When you hear the word Hoka, the first thing that comes to mind is cushion. Hoka is known for its marshmallow-like soft cushioning and comfort.
That's what I also thought until I met the Hoka One One Evo Jawz. I’m not saying that it is not comfortable but in terms of cushion, it is lesser in a good way. Let me tell you my experience with Hoka Evo Jawz.
It looks so cool that you wouldn't want to use it on the trails. The combination of blue and a little yellow is very appealing. It is like the blue sky and the yellow sun. Perfect time to fly.
The upper is somehow waterproof, my feet didn't get wet on minimal water splashes unless the shoes are soaked or the water reach the middle part of the tongue.
The tongue has some holes for breathability.
The outsole is made of Profly for a unique balance of Propulsion and Protection combined with Vibram Megagrip hi-traction with 6mm lugs.
I felt very stable running downhills and the grip is superb when I tackle the uphills and muddy sections.
It is light as a feather with only 7.20 oz or 204 g for a men’s size 9 (US). The heel height is 21mm and forefoot height is 18mm which means a 3 mm drop. It makes the shoe very stable when running downhill and on uneven trails.
There's the bleeding blue tint of the interior sleeve when it gets wet for the first time until the third. After using it the 4th time, I no longer see blue tint on my feet.
I spent at least a total of 75km before I decided to write a review on the Hoka Evo Jawz.
I started with a walk, hike and jog on the trails in my first try on these shoes, around 30km in total cumulative distance.
This was followed by a 21km trail race in Soleus Cross Country where I place top 5 overall and a bonus of 2nd place in my age category.
It was the perfect time to test the shoes because the route consists of the mixed terrain - from muddy downhills to steep uphills, slippery road and wet sections. Hoka Evo Jawz never failed during the slippery sections, even when I landed on some stones and rocks going down to Casili.
I felt the stones, which is normal, because of its low stack height and also a good thing because it is more stable compared to shoes with very high stack height. After the u-turn, I experienced minimal slips when I tackled the downhill sections which are very steep and slippery.
The next test is at the Trail Mania race event where I joined the 25km category and won the top spot overall.
The terrain is mostly runnable, some road pavements and wide trails except for the muddy sections. I got stuck several times in the knee-deep mud but my Hoka Evo Jawz didn't leave me. It is still intact on my feet - good fit and laces.
The grip is also an advantage during this race, I only experienced minimal slips and the mud doesn't stick that long. I also felt that this shoe encourages me with faster turnover, maybe because of its low stack height and drop.
The downhill is also not a problem because of the Vibram MegaGrip outsole. This is also the lightest shoes I have ever used.
racing shoe, especially for shorter races with muddy trails and technical terrains.
I would recommend using the shoes specifically for trail races. The price is not that expensive compared to other shoes with the same specs. I would also love to get an extra pair if I can get a great deal.
My first impressions once unboxed were the colour. Most trail/fell shoes are usually dark in colour with a small injection of colour to bring out individuality. But, not these shoes!
This model has a bright blue upper with yellow detailing and a multicoloured outsole from Vibram. The shoe was extremely lightweight and flexible.
The cushioning underfoot seemed to be adequate for even a long run. Once worn, I realised that the upper is very thin. Thus, I was a little worried about the level of endurance of the shoe.
I have quite narrow feet and found the laces took a lot of effort to do up. I am used to the consistent tightness a Salomon quick-lace provides so this was a slight drawback.
There was a nice amount of space in the toe box. The shoes are of a low heel-toe drop, which is good on uneven ground.
My first outing
My first run in these shoes was a 22 mile recce of a race in Shropshire named the ‘Corvedale Cake Walk’. The shoes fared well on the extremely uneven, wet ground of a field chimed up by cows.
The top of the Brown Clee has marshy land. Due to the holes in the tongue of the shoe, any water/mud drained out quickly. The upper had dried out completely when I reached the hill's bottom.
This descent was when I first noticed the outsole pulled away from the upper at the front. On their first outing, the outsole was already falling apart!
It made me wonder if Hoka is aware of the harsh conditions that the shoes are exposed to in fell running. My feet had no hotspots after this run.
But, I did find a pack of underfoot protection did leave my feet feeling more achy than usual after a run.
The big race
I continued to use these shoes for training including a run up on Cadair Idris for my birthday. They held well in the 70mph wind and bumpy grass on the off-trail descent from the top of Cadair.
However, the grass got stuck in the same toe area and pulled the outer away from the upper even further. The big race to come was the Manx Half Mountain Marathon.
Due to illness, my training took the hit. So, I decided to take on the half instead of the full race.
It was such an amazing race! The Isle of Man is a very rocky island, and the race took us up to the highest summits with some amazing views!
The shoes held very well, but the ache in my feet after running 13 miles of extremely rocky terrain left my feet in a harrowing state by the end of the race.
I continued to wear these shoes for training and have had a Salomon quick lace fitted. But due to the lack of protection underfoot and the lack of durability, I sadly reverted to Inov8 X-Talon.
Inov-8 X have the upper hand when it comes to protection and durability. It also has a better fit than Jawz for a narrow foot.
The Jawz do not seem to be able to withstand the rugged terrain. It would be better suited to light trail and wet days.
The Vibram grip is perfect but would work better extended to the whole outsole. Doing so would probably fix the lack of underfoot protection. A thinner lace would help with the tightening issue.
Good to know
- The Hoka One One Evo Jawz is a running shoe that’s designed for those who don’t have any problems with pronation. It’s also optimized for use on the trails. It doesn’t have a bulky façade; instead, it has a clean fabric construction with thin overlays for support.
- The midsole is constructed with a broad base that’s meant to keep the foot steady as it traverses the irregular topographies. A foam platform that’s soft in the heel yet firm in the forefoot encourages agreeable landings and energized toe-offs.
- An aggressive outsole design ensures traction over the surfaces. Prominent gripping lugs the area and perimeter of the external pad, providing surface control.
The Hoka One One Evo Jawz is half-a-size smaller than the usual measurements, so it’s recommended for runners to get the half-size-up option to get a more pleasant in-shoe experience. When it comes to width, the choices are B – Medium for women and D – Medium for men. The upper has a semi-curved shape, but the platform has a wide configuration to deliver more foot-to-surface steadiness.
The Hoka One One Evo Jawz makes use of the Vibram Megagrip, which is an abrasion-resistant and high-traction compound that’s responsible for tackling the outdoor paths. It’s built to last long and to resist unintentional lug-removal.
Aggressive gripping lugs pockmark the surface of the outsole. These clamp-like protrusions hold onto the surfaces, thereby heightening grip and steadiness. Moreover, they’re also placed along the edges of the platform for additional stability and surface control. As another trail shoe, the Asics Gel Venture 6 also display a similarly constructed silhouette.
The PROFLY™ is a foam compound that serves as the underfoot cushioning system of the Hoka One One Evo Jawz. It’s soft in the heel section, so it’s able to attenuate impact shock and give the advantage of PROtection. On the other hand, the firmer forefoot delivers PROpulsion.
The Moderate Active Foot Frame involves a broader forefoot, a more forgiving midfoot, and a snugger heel. These elements work together to provide responsible steadiness on the ground.
Woven rip-stop serves as the primary fabric of the Hoka One One Evo Jawz. It has a sturdy configuration to prevent debris and rough surfaces from tearing holes into the façade.
Thin overlays reinforce the midfoot and heel sections. These printed add-ons also help when it comes to providing a snug and secure wrap.
The traditional lacing system with discrete eyelets ensures a customizable fit.