Verdict from 10 experts and +100 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Ride: The Hoka Carbon X 2 creates a feeling of constant forward motion. It "runs for you," thanks to its carbon-fiber plate and rockered shape.
  • Comfort: Less stiff than the original, many runners agree that the step-in feel is outstanding and the shoe requires little to no break-in period. They even go as far as saying that all miles are pain-free. 
  • Fit: Consistent lockdown is generated because of the shoe's non-stretch upper. 
  • Heel hold: Experts claim that the shoe's heel cup "resists pull-out fairly well." There's no slippage at all. 
  • Stability: Runners find the shoe's stability first-rate and exemplary especially on uneven asphalt and gravel, attributing it to the shoe's wide base. 
  • Ventilation: The Hoka Carbon X 2 has a "nice, breathable feel."
  • Slip-on: Because of the elf-like heel collar, which can double as the shoe's pull tab, this iteration permits easy on and off.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Weight: It's not the lightest option for race day. If you want something with less bulk that picks up pace easier, experts recommend the Saucony Endorphin Speed.
  • Traction: When faced with wet pavement, a lot of runners have noticed that the shoe's grip falls short. 
  • Lockdown: Runners with wide feet may suffer from the non-stretch upper of the Carbon X 2. There have been reports of constricted foot motions.
  • Ground feel: The shoe does not have a sufficient ground feel, which is contrary to the brand's claims.

Bottom line

If you want a carbon-plated shoe that's built to go fast and long, the Hoka Carbon X 2 is an excellent pick. With its speed-enhancing features, the shoe shines at moderate to uptempo paces. Ensuring efficient strides, conserving the runner's energy is what the Carbon X 2 does best.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

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Video reviews

Hoka One One Carbon X 2 vs. Carbon X

Creating a familiar-yet-upgraded ride, the Carbon X 2 from Hoka features three main changes: 

Plusher feel. The carbon plate of the shoe has been moved lower to the bottom for a cushier ride. 

Softer landing. Complementing the resituated carbon plate is the shoe's softer top-most foam. It delivers a luxurious underfoot cushioning, mitigating the shock during impact.  

Better fit. Featuring an updated upper, the running shoe has better lockdown than the first version. Not only that, but it also has better ventilation with less weight. 

Other benefits you get

  • A stable ride because of the shoe's wider base
  • Airy in-shoe experience
  • Consistent lockdown fit owed to the not-so-stretchable upper of the shoe

How Carbon X 2 compares

This shoe: 91
All shoes average: 82
57 94
This shoe: £170
All shoes average: £120
£40 £280
This shoe: 247g
All shoes average: 270g
100g 437g
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.