Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 7.7ozWomen: 6.7oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 4mmWomen: 4mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 22mmWomen: 21mm
Forefoot heightMen: 18mmWomen: 17mm
WidthMen: normalWomen: normal
Release dateJul 2017
Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.
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93 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews
A speedy racing shoe: The Hoka One One Tracer 2
I am a 41-year-old neutral runner with a mid-foot strike, about 165 pounds and 6’ 1” tall. I race all distances, from 5ks to Marathons, and spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.
Cushioned for the Older Runners...
My older brother is a firm believer and promoter of “Hoka Nation” and has been after me to give them a try.
He swears that as we get older (he’s in his mid-40’s) we need a more cushioned shoe if we plan to run marathons, especially in our struggle to race a Boston Qualifying standard. His theory is that, as we put in more and more miles on the road, we wear our bodies down, which makes it necessary to run with more cushioning under our feet.
I could not disagree with him, so, as I approached the peak of my marathon training, I purchased a pair of the Hoka One One Tracer 2.
My intention for this shoe was to use it for 2 runs per week: my Monday track workouts, and my Thursday interval workouts. I also intended to run a half marathon race in them, in order to test their performance abilities.
Here, you can see a screenshot of my training log for the Hoka Tracer 2:
Out of the Box
The Tracer 2s were pretty stiff out of the box, not very plush around the foot, and definitely not very flexible.
They did appear to have extreme cushioning underfoot, but less toward the forefoot.
The shoelaces were clownish yellow and extremely long! I ended up removing the long yellow laces and replaced them with shorter black laces.
Other than that, they felt comfortable enough. The shoe is very lightweight, so I knew I would be reaping some benefits in speed where I lost some benefits of added plushness in the upper.
The toe box was spacious enough for me, though narrower than I was accustomed to in Altra shoes.
On the Road
I ran a few easy runs at first to try and break them in a bit before I tested them out on speed workouts. Immediately I noticed that the Tracer 2 really encourages a mid-foot landing and fore-foot push off.
The design of the outsole, namely, a thicker cushion on the heel and mid-foot, and thinning cushioning as the shoe goes forward to the toes, urged me to push off with explosive power in the faster intervals.
Another note on the road: Since the shoe is so lightweight, I noticed that it felt as if it became part of my foot, which allowed me to run with greater assurance on uneven surfaces.
I did not have one instance of a twisted ankle or foot while running in these shoes.
On the Track
Everything that is great about the Tracer 2 on the road is exponentially amplified on the track.
Aside from a racing flat, this is an absolutely perfect shoe for Track Mondays. I found the Tracer 2 to be extremely responsive on the track. The contour of the outsole is perfectly designed for speed.
The upper is lightweight and breathable, almost unnoticeable.
In The Race
As part of my training for the upcoming Dallas Marathon, I ran the McKinney Half Marathon in the Hoka Tracer 2.
I am considering running the full Marathon in these shoes, so I wanted to get a good idea of how they would perform. The race was hot and humid, and though I did not set a personal record, I did win my division with a time of 1:30:45.
I was moderately pleased with the performance of the shoes. The breathable upper allowed all the moisture in the wet and humid race to escape unnoticed.
While they are great at faster paces, I found myself fatigued during the latter half of the race, the thick heel seemed to get in my way. While I understand it was related to my failing running form as I became exhausted, the shoe felt a bit cumbersome.
Again, I would prefer less of an obtrusive cushion in the heel, less of a heel-to-toe drop, and an overall smaller shoe, at least during races.
- Great outsole shape for better running form
- Lightweight and breathable for top performance
- Supreme cushioning compared to other racing shoes
- Great color option in red
- Gigantically long clown shoelaces
- Too much cushioning foam for slower paces
I have not decided whether or not I will race the full marathon in the Hoka One One Tracer 2. I’m not sure I will be happy with the feeling during the later miles of the marathon as my legs fatigue.
The cushioning is definitely supreme, especially in correlation with its overall weight. I am definitely pleased with the shoe’s performance in speed. The toe-off is powerful due to the contour of the outsole.
That being said, I am afraid the shoe would become cumbersome in the latter miles of a full marathon.
I am not fully persuaded to jump on the Hoka bandwagon.
Nonetheless, I gave the Tracer 2 a high score for it's supreme cushioning in a lightweight racing shoe & for its exceptional design meant to enhance toe-off speed.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Updates to Hoka One One Tracer 2
- The basic design of the Hoka One One Tracer 2 is mostly similar to its predecessor, the first of the series. The changes are subtle, but they were possible thanks to the feedback given by the consumers for the original Tracer model. Now, the toe box is expanded to accommodate sure toe-splay; the collar is much thicker to hold the heel more securely, and a heel tab has been added to facilitate easy on-and-off.
- The midsole unit of this shoe still has the same technologies as its antecedent. The purpose of these features is to provide a comfortable underfoot experience throughout the running session. Rubber shields the rest of the foam platform from wear and tear.
Hoka One One Tracer 2 size and fit
The Hoka One One Tracer 2 has a standard running shoe length. It accommodates the regular sizing preferences of runners. Regarding width, the choices are D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women. Its semi-curved shape mimics the natural curve of the human foot.
Similar to the well known Hoka One One Arahi 2, this shoe uses High-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber which is strategically placed in the high-wear areas of the outsole to protect the foam platform from the potentially abrasive nature of the roads. It also delivers traction.
The RMAT component is made using a blend of rubber and EVA. Placed just before the anti-abrasion rubber, it serves to add a bit more cushioning and surface grip.
The Pro2Lite +10 is a foam unit that has a unique construction. It’s firmer in the forefoot section so that it could facilitate a more propelled toe-off and softer in the back area to enable a spongy and springy ride.
The Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry is a design that principally arcs the underside of the midsole. Its purpose is to make the transitions from the heel to the toe more agreeable and much speedier.
A Molded Ortholite Sockliner is placed right above the primary foam system. It adds a bit more cushioning. It also cushions the curves of the underfoot, thereby giving support to areas that aren’t usually given notice.
Engineered Mesh is the main fabric of the Hoka One One Tracer 2. It looks like cloth and its properties are like cloth: it’s soft, flexible and lightweight. Ventilation pores allow air to enter the foot-chamber, cooling the foot and keeping it dry.
The 3D Puff Print Frame is an overlay system that adds structure to the upper and provides secure lockdown for the foot. It’s made out of a thin material that doesn’t affect the weight of the shoe. It even has patterns that make it look more contemporary and appealing.