House of Hoka

Once again I find myself in a shoe dilemma with a big race on the horizon. Remember that one that happened literally the day before Marine Corps? That one was kind of a fluke, and totally unrelated to my current problem.

My current problem is one that we have all faced: You fall in love with a particular model of shoe, the manufacturer comes out with a new model and the new one just does not work for you. Most of us runners have a tendency to stockpile shoes when we find one we love. But I failed to do that this time and now my ‘older’ model isn’t available in my size anymore. I tried the new version of my beloved Stinson ATR’s and it just does not work for me. Now I find myself with 28 days until race day and in a scramble to find a new pair of trail shoes, since my current pair are pretty much worn out.

Have you ever watched that TV show House Hunters International? I always think it’s so neat how a lot of houses outside of the USA have names. If our house was on House Hunters International, its name would have to be House of Hoka. I’ve got Hokas out the wazoo right now, as I try and find a new model that will conquer my first ultramarathon with me. Thank goodness for companies with trial periods and 90 day returns.


I’ve got things narrowed down to the pair in the middle (Challenger ATR 2) and the pair on the right (Mafate 2). The ones on the far left are the aforementioned new Stinsons ATR’s that don’t work. As for the other two, I’m having a hard time deciding. I’m glad this process isn’t going on in a running store, because I’d probably be driving the sales guy nuts with my indecisiveness.

There are different things I really like about each model, and not a whole lot I dislike about either. I think I may end up doing longer runs in both over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully there will be a clear winner between the two before race day!

What shoe debacles have you faced in the past?
What do you do when an updated model doesn’t work for you?

P.S. Hoka is currently my shoe of choice – sadly they don’t pay me or give me free stuff.

9 thoughts on “House of Hoka”

  1. So far Asics has renamed my shoe of choice but not changed the design. I’m happy with that, yet I always keep a spare pair around just in case.


  2. Have you looked at ebay? I often find my favorite models there after they’ve been discontinued. Obviously you can’t return them, but usually it’s not a shoe I want to return anyway! Good luck!

  3. Not to further complicate your situation, but are you planning to have a second pair of shoes to change into during the race if necessary? My friends that have done the race recommend having a second pair available. Is anyone going to crew for you?

    The course has been insanely muddy lately. It was pretty muddy last year during race day…one of my friends actually lost a shoe in the beginning.

    I’m planning to have an extra pair of shoes and extra socks at Great Falls just in case I’m super wet or muddy. I prefer not to waste time changing but will do it if necessary.

    1. Yes, I am hoping to. I think I may actually have my worn out Stinsons as my back up – they can handle 10-13 miles. I just don’t want to try and do the whole race in them. But there’s a chance I may put them on after Great Falls, especially if it is muddy. And yes, I have a crew 🙂

      Thanks for your advice!

  4. Asics have done that more times than I’d like. The next model is a lot more narrow, and all reviews I’ve read mention blisters. I found my current model on sale on Amazon, and it’s already shipped. I’ll figure out what to do after my race, but at least I have another shoe coming that I can use as my spare.

  5. I seem to be always switching shoes, for one reason or another. I’ll be going along & everything seems fine, then some new pain will crop up.

    I think you should be able to find the right shoe (and hopefully break it in) before your race — good luck!

  6. I get the shoe mess, I was so frustrated trying to find something to run in.
    I hate when a model changes, I wish they would’t do that. I have a pair of Hoka’s but i ca’t use to running them, I do like hiking in them though, maybe I need to try a different model. It is hard because the local running store only carries two kinds.

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