Choosing the Right Shoe for your New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep. Like any commitment, following through means taking the steps necessary to set yourself up for success. 

Part of that is having the right gear and finding the right fit.

Apparel

Whether you’ve decided to train for a marathon or just want to get outside more, the wrong running shoes or apparel can make it that much more difficult to keep up with a new good habit.

To make sure that doesn’t happen, here’s a little HOKA advice on how to to gear up for the new you:

The right shoes for running a marathon

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If you’re committed to training for and running a marathon this year, look into carbon-plated running shoes.

Made with a cutting-edge carbon fiber plate between the midsole and outsole, this emerging running shoe design technology combines superior cushioning and stability with minimal energy loss. That’s what makes these cutting edge running shoes perfect for those looking to extend their endurance over the course of the year.

HOKA has been in the carbon-plated running shoe game since 2019, and is celebrating the first day of the new year with the new Carbon X 2, available January 1st. 

The right shoes and apparel for getting outside more

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Choosing the right gear for spending more time outdoors depends on what you mean by “getting outside more.”

If your goal is to go for regular walks or runs around the neighborhood this January, look into a trail running shoe. Trail running shoes are sturdy and durable, built with grippy rubber outsoles for a stable ride. Even if you’re not planning on hitting up a trail, added traction features offered by trail running shoes make them a good option for running in rain, snow and ice.

If “going outside” means exploring nature in all its rugged glory, then you might need something a bit more impervious to the elements than trail running shoes with breathable mesh uppers designed more to avoid water logging than keep your feet dry over prolonged stretches. Trail running shoes with GORE-TEX uppers will protect your feet from the elements, perfect for day hikes. For more difficult, technical terrain or overnight trips, try a full hiking boot for added stability.

And if you’re an accomplished trail runner or hiking enthusiast looking to raise your game in the new year with the most advanced gear available, check out the TenNine trail running shoe and TenNine Hike GORE-TEX boot. 

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The right shoes for cross-training

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Cross-training shoes should be versatile. They need to be great for most types of exercise, and wearable before and after a workout.

A lightweight, breathable running shoe is perfect for cross-training. Since they’re not meant for intense, long-distance running, these shoes can cut down on the foam while still providing superior cushioning. Add a breathable, snug-fitting upper, and you’ve got the perfect shoe for any kind of workout.

A perfect example is the Hupana Flow. Built with an engineered knit upper for breathability and a springy, responsive rubberized foam outsole, it’s a running shoe that works for just about anything. Combine that with some training apparel, and you’re set.

SHOP HOKA TRAINING & GYM SHOES

The right shoes for relaxing self-care

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Not every resolution needs to be about pushing yourself harder. It’s just as important to give your body and mind a rest.

Start with your feet. If you’re a runner, ensuring your feet get the proper time to rest and recover is crucial. And if you’re not, there’s nothing better than wearing something comfortable.

Try on a pair of recovery sandals. The ORA recovery slide is built to aid the post-race recovery of overworked feet, whether you’ve just run an ultra marathon or not. It’s a slide with a HOKA max-cushion midsole.

SHOP HOKA RECOVERY SHOES

Tackling a New Year’s resolution can be hard, even if you have the right tools for the job. But as long as you stick to actionable goals and keep a positive mindset, you’ll get yours done. You can do it.

Good luck and Happy New Year. It’s Time To Fly™

How Carbon-Plated Running Shoes Took the Running World by Storm

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You’ve probably heard of carbon fiber, the ultra-lightweight yet ultra-firm material used to make high-performance bike frames and Formula One cars. 

For the past handful of years, this revolutionary material has quietly been changing the game in a similar fashion for running shoes.

HOKA has been part of the carbon fiber revolution since the beginning, developing the Carbon Rocket – one of the earliest carbon fiber plated running shoes ever used in races. (The original Carbon Rocket never went on sale to consumers, but a later version of it – the Evo Carbon Rocket – was widely available.)

Many associate carbon-plated running shoes with professional marathoners and ultra distance runners, but the technology benefits runners of all levels of experience. Whether you’re a seasoned competitor looking to shave milliseconds off a personal best or a newer runner looking to start off on the right foot, carbon-plated running shoes have plenty to offer.

Joining the carbon revolution

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A carbon-plated running shoe is basically a sandwich, with carbon fiber plates and placed between the midsole and the outsole. Of course, perfecting the design isn’t as simple as just wedging carbon fiber into an existing shoe.

