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Trail Runner Monday, 21 November 2011 10:06 TWEET COMMENTS 2

Hoka OneOne Stinson B

Hoka OneOne Stinson B

$150, 10.5 oz, www.hokaoneone.com

The Dirt. Expanding on its recent successes with the original Mafate (hardcore trail) and slimmed-down Bondi B (lighter-duty trail) models, Hoka introduces a hybrid of the two with the Stinson B. For the uninitiated, Hoka made a big splash about a year ago with the Mafate and its whopping 40-millimeter-high, mega-cushioned midsole and extreme width. Many runners initially dissed the bulky-looking but shockingly light "clown shoes," but the Mafates gained a following, including with top trail runners Karl Metlzer, Diana Finkel, Simon Gutierrez and Dave Mackey. Converts use the fat-ski or mountain biking 29er analogy, noting the shoes' ability to mow over and absorb rough terrain.

Hoka co-founder Nicolas Mermoud calls the Stinson B a "softer, tighter Mafate," and testers familiar with the Mafate agree, lauding the Stinson B's close, comfortable fit. With the Mafate's midsole geometry and similar cushioning, a trimmed-down upper and an outsole closer to the lower-profile Bondi B's, the Stinson B is designed for dry trails and roads, where testers praised its plush ride. Surprisingly, though, many found the Stinson B handled rough ground on a par with the Mafate, although the low-profile lugs lacked bite in mud and wet grass.

Fit. While the Stinson B's upper is slimmer than the Mafate, the shoes best fit medium to wide, relatively high-volume feet.

Best For. Excelling on smooth trails and roads, the Stinson B is also a contender to take on all but the roughest terrain.

Tester-monial. "They certainly help with confidence on the downhills, and I felt like I could push it without tiptoeing around obstacles. Rather, I `monster trucked' it, which made runs a lot of fun. On roads, the Stinson Bs seemed to alleviate joint pressure." 
—Shannon Standefer, Fort Lee, Virginia

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