Hoka One One Valor Review

As you may know, Hoka One One Valor (pronounced Hoka O-nay O-nay) means "now it is time to fly" in Maori. The pair is best-known for its excellent lightweight (approx. 9 oz). Together with its enhanced ease and supportive elements, I find the Valor worth’s the average cost (at the time I bought).

Also, I found this true-to-size shoe qualifies my running experience, especially on solid tracks. During last 150 miles left in this pair, I realized Valor with its ultra-sized midsole, and a sock-like fit actually secures my feet and provides dynamism stride. Also, I am granted a benefit of wearing the shoe without using actual socks at first. In fact, my feet are comforted throughout the run, plus granted a fatigue-minimizing in the legs.

Highlight features and technologies

  • Many runners have a rock-solid faith in the Valor's feather-light weight. As a matter of fact, the upper of the shoe is made of full-grain leather. So, among another same category of shoe, the Valor is 15 percent lighter despite its oversized midsole.
  • Whereas, the midsole foam’s thickness is reduced 30% than traditional shoes. Hence, the shoe’s resiliency and quality are doubled that able to provide higher responsiveness. By this way, the runner could enjoy a superior bouncy.
  • Along with a low heel-off (with 36mm heel height/32 mm foot height), Valor gives the runner remarkable grip on various types of terrain. No wonder how the runner could flex and right position correctly. When comparing the current outsole with previous versions, I found the Valor’s stability and grip are increased 50 percent. That's why the runner could engage the ground dynamically and making maximum traction on various traits.
  • Likewise, the Valor with its Flat-waisted Geometry provides exceptional stability when running downhill or uphill. As a result, the runner could preserve their energy and avoid overall body fatigue. In short, the Valor features the running efficiency and injury risks.

Hoka One One Valor - Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Impressive shock absorption features provided.
  • Higher traction as for its rubber outsole.
  • The Lycra Comfort Frame upper makes it’s easier to stretch and bend flexibly.
  • Better stability due to The Flat Waisted Geometry.
  • Relatively high breathability shoe.

Cons

  • A few complaints about its tedious overall design.
  • The cushioning’s thickness makes the shoe stiffer and leads to foot pain-related problems.

Hoka One One Valor Description

Outsole

What impresses me most is the Valor’s Air mesh upper that helps to reinforce the lightweight and breathability. Besides, the Lycra Comfort Frame upper which made of stretchable fabric and recovery properties contributes to boost traction and delivers a sock-like feel. Hence, the sole doesn’t peel off easily and remains efficiently after many uses.

Hoka One One Valor outsole

With Volar, the heel-toe-transition is greatly enhanced thanks to a full ground contact technology of an outsole unit (80 percent increased than the last version). In order to make the shoe significantly comfortable for your customized-fitting adjustment, a padded tongue, heel collar and a lace-up front are provided and upgraded as well. Indeed, the elastic Race-Lake System helps me effortlessly shoe-tying with just one pull.

Midsole

Regarding the cushioning, a new material Full EVA was replaced for the standard EVA foam for a midsole. Thanks to this reasonable change, you could feel a softness beneath the feet in every movement. As for the Active Foot Frame, your feet could sink deeper into the shoe’s midsole. By this way, the shoe could gain an outstanding integrated stability.

Upper:

The Full Ground Contact is added to enhance traction efficiently. Meanwhile, a Flat-Waisted Geometry provides you noticeable stability. To serve the same purpose, the Strategic Rubber Placement is placed in this version as well.

Hoka One One Valor Review

Comfort

The lightweight, cushioning and sole are three common factors crossing my mind firstly when buying a pair of running shoes. From the pro athletes, haft-marathon, marathon trainer to the white-collar worker, it is an imperative to have right ease-featuring shoe. That's why Volar with its perfect combination of a little weight and an optimal sole astonish many runners.

The Valor with its ultra-light cushion plus ultra-sized midsole helps to reduce your knee’s movement up to 20 percent. That's how you could enjoy your running experience at best. Notably, the full-grain leather upper which is made of Lycra Comfort Frame assists you to customize your shoes snugly adapted. It explains why I have a feeling like barefoot running on a padded track when wearing the Valor. Regarding comfort, it is quite similar to the Adidas Edge Luxe.

Fit and Size

The Valor is the true-to-size shoe. As for an apparent stretchable upper fabric, you would easily bend and freely move your toes to accommodate snugly in the forefoot area. Likewise, with an available width of the medium, your medium-size feet could adapt restfully.

Specifically, a wide range of sizing is 5.5-11 US for female and 7-14 US for the male. It is agreeable to say that Valor gives a pleasant feeling for both narrow footed runner and the wide one. Besides, the Valor has its seamless synthetic supportive overlay with no-sew upper and ultra-lightweight heel. Altogether, it helps your feet comfortably fits and secured well.