Released in 2019, the Carbon Rocket was HOKA’s first carbon-plated running shoe, and its primary structure consisted of a soft foam midsole and a grippy, rubberized foam outsole.

The addition of a carbon fiber plate to this winning formula for maximum cushion performance was designed to stiffen the shoe, giving runners a more stable, propulsive, efficient ride, and helped the foam layers compress and expand more quickly to return more energy with each stride.

The Carbon Rocket was a strong first step into carbon plated shoe design, contributing stability and minimal energy loss in a package that delivered speed and distance performance while maintaining a low total weight.

Runners noticed the difference immediately, both mile-by-mile and over the course of full marathons.

From design breakthrough to breaking records

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Because running shoes with carbon plating are designed to combine a stable base, increased energy return and a springier feel, runners noticed a more marked difference in performance over the course of longer runs.

As the initial Carbon Rocket design provided real-world road testing for the newest evolution in distance running shoes, HOKA’s approach to integrating carbon fiber quickly took a new leap forward. Our next carbon-plated shoe, the Carbon X, featured more foam cushion than the initial Rocket, with a redesigned carbon plate and a new, lightweight upper, designed to get the absolute most energy return out of every footstrike.

We built it specifically for the purpose of breaking a world record: the fastest 50-mile run. Mission accomplished, with plenty of help from Jim Walmsley’s incredible endurance. But it was also a shoe designed to help propel every athlete forward – whatever their speed, whatever their goals. All of HOKA’s carbon fiber-plated shoes are designed to produce top performances by elite athletes while allowing the rest of us to experience their unique ride. 

Carbon-plated performance goes near-weightless

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The next evolutionary stage in carbon-plated running shoe design was to squeeze every performance advantage possible out of a shoe designed for a broader range of running events than just the ultra marathon.

Enter the HOKA Rocket X.

With a midsole made of new EVA foam – the lightest we’ve ever made – the Rocket X combined a breathable mesh upper and grippy rubber outsole with a super thin, redesigned 1mm carbon plate.

Weighing in at just over 7oz, the Rocket X is the lightest running shoe in the HOKA lineup, while also delivering the propulsive launch of a carbon-plated shoe. The result is designed to be as beneficial on the track as it is on the road, and a perfect starting point for runners of all experience levels looking for a taste of what carbon fiber can do.

The future of carbon-plated running shoes

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While the Rocket X contributes lightweight responsiveness as an everyday running shoe or middle distance performer, it’s not meant to replace the Carbon X for endurance runs.

The next step in bridging that gap is the Carbon X 2.

Built from the ground up for long-distance runs, the X 2 shaves weight from the Carbon X model with a lightweight mesh upper, featuring a streamlined tongue and redesigned collar for a snug fit. The midsole is also made of softer, lighter foam designed for more energy return, paired with the original Carbon X’s rubberized outsole. The carbon fiber plate itself is also placed lower to the ground to give the Carbon X 2 an even softer feel.

Preorder a pair in advance of their January 1st release. 

Are carbon plated running shoes right for me?

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As with any design innovation that results in rewritten record books, carbon fiber-plated running shoes have drawn their share of debate and controversy among the upper echelons of the running world.

Do they offer an unfair advantage? Is it okay for a new generation of athletes equipped with carbon fiber-plated running shoes to threaten long-standing records that were broken without that technology?

We’ll let the relevant governing bodies decide.

In the meantime, rest assured that heated debate among elite athletes obscures the bigger picture for a majority of runners: since feeling good while running is a good thing, carbon fiber-plated running shoes should be available for anybody.

Give them a try, see how they feel, and find out what a more propulsive ride does for your speed, endurance and, most importantly, confidence.

Take the leap. It’s Time to Fly™.

Better Fitness Resolutions for the New Year

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At some point, just about everyone has set a fitness goal as a New Year’s resolution.  You’ve told yourself that this year will be the year you get in shape. Exercising more and eating healthier are all very common resolutions, and they’re great goals to strive for. 

But doing any of them, especially all at the same time, can be overwhelming and frustrating. That’s normal! There’s no one way to get in shape that works for everyone. You won’t wake up on January 1st suddenly knowing the perfect exercise routine or diet plan. And you’re not supposed to!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a fitness goal this year. The most important part is setting a goal that’s specific and achievable. No goal is too small, and you should be incredibly proud of yourself no matter what you achieve. Let’s break down the three three most common fitness resolutions into something more approachable.

How to actually exercise more

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Exercising more is a long term goal. This is true whether you work out regularly already or if you’re just starting. You can’t make yourself exercise more simply through force of will.

