Hokas have become incredibly popular as of late.
They’re a “maximalist” shoe company that offers a ton of cushion in the heel or rearfoot.
So is that a good or bad thing? It depends.
It’s good if a runner is recovering from something like metatarsalgia or plantar fasciitis as the shoe will decrease pressure applied to the forefoot.
On the other hand, the extra cushioning can be bad if they’re returning from a bone injury or stress fx. In addition, runners with knee issues might want to avoid maximalist shoes, as knee loads might be higher in these.
How? Runners tend to overstride or land heavier with a maximalist shoe, increasing forces through the leg.
Runners actually absorb more of the impact forces of running when they wear maximal trainers versus regular shoes.
But the biomechanics stay the same, and while the load may be greater overall in maximalist shoes, it’s absorbed by different body parts than more minimal shoes.
So essentially, different shoe types won’t lower injury rates, we’re just choosing different injuries.
What’s the takeaway?
No matter what shoes you wear, your biomechanics won’t change while wearing them.
So if your shoes are aggravating an injury, they’ll probably continue to aggravate it as long as you run in them and vice versa.
Hokas won’t prevent injuries as much as they won’t cause them.
Feel good while wearing Hokas? Continue as you please.