Hoka Evo Mafate

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Hoka Evo Mafate: Review

β€œA trail shoe that combines maximalist cushioning with lightweight agility.”

Overview


The Hoka Evo Mafate is a trail running shoe designed for runners seeking a blend of comfort, durability, and performance on challenging terrain. This shoe stands out for its maximalist (providing maximum cushioning) cushioning and lightweight construction, making it a top choice for long-distance trail runs.

Key Features:

  • Ample cushioning: Provides protection and comfort over long distances.
  • Durable upper: Features patented MATRYX fabric with Kevlar for enhanced protection.
  • Efficient traction: Equipped with Vibram Megagrip outsoles for grip on varied surfaces.
  • Responsive midsole: Meta-Rocker geometry (a design that promotes a rolling motion during the gait cycle) and R-BOUND material offer a smooth transition and springy feel.

The Hoka Evo Mafate is an ideal choice for trail runners who prioritize cushioning and durability for their off-road adventures. Its responsive midsole and efficient traction make it suitable for a range of trail conditions.

Based on our monitoring of prices across the internet, it's currently in the most expensive 10% of running shoes today.

Verdict

The consensus on the Hoka Evo Mafate


The consensus among experts is that the Hoka Evo Mafate excels in providing a comfortable and protective ride for trail runners tackling long distances and varied terrain. Its maximalist design offers ample cushioning, which is appreciated on uphill climbs and downhills. The shoe's lightweight MATRYX fabric upper, reinforced with Kevlar, ensures both stability and durability. While the high stack height (the vertical thickness of a shoe's sole) may present stability challenges on highly technical trails, the overall performance of the shoe is praised for its responsive and smooth transition, thanks to the Meta-Rocker midsole geometry. The Vibram Megagrip outsole delivers reliable traction across different surfaces, although the shoe may run warm due to the dense upper material. Despite its higher price point, the Hoka Evo Mafate is considered a valuable investment for serious trail runners seeking a shoe that can handle the rigors of long-distance running. Overall, the Hoka Evo Mafate is a top-performing trail shoe that offers a balance of comfort, durability, and responsiveness for runners looking to conquer challenging terrains.

Updates to Hoka Evo Mafate


The Hoka Evo Mafate is part of the Hoka Evo Mafate family, known for its trail-ready features and performance. Major updates from previous models include the use of MATRYX fabric with Kevlar in the upper for increased durability and protection, as well as refinements to the midsole for improved responsiveness. The latest iteration maintains the shoe's signature cushioning and grip, making it a continued favorite among trail runners.

Comparable Shoes


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The Hoka Evo Mafate 2 is often compared to its predecessor due to its similar focus on cushioning and trail performance. The Evo Mafate 2 features updates such as a softer and more pliable upper, which may offer improved comfort for long races where foot swelling is a concern. Runners who prefer a more flexible and breathable shoe might lean towards the Evo Mafate 2.

6 Hoka Evo Mafate Pros & Cons


3 Pros

Ample cushioning provides comfort and protection on long runs.
Durable upper with MATRYX fabric and Kevlar for enhanced protection.
Efficient traction with Vibram Megagrip outsoles suitable for varied terrain.

3 Cons

High stack height may affect stability on highly technical trails.
Dense upper material can lead to a warmer running experience.
Higher price point may not be suitable for all budgets.

In Depth


Upper

The Hoka Evo Mafate features an upper made from patented MATRYX fabric, which includes Kevlar fibers for exceptional durability and protection. This material is resistant to tears and punctures, safeguarding the foot against trail hazards. The upper is also designed to facilitate water drainage, making it suitable for running in various weather conditions. However, some runners may find the upper material dense, which can lead to a warmer feel during runs.

Midsole

The midsole of the Hoka Evo Mafate is crafted with compressed EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate, a flexible and cushioning material) and the brand's proprietary R-BOUND material, offering a cushioned yet responsive ride. The Meta-Rocker geometry enhances the shoe's smooth heel-to-toe transition, making it feel natural and springy. This design is particularly beneficial for maintaining speed and efficiency on downhills and flat sections of the trail.

Outsole

Equipped with a Vibram Megagrip outsole, the Hoka Evo Mafate provides excellent grip and traction on a variety of surfaces, from rocky paths to muddy trails. The 5mm lugs (protrusions on the sole that improve grip) are strategically placed to ensure stability during ascents and descents. While the shoe performs admirably on most terrains, the high stack height may affect balance on extremely rocky or technical sections.

Size/fit

The Hoka Evo Mafate offers a comfortable fit right out of the box, with a large toe box that accommodates foot swelling over long distances. The shoe fits true to size for most runners, and the semi-flat laces ensure a secure and easily adjustable fit. However, the shoe's fit may be narrow for some, particularly in the pointed toe area.

Comfort

Comfort is a standout feature of the Hoka Evo Mafate, with its ample cushioning and smooth ride. The shoe's midsole and Meta-Rocker geometry contribute to a comfortable experience, even over long distances. The microfiber tongue is thinly padded and perforated for breathability, though some runners may experience blistering during the initial break-in period.

