HOKA ZINAL: LOW TO THE GROUND AND LITTLE WEIGHT TO RUN FAST AND TECHNICAL
HOKA ZINAL: low to the ground and little weight to run fast and technical. Our HOKA ONE ONE section presents a limited edition with a very special focus: to compete with the Salomon empire, short and medium distance mountain races on firm ground and somehow technical.
Its € 160 price, for 242 grams, ground height of 18mm in front and 23mm behind, make it a light and agile mountain Hoka shoe. In addition, vibram Megagrip Litebase sole fits 4mm lugs. Let’s go with the details analysis by Mayayo.
HOKA ZINAL: LOW TO THE GROUND TO RUN FAST AND TECHNICAL
HOKA ONE ONE 2021. A DIFFERENT DEISGN PHILOSOPHY.
Hoka’s philosophy has been different since it was born, as is the case with his rival Altra’s Natural Running. The Hoka One Ones were born as a maximalist shoe that cradled and cushioned the runners’ feet. Mermoud and Diard started prototyping themselves.
Later, they teamed up with a chemist at a Chinese footwear company to develop a completely new type of EVA foam that was soft and surprisingly light. It was a huge step forward: Now they could put a lot of mm. rubber under the foot, to amoritute more without being a ballast. To this day, that is perhaps the main hallmark of the brand, which only in the Profly cushioning of the Torrent 2 has come out of the mold.
The first releases were the Mafate (now Evo Mafate and Mafate Speed), Bondi and Stinson ATR. Success soon came and Hoka has expanded rapidly since.
In addition, of course, limited editions of this or that fixed model abound, something that the brand is very fond of. The Hoka Zinal shoe belongs to this second line, so if you pull it do not delay with it….
HOKA ONE ONE: THE DESIGN PILLARS.
As you can see in the image above, almost all Hoka shoes (the Torrent as an exception) share basic principles: More than 25mm. cushioning, Contained weights (264-333gr), medium drop (4-5mm), rocker chassis and oversized sole in width that stabilizes ground height and better distributes weight.
Light foam: Hoka remains true to its patented EVA rubber blend. They emphasize that it is more elastic, for better support and energy return. They also argue that it is more durable than traditional EVA. . The foam has received different names, including RMAT and R-Bound, but the underlying chemistry is essentially the same.
Rocker chassis: Translated into names like Meta-Rocker and the Active Foot Frame.
- The Meta-Rocker is a combination of a low heel tip drop and a rounded sole shape that, according to the house, complements the natural stride and helps to propel forward.
- The Active Foot Frame cradles the foot deeper into the shoe midsole, providing more support as you run. Hoka compares the design to sitting in a low bucket seat of a race car. And true, that peculiar adjustment made it narrow for many people to narrow their last years.
HOKA ZINAL: DATA SHEET
Hoka One One was a pioneering brand among maximalist trail shoes. The three pillars of its design explained above were so successful that today, all the big ones have gotten into their terrain as well. Thus, among the latest market news we leave you here the SALOMON ULTRA GLIDE or THE NORTH FACE FLIGHT VECTIV.
Hoka opted to open up to the runners who are looking for “touch of the ground”. The Hoka One One Torrent was the first Hoka shoe with a normal height to the ground, born as the easiest option to try the brand without risking in heights.
- PRICE: 160€. Medium-high price, since the brand still sees them as “special edition”
- WEIGHT: 242gr Much more rubber than in the 173gr squalid of the Evo Jazz for mud, a logical weight if we want a shoe that in addition to running, lasts a minimum as well. The female version stays at 198 gr.
- SOLE: Vibram Megagrip Litebase. They have NOT stopped at expenses here to lower a few grams. Rubber successfully tested by us in other shoes. Grab the same, last the same, weigh less. It may not be “the” best, but it is among the good soles for wet rock and the like.
- LUGS: 4mm. Perfect for firm terrain in general, leaving the 6mm mud studs to its sister Ewo.
HEIGHT TO THE GROUND: 23 mm (heel), 18 mm (forefoot); these measurements are similar tothe Salomon range, of all life.
- DROP: 4mm. Mind you, it is a low drop, which will be better squeezed by those who have good technique.
DIMENSIONS: Volume 433cm3. Medium last, neither tight nor broad.
- STABILITY: 1/3 according to the Hoka scale, the most agile but most demanding at the same time
- CUSHIONING: 1/3 according to the Hoka scale. The closest to the ground, just what you are looking for.
- MODELS: Male and female version, in two colors each (see below) Limited units.
HOKA ZINAL: CONCLUSION.
These Hoka Zinal bring the competition directly to the heart of the rival empire: Salomon. If the market leader until now, Salomon, had its strongest point in the short and medium races by firm medium-technical terrain, then ….let’s see how these Hoka Zinal are accepted by the Market.
It is no coincidence that the Golden Trail Series of the Annecy brand focus on mountain races between half marathon and marathon, on terrains of medium and firm technical difficulty. That has always been the terrain best dominated by the Slab range. And that range is now being targeted by Hoka.
But beware, for now is just a limited edition, so let’s see what the market does with them, just in case, if this analysis calls you, go and try them in store and if they fit you, let’s try them out🙂
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Read the article in Spanish HERE