Shoe Reviews

Hoka One One Cavu Performance Review

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By Nick Klastava

The Cavu is part of the new, three-model Fly Collection from Hoka, aimed at creating the lightest shoes in their lineup. I managed to put about 50 miles in this shoe, from easy days to intervals on the track.

Hoka Cavu

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The Good

Out of the box, I loved the feel of this shoe. It is a neutral shoe that has only a 4mm drop from heel to toe and weighs in at 8.5 oz for a size 10.5 shoe. Of the three models in the Fly Collection, the Cavu is the lightest. It is similar in specs to the Mach, but instead of a knit upper, the Cavu features a seamless and engineered mesh upper. This was one of my favorite parts of the shoe— simplistic but breathable, and the lycra comfort-fit bootie underneath the mesh fit my foot nice and snug. I felt the shoe was versatile enough to handle every type of run. I ended up preferring it for easy days and long runs, but I would also have no issue using it for track workouts. The midsole uses Hoka’s PROFLY cushioning, designed with a softer heel for shock absorption and a firmer forefoot for propulsion and energy return. I found this to be true, as the shoe felt great and forgiving in my landings, and firm in the forefront which was responsive for the push-off. This support felt really great when I was running my harder workouts and really needed the transition speeds from heel to forefront along with the support for each foot strike.

Hoka One One Cavu

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The Bad

In terms of the outsole, the shoe uses Hoka’s RMAT technology, which has been around since 2014 and uses a proprietary blend of EVA foam and rubber. While the outsole (combined with the midsole) provides that nice ride and support mentioned above, the shoe does not offer a lot of traction and I slipped often wearing it on some surfaces. I mostly used it on the roads, but any time I stepped off and hit a small amount of mud turning a corner the shoe showed its potential to slip quite easily. I also took it out on a flat trail run, but there was some mud on it and I knew instantly this shoe was a bad choice for that run. The shoe is obviously not designed for trails, but I would prefer a little more stability if I were to encounter other types of terrain on my runs.

Hoka One One Cavu

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The Hoka One One Cavu Conclusion

When Hoka launched the Fly Collection, I’ll admit I was a little confused about the models, but I love the Cavu and will continue to recommend it to road runners as a daily trainer. Personally, the Hoka One One Cavu was the shoe I wished the Clayton would have been for me. I wanted to love the Clayton but I just couldn’t enjoy it for my runs. On the other hand, the Cavu really had a great ride on the road, and it supported me nicely as well. The shoe fit was true to size for me and it locked in really well during runs. I loved feeling comfortable and recovered in my easy runs while having a lighter shoe to wear. Lastly, I loved the low-key look of the shoe— it’s not flashy, but its aesthetics looks clean and natural.

 

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