Hoka Elevon 2 review
Hoka Elevon 2 basically looks like a maximally cushioned shoe, but feels firmer and is more suited to be a medium distance daily trainer.
The shoe does provide a more responsive ride once you get going, but it’s not the best shoe for interval or fartlek training. It’s also a bit bulky for speed training.
The midsole is a bit more suited for faster runs, but the bulk of the shoe doesn’t help with that.
Updates in the Hoka Elevon 2
I got to review the first version of this Hoka shoe, which was quite a responsive shoe, but it had some stability issues and the outsole wasn’t very durable. So I wanted to see what changes Hoka made in the second version of this shoe.
The weight and drop haven’t changed compared to the first version. The first version weighs 244 grams and the second 241 grams.
Both versions have a 5mm drop, but the second version has a millimeter less underfoot. It has 27mm of stack height in the forefoot and 32mm in the heel.
The upper is OK
The Elevon 2 has an engineered mesh upper, that looks a bit sleeker than the previous version. But the biggest change is the lacing system, which now has wings and there is a split in the tongue.
The wings are a bit similar to the Saucony ISOFIT system. They do help with the lockdown of the shoe, but getting into the shoe and getting the lockdown right when you step into it, is a bit more difficult. However, there is a big pull tab on the heel to help you a bit.
I’m not sure I’m a fan of the split in the tongue. There also isn’t any padding in the tongue, which doesn’t help the matter.
And there is only light padding in the heel. The lockdown of the heel has improved, something that was a bit of an issue in the previous version.
Midsole is a dilemma
This shoe has a more tapered meta-rocker midsole than for example the Clifton 6 or the first edition of the Elevon. That taper does help once you get going, but walking around in this shoe, the taper works against you more than for you.
The same when you first toe-off and try to gain some speed. Once up to speed, the shoe gets a bit more responsive. At lower speeds, the meta-rocker shape works against you and you can definitely feel that in your calves.
However, once you pick up the pace the rocker shape does help with running hills. But the meta-rocker shape is not that suitable for trails or at least not loose surfaces like sand or gravel.
This is the same issue in the first version. Once you roll your foot onto your toes, your foot will slip back more on loose surfaces than usual due to the rocker shape.
The top layer of the midsole is the PROFLY midsole that gives you a more responsive ride and the layer beneath it is EVA. As with other Hoka shoes, your foot sits within the midsole rather than on top of it. Hoka calls it the Active Foot Frame.
This does mean that the feeling of the shoe is a bit less plush than you might expect while looking at the stack height.
The outsole of the shoe was a bit noisy in the beginning. That isn’t helped by the fact that it’s easy to get things stuck in the flex grooves of this shoe.
The outsole of the first version was not noisy, but also had the issue of getting things stuck in the flex grooves. Unfortunately, Hoka did nothing about that.
What they did change was the rubber on the outsole, which wore down pretty quickly in the previous version. Now it has been replaced by crystal rubber, which is much more durable.
The rubber is only underneath the forefoot and heel of the shoe, the midfoot is just exposed EVA.
Fit of the Hoka Elevon 2
I had my regular running shoe size and the fit was true to size.
Elevon 1 vs. Elevon 2
The Elevon 2 is more tapered than the previous version, but the ride is more stable compared to the first version of this shoe. And the second version looks a bit sleeker.
The first version was more responsive, but the ride was a bit unstable and the outsole wasn’t very durable. However, both versions have issues with getting small stones stuck in the flex grooves and the heel-to-toe transition can be difficult at lower speeds.
Elevon 2 vs. Clifton 6
The Clifton 6 has a less tapered outsole, which makes the heel to toe transition a bit easier and the Clifton feels more responsive and bouncier than the Elevon 2. The Clifton is a livelier shoe, while the Elevon 2 is a bit stiffer.
Final thoughts on the Hoka Elevon 2
Hoka clearly tried to improve this shoe on the things it lacked in the previous version. The lockdown and the lacing system have improved.
Gone are the slits that gave you trouble lacing your shoes correctly and in their place, there are decent eyelets and wings to give you a better lockdown. The shoe is more stable and they’ve also changed the outsole.
But this shoe still has some issues with getting things stuck in the flex grooves.