Hoka OneOne Mafate–($170)

2010 Winter Running Shoe Review


Those familiar with the initial sensation of a maiden outing on side-cut or fat all-terrain skis or a first ride on a mountain bike with full suspension will appreciate what our testers experienced when they tried out the Mafate. With its oversized midsole, both in thickness and width, this shoe is at the leading edge of a new “maximalist” line, shoes that provide the opposite of minimalist running. Our test team found their first run required a lot of adjustment; the Mafate’s “ginormous” midsole felt like marshmallows sticking to the trail with an unresponsiveness that, combined with a level of inflexibility, made them a challenge. But testers were soon won over by the cushioning and roll of the shoes, especially once they became more familiar with the forward lean that helps tame these wild-looking kicks. The Mafate quickly became the go-to footwear for recovery runs on tired legs and for long training runs alone and when pace isn’t an issue.

Tester’s Take:

“Unlike anything I have ever experienced! I will say this, if you are ever going to try to run in these shoes, have an open mind.”

“These shoes are not responsive, they are like Rock Crawlers… they will absorb everything you put in front of them.”

“Great shoes… I just wish people stopped staring at me like I was a weirdo wearing them.”

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