Running shoes reviews: Hoka Rincon 3
(c) Tribe of runners
We first reviewed the Hoka Rincon two years ago, and we’re back with a deep dive into the Rincon 3.
For those who have yet to learn more about Hoka, the Rincon is a sleeker version of the Hoka Clifton (the brand’s best-selling high-mileage neutral trainer). The main difference is that the Rincon is slightly reduced making it lighter and faster. The Rincon is more versatile than the Clifton, it can be used for long training runs, but is also suitable for fast thresholds or even a faster session / interval type of a workout. It can be categorized as a neutral and lightweight everyday trainer.
The Rincon of course comes with everything that made Hoka famous; lots of plush cushions, surprisingly light and with a metarocker design to help propel you forward.
Runner’s Tribe took these shoes through 210km of mostly road and light trail running.
- Km traveled during the test process: 210 k
- Testers: Two road / track riders.
- Area: Very light road or trails.
- Goal: Everyday versatile trainer. Good for long runs or shorter, faster runs. Perfect for race day also for those who don’t like carbon fiber plated running shoes.
- Pronation: Neutral.
- Pile height: 29 mm heel. 24mm forefoot. These stack heights have been verified by Hoka Australia. See the table below for brand comparisons.
- Fall from heel to toe: 5 mm.
- Weight: Very light (see table below for brand comparisons)
- Men: 9 US: 210 g, US men’s 11 is 233 grams.
- Midsole: lightweight EVA foam.
- Superior: High quality fine and well ventilated mesh. The tongue is very thin.
- Outsole: Exposed rubberized EVA foam and strategically placed rubber under high impact areas.
- Flexibility: Moderate. Much more flexible than a pair of ready-made Cliftons, a pair of Rincons can be easily flexed, for those who like it. They’re also “broken in” after, say, 20-30 miles and flex much more easily than out of the box.
- Toe box: Standard Hoka mouthpiece. If you like wide toes, then Hoka isn’t really for you. But if you have broad feet in general, the Rincon is in fact also available in a wide option.
- Durability: Moderate. Hoka’s EVA foam is not as durable as other products, and the Rincon is designed to be fast and light, not incredibly durable.
- Midsole density: Moderate.
- Heel cushioning: Soft, tender.
- Cushioning in the forefoot: Soft, tender.
- Heel counter: Moderate, it’s less built than the Clifton and you can flex / bend the buttress quite easily.
- Agrees : Works true to size.
- The hype: Moo.
- Does it live up to the hype: Absoutely.
How light Rincon is !!
|Shoe (all sizes US 9 Men)||Weight (grams)||Fall (mm)||Pile heights||Price (AUD)|
|Hoka Rincon 3||210 grams||5 mm||29mm / 24mm||$ 199.95|
|Hoka Clifton||255 grams||5 mm||32mm / 27mm||$ 239.95|
|Saucony Kinvara||212 grams||4 mm||28mm / 24mm||$ 199.99|
|Hoka Mach 4||227 grams||5 mm||29mm / 24mm||$ 259.95|
|Brooks 8 launch||244 grams||10 mm||26mm / 16mm||$ 199.95|
|On Cloudflow||232 grams||6 mm||22mm / 16mm||$ 229.95|
|Nike Peg Turbo||215 grams||10 mm||28mm / 18mm||$ 250.00|
- Weight: Once again, the Rincon delivered weight. For a shoe that can fully support a 30km run, the weight is superb.
- Speed and versatility: Of course, the Rincon isn’t designed as a running shoe, but it’s far from slow. Ideal for this long race where you know the pace will be there. Or for that session where you feel like you just want that extra little cushion, without compromising your speed.
- Price: In an age when the price of most high-end shoes exceeds the $ 300 mark, the $ 199.95 Rincon is a pleasant surprise.
- Consistency: The Rincon has gained many fans and Hoka remains loyal to the Rincon line. You know what you’re getting with the Rincon, and any changes that Hoka makes from season to season tends to be minor.
- Toe box: Our tester has a nasty blister inside his big toe (not so uncommon for Hoka users) and it made us think of the Toe Box. The designers at Hoka are faced with a difficult situation. With so much midsole foam and a wide base, they need to gain weight in other areas, and we can’t help but think that the toe box has short straw. It’s a bit reminiscent of many old-fashioned Nike, Asics, Adidas shoes, with a narrow toe box that really limits your toes’ ability to pull apart. More toe room would be nice, but the tradeoff would be extra weight.
- Durability: The Rincon saves a lot of weight simply because the EVA midsole foam used is incredibly light. The only way Hoka can get away with so much foam, of course, is to use super light foam. The general problem with lightweight products is that they break down under friction much faster than heavier, harder substances. This is just as true for the Nike Pebax foam used in the Alphafly and Next% shoes, as it is for many lightweight Hoka shoes. Customers cannot (yet) have the best of both worlds. The Rincon is crazy light and ticks a lot of the boxes, but the lightness comes with the minor trade-off of being slightly less durable than, say, the Clifton or many other heavier shoes.
The Rincon is as versatile and light as it gets. Depending on the day, it can serve as a trusted shoe for a long run or a quick training shoe. It is suitable for the road or for very safe and easy trails. For just $ 199.95, it offers both great value and a really fun shoe to slip on.
Tested by Ross Johnson for Runner’s Tribe.