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"Born to Run" vs. Hoka
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I am reading "Born to Run" and am left wondering how to square its cult like advocacy of barefoot running with the new pair of Hokas I just purchased. I am 53 years old, 6'1" and weight 177 lbs. I am constantly battling injuries and wonder should I return my new Hokas and get some Vibram Five fingers? Seriously, what do folks think of "Born to Run?" The book claims "The more cushioned the shoe, the less protection it provides."
Last edited by: imsparticus: May 14, 13 18:07
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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There are no perfect shoes. Some people do well with nothing, some need a lot. If the Hoka's work for you, don't let a book convince you otherwise.
BTW, I have Hoka's, Merrell trail gloves (VFF with a normal toebox) and several in between. I wear them all, but congregate towards a compromise: 4mm drop & 6-10oz.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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For me it's simple: Hokas= me being able to run reasonably comfortably. No Hokas= no running at all

Before breaking my leg I ran in lightweight trainers with no problem. I've been running on a regular basis for close to 30 years and have tried just about everything. Minimal/barefoot never worked for me. My personal opinion is that the incidence of injury with minimal/barefoot is way higher than it ever will be with Hokas or similar shoes.

Formerly DrD
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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There is no best overall running style (we humans vary quite a bit), so consequently there is no one best running shoe.

Go with what keeps you injury free. If the Hokas work for you, stay with them.

I'm 180 and do well in 7oz super-soft flats, and get injured in 12oz stability shoes. There are 130 pounders who are the exact opposite.

ECMGN Therapy Silicon Valley:
Depression, Neurocognitive problems, Dementias (Testing and Evaluation), Trauma and PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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imsparticus wrote:
Seriously, what do folks think on "Born to Run?"

Paleo diet for your feet.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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I started listening to this book on audible and made it through 1 or 2 chapters before its preachy tone and ridiculous claims caused me to return it. Whenever someone claims to have discovered the one true path, probably they haven't. I stopped at the point where he related, manifesto-style, how this tribe had no crime, war, theft, corruption, obesity, drug addiction, greed, wife-beating, child abuse, heart disease, high blood pressure or carbon emissions.

Right there I knew this entire book was worthless.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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i went through a minimalist phase several years ago. I was running in racing flats for ~3 years for all of my runs. I went through a lot of ache's and pains...and eventually went back to more traditional shoes. even with traditional running shoes, I was constantly dealing with joint pain (I'm only 40...but I'm 195). I got a pair of hoka's bondi-b's about 2 months ago. the change for me has been dramatic. most of the joint pain is gone. I don't think i'll ever want to go back to other shoes (with the exception of racing). ymmv.

i no longer believe in strengthening your feet/joints...etc. I just think if you can run pain free...it's the way to go. if that means you run shoe-less, or with hoka's...so be it.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [endofempire] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, all that and he describes every ultra running girl as extremely hot.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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I saw a video once of the guy who wrote that book and he was "running" at probably 12 minute mile pace maybe? I would take his advice with less than a grain of salt and talk to people who have been running for 20 or 30 years. How many of them have been running in minimalist shoes all that time. I, for one, have been running for over 30 years and just started running in Hokas and I wish I had had them back when I was putting in 100+ miles/week. Like Ryan Hall said, when I get passed in a race by someone wearing five fingers, I might think about switching.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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imsparticus wrote:
Yeah, all that and he describes every ultra running girl as extremely hot.
I guess I didn't get that far.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [dfroelich] [ In reply to ]
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X2
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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Wear what's comfortable. I switched to minimalist (Merrill trail glove, Innov 8 road) the last year and a half, and after starting to develop shin splints and planter fasciitis am switching back to traditional shoes for training. Never had an issue with either of those for the last 15 years I've ran with cushy shoes.

I'll probably use my minimalist shoes for trail races since they cut down on turned ankles, but otherwise have decided my feet need some cushion.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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The problem with people who have a piece of the truth is that too often they think they've cornered the market
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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I feel the minimalist trend is/was a fad. Sales of minimalist shoes are already down over 10% this year according to Runners World. Regardless use what works for you. I took the Hoka plunge and love them.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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I echo everyone else's sentiments. Started going with more minimal and lighter shoes. Foot injuries ensued. Switched to Hokas a year ago this month. As others have said, the benefit was immediate and dramatic. Before, I would do a long training run for an ultra or IM and my heels and ankles would be aching for 2 days. Now I can run a 50K and my feet feel like I walked around the mall for an hour. I don't see myself going back to less-cushioned shoes for long runs.

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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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Broken Leg Guy wrote:
For me it's simple: Hokas= me being able to run reasonably comfortably. No Hokas= no running at all

^^^ This.

