I first saw these blue beauties on an Instagram picture Ryan Kent. I thought I must get my hands on them. They are gorgeous, have giant lugs, and are made by a name that I trust in, Hoka.
I have been hearing about ultra runners swear by Hokas for years and had a great experience with the last pair I reviewed in the Hoka Challenger ATR. I was ready to try my next pair, this time with some that are made for grip, the Hoka Evo Jawz
HOKA ONE ONE Evo Jawz Features
Vibram outsole with multidirectional lugs. – 6mm, multi directional mega grip outsole. These things are clearly made for some serious trail running and mudding.
Thin upper – This is a “stripped down” Hoka, rather than feeling like the massive bubble of protection like most of the “moon boot” line, these are super light at 7.2 oz (204 grams). It also drains water very fast while being breathable as well.
HOKA ONE ONE Evo Jawz Usage
I first tested them at the Red Bull 400 in Upper Michigan. As soon as my feet hit the long grass at the base of this event, I felt these shoes dig in. I ran around to get my legs warm and a smile was immediately brought to my face. Brand new shoes can feel like driving a brand new car (or even a rental car on the newer side) that you really enjoy. You can’t put your finger on it, but it just feels great. On this day, feeling my feet tear up the grass felt amazing.
While a 400 meter race straight up some grass and ski slope aren’t the ideal test, the trails and an OCR certainly are. Upon returning to my home town, I went out on the Sweetwater Trails, which are some of my favorite local technical running trails, and the shoes performed super well. Next up was the Jailbreak OCR. It has water crossings, various types of muds including some slippery hills, and all of the other accoutrements one needs to test out shoes at an obstacle race. The Evo Jawz performed well in every aspect.
HOKA ONE ONE Evo Jawz Durability
These shoes are brand new to the market, having been rolled out for the Spring 2018 line. So far, I have had no issues, nor have I read of any from other early reviews, or other OCR friends who have been running in them. There is a strange issue that I have encountered and that is bleeding of the blue color after any time in them. One downside is that the blue from the upper material did discolor the socks I was wearing and even all the way through to my feet.
- Light weight
- Killer lugs
- Drain well
- Smurf Feet
- Very Little cushioning if you looking for that “Hoka feel”
- non speed laces (which I prefer whenever possible)
HOKA ONE ONE Evo Jawz Conclusion
I love these shoes, easily my 2018 favorite. I give them a slight nod over the 2018 Merrell All Out Crush 2.0 and they definitely overtake the Reebok All Terrain, my previous favorite. I am a huge fan of aggressive lugs when done right, and they certainly did these right. I found these shoes to run true to size, unlike brands like Salomon and Icebug where I have to buy a size up, these worked great for me at an 11, which is my preferred trail shoe size.
People often cut out the toe boxes for Hoka as they run too narrow for them. I get that “hot spot” on the outer part of the right food regardless of shoe brand for any runs in the 20 plus mile range. I will update this article if these shoes become “must cut” above and beyond my normal hot spot.
The Hoka Evo Jawz is certainly a must buy for the 2018 obstacle racer.