Hoka Mafate

“Madness in a shoe box” has already been said, but I am very glad indeed that the swing towards barefoot running means nothing to some people who are still steering their own course in footwear design. So, it’s with a big grin that I took Hoka’s Mafate WP’s on test.

The looks are somewhat striking, and the reasons for that huge sole unit are explained here. But it’s a shoe, not a curio, so what have we got? The fit is good in my usual UK9, the toe is slightly tapered fell-shoe style, and they do seem to have a little asymmetric curve like you see on some scrambling/alpine footwear. The heel cup is nice and deep with a high back which is notched to take the strain off your achilles tendon, the sides are pretty low cut, so although they look big, the uppers certainly don’t feel it. The uppers are mesh with some some strengthening stitching, overlays and synthetic leather patches at the high ear areas at the heel, foot opening and tow, where there’s some extra abrasion patches. There’s an own-brand waterproof liner, which in a low-cut shoe is as always a topic of discussion on its own.
The outsole has plenty of multi-angled lugs and quite a bit of exposed midsole foam too, this will help flexibility through the thick sole, but it will probably take a beating on rough ground, although only time will tell. In sole is a basic thin foam affair.
On my foot they were a little odd at first, I’m a good couple of inches taller for a start, but the upper doesn’t pivot on the foam, it does feel like a single unit which was a relief and means when I take them out I won’t be gingerly padding along like I was wearing stilettos on cobbles.

Interesting for sure, no idea how this is going to go, but I’ll be back with more.

13 thoughts on “Hoka Mafate

  1. hahahahahaha you’ll be wearing fit flops next!

    Vibram Flow Trek, stay barefoot in winter ;-)

  2. I got Sole flip’s in to test a while back :o)

    When I got sent a link to the Mafate’s seeing if I fancied trying them, after I went “Whoa!” I knew I just had to see what they were like.

    What started me off on all this stuff was arguing on the old Trail forums about footwear, and after getting quoted-at yet again that a study had shown that trail shoes were going to make your toes fall off, I went and found links to studies that showed that stiff boots made you sterile, trail shoes were a cure for baldness and all the rest of it. At that point I decided that you had to believe all the studies or none of them, so now I don’t give a shit, I’ve used that much gear in the past few years that the truth is pretty much everything will work and nothings perfect, and if every there was a nightmare statment to show the manufactures, that’s it :o)

  3. Flippin nora! Them’s is ummmm straaange!
    Certainly will be very interesting to hear what they are like!

  4. Saw em in 96 with the original line up back together (i think) still the best rock stage show i’ve seen you wouldn’t want to walk in their boots though, lol

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