Αρχική>English>Hoka One One Mafate Speed II: Significant improvements to a successful model!


Hoka One One Mafate Speed II: Significant improvements to a successful model!

My reaction every time I hold a pair of Hoka One One is a bit reminiscent of "Groundhog Day". Every single time I take a pair out of its box, I am alarmed by their size, a reaction that is quickly replaced by surprise when I actually hold them in my hands and feel how light they are. This time, the sentiments were caused by the Mafate Speed II, one of the company's main models for this year; they present significant improvements compared to the first edition, and as mentioned in the general presentation of the company's models for 2017, they are designed to 'swallow up' many tough mountain kilometres on all types of terrain, and in long races and training sessions. So let us 'take them apart' and see what they have to offer in terms of technology and how they performed in our tests.

 

Upper:

Externally, the Mafate Speed II consists of a monomesh screen, which is interrupted at the sides and the toe by a very dense webbing (no sew speedframe construction as the company calls it), and becomes harder in the heel area, to ensure greater stability for the ankle. The upper is completely seamless, and the overall structure is very light. There is significant reinforcement in the heel area, with a horseshoe-shaped stiff black plastic ending in a fork, offering significant enhancement of the shoe's protectiveness and stability.

 

I found that the construction of the outer shoe helps keep its weight low, which is one of the main attributes that the Mafate Speed II seeks to ensure, while also not allowing mud and dust to penetrate; on the other hand, the shoe takes a while to dry if you run through water and the inside gets wet. Of course, the fact that their profile is quite high (29 mm at the toe - 33 mm at the heel) and that the material is not easily permeable, means that it is hard to get the inside wet unless your foot sinks in water up to your ankle.

 

 

The toe box is spacious, a feature that has been improved in comparison to the first edition of the model, and which is very important for long runs and ultra-trail races. They are not particularly protective at the front and sides from impacts with loose stones - flexible & thin plastic - while the heel, on the other hand, is very well protected in this area. Of course, their high profile does provide impact protection not offered by other shoes with lower geometry.  The inside of the heel collar is made of a thick mesh that rises high and offers very good protection for the Achilles tendon. We should also point out the excellent quality of the entire outer part of the shoe, which is very resistant to the wear and tear of trail running.

 

Tongue & Lace System:

The Mafate Speed II has moved away from the speed lacing system used in the first edition of the model, and has returned to classic laces. With 7 eyelets and thin, dense laces (also used in the second, improved edition of the Speedgoat, compared to the previous thick laces, and showing the company's intentions for the future), there are no problems of laces coming undone as you run; they support the foot beautifully, and the loop in the centre of the tongue increases stability and durability. They also contribute to keeping the shoe's weight low, when compared to the speed laces.  The tongue is thin, wide and made of a mesh that also keeps out any debris. A bit of attention is required when putting the shoe on, as the tongue tends to lean to the side, but its breathability is exceptional.

 

 

Midsole:

As in the previous edition, the Mafate Speed II is based on RMAT® technology, which uses typical EVA foam (but 2.5 times more than in a conventional running shoe) and adds traditional rubber to the mix, to make the midsole harder. This ensures greater elasticity and adds to the shoe's durability, while of course the cushioning offered is up to the famous exceptionally high standards for which the company is known.

 

The characteristic Meta Rocker geometry has been maintained, so as to ensure a minimal drop from heel to toe (4 mm), while at the same time creating a fulcrum effect (like a rocking chair for the foot) that encourages effortless rolling as you run.

 

Meta Rocker Geometry!Meta Rocker Geometry!

 

The main improvement compared to its very successful predecessor concerns the use of Active Footframe technology, whereby the foot-sole is embraced by the shoe to ensure and excellent fit and stability on sharp inclines. The fact that the foot does not sit on the sole but rather sits inside it, offers stability, support for its entire length, and adaptability to different foot geometries.

 

Active Footframe!Active Footframe!