What you want to do is create a habit, and that’s all about finding an exercise routine and schedule that actually works for you. It can be as small as exercising one day a week. You just need a routine that you’ll be able to stick to long term. Here are some more specific resolutions if you’re trying to start an exercise habit:

  • Exercise x days a week, for x minutes a day (pick a number that’s achievable for you.)
  • Try one new workout a month
  • Commit to a daily stretching routine
  • Do a 30-second plank every day
  • If possible, find a workout buddy
  • Take the stairs whenever possible

How to enjoy eating healthier

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Nutrition is just as important as fitness. But it can be overwhelming, especially if you try to overhaul your entire diet all at once. The whole process can feel restrictive and scary.

Remember: eating healthier doesn’t mean that you are never allowed to have french fries again. In general, you’ll want to focus on developing new habits, not purging old ones. Those habits could be food-specific, like committing to eating more vegetables and fruit. Or you can focus on routine: always carrying a water bottle with you is an easy way to start eating healthy. Here are some goals and resolutions to consider:

  • Eat one piece of fruit a day
  • Drink more water
  • Buy a reusable water bottle, and always have it with you
  • Replace one drink a week with green tea
  • Always have celery (or another vegetable snack) in the fridge
  • Cook dinner three nights a week

No matter what resolution you commit to, always remember that there’s no such thing as “too small.” Everyone’s fitness journey is different, but the most important thing is finding the routine that works for you. You want goals that are approachable, and you’ll feel great when you achieve them.

Good luck. It’s Time to Fly™

Intro To Running In The Rain, Snow, and Ice

Winter-Blog

When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “into each life some rain must fall” in his romantically overwrought 1842 poem The Rainy Day, he probably wasn’t lacing up his running shoes for a brisk, invigorating jog through a freshly deserted neighborhood.

His loss.

Running in the rain, sleet, snow or ice is one of the simpler pleasures enjoyed by runners.

If you’re just starting out and curious, feeling tired of being stuck inside or frowning at a weather report, read this ultimate guide for everything you need to know about wet weather running before you get out there.

  1. Running in Wet Weather – Benefits and Motivation
  2. What to Wear When Running When It’s Cold and Wet
  3. Tips for Running in the Rain, Snow and Ice

Feel free to skip ahead to your preferred section, or continue on.

Running in Wet Weather – Benefits and Motivation

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re considering running in rain, snow or ice, but not sure if you should.

As long as you’re not putting yourself in harm’s way by running through a lightning storm, zero-visibility monsoon, hailstorm, blizzard, ice storm, hurricane or tornado, you should absolutely get out there.

Here are some great reasons why:

  • It’s liberating.

Everybody has a persistent voice that repeats “you shouldn’t,” or “you can’t.” Sometimes it’s an actual person. Sometimes it’s an inner voice. Other times, that’s the voice of so-called common sense. This time, that voice is reminding you that you’ll get wet if you run out there. You will. So what? If you want to run, it’ll take more than a little water to stop you.

  • You’ll perform better.

Precipitation reduces your body temperature as you run, which can help you stay cool while also increasing your metabolic rate. Wet weather also forces minor changes to your form to avoid slipping, which can work your muscle groups differently than a usual run. You might also find that the splashy exhilaration of a wet run, combined with your desire to get back, can be natural motivators for a quicker pace.

  • The results are worth it.

Think of how good you usually feel after a run. Now double it. It’s not just that you’ll have a nice hot shower waiting on you, although that will be amazing. You’ll also feel more energized and accomplished than most people ever do on a dreary, wet day. And you’ll be that much more ready to tackle everything else with the mindset of somebody who won’t let a little bad weather bother them.

If the above reasons aren’t enough to convince you to go out into the cold and wet for a run, consider this last one: it’s worth a try. If you do it with an open mind and find out you prefer a treadmill, at least you’ll know.

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What to Wear When Running in Cold and Wet Weather

Running when it’s nasty out carries the same promise you’re likely to see on a sign in front of an amusement park log flume ride.

You will get wet.

No matter what you wear, or what gear you bring for a run in the rain, you’ll finish wetter than when you started. Temper your expectations. Ask, “What should I wear to run in the rain, snow or ice more comfortably?” Instead of, “How do I stay dry?”

