Hoka One One Tracer 2

I've only ran 8 miles in my Hoka One One Tracer 2 shoes but I thought I'd put down my initial thoughts before I forget! 

Strike while the iron is hot so to speak. 

Firstly, I want to say that I was gifted these shoes but this will not impact my thoughts on these shoes. 

I've had Hoka One One shoes before, the Speed Goat 2s. I liked them until I ran a very muddy Scottish trail race and found I had zero grip in them while going downhill towards a very big tree!! I didn't wear them again after that and I've not ran in Hoka One One's since. 

When I was given the chance to try the Hoka One One road shoes I couldn't say no. I'm currently training for Manchester Marathon and on the hunt for a new pair of racing shoes. Well, I say I'm on the hunt, I was, until I bought my new New Balance 1500s. These have been my go to racer for many years now but shoe technology moves on and when you're gifted a pair of light weight racing shoes, my mind is open to accepting there might be something better out there, but it's going to take a lot to convince me!

First Impressions

I love the colour scheme of these, they look fast, they look like racing shoes. Green and blue just works in my mind and I loved them as soon as I opened the box. 

The first thing I tend to look for in new shoes is whether I can put a heel lock on them. Not heard of this? Check out this youtube video. 

The Tracer 2 shoes do, which is great. I put a heel lock in to all my shoes, whether it's my racers or my daily training shoes. I just like the secure feeling it gives the shoe. 

They feel light but I wasn't sure if this was just because they are racing shoes or if they were actually lighter than I'm used to. To find out, I weighed the shoes! 

I wear size 12.5 runners shoes, and the Hoka One One Tracer 2 comes in at 273 grams per shoe. That's 546 grams for a pair. 
I then weighed my New Balance 1500 v5 shoes, they come in at 576 grams per pair and then out of interest, I took my normal training shoes, the New Balance 860v9 and weighed them, they are 788 grams per pair! So the Hoka One One Tracer 2 are super light!

Out on the run

I pulled them on and they felt good from the start. I headed out the door and the first thing I noticed was they really do feel light. I actually weighed them after my run so this wasn't a case of me knowing the weight pre-run and that influencing my thoughts. They don't have as much cushion as I was expecting from Hoka One One. They actually don't look like a Hoka One One shoe or at least, not like the old Hoka One Ones that had massive soles on them. These are more streamlined but maybe this is what also helps keep the weight down.  

After the first half mile I noticed one shoe felt slightly different to the other and I probably need to adjust the lacing slightly. It wasn't enough to make me stop and adjust it mid run though.  

As for room within the shoe, they didn't feel tight and there is enough room in them for my feet to swell slightly, as they will do during a marathon.

I noticed they have a really nice quiet ride to them, I have found some racers can make my foot strike sound really loud. Not with these, it also felt like my foot strike was a bit more neutral. Whether that's the case, I don't have any evidence it was more down to how it felt.

I ran 2 miles at 7:25 min/mi pace and then dropped the pace a bit to 7:10 min/mi for the remaining 6 miles and it felt effortless. I even had a sneaky wee blast in them and went all out, again, they felt super comfy. 

What next?

Well, tomorrow I have a 13 mile tempo run to do and I might just take these out for a real blast. See how my feet fair and then take it from there. I don't usually like wearing the same trainer two days in a row but I could be tempted tomorrow. 

Owain Williams

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