When it came time to hit the trails, I decided to stick with Hoka. I had ordered a pair of the original Mafates from The Clymb for 1/3 the full price. Unfortunately, they felt stiff and uncomfortable after the Bondi Bs. The stiff tongue on the original version often dug into the top of my foot. The new 2012 versions of the Hokas were released a few months ago, and the Stinson Evo caught my eye. I was feeling a bit reluctant because I knew there was no way I would find a brand new version at any discount. The allure of a trail shoe that resembled the Bondi B and the fact that I was able to get so many miles out my last pair of Hokas was enough to get me to bite the bullet. I managed to find the women's version of the Stinson Evo in the size I needed at Zombie Runner.
The Stinson Evo feels a lot like the Bondi B but is a little stiffer, has a different lacing system, and has more of a tread on the sole. They are lower than the original Mafate and do not have the stiff tongue. I really wanted to like the new lacing system. I always replace road shoe laces with lock laces, but lock laces are a bit too flexible for those ooey-gooey trail runs, in my opinion. These laces are not bungee so there is no stretch. Unfortunately I could never get them tight enough to feel like the shoes were fitting properly. Hoka, however, provided a normal pair of shoe laces for those of us who weren't feeling the love. After almost 100 miles in the Evos, I went ahead and replaced the laces with the regular pair. I am glad I did. That's a good thing since once the original laces are out, you can't put 'em back.
The other thing Hoka did was include two types insoles: regular Hoka insoles and the thin version.
Since I put in my Ortholites, I have used neither of these. I also should note that Hoka changed the sizing a bit from 2011. My 2011 Bondi Bs are size 8, and I ordered a 7.5 in the 2012 Evos. The fit seems equivalent.
At this point, I have about 150 miles on the Evos. I go out of my way to take care of them. If they get muddy, I make sure to clean them shortly after my run is complete, pull out the insoles and throw everything in front of a fan to dry. It's worth taking the extra effort when you shell out a chunk of change for a pair of shoes, and the Evos still look as good as new.
These trail Hokas are light for trail shoes. The women's size 7.5 comes in at 9 ounces (without insoles). The Bondi B size 8 women's weighed 7.4 ounces. (Yep, I used one of those old school postal scales that can be easily calibrated, and next I will do a math problem using a slide rule.... Continuing on....)
The picture to the left will give you an idea of how the 2012 Evo compares to the 2011 leather version of the Bondi B. I also have a pair of those that I picked up for less than half the normal price at LeftLane Sports. It is safe to say that I am a fan of Hoka shoes. See you on the trails. Time to fly!
|'11 Mafate(8), '11 Bondi B lthr(8), '11 Bondi B(8), '12 Stinson Evo(7.5)|