The GWA team has just spent an hour in the company of the colourful footwear from Hoka One One. You will be forgiven for not having heard of them, but they have actually been around since 2010 innovating and developing footwear in the running market.
They are now dipping their toes into the trail and hiking markets so GWA popped along to their stand at The Outdoor Show to find out more. Due to the bright and funky colours and rather unusual styling you could be tempted to dismiss them as a bit of joke in the sometimes rather serious sector of outdoors, but that would be a big mistake.
Upon slipping on a pair of their shoes you are immediately taken to a much comfier, lighter and bouncier world. It’s a bit of a weird sensation to start with but you are immediately struck by the high level of comfort – particularly when you’ve been walked approx 10miles around Europe’s largest Outdoors trade show!
Plans are afoot to launch a series of new ranges for Spring 2015, but available in Autumn this year is the Tor Speed, which GWA’s Ed will be fully testing in due course.
This is a waterproof, lightweight hiking boot and features a pretty toothy and rugged Vibram sole – trying it on we were struck by the stickiness of this on the stands lino flooring and will be interested to see how this transfers to wet muddy downhills in the UK this winter.
The chunky soles added bounciness are not just a gimmick and there is some design reasoning behind this – the buzzwords given to us were:
- Rolling – the sole has been designed with a rolling motion designed to transfer energy across the whole foot.
- Oversized – The range features various sole depths geared for different activities and terrains.
- Control – The sole is designed like a bucket so your foot sits in it, rather than on, giving you improved ankle support.
- Stability – The sole is wide giving you a broad platform, thus reducing rolling.
- Lightweight – some of the shoes we looked at were positively featherweight at just 700g!
More: Hoka One One