So I waited, and waited and finally broke. I went on to the net and purchase a pair of Hoka Stinson 3 ATR shoes. I was really excited for them to come in the mail.
The STINSON 3 ATR features signature category-defining HOKA ONE ONE cushioning and support, and has been redesigned from the ground up. Updates include a more precise late-stage Meta-Rocker for improved forefoot support, and tuned underfoot geometry for improved ride and stability off-road. The upper features ComfortFrame in the heel and midfoot for improved fit, and light padding on the tongue for increased comfort. The Stinson 3 ATR is designed to be durable enough for the roads while providing ample traction on the trails.
That was the sales pitch from the web.
Now I know it usually takes a few runs in a shoe to really know if you like them or not, so I really tried to take my time in determining if they would work for me. And I really, really wanted them to be the best shoe I had ever ran in, but that is just not the case for me. Here are the issues I had:
- The heel really slipped pretty bad on me. I tried to re-lace them several times and finally got it laced right, but it seemed to always be on my mind that my heel slipped. It wasnlt a good fit for me.
- It actually made one of my feet hurt after running. Now this may be a "that's the way God made me" issue, but the shoe never really molded to my foot like other shoes did and I think it made me alter might stride or footstrike, which is never good.
- The shoe felt tight on one foot vs. the other foot. Not sure how to explain that and again I went in search of different lacing methods to help, but I never got the right shoe feeling "right"
- Knee pain. Now I cannot say this is 100% due to the shoes, but I did do an experiment. I ran with my Hokas, and then I came home and changed into my Brooks shoes. My knees did not bother me in the Brooks shoes like the Hokas.
- To be fair, I did put about 30 miles on the Hokas before I made my decision.