Thomas: HOKA is kicking out new shoes on the reg in 2019! In just the last few months they added two carbon shoes, updates to the Clifton, and introduced the Rincon. The Rincon is going to be a crowd-pleaser and should work for most runners. So buckle up while we go over the details.
THOMAS: The first thing you should know about the Rincon is that it’s light. I mean, really light. The Rincon in size 10.5 weighs 7.7 oz., 218 grams. That is flyweight for a shoe that can easily handle a 50k. How did they do it?
For starters, the upper on the Rincon is light (duh) and breathable with wide webbing under the sheer top layer. The mesh moves and cradles the foot without rubbing. The lacing is standard–no tricks or gimmicks here–while a medium to thin unattached tongue protects the top of your foot from the flat laces.
On the inside of the Rincon, there is more structure from what I would call a reverse overlay, which sounds like a trick a 5’10” white dude would do at a slam-dunk contest. In Thomas shoe-speak, it’s an overlay on the inside of the shoe rather than the outside. Its purpose here is to deliver lateral and medial support and structure. The system works to lock your foot over the midsole.
A softly padded collar and rigid heel counter finish off the upper in comfort. A nice feature that HOKA includes on many of its shoes this year is a generous pull loop on the rear of the shoe. Not only is the pull useful, but it also looks cool, like a little tiny spoiler. Unfortunately, it’s just made of nylon, not carbon fiber. Fast, but not furious.
The midsole is very similar EVA to the Clifton, so at first, I was wondering what the difference would be between the two. Consider the Rincon a stripped-down Clifton with one other distinctive characteristic–the Rincon has a more aggressive early-stage meta rocker. What that means is the area where the rocker begins starts a little earlier, and the toe-off is more exaggerated than the Clifton’s. All of this is done to create a faster fell through your stride, and it works.
The cushioning leans towards soft, and the more I ran in the Rincon, the softer it got. Comfort-wise, I did a 17-mile workout in them, and my legs and feet felt good during and after. Stack height is 29mm in the heel and 24mm in the forefoot, a total of 5mm drop.
There is a small amount of rubber on the outsole, mostly near the toes for traction and the heel for durability. This also helps keep the weight down. Will it hold up over 350 miles? We will see.Shop HOKA ONE ONE Rincon
THOMAS: The Rincon does make a compromise between being a fast shoe and a daily trainer. It excels as a daily trainer but lacks a little pop for a true speed shoe. The sizing may be a little tricky as well. While my normal 10.5 fit well, there was a little extra room at the toe, not enough for me to go down a size, but for some, going down may be an option to consider.Shop HOKA ONE ONE Rincon
THOMAS: I thoroughly enjoyed my miles in the Rincon. With as many shoes as we get to review, it is a challenge to get high mileage on every pair. We get at least 20 miles on a shoe before we review it, but I kept going and put 52 miles on the Rincon, including a couple runs in the upper teens.
You can use the Rincon as your main beau–long, short, fast, and slow miles will all be good in the Rincon. Transitions are smooth, and the ride is plush.
The Rincon is a lighter, quicker cousin to the Clifton; if you like the Clifton, you will dig the Rincon. Initially, I felt the Rincon could replace the Clifton, but after putting miles in on the Clifton 6, I feel there is room for both shoes in my rotation. I enjoy the Rincon for a faster and lighter feel, while the Clifton 6 is better utilized as a firmer, more solid-platform daily trainer. Both shoes are great choices for piling on miles this summer. You can pick up the Rincon at Running Warehouse for $114.95.Shop HOKA ONE ONE Rincon