Hoka One Speed Hiker
This is the third year I have worn the Hoka One Tor Hikers. I first discovered them while browsing videos looking for ultralight footwear, however they were not available in the U.S. at the time so I began searching and finally found them on Amazon shipping from England. I purchased a pair to see if they were what I hoped they could be, an ultralight, well cushioned, stable, traction device for hiking, backpacking, and peakbagging, and a shoe that would spare my narrow feet with knobby heels from the frequent blisters I received from virtually all other brands of footwear I tried. The original version fit my feet like Cinderella’s slipper, they passed all the other requirements I had leaving me overjoyed at having an ultralight pack and shoes. I ordered a second pair before Hoka announced an updated model to be released in the U.S., I was hopeful, but cautious, knowing how updated versions of your favorite footwear can sometimes go wrong, but when V 2.0 was released as the Hoka One Tor Speed Hiker it was definitely an improvement with the same great fit. I wore the V 2.0 Speed Hiker last year, predominantly off trail in Washington’s Central Cascades through most every type of terrain you can imagine and they were extraordinary, and on a good trail I was able to reach a good cruising speed and hike some comfortable miles. The shoe was a great find, but it is the sum of its parts that makes it so, here are some specifications…
|Best Use||Backpacking, Hiking, Running/Fitness|
|Item Weight||1 lb, 9.8 oz/pair|
|Number of Eyelets||6|
|Type||Hiking Boot (Pair)|
|Warranty||One Year Limited|
|Upper Material||Synthetic textile|
|Outsole||Vibram Mega-Grip with 5 mm lugs|
|Toe Protection||Rubber toe cap|
|Liner Material||Waterproof bootie|
One thing I have come to believe is that you should consider ultralight footwear as part of your overall ultralight system, a 1984 study by the U.S. Army Research Institute showed that every pound on your feet = five pounds in your pack, and additionally “it takes up to 6.4 times as much energy to move at a given pace when weight is carried in the footwear as against the torso”. Your choice in footwear might be the fastest way to drop weight and increase your hiking efficiency, more so than your choice of tent, backpack, sleeping bag etc…, but I would like to think of it as a package deal towards more efficient hiking, maybe they should consider a “Big Four” when they talk about the essential pieces of equipment you need to look at to truly lighten your load.
So now that I’ve sang praises over V 2.0 it appears that a new upgrade is coming V 3.0 and supplies of V 2.0 are dwindling quickly. Thinking ahead I bought two pairs of discounted Speed Hikers and will be anxiously waiting for the new V 3.0 and hoping for the best.