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The maximalist Hoka One One's now probably outsell the entire minimalist running shoe category

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Craig Payne, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    I posted this in the thread on the Hoka One One, but thought I would start a separate discussion on it. I also posted it on twitter and got quite a response!

    For those who have been following the trends in running shoes sales in the USA from companies like Leisure Trends and SportOneSource, every month since about late 2012 there has been a decline in sales of minimalist running shoes.

    This decline has happened despite the considerable social media presences, all the evangelists on minimalism and all the websites devoted to promoting it and all the media and running magazine articles on it....not to mention all the books about it as well!

    Based on the recent few months of sales figures, the minimalist market at the running specialty level is probably going to be worth ~$30 million in 2014.

    Queries I have made to LT and SoS over the last yr regarding sales figures for the super max Hoka One One running shoes is that the sales were not yet showing up on their radar. Over the last 12 months there have been increasing reports on just how popular the Hoka's were becoming, with comments being made that at some ultramarathons that up to 1/2 to 2/3rd's of the competitors were wearing Hoka's - that is remarkable! When has one brand ever been that dominant?

    Now an analyst from SoS just mentioned:
    ...a response I got from the company is that $35 mill is probably an underestimate.

    That now means that Hoka One One as a brand and super cushioned running shoe now outsells the entire minimalist category!

    That is a remarkable achievement as there is no one out there evangelizing maximalism, like what I mentioned above re minimalism.

    Then there are the shoes like the well padded Brooks Transcend; my understanding is that in the USA, on any given day that no one running shoe model gets more than 3-4% market share. On 1 Feb when this shoe was released, it got 7%!!!!! A remarkable achievement and a testament to Brooks's marketing.

    Runners have voted with their feet.

    BTW: I not promoting Hoka One One's over any other brand or category, but merely reporting my observations (which the fan boys are not going to be happy with!)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2014
  2. In other words, Dan Lieberman was wrong, Mark Cuccazella was wrong, Nick Campitellis was wrong, Blaise Dubois was wrong and finally, and most important to me, Christopher McDougall was wrong. This means that McDougall's book, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, was, I correctly stated years ago, a semi-fictional novel, or better put, a prime example of cherry-picking, opportunistic writing with an agenda at its worst.

    Good to see the whole barefoot-minimalist running shoe fad swirl ever so slowly down the toilet into eternal oblivion!
     
  3. Steve The Footman

    Steve The Footman Active Member

    HOKA's outsell a few of the major brands in our store. I was sceptical of them in the beginning and only put them in on consignment initially. We have also experienced a significant and swift decline in demand for minimalist shoes. Most of the people who bought them were not our regular runners clientele.

    I thought Born to Run was fiction.:confused:
     
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Thanks Steve! That is pretty typical of what a lot of retailers are saying. I posted this in another thread:
     
  5. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

    If the Hoka's really are selling that well where are all the injuries that these super soft running shoes are supposed to cause?
     
  6. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Indeed! You pick a few anecdotes here and there on an injury allegedly caused by a Hoka, but not remotely close to what happaned with the minimalist shoes! Transitioning to a shoe in either category is always going to be important.

    BUT, according to the fan boys the super cushioned shoes are supposed to induce all sorts of bad running form that leads to all sort of bad injuries .... well it ain't happening.

    Who remembers this comment in the thread of on the Adidas boost:
    I had a bit a fun with him, but never did get a response! .. and we never did see this published:
     
  7. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Its just been pointed out to me that Vibram did $100 mil last yr (but not all that was "running"). The 30 mill I mentioned above was from the 'running specialty' retail.
     
  8. Steve The Footman

    Steve The Footman Active Member

    The original HOKA's had a very stiff midsole which would not flex at the MPj's. This compromised FF function in the runners whose propulsion was created more from calf than hamstring force. It created transverse plane compensations in these runners as well as pain in the 1st MPJ. The newer HOKAs seem to have addressed this issue.

    HOKAs also have some minimalist tendencies such as minimal control and minimal heel height differential (heel drop/pitch etc). This can be still a factor for people with sagittal plane issues.

    Being higher off the ground and softer they have a larger moment arm and greater potential for frontal plane instability however this is partially reduced by the significant full length flange on the midsole. This flange can then be a problem if your foot shape does not match the shoe.

    I have only put one pair of orthotics into one of these shoes but I am curious to see what the result will be in a year to the popularity of these shoes.

    Theoretically softer shoes should reduce proprioception and then reduce the body's coordinated response to ground impact and increase shock forces through the knee. The leg is a big shock absorber through the tuned eccentric contraction of the Quads and Calves. Perhaps HOKA's work because shock attenuation is not really that big a factor in running injuries as we believe. What a soft shoe may do is dampen the frequency of the shock wave and perhaps this is a bigger factor in running injuries. This would at least explain why minimalist shoes have such a problem with creating stress fractures.
     
  9. Here is a post I wrote on the Hoka One One here on Podiatry Arena on August 11, 2011:

    Hoka Ones

    It's nice to see that many others appear to be having the same initial impressions with these shoes that I had with them from over 3.5 years ago when I first reported on these shoes here on Podiatry Arena.
     