The Valor is true to size. If you have a medium sized foot, the Valor’s sizing scheme would perfectly fit you. As for the forefoot, midfoot and the heel areas are measured based on a standard scale. Particularly, the Valor is available for women’s width with size B, and size D for men’s. It is quite similar to the Mizuno Wave Catalyst regarding the fit and size.

Cushioning

The Valor’s midsole which is an engineered mesh design to triple cushioning-specific efficiency than any standard running shoes. For this reason, you visibly sense of weightlessness. Also, it attenuates any shock’s impacts during toe-off phases.

However, as there are greatly softer cushioning put in the Valor’s midsole, the thickness makes the shoe quite stiff for me. It leads to an imperfection of the foot natural flexing. As a result, my feet had to stand an extra stress. So it may not make you feel a little bit tired like the Brooks Pureflow 6.

Undoubtedly, this midsole geometry gives the shoe greater rebounding foam. It provides you considerable smooth ride with excellent stability and correct-guided motion. It also allows me to move in various places as my foot transition going through the gait cycle.

Indeed, this geometry drop is worth applauding as the runner could embrace to the natural foot motion. As a matter of fact, it is crucially important to a joint to stride’s uniformity. That's why this Hoka version was improved to provide the runner greater rhythm consistency in every foot strike.

Support

Regarding a new material of midsole (R-MAT), the Valor has made it best at increasing rebound. Additionally, the dramatical outsole could grip solidly on all kind of terrains, even on the wet surface. Also, a mix of 1.5mm lug of EVA 3D-made outsole (with a high percentage of the caucus) helps to ensure its comfort and grip. No needed proving, these necessary changes hugely support the runner to have a soft cushion stride.

Despite tons of bouncy made on all surfaces, the runner could preserve a large amount of energy and protect the muscle thanks to the magical R-MAT outsole material. It assists the athlete to recovery quickly after foot pain-related breakdown, especially during the descent phase when the runner’s shoes absorb a large amount of shock. So, with a significant presence of E-MAT, your shoe’s durability is significantly strengthened.

Speed

At first, I hardly believe in this unmatched combo of the exclusive Early-Stage Meta-Rocker construction, an ultra-sized midsole, an exceptional drop and high-performance cushioning. After my self-experience, I realized how this Valor’s supportive components with intensively-enhanced flexibility lifts up my running feel.

Specifically, I could feel an evident speed of the transition to the forefoot thanks to the geometry-sculpting midsole. It is placed at a transition zone behind my metatarsal heads. Gradually, I tend to be adequately- positioned propulsion with this smooth-riding shoe. Also, my foot and my upper are given a tremendous protection by a Valor's lightweight speed frame.

Particularly, many people could not figure out any speed reduction made by this thick sole. In contrast, an updated sole which is made of soft EVA gives the shoe 30% softer. Certainly, it provides smoother feel in each stride. Along with an equal drop as Valor’s (4mm), it undoubtedly intensifies the Bondi’s durability. It is exactly like the Hoka One One.

Stability

As a provision of the CM02 dynamic EVA, the Valor is best-known for its lightweight ultra-size midsole. Also, the toe-box is now widened apparently to reduce the pounding. Besides, the Valor’s midsole is now softer and lighter than any of its traditional shoe. Hence, my shoe could avoid a situation like a stilt. In my opinion, the R-MAT midsole is truly a state-of-the-art resilience to breakdown. Quite similar to the Adidas Edge Luxe, I have availed from this upgraded durability and underfoot stability tremendously.

Besides, the lightest shoe impresses the runner by its low differential heel-toe. This minor drop 4mm (29mm under forefoot/ 33mm under the heel) along with a sculpted outsole radius in heel-to-toe section make a different fulcrum effect. For this reason, your gait circle is guided to be properly positioned. Indeed, a various type of runner’s form and running mechanic is supported to be active recovery.

Also read: Best stability running shoes

Flexibility

As for a running trail fill with the steep descent, trail debris and even uphill climb, the runner primarily worries about the shoe’s outsole. In these harsh running conditions, the running shoe firmly is required to have many flexibility-oriented components. That’s why the Valor with its unique design midsole could win the runner’s faith.

Inherently, the traditional low-to-the-ground shoes are very unstable on these rocky terrains. Comprehend this drawback; an additional foam is added to the midsole to buffer against jagged obstacles in an easier way. So together with its full ground contact design, you are actively stabilized in each bounce, float, sore or even fly in the stride. You may find the same flexibility with the Brooks Pureflow 6.

Quality and durability

This version is emphasized with the Meta-Rocker midsole geometry and engineered mesh upper. As Valor promotes its continuous positive rolling from heel- strike to toe-off motion, your energetically running is robustly enhanced.

