Monday, December 30, 2013

Shoe Review: Hoka Kailua Tarmac

At this point it is safe to say that I'm a Hoka One One gal. When it came time to get ready for my yearly Turkey Trot 5 mile, I decided to purchase a pair of the new Hoka Kailua Tarmac. I wanted a shoe that was more of a racing shoe than the Bondi B. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my Bondis (review). I just wanted a shoe that was a little lighter and not quite as soft in the sole department for a shorter distance event.

I ordered my standard shoe size of 7.5, and I noticed that they felt a little big. The shoe itself appears to be the same length as my other Hoka's, but the insole that comes with the Kailua is the thin insole that is optional with the Stinsons.

I had an extra pair of the regular Hoka insoles so I replaced the thin ones, and my feet were as happy as a bug in a rug. My friend Vickie also purchased a pair of the Kailua and noticed the same thing about sizing. She, too, will be putting in a thicker insole to keep the inside of the shoe from feeling too large.

While there is still plenty of softness to the Kailua, it isn't as squishy as the Bondi B or Stinson Evo Tarmac (review). This was exactly what I was looking for. I also notice the toe box area of the Kailua seems narrower than both my Bondis and my Evo Tarmacs. They feel sleek and fast, and still plenty soft for shorter races. Strangely they weigh slightly more than Bondis. I'm not even sure how that is possible.

Stinson Evo Tarmac and the Kailua Tarmac

Women's Size 7.5 (no insoles) = 7.5 ounces
Bondi Bs = 7.4 ounces
Stinson Evo Tarmacs = 8.8 ounces 
trail Stinson Evos = 9 ounces
Mafate 2 = 10 ounces
Now with almost 80 miles on the Kailuas, I notice that there is more wear on the sole than I would expect. I don't expect to get as many miles out of these Hokas as I have my others based on the premature wear. They are $30 or so less than the Bondis, but I would still expect less sole wear in a $130 shoe.

I won't be giving up my Bondis anytime soon, but I still like these shoes. While the Kailuas cost less on paper, I imagine they will cost more per mile based on shoe life expectancy. If you are looking for a shoe that is light and can last a long time, go with the Bondis.  If you are looking for a shoe that feels faster, go with the Kailuas. Happy running!

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