A Few Words about those Heavy Hokas

In my look at the Hoka Stinson ATR, I didn’t discuss the weight much. I wanted to get all of my current footwear weighed out so I could have a more comprehensive look at the issue.

I wear a size 13, so my shoes always weight a ton more than the specs indicate, since those specs are taken from the shoe designed to fit a Lilliputian. Worse yet, my footsies demand good arch support, so I have to wear a custom-modified Sole (Karnazes) footbed, built up with a little industrial felt in the arch. Each of these weighs 87 grams, or more than 3 ounces.

Here’s the mass / weight breakdown on my current and near current running shoes. The Brooks ST-5 racers come in far lighter than the rest, but that hasn’t helped me a bit in my marathoning. I attribute that to the fact that these flats, which have less cushioning than their cousin, the Ravenna, beat my legs up so much that any potential speed gained by moving less shoe is more than offset by the increase in leg fatigue. In fact, of the three Steamtown marathons I’ve run, in fairly similar conditions, the one I ran in the ST-5s was by far the worst, and most painful.

Footwear

grams

ounces

Sole footbed with custom felt

87

3.1

Brooks ST-5 Racer

287

10.1

Brooks Ravenna 5

328

11.6

Sportiva Crosslite

336

11.9

Sportiva Clite 2

353

12.5

Hoka Stinson Lite

373

13.2

Brooks Cascadia 9

388

13.7

Hoka Stinson ATR

391

13.8

 

The Ravennas and the Crosslites (version 1 and 2) come in fairly close to each other. The Clite 2’s greater mass includes more cushioning than the prior version, and a bit more stability, but they’re still not what I’d think of as a cushy shoe. They pound me up much more than the Ravennas, but for me, the slightly sloppy fit of the Ravenna makes it non-comparable to the Sportiva, which I’ve used for technical mountain and trail marathons on account of the firm fit.

Surprising to me, the Brooks Cascadia is pretty heavy, only a hair lighter than the Hoka Stinson ATR. The Cascadia is, in my opinion, a decent shoe for fire roads and easy trails, but nowhere near firm fitting enough for more technical or steeper terrain. My toenails have discovered that the hard way.

The Hokas don’t surprise me, coming in at the heavy end of the scale, but I’m not sure this will be a penalty for me, since almost all of my racing is 26.2 miles and up. If they keep my legs feeling fresh, as I expect they will, this will more than compensate for the, at most, 45 gram difference between my go-to road shoe (the Ravenna) and the comparable Hoka (Stinson Lite). And I’ve run plenty of trails in the Cascadia, so I doubt I’ll notice a weight difference at all by using the Stinson ATR for all my trail racing. Those are long, tough days, and I expect that a shoe that’s easier on the legs will matter much, much more than a shoe that’s a bit lighter in weight, especially given the surprising stability – superior to the Crosslites so far, in my opinion.

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