From the company formerly known as Hoka One One, now simply Hoka, the Rocket X is a lightweight carbon plated road racer that also performs well as a daily trainer.
Weight: 220g (men’s size 9)
Stack Height: 30mm / 25mm
Foam: CMEVA foam midsole
Upper: One piece engineered mesh
This shoe has been around for a while and perhaps the fact that Hoka haven’t updated it shows just how right they got it in the first place. However, if you want a pair I wouldn’t hang around – they may soon be gone.
Lightweight and with a relatively (for Hoka) low stack height they still have some decent cushioning and feel more smooth than some other carbon plated ‘super’ shoes. However, they’re really very quick when needed – the typical Hoka rocker design is less pronounced than some of their shoes, but they’re very responsive when you want to pick up the pace. Perhaps surprisingly they also work really well as a daily trainer, even at relatively slow speeds but they’re definitely a shoe you can use on race day. Originally released as a marathon distance racer, I’ve found they work well over a range of distances and have had very good results at 5 and 10k.
They’re sold as an ‘all gender’ shoe which could mean size and overall shape might be tricky for some runners but I’ve found them to be true to size. They’re very slightly narrow in the toe for me, but not uncomfortable due to the flexibility of the upper, but they do have a slightly hard heel counter which could cause issues for those with any sensitivity in that area.
Overall fit and comfort is pretty good – once laced up, you feel ‘connected’ to the shoe – they’re stable and nimble.
The midsole is a very lightweight eva material and is quite exposed on the outsole – there’s some strategically placed rubber strips to give a bit of durability but these aren’t going to survive long runs over rough ground.
Overall these are definitely worth looking at if you’re in the market for a carbon plated shoe. They are excellent race day shoes that can also be used as daily trainers over a variety of distances. I particularly like them because they actually don’t look like a typical super shoe – there’s no bells and whistles, just an average looking shoe which can really shift when you need it!
Sneakily, Hoka put the asking price up recently – they used to be a bit of a bargain at £140 but they’re now £155. However, Hoka offer a 30 day no questions asked trial on all their shoes which means you can order a pair, test them properly over a few runs and decide if they’re for you.