Since they were launched right at the height of the minimalist shoe trend they stood out amongst the zero drop minimal cushioning alternatives and if you weren’t singing Hokas praises then you were probably firmly in the side against them.
Hoka lovers claim the shoe allows them to fly downhill and run further without muscle soreness.
The detractors claim the massive cushion will decrease the proprioreceptive feedback your feet give your brain, making you a less efficient runner. They will increase ground contact time which will slow you down and the height of the shoe would increase instability making them a poor choice for trails.
Fast forward a few years later and the biggest trend in running shoes for 2014 is for light weight maximally cushioned shoes – very similar to the Hokas.
So why the swing towards maximalist cushioned shoes?