HOKA RINCON: ENDURANCE REVIEW

Melanie Mitchell | July 18, 2019

HOKA RINCON REVIEW - CHASE YOUR TRIATHLON

by RAFAEL PACHECO  | JULY 2019



HOKA RINCON: A TRIATHLETE/RUNNER ROAD TEST

As a brand new shoe hot off the running shoe press, the HOKA Rincon has caused some excited chatter amongst runners and triathletes. The shoe has come out of the gates running (pun intended) and straight onto the feet of eager long-miler runners looking to see if the Rincon will live up to their expectations. 

We invited athlete and HOKA uber-fan Rafael Pacheco to take the newly-launched Rincon out for a run or two… So he knocked out forty miles in them over the course of a few days - ‘a light week’.

Rafa is a 13-time qualifier for the Boston Marathon, and 19-time Ironman athlete, including a couple of Ironman World Championship performances over the course of his athletic career.  That tells us, he's an athlete who spends a lot of miles running, giving him the time to really contemplate each and every inch of a shoe as he logs the miles.

Read on to learn more about why Rafa thinks the Rincon is perfect for both high-mileage runners and triathletes.

THE HOKA RINCON: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

RAFA PACHECO: IRONMAN ATHLETE & MARATHON RUNNER

I’ve run a lot of mileage over the years - both short and fast, and long and endurance.  I’ve gone through countless shoe styles and brands and admittedly, the HOKA Rincon is one of the best shoes I've had the chance to run in over the last few years. 

Thanks to the designers at HOKA, they have taken the best parts from Hoka’s stable of styles and put them into one sweet running shoe.  For this runner, it’s as if they read my mind, and took all my favorite features and re-created them in the Rincon. They should have called it the ‘Rafa’!

Seriously though, Rincon has the makings of the best aspects you can ask for in a running shoe. 

HOKA RINCON: WHAT TO EXPECT

A couple of things to note about the Rincon. Firstly, you can really feel the cushion on the heel, especially useful if you have a tendency to heel strike, but don't let that put you off if you're more of a forefoot runner - there's something there for you too. Keep reading for more on the forefoot.

Hoka is known for it's lightweight shoes, and the Rincon is even light by Hoka standards weighing in at 7.7oz (men's) and 6.3oz (women's).  Add to that, the wide sole on the back makes it a very stable ride. 

The game-changer about the Rincon is it’s more responsive than what we’re used to from HOKA, which checks the box for the Rincon as a go-to racing shoe with the cushion you need to save your legs to race hard another day.

Other key Rincon points every runner needs to know - the toe box is medium size and the shoe runs true to size - taking the guess-work out of buying decisions.  With a medium 5 mm drop it does feel like most shoes. The exterior of the Rincon has a nice soft upper mesh and tongue and there no seams on the inside to be bothersome. 

HOKA RINCON: TWO SHOES IN ONE

Where I think the Rincon wins is it almost acts like two different shoes. If you sit back, heel strike, you’ll get cushion. If you’re running on the forefoot, you get the feel of the road better than other Hoka shoes. With this in mind, the Rincon is going to work for different types of runners at different tempos of; it’s bold for any running occasion.

The heel is a little higher on this shoe and the pull tab sits a little lower, although much easier to grab, it’s not as functional as it is intended. I think it just takes up space.

One stand-out on the Rincon is the lesser arch support. Why is this an improvement over other shoes like Claytons, for example?  These had rubber from the outside and ran high on the arch. For some runners, this created a hot spot and blisters on your arch.  With the Rincon, if you need arch support, you can simply add an insole like Currex, and for those who don’t, the Rincon reduces the chance of hotspots. 

HOKA RINCON: COMPARABLE STYLES

The closest HOKA style I can recall to the Rincon is the Napali. The Rincon takes the concept of that style and upgrades it to be more responsive and lighter.  For those who can remember that far back, the Rincon is a superior version of the HOKA Clifton 1's; a ground-breaking style when they launched. 

If you’re looking for a running shoe in racing flat weight and capabilities that also has cushion for everyday mileage the Rincon is your shoe.

Definitely count me in for a few pairs.

SHOP HOKA ONE ONE RINCON

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: RAFA PACHECO

Rafa Pacheco is a 13-time Boston Marathon qualifier and 19-time Ironman athlete. He was proudly the lone athlete flying the Puerto Rico flag at the 2017 Ironman World Championships. 

As an early adopter of the HOKA brand, Rafa has worked his way through a wide selection of styles and, by his own choice (not by paid endorsement - although he’s open to offers!), he elected to wear HOKA shoes in his previous six Ironman races including two World Championships in Kona. 

He’ll be adding the Rincon into his shoe rotation as he trains for the marathon Wanda Age Group World Championships in London 2020 and goes for his third Ironman World Championship spot in Kona. 

Rafa Pachecho - Hoka Rincon Review