The Hoka TenNine – what’s this about?

This is the brand spanking new Hoka TenNine, touted as a specialist trail running shoe with a focus on downhill.

The photo’s you see here are from my friend Sam Winebaum and his excellent review website RoadTrailRun 

The name gives a clue to the thinking behind this shoe, ”

The TenNine name comes from the size. As we were re-defining oversize the initial name was Giga. Following  physics representations Giga is represented 10 to the power 9. This is where Tennine is coming from

It is a USD250 shoe, about the same as a Nike NEXT%, so not a cheap proposition by any means.

It has a very familiar Hoka profile, with large stacks at the Heel: 33mm Forefoot  29mm, for an Offset: 4mm

However, it does have a very unusual rearfoot setup and geometry, which has me scratching my head a little bit. As you can see from the photographs, it has a massive projection of the bottom unit from the strobel backwards.

There appears little information available as to exactly why the rearfoot has been designed with such a large projection, but I am not convinced this is a great design feature.

If we look at the moment arm of 2 potential touch down positions for the shoe in relation to the centre of rotation for the ankle joint, both are very large, one in particular.

This should have the effect of increasing and more importantly accelerating plantarflexion at the ankle, and I am not sure this is necessarily a great thing.

I would also have some concerns over the effect on the Achilles tendon moment arm.

I guess time will tell, but what are your thoughts guys?

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6 responses to “The Hoka TenNine – what’s this about?”

  1. 100% agree Steve,. I fear this might have been one of those projects where an idea was thrown out there and executed without fully exploring all the consequences. A fatal mistake in shoe building.

  2. Simon. This looks like ant-tib, ankle instability situation waiting to happen without a doubt. Maybe a better option for flat surface running instead.

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