I'm a new convert to the Hokas -- I got them just 3 weeks ago, based on endorsements that I read here. But the effects have been pretty clear. Now I can run, before I was struggling. They look goofy, and they feel kinda weird at first, but for this 45-year old, the choice is simple.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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imsparticus wrote:
I am reading "Born to Run" and am left wondering how to square its cult like advocacy of barefoot running with the new pair of Hokas I just purchased. I am 53 years old, 6'1" and weight 177 lbs. I am constantly battling injuries and wonder should I return my new Hokas and get some Vibram Five fingers? Seriously, what do folks think of "Born to Run?" The book claims "The more cushioned the shoe, the less protection it provides."

Form before footwear.

But, it's best to choose a shoe that does help you run with a healthy and economic gait.

While Hokas are quite comical looking, they have a fairly low drop, which is not all bad. I'd be worried about the complete lack of ground feel.

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KyleKranz.com
Win a pair of SKORA Running Shoes!
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [ipull400watts] [ In reply to ]
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I am yet to add Hokas into my 'rotation' but I feel they likely have a place. Like the previous poster, I am am fan of "ground feel", but at the same time, I don't need ground feel on every run. For example, when I water run, I have zero ground feel, but still getting training benefit.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [ipull400watts] [ In reply to ]
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there isn't a complete lack of ground feel. it's hard to describe. basically hoka's feel like running with some suspension. I'd say the difference is like running in regular shoes on hard pavement vs running on a good squishy track or grass. They really just ease the impact of every stride. For example: being an R.O.U.S. you can literally hear me coming from half a mile away when I run downhill in racing flats. With hoka's, I'm much quieter...which will enable me to sneak up on Dev at epicman ;)
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [KAlber] [ In reply to ]
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Well, that depends a great deal on what the outsole is made of as well, but I understand. A characteristic of many racing flats is a harder and more ridged outsole. I feel this allows the runner to run harder and feel it less on his feet, during races.

I find it interesting that people claim (seen no true evidence) that they run softer in Hokas. I've always found I run "softer" in less shoe. From some research I've seen, if we run on a softer material we simply land harder. I believe this was from a test that measured impact forces of people running over ground they could not see. When they were suddenly switched to a softer surface, their unconscious started landing harder. The same thing may happen in shoes.


But in the end it all comes down to what's comfortable.

---
KyleKranz.com
Win a pair of SKORA Running Shoes!
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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We are the same height and weight and I am 52. Minimalist shoes (Vibrams) were made for people who are 120 lbs. Your Hokas (I have
the One One's) will extend your running life. It's a matter of physics.
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [ScrapIronSteve] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
We are the same height and weight and I am 52. Minimalist shoes (Vibrams) were made for people who are 120 lbs. Your Hokas (I have
the One One's
) will extend your running life. It's a matter of physics.

Pretty sure the Hoka brand is short for Hoka One One, so you might wanna recheck your model.

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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [ipull400watts] [ In reply to ]
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Sure...but like I said in my previous post...I went through a minimalist phase for ~3 years. The intention of which was to change my form and make things better. My form did change from heal striker to midfoot. But, it did not mitigate the joint pain I was experiencing. I'm 40 and have been running on (mostly) and off since 1986. I'm not making a claim that I run softer...it is a simple fact that the shoe gives you much more suspension and there is much less impact on my joints compared to anything else I've tried. My feet, ankles and knees feel MUCH better. My stride has not changed. I'm not sure how I would simply land harder.

My question to you is...have you actually tried hoka's? If not, then you really have no basis for claiming they don't do what they do. I was skeptical as well...but just walking in them makes it quite apparent that they are very different. Running is no comparison for me. Now, I will admit, maybe I notice it more since I'm 195lbs. Perhaps much smaller runners wouldn't notice as much of a difference (I can't possibly know the answer to that).
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [KAlber] [ In reply to ]
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No I have not tried Hokas, I'm simply saying what some research I've seen pointed to.

---
KyleKranz.com
Win a pair of SKORA Running Shoes!
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Re: "Born to Run" vs. Hoka [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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imsparticus wrote:
I am reading "Born to Run" and am left wondering how to square its cult like advocacy of barefoot running ..

looks like you already figured it out.. BtR was written by a journalist, its main goal is to sell books and build the journalist's reputation. To quote myself - an exciting anecdote or two, some misapprehended research, a few quotes with context elided, et voil - the "one best way" to run. Hm, probably not..

I love the Hokas, significant reduction in all my old running injury pains since starting with them. I ran barefoot as a teenager, 6'2" and 145lbs, nowadays at 170lbs with well aged joints ligaments and tendons, need a bit more protection..

my review of the book here..
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