What swings one way to the extreme, surely must swing back just as hard in the opposite direction. This pendulum rebound is overtly (or covertly) expressed in every aspect of life. If you’ve been around long enough, you can really notice it happen in the fashion industry. (Since when are chokers cool again??) Maybe it’s just me, and my interests, but it’s also shockingly transparent in the running shoe industry. I have never considered myself a trend follower and generally stick to my tried-and-true, but when presented with solid research and a logical argument, I’ll change my mind.
“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
I was, granted, a late adopter of the minimalist running shoe, but it has changed the way I run for the better. I started running in minimalist shoes in February 2015 and haven’t looked back. My love for minimalist shoes runs deep. I’ve incurred so many benefits, and learned so much, from running in minimalist shoes. I have not transitioned to full barefoot yet, nor do I know if I ever will – DC sidewalks aren’t the cleanest/safest.I’ll write about minimalist shoes another time; the point of this post is to discuss why I’ll never buy Hoka One One’s. (Pronounced Hoka O-nay O-nay, fyi)
Why I’ll Never Buy Hoka One One’s
- The lack of ground feel – can you even feel a crack or slight undulation in those?
- They look ridiculous – maybe I’m shallow, but they kinda look exactly like moon boots
- Overturned ankles – self-explanatory. If you’ve ever tried to walk in platform wedges, you know the risk.
- Harder landings – the cushion allows runners to put undue stress on their joints. This August 2016 study shows that runners wearing “maximalist” shoes put significantly more pressure on the patellofemoral joint as compared to traditional or minimalist shoes. (Jonathan Sinclair, Jim Richards, James Selfe, James Fau-Goodwin, Hannah Shore, “The Influence of Minimalist and Maximalist Footwear on Patellofemoral Kinetics During Running,” issue 4, vol. 32, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Aug. 2016)
- Lack of exercise diversity – I wouldn’t risk trying to do sprints, box jumps, or any other type of exercise in Hokas. They’re built for running, true, but regular and minimalist shoes enable me to squat heavy, jump into sprints, and perform literally every other physical task I please. I would rather run completely barefoot than try to wear Hoka’s on a trail.
- Running form suffers – the cushion in these shoes masks some of the feedback mechanisms your body uses to naturally regulate your running form. They essentially help you get away with crappier running form, and then when you go back to regular shoes, it hits the fan.
- Lack of flexibility – this is a big downfall I’ve heard about the Hoka One One’s, and other extreme cushioned running shoes. The shape of the shoe, and the stiffness of the cushion, removes natural foot flexibility.
Anyone have any thoughts on or experiences with the Hoka’s? Am I way off here in my minimalist devotion?