 

Having used the Mafate Speed II to run on all types of terrain, I can definitively say that the harder midsole is an improvement as regards energy return, and makes them less tiring on long runs than models containing only EVA foam. This is further enhanced by the effortless running provided by the Meta Rocker, and the shoe's very small drop. Testing on tarmac roads showed that the shoe performs well on much harder terrain as well, and for several kilometres. The Mafate Speed II also proved to be very stable on rough downhill runs, and running on technical terrain in general. The Active Footframe helps a lot with this, as the foot sinks into the sole. Naturally, the shoe's volume means that you lose some feedback/contact with the ground, something that some runners will find unpleasant, especially if they have little experience with maximalist running shoes. The Mafate Speed II is a neutral shoe, and therefore unsuitable for runners with severe overpronation, unless they add anatomic insoles.

 

Outsole:

The improvements in the Mafate Speed II compared to the previous edition are also apparent in the outsole, which uses superior Vibram® Megagrip. The company has paid a lot of attention to this model's grip on all possible surfaces, using two types of rubber - one harder than the other - and 5 mm lugs, while the design includes large grooves to ensure that the shoes don't slip in muddy terrain. The verdict is top-notch grip on technical, rocky terrain, with the lugs even ‘grabbing’ onto wet stones beautifully, while the Mafate Speed II also displayed excellent performance on muddy trails. I was very pleased to discover that they provide very good grip when running downhill on tarmac; this is probably due to the two types of rubber used in the outsole, as well as the placement of the lugs.

 

The top Vibram® Megagrip outsole, with the 5mm lugs and rubber of different hardness depending on the area  (yellow / blue)! Particular emphasis has been placed on the traction of the front section!The top Vibram® Megagrip outsole, with the 5mm lugs and rubber of different hardness depending on the area (yellow / blue)! Particular emphasis has been placed on the traction of the front section!

 

Because emphasis as regards the placement of the lugs and grooves is on the front of the shoe, this model 'grabs' the ground ideally on uphill runs, even with muddy terrain. One disadvantage is that there is a chance of slipping when running on very muddy downhill trails, where you would put your heel down first, since not as much attention has been paid to the grip features (lugs, grooves) of the heel as the front of the shoe.

 

Personally, I found the Mafate Speed II to be a great match for my feet, and consider them to be perhaps the best Hoka One One trail running model I have worn to date. They are significantly improved compared to the previous version, light and very comfortable, stable and durable, with an excellent fit and superior grip. They are sure to be entirely satisfactory for athletes seeking a reliable model for many mountainous kilometres and for ultra-trail races.

 

Technical Features:

- Fit: Medium

- Category: Neutral

- Weight: 321 gr

- Drop: 4 mm

- Forefoot: 29 mm

- Heel: 33 mm

- Recommended retail price: € 180

 

Technologies:

- Lightweight No Sew SpeedFrame Construction

- External Monomesh Debris Screen

- Lightweight External TPU Heel Counter

- HOKA ONE ONE Race Lace

- Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry

- Lightweight Cushioned CMEVA Top Midsole

- RMAT® Midsole|Outsole

- Sculpted Arch Pod Support

- Strategic Hi-Abrasion Rubber Zones

 

Shop and Trade is the exclusive agent for Hoka One One products in Greece, and you can find the Mafate Speed II in many specialized sports retailers throughout our country.

 

Dimitrios Troupis

English Translation: Sofia Vlavianou

Δημήτρης Τρουπής

Γεννήθηκε στο Ξυλόκαστρο Κορινθίας το 1969 και ζει στην Πάτρα τα τελευταία 30 χρόνια. Συμμετείχε στην συντακτική ομάδα του Adventure Zone από το 2009, ενώ μαζί με τον Τάκη Τσογκαράκη ίδρυσαν και "τρέχουν" το Advendure.  Παθιάζεται με τους αγώνες ορεινού τρεξίματος, υπεραντοχής και  περιπέτειας. Έχει πολλές συμμετοχές και διακρίσεις σε αγώνες ορεινού τρεξίματος όλων των αποστάσεων, με έμφαση στους αγώνες ultra trail.  Θεωρεί ότι το τρέξιμο στην φύση μας βοηθά να ενισχύσουμε την περιβαλλοντική ευαισθητοποίηση μας.

Website: www.advendure.com

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