Finding a running shoe with a universal fit that caters to everyone is rare. It’s frustrating to pass up on a good style just because it doesn’t come in your size. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to say goodbye to a potential new shoe because it only came in men’s sizing. Sad! The cult-favorite running brand Hoka understands my struggle, because some of its top gear is gender-neutral, meaning everyone can hit the pavement in the brand’s colorful, ultra-comfy sneakers, from the Cliftons to the Bondis. (Woo!) While Hoka offers many unisex pieces, today I’m here to praise the Rocket X 2.
The Rocket X 2 launched just a couple months ago, so obviously I needed to add them to my growing Hoka collection. They’re specifically geared towards elite runners whose agenda is road racing, and even though I’m more of a city runner, I consider myself enough of a serious, committed athlete to get some good use out of them. Fake it till you make it is what I always say.
The Rocket X 2 is designed with a reinvented carbon fiber plate smashed between two foam layers, which is meant to spring you forward, provide a responsive landing, and give momentum with each stride. The impressive running tech doesn’t stop there. The shoes are also constructed with ProFly-X, which is cushioning that is made with both soft and firm foams, for a squishy landing and speedy, propulsive take-off. Other features include a synthetic upper mesh for a snug fit and neutral stability.
I’ve been wearing the Rocket X 2 for about a month and they definitely live up to its description. Some adjectives that immediately come to my mind are “bouncy,” “weightless,” and “sexy.” (The neon turquoise and coral colorway is so visually appealing it would be a sin to not praise it for its good looks.) I religiously run in Central Park, and these sneakers definitely support my feet and offer superior lift while pounding the pavement. The bounce-back with each stride is very noticeable and provides an effortless rebound compared to its sibling, the Clifton 9. The only downside of these shoes is I find them to be very narrow, so I absolutely recommend going up a half size.
Since these are racing shoes, they’re best put to use on your big day, whether that’s a 5K or a marathon—but they’re also ideal for training, and you should definitely run in them numerous times and on a few different terrains to make sure they’re a good fit. The thought of blisters on race day makes me simply want to pass away. They currently have a 4.3 star-average rating on Hoka’s site, with one reviewer saying, “this shoe really disappears on your foot when running at faster paces.” Preach.
My TL;DR: If you want to feel like a cross-country star and have a versatile shoe that has a unisex fit for all racers, Hoka’s Rocket X 2 has proved itself a top contender in the running sneaker game.
The Hoka Rocket X 2 is now available on Hoka’s website.
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