Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shoe Review: Hoka Stinson Evo Tarmac

I picked up a pair of the New Hoka Tarmacs for a good price from RunningWarehouse.com by using their annual before Christmas gift card sale and a coupon code. It took some patience as I had to wait a few months for their arrival, but it was certainly worth the savings. When I opened the box, I was shocked with the blast of color. The images I had seen showed a more subdued blue with yellow accents. Cameras don't capture the color of this shoe well. The blue is much richer (think Zensah leg sleeve blue) than in the picture to the left, and the yellow is more of a tennis ball green (or yellow, whatever) than the banana yellow it appears to be. Mostly, I am happy that Hoka has recognized that women's shoes don't need to be boring white or gray like a lot of their past models. Thanks Hoka!
Stinson Evo Tarmac = Stinson Evo (left) + Bondi B (right) ... sort of.

The sole of the shoe has a different tread than either the Bondi B (read my review) or the Stinson Evo (read my review). This shoe is meant to be a road shoe. Just like the Stinson Evo, it comes with a pair of extra insoles that are thinner than the regular Hoka insoles and a pair of laces to replace the no tie version that comes on the shoe. The toe cap is also re-enforced like the Stinsons (unlike the softer Bondi B toe cap).

The weight of the Tarmac is closer to the trail Evo than the Bondi B, and the upper has some stiffness due to the rubber support structure just like trail Evos. The mesh material is thicker than the Bondis, and I think it will probably stay cleaner and last longer. (I currently have 804 miles one on pair of my Bondi Bs.) The toe box seems a bit narrower than the Bondis as well.

Women's Size 7.5 (no insoles) = 8.8  ounces
Bondi Bs = 7.4 ounces 
trail Stinson Evos = 9 ounces
Mafate 2 = 10 ounces
First Impressions:  Woohoo!  Unlike my last Hoka purchase (Mafate 2s, read my review), these things feel good right out of the box. Also, 7.5 in Tarmacs = 7.5 in trail Evos = 7.5 in Mafate 2s. I jumped on the treadmill for a mile just to see how running would feel. The shoes felt good, and my heels did not slip.

Second Impression: Ran 5 miles in the Tarmacs and had no issues. I did notice the white piece running down the middle of the shoe for the first mile, and then I didn't notice it again. I think it was a little stiff initially, but that went away quickly. I think the Tarmacs and I will get along just fine. It is going to be tough choosing between the Bondi Bs or the Tarmacs. Tough choice, I know. What can I say? Life is good. Time to fly!


  1. I have both the Stinson Evo Tarmac and Stinson Evo Trail. I love them both. I have been alternating between them for the last 1.5 months. Last year I utilized minimal shoes (still do), but I find myself looking forward to runs with the Hokas. My recovery time seems much faster also. Excellent blog!

  2. Hey Tony, glad you like your Hokas! Thanks for the kind words. :-)

    Happy Trails,