Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Introduction
As a model that dominates the each day coach market with their maximalist, rockered workhorses, Hoka’s racing sneakers go away so much to be desired. The Carbon X 3 had a very free higher with heel slippage whereas the unique Rocket X didn’t really feel like a brilliant shoe. Each racers didn’t supply as a lot pace help as different tremendous sneakers.
The issue is that their compression molded EVA foam works effectively of their coaching sneakers however when utilized in a racing shoe, it lacks the vitality return and dynamism required in a aggressive racing shoe.
PEBA (polyether block amide) is among the hottest midsole foams utilized in tremendous sneakers as a result of it’s gentle and it gives an unbelievable quantity of vitality return. It was first made standard by Nike’s Vaporfly however now it’s utilized by Saucony, Reebok, Skechers, Beneath Armour, and Mizuno. The Rocket X 2 is now additionally PEBA powered.
The brand new Rocket X 2 weighs 8.3 oz (235 g) for a males’s US 9 which is sort of a bit heavier than the Vaporfly 2 and the Metaspeed Sky+. It’s 0.9 oz (26 g) heavier than the primary Rocket X. The stack heights have been elevated from 30 mm/25 mm to 36 mm/31 mm.
When the Rocket X got here out again in 2020, it price solely $180. A carbon-plated racer which was the identical worth as a max-cushioned coach represented extraordinarily good worth. Now, only one model later, it prices $250, most likely the largest leap in worth ever within the historical past of trainers.
At $250, you count on it to compete with the quickest marathon racers in the marketplace. Spoiler: it does.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 First Impressions
After I tried the Rocket X 2 on within the retailer, the toe field felt actually slender (like most Hokas) so I made a decision to go up a half measurement from my common measurement. Most runners who’re planning to run lengthy distances in it might want to go up a half measurement.
My first run was a exercise of 1 km intervals adopted by 200 m intervals. Inside the first 500 m of the nice and cozy up, I may really feel that the Rocket X 3 was one thing particular. It felt softer and far more bouncy than every other Hoka shoe I had tried.
The plate setup mixed with the brand new tremendous foam within the midsole made the shoe really feel extremely propulsive and snappy. Transitions felt very clean and the cushioning felt deep sufficient to deal with the complete marathon distance.
It felt fully totally different to the unique Rocket X and it jogged my memory extra of the Vaporfly Subsequent% 2 however with a wider midfoot part and a extra steady base.
The higher match was snug however I did discover a little bit of a free heel so I needed to cease to tighten the laces as soon as.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Higher
The Rocket X 2 has an higher made out of a plastic-like materials which feels much like VaporWeave of the Vaporfly Subsequent% 1. It’s clean, doesn’t stretch and doesn’t take in liquid. I discover breathability to be average- the higher doesn’t have giant holes for the warmth to flee.
Its flat tongue is semi-gusseted and it doesn’t slide sideways however does slide downwards throughout runs. I discover that once I put on skinny socks, I can really feel the lacing stress on the highest of my toes if I tie it too tight as a result of the tongue is so skinny.
There’s no heel counter and there’s solely padding on the within of the heel counter on the edges, not the again, so the heel at all times feels prefer it’s free however there’s no heel slippage if I take advantage of a runner’s knot and tie it tight sufficient.
The Rocket X 2 has a slender match with a really slender toe field so go up a half measurement in case you take pleasure in a bit extra toe splay room. I do really feel that almost all runners will discover a half measurement larger rather more snug than true to measurement. I don’t advocate it for broad footed runners as a result of it has a typical Hoka, slender match.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Sole Unit
So how briskly is the Rocket X 2 and can it compete with the quickest tremendous sneakers? The reply is a convincing sure. In my view, the Rocket X 2 affords simply as a lot pace help as the highest tier racers at present in the marketplace. The mix of the brand new foam and the redesigned carbon plate propel you ahead powerfully, like a springboard. The sooner you go, the extra propulsion you’re feeling.
These runners who’ve been wishing that Hoka would change from old style EVA foam to one thing extra energetic won’t be dissatisfied with the ProFly X within the Rocket X 2. To me, it feels most much like Adidas’ Lightstrike Professional however softer and extra bouncy.
