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HOKA has been the leader in high cushion running technology for nearly a decade. The high cushion technology, while great for training, has never been up to speed on race day until now. The HOKA Cielo X1 is one of the fastest race day shoes on the market. It combines two layers of Supercritial PEBA foam separated by a winged carbon plate that rides on an agressive speed centric HOKA rocker. Everything runners have been asking HOKA to create for a race day shoe has been answered.
Polyether-block-amides, PEBA, foam is made of alternating hard and soft segments of polyamide and polyether. What does that mean and why should you care? The hard segments running vertically in the midsole provide bounce while the soft running horizontally in the midsole provide the shoe with high levels of flexibility.
In order for the characteristics of the PEBA to be utililized the Polyether-block-amides need to be arranged uniformly in order to achieve increased levels of efficiency. The process of creating a Supercrital PEBA foam involves two steps.1) Nitrogen is combined with the PEBA matrix under pressure creating a polymer gas solution 2) the pressure of the solution is reduced creating bubbles between the Polyether-block-amides PEBA. The use of nitrogen creates extremely uniform bubbles for the PEBA to sit between creating an extremely consistent responsiveness and bounce from the Hoka Cielo X1.
HOKA placed a winged carbon plate in the middle of the highly responsive, bouncy and uniform Supercritial PEBA foam increasing energy return potential. The carbon plate absorbs the kinetic energy of the foot strike while the PEBA directs that to kinetic energy into the toe off. The winged shape of the carbon plate allows for reduced weight while ensuring the mid-foot and forefoot have the highest level of energy returns during the toe off. The HOKA Cielo X1 is by far the most energy return of any HOKA shoe created to date.
Unlike other high performance super shoes HOKA opted to provide a significantly more structured upper. The structure provides runners with the confidence that their foot is going to be secured throughout 26.2 miles without becoming sloppy even during wet conditions. While structured the knit has enough elasticity to provide those with higher volume feet the necessary room to run fast over a marathon. Lastly, the knit significantly durable enough to provide hundreds of miles of high speed use.
Covering approximately 70% of the Supercritial PEBA foam the zonal rubber outsole provides excellent protection for the Cielo X1's PEBA midsole. Regardless of how you footstrike you won't have to worry about unnecessary damage to the PEBA. The rubber zones also have a touch of grip for those marathon days when the rain makes things slick on the asphalt.
HOKA Cielo X1 Specs
Heel to Toe drop
40mm to 30 mm
264 Grams M 10
210 Grams W 8