Hoka vs Brooks: Which Running Shoe Reigns Supreme?

Hey! How are you all? Lace-up your running shoes and prepare for the ultimate showdown – Hoka vs Brooks. These two shoe giants have been battling it out for years, each offering unique features and benefits for runners of all levels.

Whether you’re a casual jogger or a seasoned marathoner, choosing the right shoe can make all the difference in your performance and comfort.

So, let’s dive in and take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of these two powerhouse brands and help you decide which shoe is right for you. Get ready to run like the wind as we explore the Hoka vs Brooks debate in all its glory.

Remember! When purchasing running shoes, your number one priority should be comfort. Because let’s face it, if your feet aren’t happy, you won’t be happy. And if you’re not happy, well, then what’s the point?

So, let me start by introducing you to my first love, the Hoka One One Rincon.

Hoka Rincon

Hoka rincon first impressions

Alright, folks, let’s talk about the Hoka Rincon – and no, this isn’t a sponsored post; I love these shoes. They’re light on top, breathable, and cushioned in all the right places. The heel-to-toe drop is significant, which is great for my running style. And let me tell you, I’ve put some serious miles on these bad boys without a single blister or issue.

Hoka Clifton

But let’s not forget about Clifton. I’ve been through a few iterations of this shoe, and I gotta say, the Clifton 6 was a real heavy hitter. Literally, it’s not as lightweight as the Rincon, but that’s because the company put huge effort into engineering a shoe that can handle a lot of miles without wearing you down. And if you’re hitting the trails, you might want to opt for something even heavier duty.

One of our runners at rungearguru has gone through the Clifton 6 and onto the Clifton 7, racking up a whopping 700 miles on them. The Clifton 7 is a winner regarding heel comfort and foot security, but it’s a little less lightweight.

That’s okay, though. Sometimes we need a little extra cushion and security in our lives. The sole is similar to the Clifton 6, so you can expect that same level of cushion. And for some reason, this shoe feels even more comfortable when running long distances. Moreover, Rincon, the Clifton, is taking the lead.

Don’t get me wrong, the Rincon is a great option too, and they’re both in the same price range, but I wouldn’t recommend using either for speed workouts. For that, you’ll want to peek at the Mach 4 or the Carbon X2 – the speedsters of the Hoka family.

What about Hoka Mach 4 and Carbon X2

Hka mach 4 and carbon x2

March 4 shoes have a great combination of cushion and spring. I believe they also have a plate.

According to Hoka, they are perfect for long-distance runs, but I find them more suitable for walking because they are extremely comfortable. The overall construction of Mach 4, including the tongue, provides great comfort and support for feet. Although the heel-to-toe drop is said to be the same as the Clifton, it feels more neutral to me and similar to the Carbon X2.

I believe Carbon X2 is a great option for running. The Carbon X2 has a plate, which adds rigidity to the shoe. Jim Walmsley tried to set the 100k record in this shoe and ran a 552 pace for 62 miles.

It’s a great shoe for speed work but not recommended for slower 20-mile runs. I’ve used it for a full marathon, and it was okay, but it’s a good choice for half marathons or 10k races.

Brook Ghost and Stinson ATR

Brook Ghost and Stinson ATR

In terms of the Brooks Ghost, while I liked how my foot landed, the shoe itself didn’t feel comfortable. I realized what I loved about Hoka shoes was their comfort on my feet.

While I probably wouldn’t switch to this particular shoe, I ran into it a few more times to better understand whether it was a good fit for me. Running in these shoes was uncomfortable and painful because they hurt my foot and numbed me.

Moving on to the next shoe on the trail, starting with the Stinson ATR. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this shoe as I felt like I was walking on stilts when I ran my first 100k race in them. Despite the wide toe box and cushioning in the bottom, this shoe was uncomfortable for me.

Speed Goat Trail and Brooks Ghost

Speed Goat Trail and Brooks Ghost

The Speed Goat trail running shoe has a Vibram sole and Gore-Tex material on top, making it waterproof, a feature I appreciate for trail running. However, the shoe is heavier than others; even an ounce on each foot can add up over long distances.

I have used these shoes for hiking and running on various terrains, including rocks, and have found them reliable. So, in my opinion, Hoka Speed Goat trail running shoe is comfortable and has a good foot-landing feel, but the top part of the shoe is less comfortable than Brook Ghost.

I prefer the comfort of Hoka shoes, so that I won’t switch to the Brooks Ghost. However, I will run into it several times to see if I like it better. Comfort is key for me regarding running shoes, and the Brooks Ghost is not cutting it. Moving on to trail shoes, I would not recommend the Hoka Stinson ATR because it is heavy and feels like stilts.

On the other hand, the Brooks Trail Catamount is a great trail shoe for me, with a comfortable sole and good tread. The heel-to-toe drop is less, which I prefer for trail running, and the shoes are lighter than the Hoka Speed Goat.

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Infographic of hoka vs brooks

Factors to Consider Before Buying Running Shoes

The most important factor when buying running shoes is comfort. It is essential to find a shoe that is suitable for your running style and foot shape. The best way to do this is to go to a running store like Road Runner and take an assessment. They will recommend shoes based on your running style and foot shape. Inserts can also help if your feet land a certain way.

Running form and stretching are also important, but the right shoes can prevent injuries and knee pain. My favorite shoe brand is Hoka, but everyone is different, so find what works best for you.

Running shoes can range from $90 to $180, but it’s worth investing in a good pair if running frequently. If you have questions or want to share your favorite running shoe, comment below. Don’t forget to prioritize comfort and log some miles.

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