
I ordered a size down, but they ended up being too small. So I returned them to exchange for my normal running shoe size. It’s strange how for one model (Stinsons) I needed a full size down, but for another one (Kailua) I needed my regular size.
The Blacksburg Classic 10 Miler was supposed to be this past weekend, and was going to be my first race in my new Hoka One One’s. However, it got postponed due to the snow we had last week. They have rescheduled the race for March 2, so hopefully that will hold up and I will get to try out my Hoka’s in a race for the first time!
What type of shoes do you run in- minimal, traditional, cushioned, other?