Editor’s Pick: Hoka Tecton X Trail Running Shoes

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Since the introduction of carbon plated shoes, countless world, national and personal records have dropped. But most pairs are only useful for a certain group of runners: the stiff carbon fiber plate combined with soft foam favors those with efficient strides over those whose form isn’t perfect. New Hoka Tecton X ($200), one of the few carbon trail kicks on the market, challenges this model. This is a high tech shoe for all abilities. “This is one of the few carbon-plated shoes that I – a slow runner with poor form – can actually enjoy,” noted one tester. What’s the secret sauce here that makes everyday athletes feel like superstars? For starters, the designers ditched the standard single carbon plate in favor of two parallels positioned next to each other. These plates move independently, producing a smoother, more forgiving ride. Then there’s the dual-density midsole: Hoka’s most responsive and energized EVA, topped with a layer of softer foam directly underfoot. “The shoe is pop without being stiff,” one tester remarked. “It’s hard not to feel energized,” said another. Underfoot, tightly spaced four-millimeter lugs offered what another tester described as “enough of what you need, none of what you don’t.” The result is a grippy yet responsive ride on everything from gravel roads to dusty, twisty trails. Overall, the result provides supershoe advantages for FKT hunters and weekend warriors. 8.5 ounces (men) / 6.9 ounces (women); 4mm drop

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