Trail Tested: HOKA ONE ONE Evo Mafate

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Price: $170

Today I got a Strava Crown wearing the HOKA ONE ONE Evo Mafate.

Okay, fine. Last week, Jim Walmsley broke the course record at the Western States 100 wearing the same shoe.

Walmsley, at the finish of the 2018 Western States 100, having broken the record.

The Evo Mafate is the latest, greatest anomaly from HOKA ONE ONE. The shoe is rugged, has great traction, has ample cushioning with ~30mm of stack height, and get this, it’s lightweight. In comparison to other shoes in the HOKA line, the Evo Mafate has more cushioning and traction than the Challenger ATR4 and is a more comfortable endurance race shoe than the Speedgoat 2. The new and improved upper in the Evo Mafate utilizes a patented MATRYX® fabric that has enough room in the toe box while still offering a comfortable foot-harnessing feel.  

The Evo Mafate feels like it has more Meta-Rocker than other HOKA models, despite HOKA listing the same geometry. This is not a bad thing. On uphills, the shoes maintains great traction with best-in-class Vibram Mega-Grip rubber and 5mm lugs. On flats, the Evo Mafate transitions responsively from the heel through the ball of the foot. On the downhills, this shoe is like an Enduro mountain bike. It absolutely rips.

From short hilly runs to miles and marathons through muddy creeks, the Evo Mafate holds up well and drains effectively when wet (with rugged trail 80 miles on the shoe, there is no noticeable separation of materials). The Evo Mafate weighs in at 8.5oz of women and 9.6oz for men, making it a terrific candidate for longer efforts. We often have to choose: sacrifice durability or have a rugged shoe with added ounces? Now the choice is easy.

—Jeff Colt, an avid mountain runner, lives in Carbondale, Colorado. He seeks trails, tele turns, freshly baked bread and high-mountain huts.

Want to Know What It Takes to Finish at Western States? Just Ask Hellah Sidibe.

Find out what happened when this six-year run streaker and HOKA Global Athlete Ambassador took on an iconic ultramarathon in California's Sierra Nevada