Try the following:

  • Weather-Ready Running Shoes: If your usual running route is fairly road heavy and has good drainage, a pair of waterproof trail running shoes might serve you best. But keep in mind that any water that gets into a waterproof shoe tends to stay there – a mesh option might not keep your foot totally dry, but it will prevent it from getting waterlogged. Many people choose to simply wear an older pair for rain runs. If your second-oldest pair of running shoes is truly past its prime, it might be time to rotate in a new top pair. And if snow and ice are prevalent enough in your area to make traction a true concern, a newer pair of trail running shoes with enhanced tread and grip features are a safe bet.

    Browse HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Shoes

  • Running in Ice Spikes or Snowshoes: If you’re in an area that’s frozen for a good portion of the year, you might want to invest in ice spikes or snowshoes for winter running.
  • Running Socks: Stay away from cotton, as it soaks up water and constricts. What you want is a nice pair of running socks made of synthetic, moisture-wicking material. If you’re planning on a long run, consider bringing an extra pair or two in a plastic baggie.
  • Running Tops: Just as cotton socks can make your life worse, so can a regular cotton t-shirt or sweatshirt. You’ll want a form-fitting, synthetic material option that’ll prevent clinging or repetitive soggy flopping. Consider bright color or reflective options that can help keep you visible, since most motorists don’t even bother to look for runners when it’s raining.
  • Running Jacket or Shell: If you’re looking for an extra layer of protection, look into a light, breathable option made of quick-dry or weatherproof fabric. When choosing, remember to keep visibility concerns in mind.
  • Running Shorts, Sweats, or Tights: As a general rule, the less flowy your rain running apparel, the better. Seek out form-fitting, synthetic, and lightweight options that won’t sop up moisture or chafe.
  • Running Hats: All you really need is a baseball-style hat with a brim to keep the water out of your eyes, although a quick-dry or synthetic fabric runner’s hat will last longer without shrinking or developing a signature scent. For colder wet weather, a beanie will be a better option than a headband.

Shop HOKA Running Apparel

  • Vaseline, Balm, or Powder: Especially over prolonged distances, moisture from precipitation will put you at greater risk for chafing and blistering in all the body parts where that’s frequently an issue. Prepping for a rainy run with vaseline, balm or powder can make a bigger difference than any apparel choice other than avoiding cotton.

If you’re planning on running anywhere other than from your home and back, you’ll definitely thank yourself for packing an extra dry set of clothing, and getting out of your wet gear as soon as possible after you’re done.

PC: @DaleTravers
PC: @DaleTravers

Tips for Running in the Rain, Snow and Ice

Once you get out there, what should you do? What do you need to do differently in the rain, snow or ice? What do you need to do when you’re done?

Remember the following:

  1. Thunder, lightning, low visibility, impossible traction, hail, and high winds are not your friend. As mentioned already, there are weather conditions to avoid running in. Check your local weather forecast for key words like “severe,” “warning,” “watch,” or “advisory.” If these conditions are present, wait until you have a more favorable window to complete your run. And if you have trouble with slippery footing, don’t push yourself to complete a run.
  2. Prevent chafing. More moisture means more friction. Use Vaseline or balm in the usual spots – thighs, nipples, etc. – to prevent chafing. If you’re planning a longer run, you may also want to powder your feet before you start.
  3. Visibility is key. Not only is it harder to see runners in wet weather, most people aren’t even looking. Choose high-visibility apparel options, and wear a baseball cap or visor to keep precipitation out of your eyes.
  4. Protect your electronics. If you run with your phone, earbuds, or other electronics, look for waterproof options, or go DIY with a baggie in a zip-up pocket or fanny pack.
  5. Run to avoid slipping. Water – especially when it’s frozen – makes most surfaces more slippery. Make sure your running shoes have adequate tread and grip for the conditions at hand. As you run, modify your stride length and cadence to shorter, quicker steps.
  6. Dry off your shoes when you’re done. Towel your running shoes off and pack them with paper when you’re done running. Letting your running shoes sit for too long when they’re soaked will age them prematurely and produce a stink.
  7. Remove wet clothes, shower and/or get dry as soon as you can. Running in cold wet conditions can lead to hypothermia once you stop moving. Plan to avoid this. Hang your wet clothes when you’re done with them, and remember to wash and dry them before wearing them next.

And while the above pointers are a great starting place for your first foray into all-weather running, we’d be remiss if we left off a crucial detail.

If you like to listen to music while you run, don’t forget to program your own special nasty weather run playlist.

So there you have it. Running in the rain is as simple as shedding your inhibitions, making a few extra preparations, and toughing it out.

You might even have fun.

