While Hoka One One isn’t exactly the first brand you think of when it comes to technical running shoes, the outfit has been innovating pretty impressively on the space with some of their latest releases. Their upcoming shoe, the Hoka One One Speed Evo R, might prove their most important yet, as it recreates the track spikes in the most unconventional of ways.
Spiked track shoes tend to feature the same symmetrical spikes on each shoe, along with zero drop and minimal cushioning, as that’s been the go-to technical configuration for many decades now. Well, the outfit thinks that needed changing and for good reason.
According to Hoka One One’s research, track athletes that compete in races ranging from 800 meters to 10,000 meters tend to spend 60 percent of the time on the tracks turning left (because it’s an oval and you run counter-clockwise). To compensate for that, the Speed Evo R brings changes to the spike configuration, the spike plate, the midsole support, and the shoes’ overall cushioning, ensuring it supports how athletes actually move in the field.
Specifically, the shoes use varied spike patterns on either shoe to provide better support and traction during left turns than traditional designs, along with a spike plate that supports the foot throughout each turn. It also gets a medial midsole wrap to improve stability when cornering, a layer of EVA foam to add much-needed cushioning, and, of course, a lightweight breathable upper.
The Hoka One One Speed Evo R will get its debut on the feet of athletes in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, with public availability slated for February of next year. Price is $130.