THOMAS: My kids got to see Star Wars in a different way. Instead of starting at A New Hope, they began with Phantom Menace. To them, the flow seems natural. It was the same with me and this shoe, the HOKA ONE ONE Elevon 2. I didn’t even realize there was a first one, so this is where the saga begins, just with less CGI. The good news is that it’s far more fun to run in than stormtrooper boots.
THOMAS: My favorite part of Elevon 2 is the upper. HOKA calls the two-layer lateral and medial structure “Anatomical Support Wings.” They work well, locking the midfoot down. Think of it as a better version of the Saucony ISOfit system, which has now gone the way of the dodo.
The engineered mesh breathes well and fits true to size. I experienced no hotspots or rubbing in the Elevon 2. The upper disappears and becomes one less thing to think about on your runs. 2019 HOKA loves a good pull tab, and the Elevon 2 doesn’t disappoint. It’s so sturdy, Yoda could hang you upside-down by the loop over a Dagobah swamp.
The 5mm drop midsole is dual-foam, a rim and core construction. Softer PROFLY foam closer to the foot, and a firmer foam cage around it. The combo gives the Elevon 2 a unique feel in the HOKA lineup. It’s still cushioned but feels a lot firmer than a Clifton. The firmness helps the Elevon feel faster and more responsive underfoot, making it a better choice for picking up the pace over the Clifton.
Finally, on the outsole, HOKA added crystal rubber. It does the job intended by giving the shoe traction and protection. After 40-plus miles, the outsole appears to be in good shape.
MEAGHAN: If the HOKA Bondi and HOKA Clifton had a baby, this would probably be it. True to HOKA, the Elevon 2 is built with a wide frame, some serious stack height and a rocker design. The upper is an engineered mesh that’s light and breathes well. It’s a simple, clean aesthetic overall. The asymmetrical tongue is lightly padded with a cutout for added comfort. The collar is also lightly padded and comes with a giant pull tab on the back that I never used, but I suppose it’s nice to know it’s there.
Beneath the foot is HOKA’s PROFLY midsole. It’s a little softer in the heel for extra cushioning and firmer in the forefoot to help with toe-off. It’s got a smooth ride. While the shoes were a little heavier than some of my other daily trainers (my W7.5 came in at 8.7 oz), I really didn’t notice it out on the run.Shop HOKA Elevon 2 – US
THOMAS: The ride is less cushioned then you might be used to with HOKA. Not sure that this is a bad, but worth making a point. HOKA Elevon 2 is heavier, but oddly it feels fast at its current weight of 11.8 oz. Trimming some weight off would make the Elevon 2 a killer shoe.
MEAGHAN: If I double-knot my laces (which I do) I shouldn’t have to worry about them coming untied. I don’t know what slippery frickin’ coating they’re putting on these things, but nearly every single run I was stopping to retie my shoes.
Also, I can’t help but think that some of these design choices are coming straight from Nike. That extended heel? C’mon. The asymmetrical tongue with a cutout? Where have I seen that before… *cough* NEXT% *cough*. I could be wrong, but… probably not.Shop HOKA Elevon 2 – US
THOMAS: My first impression of the Elevon 2 was very positive. After a long run, I cooled on the shoe a little. My feet felt more beat up after a 17-mile run than some of my other trainers had me feeling. On the flip side, my pace was pretty good for an easy run. I would still consider it one of the better daily trainers for 2019; it just doesn’t light me up. Comparable shoes to the Elevon 2 are the HOKA Clifton 6, Skechers GOrun Ride 8 Hyper, Nike Zoom Fly 3, and the ASICS Glideride.
MEAGHAN: HOKA did not disappoint with the Elevon 2. It’s a great daily trainer with plenty of cushioning that will keep your feet and legs happy through lots of miles. Sure, I had to stop and retie my shoes a few times, but couldn’t we all use an excuse to stop mid-run once in awhile? I have put over 120 miles on mine so far and they’re still looking fresh as ever.
The HOKA ONE ONE Elevon 2 releases on Feb. 1, 2020. You can pick it up at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and returns) using the shop link below.Shop HOKA Elevon 2 – US