The carbon plate is stiff and has an aggressive placement within the midsole- it begins excessive within the heel after which dips down, near the bottom within the forefoot like an S-shape. I’m a bit dissatisfied that the entrance of it’s forked as a result of the Rocket X 2 may have been much more propulsive. Puma realised this and altered to a daily, non-forked plate design within the Deviate Nitro Elite 2; it feels a lot snappier than the primary model.
The Rocket X 2 doesn’t really feel as tall as different tremendous sneakers just like the Wave Rebel Professional or the Alphafly Subsequent% 2. The rationale for that is that the froth compresses actually simply so while you’re putting the bottom, the midsole edges encompass your toes and you’re feeling such as you’re contained in the shoe, not on high of it- that is Hoka’s bucket seat function. Because of this the Rocket X 2 feels rather more steady to me than say the Vaporfly 2 or the Adios Professional 3.
It has a 5 mm drop which is identical because the Metaspeed Sky+ and is decrease than the common tremendous shoe. 5 mm is the usual Hoka drop and I can’t say I discover greater than a better drop throughout runs. My calves/Achilles don’t get stiff after runs and I don’t really feel that I want the additional help to get from heel to toe-off whereas transitioning.
There’s a big cavity or void beneath the Rocket X 2, located underneath the rearfoot and midfoot. This can be a key consider dropping the load of the shoe and rising vitality return by permitting the plate and midsole foam to deform throughout footstrikes. New Stability additionally makes use of this of their SuperComp sequence in addition to varied different racers just like the Deviate Elite 2, Wave Rebel Professional and Endorphin Elite.
My longest run within the Rocket X 2 was 40 kilometres at largely regular tempo with a bit at marathon tempo. It had sufficient cushioning for the complete distance and it felt steady all through the run. That is positively a brilliant shoe that you need to use for a full marathon even when your kind shouldn’t be nice.
I examined the Rocket X 2 at quite a lot of paces and it may deal with all of them. From simple tempo all the way down to 100 m tempo, the Rocket X 2 felt punchy and propulsive though I really feel that it’s greatest suited to marathon tempo resulting from how tender its trip is and its 8.3 oz (235 g) weight.
The Rocket X 2’s outsole is comparatively flat so transitions are actually clean. It has a very good quantity of rubber protection and the uncovered midsole foam is sturdy so it doesn’t chip or scrape as simply as ZoomX foam. I didn’t have any issues with grip however I didn’t get an opportunity to check it on moist roads.
Hoka One One Rocket X 2 Conclusions
The Rocket X 2 is now deserving of its identify. It’s not even similar to the primary model as a result of it’s a lot sooner, softer, and more practical at pace help. It’s heavier than the Rocket X 1 and much more costly however no less than Hoka has a correct tremendous shoe now. I feel $250 is a good worth for the Rocket X 2 while you have a look at opponents in the identical worth vary.
It’s not good although: I feel the higher of the Rocket X 2 might be improved. Its toe field is just too slender and there isn’t sufficient padding within the heel so it feels free. For some runners preferring feather gentle racers, the Rocket X 2 may even be too heavy.
I might nevertheless race a full marathon within the Rocket X 2. It affords loads of pace help and it’s softer than the Endorphin Elite and Adios Professional 3. It’s additionally comparatively steady and decently sturdy for a racing shoe. I feel it’s a greater racing shoe than the NB SC Elite v3, the ASICS Metaspeed Sky+ and the Alphafly Subsequent %2.
In case you take pleasure in a racer with a very tender trip, the Rocket X 2 could be the number one decide as a result of it outperforms the SC Elite v3- its higher is so significantly better and the midsole geometry is extra aggressive.
The Rocket X 2 is my favourite Hoka operating shoe up to now. Being such a big and standard model, they’ve lastly invested in a midsole foam which might compete with the perfect by way of vitality return and cushioning softness.
Profly X makes the Rocket X 2 extraordinarily enjoyable and exceedingly participating to run in.
Now, Hoka simply wants a very good plated coaching shoe. The upcoming Mach X may fill that position.