Cushioning

The Hoka Evo Mafate's maximalist cushioning is one of its defining features, offering protection and comfort on the trail. The high stack height (34mm heel, 30mm forefoot) shields the foot from rocks and roots, while the R-BOUND midsole material provides a responsive feel. This cushioning is especially appreciated on long runs where underfoot protection is crucial.

Stability

While the Hoka Evo Mafate's cushioning provides comfort, the high stack height can impact stability on technical terrain. However, the shoe includes features like a supportive midsole and strategically placed lugs to enhance stability during runs. Runners seeking a stable ride on less technical trails will find the Mafate to be a reliable option.

Durability

Durability is a strong suit of the Hoka Evo Mafate, with the MATRYX fabric upper showing little signs of wear even after extensive use. The Vibram Megagrip outsole also demonstrates excellent durability, maintaining its integrity and traction capabilities over time. This makes the Mafate a solid choice for runners who are tough on their shoes.

Grip

The grip of the Hoka Evo Mafate is efficient and reliable, thanks to the Vibram Megagrip outsole and multidirectional 5mm lugs. This design ensures traction on various terrains, including rocks, mud, and dirt trails. The shoe transitions well between trail and road, making it versatile for races that include different surfaces.

Who should buy the Hoka Evo Mafate?


The Hoka Evo Mafate is best suited for trail runners who require a shoe that can handle long distances and provide ample cushioning and protection. Runners who frequently encounter a mix of terrains, including rocky paths and muddy trails, will benefit from the shoe's durable construction and efficient traction. Those who appreciate a responsive and comfortable ride on both ascents and descents will find the Mafate's design to their liking.

Who should not buy the Hoka Evo Mafate?


Runners who primarily tackle highly technical or extremely rocky terrain may want to consider a shoe with a lower stack height for better stability. Those who prefer a cooler running experience might find the dense upper material of the Mafate too warm. Runners on a budget or those who do not require the maximalist cushioning for shorter distances might look for more cost-effective options.

Hoka Evo Mafate: What's it good for?


Long-distance trail running is where the Hoka Evo Mafate truly shines. Its cushioning and durability make it ideal for ultra marathons and other endurance events. The shoe is also well-suited for runners participating in marathons and ultra marathons, where comfort and protection are paramount.

4 Hoka Evo Mafate FAQs


How does the Hoka Evo Mafate perform on wet and muddy trails?

The Hoka Evo Mafate performs well on wet and muddy trails, thanks to its Vibram Megagrip outsole and 5mm lugs that provide excellent traction and stability in such conditions.

Is the Hoka Evo Mafate suitable for runners with a neutral gait?

Yes, the Hoka Evo Mafate is designed for runners with a neutral pronation and provides a supportive and cushioned ride without additional stability features.

Can the Hoka Evo Mafate be used for races that include road sections?

The Hoka Evo Mafate transitions well between trail and road, making it a viable option for races that include different surfaces. Its cushioning and traction are suitable for mixed-terrain events.

What type of arch support does the Hoka Evo Mafate offer?

The Hoka Evo Mafate offers a neutral arch support, making it suitable for runners with a high arch or those who do not require specific arch support features.

Hoka Evo Mafate alternatives

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Weight
Weight
M: 272 g
W: 241 g
M: 181 g
W: 142 g
215 g
M: 241 g
W: 190 g
M: 204 g
W: 170 g
235 g
Forefoot
Forefoot
30 mm
5 mm
16 mm
17 mm
M: 18 mm
W: 16 mm
7 mm
Heel to toe drop
Heel to toe drop
4 mm
4 mm
3 mm
4 mm
Heel
Heel
34 mm
5 mm
20 mm
17 mm
M: 21 mm
W: 19 mm
11 mm
Terrain
Terrain
Trail
TrailTrailTrailMudTrailTrail
Brand
Brand
Hoka
VibramSalomonMerrellHokaInov-8
Shoe Type
Shoe Type
Low dropMaximalist
BarefootLightweightLow dropMinimalistZero dropLightweightLow dropLightweightLow dropZero dropLightweightLow dropLightweightLow drop
Techs
Techs
Vibram
Waterproofings
Waterproofings
Water repellent
Environmental Characteristics
Environmental Characteristics
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Hoka Evo Mafate: what the experts say (1 review)

Hoka Evo Mafate: 2 Expert video reviews

Hoka Evo Mafate characteristics and specifications

Specificationsvs Average
Released
Jul 2018
Measurements
Weight
M: 272 g
W: 241 g
Heel to toe drop
4 mm
Heel
34 mm
Forefoot
30 mm

Evolution of the Hoka Evo Mafate product family

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AuthorTom Green
Tom is the founder of geerly. Based in West London, he found his passion for running in his mid-30s. He’s best at longer distances, and is a regular at the London Marathon, where he's edging closer to sub-2.40. He started geerly because he found it frustrating when shopping for running shoes spending ages trying to find the best deal in his size, and wading through verbose, waffling reviews clearly designed to appeal to search engines rather than be helpful to users. For geerly he's passionate about writing reviews that get straight to the point, and helping runners find the right gear at the best price.
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