Also, this constructive- rocker shoe has a thick sole taper from the forefoot to the front of the shoe. Consequently, I am encouraged to lean forward or toe off efficiently. I must say this effect significantly support my biomechanics.

I comprehended the bulk of multiple layers is added to mitigate an ankle stress while running on the uneven surface. However, I had a few ankles twisting and foot pain issues due to its thick sole, just like the Asics 33-FA.

Breathability

In fact, no one like wearing stuffy and oppressive shoes, especially during a long run. In order to ensure your comfort when running, Hoka enhances its upper-sole to be ultra-breathable and the insole containing 2mm Ortholite. This upgraded component supports the shoe to be antibacterial and anti-odor significantly. Indeed, I was jaw-dropping when finding both ventilation-support features, similar to the Adidas Edge Luxe.

Using EVA J-Frame construction, the Hoka One One Valor powerfully reduce overpronation. Meanwhile, the EVA foam placed around a heel section protects your foot perfectly. But the part pleases the runner evidently is an upgraded tongue. It was padded to give your feet comfortability than ever before. So there is no more torture of its annoyance caused.

Responsiveness

When experiencing a vigorous running, you indeed not want to be interfered with a shock abruption, right? That gives a reason for having Valor with each supportive 1.8 volume CMEVA+ midsole and its featured low heel off. Along with these protective-optimizing parts is the EVA 3D insole that guarantees the superior grips and comfort brought in every stride. Accordingly, you able to retain your necessary power for ongoing performance.

Indeed, this Hoka version allows many runners feel how each step rocking forward noticeably. With a low heel-toe differential and a sculpted heel-to-toe outsole radius, the fulcrum effect is made to encourage foot gait correctly positioned. Above all, it is the wide toe-box that makes the shoe attractive. Clearly, the given spacious wiggle room is comfortable for your toes resting. Thanks to the Molded Ortholite Sock liner, it’s unnecessary to worry a frustrating smell of shoes, like the Asics 33-FA. As a matter of fact, it provides outstanding odor management.

Grip and traction

The 4mm molded RVA cushioning and rebounding foam are featured in this “rocker” construction shoe. Besides, thanks to the outsole modified with full ground contact design, the shoe’s traction are enhanced remarkably. As thoroughly understand a prime importance of natural foot motion, the Valor was improved its midsole and geometry drop. So, with an offered solid grip, you able to control your feet’s movement firmly and flex shoe’s direction more conveniently. Like the Asics 33-FA, it truly makes you fill satisfied with the traction and grip.

Use

As providing two elastic bands and extensive quick-lace system, I could actively adapt to fit my feet in this pair. However, due to its tightened lacing, it put extra pressure on the back of my heel. As a result, my skin around the area was blistered. Also, the tendons under the laces have to tolerate an extra stress. After using the Mizuno Wave Catalyst, I only found the same expectation with the Hoka One One Valor.

Hence, I prefer to have more loose lacing system in the Hoka later version to mitigate the friction caused. Moreover, the provided speed lacing system make it difficult for me than with the traditional one. To cope with this slippery lacing system, I have to replace it with alternative laces of the shoe and make the fit more customizable.

Design

As a matter of fact, an appearance of the shoe does not significantly affect the shoe decision-making. Indeed, many runners primarily focus on the shoe’s function and how they feel when wearing shoes. However, the look of shoe mildly plays a middle-of-the-road importance to me. Honestly, the aesthetics make a relatively impact on my choice, though it appears at last, like the Adidas Edge Luxe.

When it comes to the Valor’s color, people easily select the best-suited color for their preference and taste. Specifically, for a male model, 5 Valor color combination are Black/Cyan/ Dresden blue/ Sulphur/ Orange Popsicle. Most of my running buddies tend to favor a darkened color such as black or gray with few minor bright. And I also have my own black Valor at current.

Whereas, three most popular colors for female are white/ pink/ citrus. Two next preferences are neon coral or Corsican blue. Among a wide range of provided color, most female buddies I knew like to wear a Pink or Corsican blue Valor. So, that’s what I could suggest, hope you could find the Valor in a color that matches your self-preference.


Several Similar Versions of Hoka One One

Hoka One One Clifton 3

This felt incredibly fast shoe has a noticeably narrow toe-box. So it would fit for a narrow width foot runner. Otherwise, you should purchase haft-size larger one to avoid being bothered when running. Apart from this weakness, Hoka One One Clifton 3 has impressive lightweight (8.8 oz.) and supportive sufficiently for a daily or tempo run. Hence, the neutral runner would favor its responsive sole due to the Early Stage Meta-Rocker technology. For this reason, it encourages a natural running motion.

Hoka One One Valor LTR

Even though the sole of the Hoka One One Valor LTR is made of the high abrasion rubber, you would want to wear it on paved trails or the road surfaces to preserve the sole's inherent life. As for the seamless upper, it genuinely enhances the shoe’s breathability and lightweight. While with the mesh shoe front, your feet could comfortably ventilate as it promotes air to flow easily. Also, a tongue is truly satisfying as it is extra padded and more comfortable than previous Hoka versions.

