Who should buy the Hoka One One Carbon X 3

The Hoka One One Carbon X 3 is a super shoe that's suited for: 

  • marathoners who want to finish the race instead of setting PRs 
  • ultra distances in moderate tempo to faster paces
  • runners who want a smooth and easy ride during long runs
  • those who prefer a firm ride for training runs

Who should NOT buy the shoe

The Carbon X 3 is a pass for runners who want a racer for short distances. It's on the heavier side; that's why.

If you want something fast and light for such distance, consider the Asics Metaspeed Sky (6.9 oz in men's US 9) or the Nike Vaporfly NEXT% 2 (6.9 oz) instead. 

Carbon X 3 vs. 2: Toning down the aggressiveness

  • The new Profly X midsole offers a softer feel for a more responsive ride. 
  • For a more flexible wrap, a new knit upper is introduced.
  • The Hoka Carbon X 3 also loses 0.2 grams (8.5 oz vs. 8.7 oz.) while maintaining the same rubberized outsole and stack height.

Perfect for high mileages

Thanks to the Hoka Carbon X 3's carbon plate, the foot is supported from the first mile down to the last. There are NO reports of strained feet and legs. 

This is also one of the reasons why athletes prefer it as a long-distance racer. 

Doesn't beat the feet up

The plate is not very stiff and the midsole is a touch more forgiving than the Carbon X 2. For reference, it feels like a firmer version of the bouncy Skechers Hyper Burst

Because of its blend of firmness and softness, experts say that it's "more responsive" without being harsh. 

Rides easy

"Seamless" - This is how numerous testers find the Hoka One One Carbon X 3. Because of its meta-rocker, rolling forward is "effortless."

The Hoka Carbon X 3 keeps you steady

Contrary to other speed-day shoes like the Nike Next% collection, the third version of the Carbon X is more stable. On dirt, gravel, crushed rock, wet, and dry surfaces, it bites. 

It keeps runners surefooted with the help of its sticky outsole design, wide ground coverage, and rubberized foam.

It's built to last

Even after 10K runs on gravel roads and crushed rock, the outsole still has no wear. 

Doesn't stiffen up under cold weather

Various road testers have run in single-digit temperatures. According to them, the midsole does not harden under such conditions.

Breathability is a chef's kiss

The knit upper's ventilation is "excellent," reported multiple reviewers. Their feet remain cool and dry even under warm weather.

Hey there, good-lookin'

It makes a statement. With its huge stack, two-tone colors, and detailed knit pattern, it's hard not to notice the Hoka Carbon X 3. 

The Hoka Carbon X 3 is a miss when it comes to fit

Fit has always been an issue for the Carbon X. And the third version is supposed to correct that, except that it doesn't.

The upper is "too voluminous;" those with narrow feet find it "loose." There are even those who say that its pliability jeopardizes support across the heel and the midfoot. 

And for those who plan to use it on aggressive terrain, you might want to rethink your decision.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 242g / Women 214g
Drop: 5mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: Men 27mm / Women 25mm
Heel height: Men 32mm / Women 30mm

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Author
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.