Running on a track is a lot like a NASCAR race—it’s non-stop left turns mixed with a few short straightaways until you reach the finish line. There are no right turns at all. But unlike a race car, which runs on a symmetrically balanced set of four tires, a runner runs decidedly imbalanced around the turns—in other words, there is more pressure and force being applied on the outside (lateral side) of the left shoe and the inside (medial side) of the right shoe. Hoka One One approached that unique imbalance with the design of its new Speed Evo R spikes that debut on elite athletes running in events from the 800 to the 10,000 meters at the July 1-10 U.S. Olympic Trials.
To ensure optimal stability, grip and speed while cornering, the spikes have an asymmetrical design that includes a medial midsole wrap and differently shaped spike plates that support each foot’s specific movements through the turns. A layer of EVA complements the breathable lightweight upper to deliver what Olympic 1,500 silver medalist Leo Manzano has called a cushioned, yet fast shoe.
“Our goal is to always make running faster more fun. We re-examined the track spike and took nothing for granted. We refined the spike plate, spike configuration and midsole support and cushioning,” Hoka co-founder and vice president of innovation Jean Luc Diard said in a release. “We worked closely with silver medalist Leo Manzano to make sure we didn’t miss any details.”
The Speed Evo R 4.1 oz. (men’s size 9) and 3.6 oz. (women’s size 7) and will carry a $130 price tag when they hit stores for consumers next February.