And if the worst case scenario is you tried something you didn’t like, at least you’ll know you tried.

Good luck, and happy running. It’s Time to Fly™

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Returning To Training Without Race Events

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The thrill of race day. The supportive crowds, the adrenaline surging through your veins and the euphoric feeling once you cross a finish line after months of preparation. The feel of that next “first” — from 5k to 10k, half marathon, full marathon, ultra. The free t-shirt. The finisher medal hanging on your bedroom vanity. The all-important postrace Instagram post.

For many runners or athletes, race events and the incredible sense of accomplishment they inspire are key reasons to wake up for that 5 am run.

They’ve all but disappeared in 2020, with numerous marathons and triathlon events postponed or outright canceled.

Anyone who’s taken part in any big sporting event will know that the majority of the hard work begins weeks, months or even years in advance of race day. Failing to prep for an event is the equivalent of running 10 miles in shoes that are two sizes too small – painful.

With no idea when events will come back, how do we maintain that motivation to keep on training – even when it could be all for nothing? And how do we bounce back if our training schedules have taken a back seat?

Here are some helpful tips to keep your training up to speed.

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Slow and steady wins the race

Perhaps this hasn’t always been your motto when you’re trying to beat your personal best, but if this year has reminded us that life is a marathon, not a sprint.

With that in mind it’s important to see the past few months not as a failure but as an opportunity to rest, recover and improve on things that we put off previously.

But after any long break from exercise (whether it be COVID-19 related or not), the key is to safely ease back into a sustainable training routine.

Consider the following:

  • Assess where you’re at physically – After any break from training, the sensible approach is to walk before you run, depending on how much time you’ve had off. If you’ve only lapsed from training for a few weeks, you might feel a little rusty at first before quickly restoring your typical level of fitness. If you’ve taken months or even a year off from your training regimen, be sure to treat your body kindly by gradually increasing your exercise and knowing when to slow down.
  • Assess your mindset – If you’re familiar with the ‘runners wall’ – a physical block you may hit after a certain number of miles – you know that your mental state has as much to do with your ability to finish a race as your body. As you work back into a training regimen, spend time figuring out the difference between physical and mental fatigue. Train your mind to be kinder – you’ve taken time off, so of course you’re not going to be hitting personal bests right away, and of course you need to ease back into pushing yourself for that marathon finish.
  • Assess improvement areas – When training for event season, goals can be strictly a numbers game. How far did I go? How fast did I get there? These metrics help determine how ready (or not ready) we are for different types of events. But without the looming deadline of a race, there’s time to experiment with improving more qualitative areas, such as building core strength or improving running form.

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Build a new routine

The longer your break from a distance/speed running training routine goes, the less quickly you’ll get back to your peak performance level.

If you’ve taken time off due to injury, illness, or just life in general, that’s fine. Think of getting back to form as your first challenge. It’s less about the stopwatch and more about building back your stamina and fitness level to where it was before. You might not be able to run as fast or as far as you did before, and that’s okay.

Here a few new methods to try as you build a new routine that works for you:

  • Block out the time – It sounds simple, but dedicating a little time every week to exercise makes it so much easier to amp up.
  • Mix it up – You may be used to mainly cardio, but remember that a combination of cardio, strength, and stretching can improve your overall performance. Plus, the variation will keep things exciting and new.
  • Work out with friends or family members – This holds you accountable, making you less likely to cancel and more likely to stick to your routine.
  • Virtual events – Although physical events may have been cancelled, you can participate in virtual races that are just as challenging.
  • Online challenges – Many fitness apps post weekly or monthly challenges, giving you a tangible goal of miles to work towards.
  • Community spirit – Don’t forget you’re not struggling alone. There are numerous websites and forums where runners swap handy tips and share their own experiences.

The most important aspect of any new training routine you build is your mindset – regardless of what your “personal best” looks like now, getting back to it should be more of a challenge than a demand.

Build a routine that’s flexible enough to fit your current lifestyle, and remember that your training schedule is not set in stone, you can make it work for you.

For those used to event-driven training, motivation can take a serious hit without a definite date on the calendar.

Instead of counting backwards from race day, circle tomorrow and focus on what you want to do then.

Settling back into a routine – any routine – after taking a break can be just as important as the training itself. Sometimes finding motivation can be as simple as looking at what inspired you to get started in the first place. Look at how far you’ve come, and imagine how amazing you’ll feel when you get going again.

Good luck and happy training. It’s Time to Fly™.

Shop HOKA apparel and HOKA shoes.

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