Hoka One One Rocket X
If you are a heavier runner or just have a heavy gait cycle, this shoe is worth checking out. While the midsole is built tough, it also provides nice comfort features to keep your feet cushioned, cool, and dry on those long training sessions. What makes the Rocket X unique is that it is built like a stability shoe, but it performs like a great race-day shoe. It has features that help to keep your gait cycle light and bright. If you are in the market for a great daily trainer that is built tough, the Hoka Rocket X is worth checking out.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the advanced features that make this shoe well worth the investment.
Great for heavier runners
Responsive yet lightweight EVA midsole
Very breathable upper
Stiff yet cushioned heel counter
Ideal for long distances and speed
Not ideal for running in cooler climates
Lacks plush cushioning in the midsole
The midsole on this design is composed of a thick yet lightweight EVA foam that is less cushioned and more responsive. When you squish the midsole down with your thumb, it isn’t as soft as you would expect from a pair of Hoka’s that are known for their plush cushioning. While it may not give you that same level of plush cushioning, the slightly rigid EVA foam offers a responsive ride that is great for speed, and it won’t squish down into a pancake over time, making it ideal for heavier runners.
What I also love about this midsole design of the Rocket X is that it also contains a carbon fiber plate sandwiched between the midsole and the outsole. This plate helps to stabilize your ankles to prevent strain when running long distances. It also helps to even out your gait cycle by keeping your feet and toes straight, which makes it ideal for runners that over or underpronate.
The outsole of this Hoka shoe is insanely durable and is constructed to withstand well over 500 miles of continued use. Plus, it is much more firm and durable than more cushioned daily trainers, which means that it will hold up quite well if you are a heavy striker or carrying a bit of extra weight. The outsole has reinforced rubber panels in high-impact areas that have a slightly tacky finish. Not only is this a great daily trainer to wear to the gym or on the treadmill, but it’s also great for slick sidewalks or dewy grass as well.
The design of this outsole is built like a tank. Hoka is generally known for its insanely durable outsoles, and the Rocket X rises to the challenge. Even after the 100-mile mark, runners found little indication of overall wear and tear on the outsole. Some runners save this durable shoe for race day, but I found that it also works incredibly well as a daily trainer.
One of the most popular features of the Rocket X is the construction of the upper. It is composed of a blend of mesh materials and cushioned padding that really locks your feet in place while keeping them cool and dry. Some runners felt that the upper of this design is so breathable that they could feel the wind rushing in through their toes. While this may be an excellent feature when running in the hot summer months, it may prove to be a little too chilly for cold-weather running.
I also appreciate that this design boasts a gusseted tongue that won’t shift around on you when you run. The top-notch lacing system boasts six eyelets that really lock the shoe down in place without digging into the top of your foot. When you find the perfect adjustment to the laces, the upper almost molds to the overall shape of your foot. The slightly flared heel collar provides plenty of additional padding that some runners love, and others feel is just a little too bulky and cumbersome.
Overall, I would recommend this shoe to any runner that is looking for a great daily trainer to really rack up the miles. If your daily runs take you over 5 miles, this is a great shoe to have strapped to your feet. The slightly cumbersome and rigid midsole feels a little awkward on slower tempo runs. Surprisingly, when you pick up the pace is when this well-designed foam outsole really kicks into high gear for light and energetic stride.
While it’s a great option for all styles and shapes of runners, I would recommend this shoe to any runner that has a heavy gait cycle or is heavier set. The build of the EVA midsole material isn’t as soft and flexible as other Hoka designs. You won’t have the same level of agility as some of the other daily trainers out there on the market, but you will be able to get far more mileage out of this shoe as a heavier runner than running shoes that are soft and cushioned.
The Hoka Rocket X runs true to size. If you are a size 10 on other Hoka shoes, the same can be said for the Rocket X. The flexible and thin upper with a detailed lacing system allows runners to tinker with the laces to find a perfect lockdown for their feet. The rigid heel counter also helps to lock feet in place while the cushioning helps to keep them supported and cuts down on the initial break-in period, which I always appreciate. No one likes breaking in new running shoes!
One thing that I found unusual about the fit of this shoe is that the toe box runs slightly narrow, which is peculiar for a Hoka running shoe. If you have the option, be sure to head to your local shoe store to give these shoes a try before you buy them. For most, the narrow toe box isn't much of an issue. However, if your feet run rather wide, it may be in your interest to buy a half size larger than normal to prevent your toes from jamming inside of this shoe.
Hoka isn’t breaking the mold with their design of the Rocket X. This shoe looks very similar to other Hokas, although it’s not quite as clunky and cumbersome as some options in their lineup. What I do love about the style of this simple shoe, however, is that it comes in a few unique color choices. What makes the design of this upper stand out from the rest is that the mesh material boasts a two-tone design.
For instance, the red and white color options have a red forefoot and a white heel counter to add a little bit of flair to an overall basic silhouette. It won’t be walking any runways any time soon, but bright pops of color will make you excited to pop these on and go for a run!
When compared to other Hoka running shoes, the Rocket X is a little more expensive than most. However, when you take into consideration the versatility of this shoe, as well as the insane durability, it is well worth the higher price point. If you are a heavier runner that seems to always burn through running shoes just as you were getting to know them, the extra cost for this highly durable and responsive shoe is well worth every penny!
When you take into consideration the high level of durability (even when you are really hard on your running shoes) the cost of the Rocket X breaks down to a great overall value.
The rigid EVA midsole coupled with the carbon fiber plate and early-stage meta rocker is the ultimate stability shoe that doesn’t actually feel like a stability shoe. While these features help to even out your gait, the responsive design keeps your stride light and bright, and is perfect for long runs.
Plus, the quality of construction is ideal for runners that have a heavy gait cycle and need something that won’t squish down into a pancake by mile 2!
If you are in the market for a responsive and durable trainer that provides modest stability features without a lot of extra weight and bulk, the Hoka Rocket X is worth checking out!