Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hoka One One - Stinson Evo Review

After road running during the winter months, my trail season begins around spring. I love the shade of the trees and the new experiences on the trails. It keeps things fresh and different. I spent many a mile in the Bondi Bs (read my review) over the winter months. In fact, I managed to get over 800 miles in one pair which meant that per mile, they were the cheapest running shoes I have ever owned. That is pretty funny considering how expensive they are compared  to the shoes I was wearing previously.  For example, the Saucony Kinvara cost me about 20 cents per mile since I would barely get 300 miles out of a pair. The Bondi B's were 16 cents per mile. I could have gotten a few more miles out of them had I not found them another home in Peru.  Now someone else is getting some miles out of them.

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)


  1. I just got my Evos today. Did 4 miles. As you said, they lack flexibility, but wow! What a ride! I hope my legs don't atrophy from the cushion.

  2. Awesome! Hope you enjoy them :-) Also, just curious to put a name with "unknown"?


  3. Cassie,

    Interested to get your opinion on the size of the heal box on the Stinson compared to the Bondi. I have been wearing Bondis for a year now and love them once I removed the insole. I had a toe rub on the top with the insoles in place. The issue it may causes is blisters on the outside of my heals due to the heal box being a little too large. I think the new smaller insole may help this problem as well. I am defiantly a Hoka convert as I wore them for all 100 miles of Old Dominion with no major issues besides the heal blisters.

  4. Justus,

    I never really noticed the heel area so I checked them out this evening. I pulled my ortholites out of my Bondi Bs and put the original insoles in both the bondis and the evos. I couldn't tell any difference at all in fit between the two.

    Congrats on finishing Old Dominion!

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