Aslo read: Best trail running shoes

Hoka One One

This meta-rocker design brings an incredibly pleasant feeling for the runner who wants to purchase a lightweight and supportive stability shoe. Thanks to a printed mesh upper, you would feel it’s distinctive lightweight right at the first time running in One One. Also, this material offers an excellent breathability. Plus, the shoe achieves better durability due to the high abrasion rubber sole. Following Early Stage Meta-Rocker engineered-tech, the One One expresses its function compelling.

Hoka One One Bondi 5

Though the Bondi has the over-sized sole, it’s lightweight is worth considering by many runners. Plus, a serious lightweight construction of mesh upper is updated in this version as well. This seamless upper provides sock-like fit and helps the shoe comfortable to wear in a long run. Besides, the Comfort Frame helps to enhance the shoe's stability. Apart from it's bit heavier weight than the Valor’s, Hoka One One Bondi 5 awards a maximum cushioning to support runner of all size.

Also read: Best lightweight runnning shoes

Hoka One One Gaviota

If you are looking for a motion/stability shoe, Gaviota might be the ideal one. Obviously, thanks to a high abrasion rubber sole, Gaviota is improved it’ durability and traction on most surfaces. As for a wider forefoot provided, your toes obvious feel relaxing. Though it’s slightly heavier than the Valor’s ( roughly 10 oz.), there is no significant difference in feeling. As for an upper is especially lightweight that offers excellent breathability and comfort your feet during long-run, perhaps you may want to race in it.


Similar Running Shoes from Other Brands to Hoka One One Valor

Mizuno Wave Catalyst

The Catalyst is designed for high-mileage running with it's featured durability and lightweight. Particularly, it’s outsole made of X10 compound helps to deliver durable attributes and impressive transaction. As long as there is the blown rubber outsole, the Mizuno Wave Catalyst is ensured its pressure distribution and durability for optimal ride responsiveness. Besides maximizing shock attenuation, the extremely lightweight Ui4c midsole is added to provide satisfying running experience. While the SmoothRide Technology helps to fluid motion at every stride, the articulated Pebax Fan helps to minimize pronation. Hence, the runner is supported to stabilized during heel strike transition.

Asics 33-FA

This shoe is commonly recognized for its well-balanced combination of cushioning, responsiveness, low drop, and flexibility. Undoubtedly, the high-mileage runner is truly interested at Asics 33-FA. It features the FulidAxis outsole with deep flex grooves that gives an efficient flex, along with a natural running movement of the foot. Also, this feature could greatly response to your weight and running transaction. As for a full-length Amplified midsole, it delivers an efficient cushioning for natural running. Besides, an engineered mesh upper gives the cushioning greater softness and durability for the shoe gaining extra flexibility. Likewise, this open mesh upper provides a breathable coverage and sock-like fit. Hence, it reduces significantly the irritation and blister risks. And what the runner may favor best is its ComforDry sock liner. It not only reduce odor and moisture but also adding cushioning as well.

Brooks Pureflow 6

This daily running shoe supports incredibly the neutral runner due to its Omega Flex Grooves midsole. Specifically, it allows the foot move naturally through the gait cycle. Besides, it does not impact the quality of the cushioning system at all. Meanwhile, the Rounded heel enables step moving naturally and landing easier. Likewise, the Dynamic Flex Grid in the sole encourages better flexibility, especially during toe-off phase. But what most people love perhaps is its seamless upper. Truly, it provides non-irritating one-layer mesh.

Adidas Edge Luxe

With a woven cloth upper, it gives Edge Luxe seriously appealing look. The upper features it’s synthetic material which helps to enhance the shoe’s breathability and flexibility. Moreover, a sidewall overlay which is made of separated added mesh secures the foot to fit properly in shoes. Besides, the runner is awarded a next-to-foot comfort by the offered sock-like fit upper. Following the premier Adidas technology, the Edge Luxe is enhanced for it's cushioning responsiveness, energy revived and degree of bounce mechanic. By this way, the pressure caused by food landing is lessened.

Final word

In short, this version of Hoka awards intensive protection and active dynamism in my every ultra and marathon. Besides its ultra-lightweight outsole and maximum thick cushioning, the Hoka One One Valor offers the wide range of color scheme. Hence, you are comfortably select your favorite color that tailors your taste and preference best. . Besides, the foot gets it's intensive ease thanks to an added Wraparound Heel Comfort Collar. Supported by this addition, the runner could avoid any accidental shoe-removal because their feet are well secured. All in all, this shoe provides an optimal flexibility and satisfying durability to enable you to perform a smooth riding experience on any different type of terrains.

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