  10. Steve The Footman

    Steve The Footman Active Member

    "I guess that "minimalist shoes" are out and "maximalist shoes" are on the way in."

    Some prescience in this statement Kevin.
     
  11. I do like it when my predictions come true.;):drinks
     
  12. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    For the record KK.. I called out Lieberman and minimalism in June 2009 with what I described as "the great barefoot swindle". A battle royal ensued, including memorable head to head conflict with Lieberman, Cuccazella and Dubois.. they all lost and retreated with their tails between their legs because they were bending down to false prophets. I sent many messages to Mcdougal (tellingly I just completely forgot his name and had to refer to your posting to remember), but he never had the courage to show up for debate with me, you , or anyone else armed with the proper science as far as I know.
    These guys should all hang their heads and crawl back to wherever they came from, because at the end of the day, by selling snake oil ideas, they have actively contributed to the injury, possible permanent, of countless hundreds of thousands of runners. It is a phenomenon and a shameful thing that may never be repeated.
     
  13. Yeah, Simon, but don't you miss it....like a hole in the head....:rolleyes::empathy:
     
  14. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    i don't miss it.. in the end.. i was completely bored by it and hated talking about it.. at least it has fomented new better and more relevant debate on athletic footwear! trust all is well in Sacramento!
     
  15. I'm happy now....it's raining again....probably going now from record drought to just a severe drought here in California!;)
     
  16. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Here is the latest graph on Hoka One One vs Vibram Five Fingers from Google Trends:
     

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  17. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    Hoka Ones are the most comfortable for me but the pair I bought 3 months ago already need to be replaced. The uppers are poor quality and are torn and the soles are worn out as the EVA is a low durameter. I only jog 2 miles twice a week so its not like I am running every day in them. If I am going to spend $169 on a pair of shoes I would like to have them last longer as I am cheap. My New Balance 860s are good for 12 months with my activity and the uppers never tear.

    Steven
     
  18. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Steven; that is unusual; contact Hoka. All the comments I read from the ultramarathoners is that they last the usual 500-600 miles that most shoes last.
     
  19. Steven:

    I agree with Craig. I have a number of my patients in Hokas, I have had two pair and I am in close contact with Fleet Feet, which is one of the largest running shoe stores in Northern California, and they have not noted that the Hokas are wearing out any sooner than other running shoes. Of course, the EVA is low durometer...if they were high durometer they wouldn't be as cushiony and, in my opinion, they wouldn't be so popular.
     
  20. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    Craig and Kevin:

    Thanks for your comments. I will purchase another pair as they are so comfortable and hopefully I will get more miles out of them. My first pair lasted much longer and hopefully so will my next pair.

    Steven
     
  21. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    I finally came across someone evangelizing maximalism!:
    The House of Cushion from Road Runners Sports:
    http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/content/content1.jsp?contentId=14200101
    (watch the video and look at the hype!)
     
  22. This all is very funny to me. My, my, my...how things have changed over the past few years!

    Now all we need now is for Chris McDougall to write a new book:

    "Born to Run: In Cushioned Shoes".
     
  23. JackieSmith

    JackieSmith Member

    I have Hoka Rapa Nui trail and thought they were holding up well but just checked and the upper has split on one. I average 45-55miles a week but mainly keep the hokas for long runs - I tend to get an ouchy post tib tendon in anything else. Shorter midweek runs are generally in whatever i can first put my hands on in the jumble of shoes by the front door. I really really like the hokas but agree with what I have also read about maybe going up in size as they have quite a rigid toebox. As my (now lack of) toenails can testify after a recent 3000m descent on rocky terrain.
    I'm glad they are doing well but have yet to see any worn locally. Inov8 and Salomon, with the occasional vibram at a race still seem to be the most popular here, in my highly unscientific observations!
     
  24. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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  25. Jim Van Dine (President of Hoka) and Angel Martinez (President of Deckers/Parent Company of Hoka) are both, like myself, former Aggie Running Club members. Angel and I ran together for the XC and track teams for the UC Davis Aggies. He was the best runner on our XC team.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2002/08/12/smallb10.html?page=all
     
  26. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Here is why no one (except the fan boys) take self selected online surveys seriously.

    Ultramarathoning.com are running an online survey of what are the most popular running shoe.

    At the moment Vibrams are at 2% and Hoka's are at 9%

    BUT, Altra are at 19% (most popular) and Pearl Izumi are at 17% (second most popular) .... guess which two companies are promoting the survey via their social media accounts! ... and the fan boys wonder why this type of research is not taken seriously.
     
  27. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Altra's social media marking is working - they now at 21%!!
     
  28. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    23% .... gofigure!
     
  29. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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  31. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Couple of interesting snippets in my Google search trend alerts today:
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
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  34. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    ASICS goes maximalist apparently..
     

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    Press Release:
    HOKA ONE ONE Wins Runner's World Editor's Choice Award for Clifton Shoe
     
  37. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

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    Shout out to Carl Jones for posting this on Facebook. Its the cover of this months Competitor magazine!
     

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    Press Release:
    HOKA ONE ONE Launches its Largest Line Ever for Spring 2015
     
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  40. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    l dont know that the product has caught on in Melbourne, l notice only one retailer supplying the product here?
     
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