Sunday, March 2, 2014

Shoe Review: Hoka Kailua Trail

I picked up a pair of Kailua Trail shoes at Running Warehouse for $99 during a sale. I wasn't in the market for a Stinson Evo Trail (review) replacement, but I decided $30 off made them worth a try. While I like the Stinson Evo for trail running, I always felt like the tread offered a little less than what I expected as far as grip. I got that impression after running in the Mafates (review) which didn't fit me overly well but gripped the ground like nobody's business. After having these shoes for a few months, I finally got a chance to take them out on trails that weren't completely ice and snow covered.

Before I did that, I managed to get a few shots of them:

A tale of 3 Hokas: Kailua Tarmac, Kailua Trail, Bondi B (1)

Women's Size 7.5 (no insoles) = 7.7 ounces
Kailua Tarmac = 7.5 ounces

Bondi Bs = 7.4 ounces
Stinson Evo Tarmacs = 8.8 ounces 
trail Stinson Evos = 9 ounces
Mafate 2 = 10 ounces
Trail - left  : Tarmac - right
I just wore the Kailua Tarmacs in the El Paso marathon so I assumed a long trail run in a brand new pair of Trails should be just fine.  Just like the Tarmac version, I removed the thin little insole and replaced them with a pair of regular insoles. Just in case, I did throw my Stinsons into the back of my car. I headed over to meet my favorite Marathon Manic for an easy long run, but our first few steps onto the trail made it obvious this was going to be a little harder than anticipated. Part of the trail had a significant amount of mud and other parts were covered in slushy ice. There were some parts that were in absolutely perfect shape which made this a great trail shoe test course. The front of the Kailua Trails have a toe guard which was a good thing as I managed to kick something sticking out of the ground. I kept myself upright, and my toe didn't get hurt thanks to the hardened toe area. The tread also had a good amount of grip which meant I didn't do much slipping in the mud and ice slush.  The mud did stick quite a bit to the bottom of the shoe. That said, I would take this tread over the the Stinson Trail tread any day.

10 miles later, I never even considered switching from the Kailuas into the Stinsons. I did consider running my next trail 50 miler in these, though. These things were covered in mud by the end of the run, and after a quick washing, they look as good as new. They do have less cushion than the Stinson Evo trail so I'm still not certain which pair I will be wearing during longer events, but I may have found my new favorite trail shoe.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review! I'm debating buying a pair of trail shoes for our summer vacation that will include hiking. I figure I won't have much of an excuse to avoid trails after that. :)