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Road Running Shoes • February 11, 2020

HOKA ONE ONE Cavu 3 Performance Review

hoka cavu 3 feature

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 7.2 oz./204g for a US M9.0
  • Features a new (and quite secure) knit upper
  • Accentuated rocker for faster transitions
  • It’s 2020, strangers are giving compliments on HOKAs, and we’re here for it

ERIN: I like when I get to review an updated version of a shoe that I’ve reviewed in the past. Rather than go back and read the old review prior to writing the new one, I like to wait until after I’ve written the new review to see whether my feelings on the old model still hold true.

Even after putting 50 miles on a pair of shoes, feelings can– and sometimes do– change. That’s life, man. What I remember about the Cavu 2 is liking the shoe, but not being blown away by it. It was okay. A milquetoast of a shoe.

Is the Cavu 3 a past memory come back to life? Let’s find out.

The Good

ERIN: While there was nothing I disliked about the Cavu 2, I will say that the 3 is better in almost every way. I’m not entirely sure what has changed (HOKA says that the midsole is just a top layer of ProFly over an “updated” EVA foam), but I will say that it feels more responsive than the Cavu 2.

Maybe my only “complaint” about the 2 was that the midsole felt sort of… hollow, almost? It was kinda flat, but being so light, it was something I could look past. Maybe I’m just not really crazy about ProFly in general. Anyhow. This midsole feels more substantial and responsive. You can also feel the meta-rocker, which I don’t remember in the 2.

The upper on the 3 is entirely different; while the 2 had a smooth, almost slippery (that’s slippery like eel, not bedroom) upper, the 3 has a stretch knit upper with a bootie construction. This almost always makes a shoe more difficult to get on and is true in this case as well. However, once on, the fit is much better than the prior version, which was roomy. The knit upper in the 3 offers a great, secure fit.

These also look good. I mean, that’s important. I’ve gotten a couple random compliments on these so far, and how often do you hear someone say “man, that’s a good-looking shoe” in reference to a HOKA? I’m still waiting for someone to compliment my Speedgoats.

Shop HOKA Cavu 3 – US

hoka cavu 3 upper

The Bad

ERIN: While I do, overall, prefer the midsole and the ride of the 3 compared to the 2, I will say that, even with the meta-rocker, transitions in this shoe aren’t as transition-y as I’d like. It’s less noticeable at faster speeds, though, and so far I’ve mostly worn these for longer, easier efforts. But that’s it. That’s all I got.

Shop HOKA Cavu 3 – US

hoka cavu 3 outsole

HOKA ONE ONE Cavu 3 Conclusion

ERIN: If you still think that HOKA only makes giant clown shoes for the slightly-too-young-for-Air-Monarchs set, think again, pal. The Cavu is the HOKA of now. The HOKA for the kids, and the kids are all right.

You can pick up the HOKA ONE ONE Cavu 3 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) for $120 by using the link below.

Shop HOKA Cavu 3 – US

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