Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Fully Reviewed
Hoka One One, whose name literally means “Time to Fly”, is known for their maximalist shoes, but has also begun to introduce more "normal sized" shoes for track and other shorter distance racing. However, the Hoka One One Vanquish 2 is still very much a maximalist shoe, with a big section of lightweight cushion from heel to toe. This type of foot support and comfort is great for ultra distance road races, where the pavement can be hard on your joints and feet.
Pros & Cons
Durable and cushioned for long-lasting comfort Bright, exciting color options The upper is very breathable making it good for hot weather and long runs. Some testers with wider feet found it to be a little too narrow, especially in the toe box.
This geometrically designed outsole is made of a durable rubber. The high impact areas are reinforced with abrasion resistant rubber to increase the durability of the outsole. The outsole unit comes up high to cover some of the midsole, great for underfoot protection and durability. Although the outsole is thick, the outsole is lightweight. Some testers have reported using this shoe for small sections of trail
but the outsole works best on road. The outsole is wide, providing a solid base for good stability
Midsole material is where Hoka One One really excels. They are best known for their lightweight yet highly cushioned midsole. There is a 27mm stack height and most of this space is taken up by the specialized EVA material. The EVA material is dual density, providing efficient shock absorption and good energy rebound. The Early Stage Meta Rocker that is built in with the outsole design is great for delivering a smooth ride and enhanced propulsion at toe-off. The midsole material is responsive and fast, yet highly cushioned and supportive. This lightweight shoe is great for runners that are looking for cushioning without being weighed down.
This upper is made primarily of mesh and synthetic overlays. The mesh is unique and has an oval shaped pattern and with the crazy color
choices, it makes for a funky looking shoe. The air mesh material is made with Zonal 3D technology, making it a breathable, lightweight upper. The lacing system uses flat laces that lock into a reinforced area of the upper to give the shoe a supportive and comfortable fit. This shoe also has a plush tongue for added comfort.
This shoe weighs in at just over 9.8 oz for men and 8.3 oz for women which is incredibly lightweight especially for how much cushion this shoe has. With a 27mm stack height, this shoe has a ton of durable cushioning and shock attenuation for very little weight. This is the kind of construction Hoka One One
is known for and they’ve certainly done it again with this shoe.
This shoe is very breathable. The Zonal 3D mesh upper does a great job of letting air circulate inside of the shoe. There are a few synthetic overlays that give the shoe structure and lock the foot into the shoe but overall, this design offers great ventilation, making it great for warm climates or keeping feet cool in ultra
The Hoka One One Vanquish
2 is one of the most cushioned
, lightweight shoes to date. It is extremely comfortable, while still providing responsiveness. The mesh upper wraps around your foot, locking the foot in place for comfortable support. The upper is also seamless, which will help prevent blisters and hot spots. Some users with wider feet or who want more toe room were a little disappointed with how narrow the fit of the shoe was. Overall, this is a very comfortable shoe.
This shoe is loud! It has some really great funky color variations for men and women, something that Hoka One One incorporates into a lot of its oversized shoes. Due to the size of a maximalist shoe, it will get people’s attention and Hoka embraces that by providing bold color options. The oval-shaped openings on the mesh upper also lend this shoe a really unique look. Read also about yellow running sneakers.
The carbon rubber outsole and its design are highly durable and hold up to long miles
on the road. The midsole material and construction give this shoe many miles of comfortable wear, good enough for everyday use. The upper is lightweight and because of its seamless construction, there are no areas that are vulnerable to tear or premature wear.
The large amount of cushioning in this shoe is great for protecting against impact-related injuries, offering great protection for heavier runners or runners who need a little extra cushion for ultra distance races. Some runners use this shoe after suffering from overuse injuries
because of their comfort and support. This shoe also has a large base and with its Early Stage Meta Rocker, it is excellent at giving runners a smooth, supporting transition from heel to toe, preventing possible ankle rolls or other related injuries. The breathable, seamless mesh upper also works great at keeping the feet dry and blister-free, even on long distance runs.
This shoe is highly cushioned but that doesn’t mean it’s not responsive. This cushion has great rebound properties which make for a responsive ride. The Meta Rocker also adds to the responsive feeling of the shoe by getting runners quickly onto their toes, for a faster turnover.
Many testers compare the Hoka One One Vanquish line to the Hoka Clifton
line and many draw the same conclusions - the Vanquish is a more supportive shoe. While it still caters to a neutral stride, this shoe really wraps around the midfoot and doesn’t allow for a ton of movement in the foot which is great for ultra distances. This support guides the foot to move in a natural way.
This shoe is designed for road use. There aren’t lugs that would provide solid traction and dig into technical trails
; however, the shoe works well on light trails. The broad, supportive base provides comfort and stability on uneven terrain. The lightweight carbon outsole and the flat grip throughout the outsole are great at standing up to extended road use.
The suggested retail price of this shoe was $230 USD when it was first released, and although it is still more expensive than other Hoka One One shoes, thankfully, the price has decreased a lot. You can now find this shoe on Amazon for around $80 USD, making it a great deal for a shoe that’s as comfortable and supportive as this one.
The outsole is made of carbon rubber and is reinforced in some key areas, especially around the forefoot area. This part is visibly grippier with the wave pattern on the outsole. The reason Hoka One One designed this shoe with a little more traction in the forefoot area is due to the shoe’s meta rocker design is built to get you transitioning quickly and getting you on your toes for a good push off. This rubber outsole is also great at providing traction on wet, paved surfaces.
One thing about maximalist shoes is that you are never going to get a ton of flexibility in them and this is because of their design and the space needed for the ample amount of cushioning they provide. This rigidity is great for runners needing more support or those looking for a comfortable shoe without a ton of ground feel. This comfortable rigidity works wonders with the meta rocker and is great for providing support for ultra distance races.
This shoe has some great stability features while still catering to a neutral stride. The meta rocker encourages a fast, smooth transition and an overall stable ride. This shoe also has a wide base to support its large size, which in turn increases the shoes inherent stability. The upper is also great at locking in the foot and the shoe has a secure heel cup area, providing additional support.
The heel to toe offset for the Vanquish 2 is 5mm, which is ideal for a neutral running shoe. At this drop, the foot sits almost flat on the platform, which is great for natural running. There is just a little bit of offset between the heel and toe to promote a natural toe off and a quicker turnover.
• Lightweight dual-density EVA midsole
• Highly abrasion resistant carbon rubber outsole
• Seamless Zonal 3D mesh upper
• Early Stage Meta Rocker
• Comfortable padded tongue and lacing system
The Hoka One One Vanquish 2 is one of the lightest, most cushioned shoes on the market. The designers managed to shave off 2 whole ounces compared to the original Vanquish, while still providing tons of cushioning to this maximalist shoe. Some might shy away from the original price tag but keep in mind that when compared to other Hoka One One shoes, this shoe is more supportive and lighter than other models and on most websites, this high quality, comfortable shoe can be found on sale. This shoe is ideal for ultra runners or injury-prone runners looking for a cushioned shoe that will help promote good form as well as recover and/or prevent injuries.