Hoka Rincon 3 Review

The Hoka Rincon, which is inspired by the smooth waves of the world-famous Rincon surf spot, gets much of its DNA from the original (OG) Hoka Clifton.  The Rincon has quickly become one of Hoka’s most popular shoes due to its softness and lightweight. 

I had the original Rincon and loved running in it.  It was definitely one of my favorite training shoes, and I even raced in it a couple of times. Given the opportunity to review the Rincon 3, I had to jump on it. The shoes came promptly as I was going to Florida to run a marathon and vacation.  

The Rincon 3 is for the long haul

The Rincon 3 can be used for just about any type of run, from speed work to long slow training runs.  For me, this is best for long, slower runs or recovery runs.  I have even read that the Rincon 3 is a shoe that some Ultra Marathoners use.  Unless you wear thicker socks, I’d stay away from colder weather runs in this shoe.  


Who should buy it

The Hoka Rincon 3 is ideal for runners:

  • who want a versatile and lightweight trainer
  • looking for a shoe to run long distances in
  • runners who run in warmer climates 
  • who prefer a shoe that is also good for walking and running

Who should NOT buy the Rincon 3

Look away if you: 

Happy feet in the Rincon 3

Overall, this is a very comfortable shoe.  My only complaint would be with the tongue’s lack of padding.  You can feel the laces on the top of your foot, and I’m wondering if a little more padding, strategically placed, in the tongue or thicker laces would mitigate this.  


The midsole is where the comfort shines as it is a soft feeling underfoot.  The Rincon 3 uses a compression-molded EVA that I wouldn't call plush, but it did a great job of absorbing the pounding over the miles.  I took it on some long runs, including a 20-miler, and did not feel beat up afterward.  

The Rincon 3 uses a molded EVA sock liner which is very thin and lightly glued to the strobel board.  This can be easily removed if you require custom inserts. 

May run a wee bit short

Most of the time, I wear a size 12.5 US men's and never have an issue with fit. The Rincon 3 seems to run just a bit short.  I had enough room not to irritate my toes, but I was wearing thinner socks, and there wasn't much toe room to spare.  Something to keep in mind if you are between sizes.


The Rincon 3 runs narrow

This shoe runs narrow, which is no big deal for me since I have a narrower foot, but the good news is that Hoka offers a wide-size option. With that width increase, the shoe will gain a bit of weight, but not enough to be an issue.  

Need a little work on the lockdown

The unique design of the non-gusseted tongue contours to your ankle and wraps over the top of your foot.  This, in combination with the tongue’s lace keeper, keeps the tongue securely in place.  The lightly padded heel collar held the heel in place, and there was no heel slippage or rubbing.  I did not need to use the extra eyelet.  


Initially, I did have to stop a few times during my runs to work on the lacing to get a secure fit on the upper.  Having a thinner tongue prevents you from cranking down the laces too hard without feeling pressure on the top of your foot.  Once I got the lacing figured out, I had no more issues.  The laces are flat and textured and do a great job of staying in place, and are not likely to come undone during a run.  

Squishier than I remember

As I remember it, the original Rincon had a firmer and more responsive midsole.  I found this great for speed work and race day.  The Rincon 3 is squisher, for lack of a better word to describe it.  This is where things get complicated for me because I loved the original but appreciate the softer feel of the Rincon 3, especially for long runs.  The softness, or squishiness, makes pushing the pace for me more difficult.  I believe the Rincon 3 is best for recovery runs or long training runs where speed is not an issue.  


Despite the high stack height of 33mm in the heel and 28mm in the forefoot, this is not an unstable shoe. I had no issues turning tight corners and no concerns about rolling my ankle.  

No weight problems in the Hoka Rincon 3

Weighing 7.4oz/210g, this is a lightweight shoe (road shoes have an average weight of 9.7oz/274g), and I'm happy with anything that weighs under 9oz for my size flippers.  

More durable than its predecessors

Durability has always been a concern with the Rincon.  In previous versions, the midsole has been known to bottom out before reaching the 200-mile mark, and the outsole, due to a large amount of exposed EVA, would get shredded quickly.  This has supposedly been corrected in the Rincon 3.  The updated midsole is supposed to last longer.  I can vouch for the midsole being different from the original Rincon, but since I only have over 50 miles in the Rincon 3, I can only say that it is holding up so far.  


The outsole is definitely more durable than its predecessors.  I found it quite alarming; there was noticeable wear by the 50-mile mark in my original Rincons.  The Rincon 3 outsole is much more durable at this point.  The strategically (Zonal) placed rubber, and the exposed EVA seem more durable.  Beach running aside, I can assure you that most of my running has been on concrete. 

Running with confidence on various terrains

Somehow, Hoka added more rubber to the outsole and kept the weight down.  This is a rarity, and I'm very impressed.  Bravo Hoka!  There's additional rubber in the forefoot and the heel, which is noticeable when running.  I've taken this on various terrains,  from wet pavement to the beach, and did not have any significant issues with traction. 


I can really run with confidence in these shoes because I can feel the grip on the pavement when I'm pushing off, which is much appreciated.  I didn't have this same confidence in the original version of the Rincon, so there have been some substantial improvements made there.  

Vented mesh perfect for warm days

The upper is made with a sandwich mesh, which is lightweight, and the asymmetrical tongue is very thin with perforated holes in the vamp.  This shoe is very breathable, and the Rincon 3 has enhanced its upper by adding several venting slits across the toe-box and sides of the shoe. 


This, in combination with the thin tongue, makes the Rincon 3 an ideal shoe for hot running days or strolling on the beach.