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Hoka Rincon 3 Review Analysis (2022)

Hoka Rincon 3 review

Published on: 09/13/2021

The Consensus

9.2Overall score
Very good comfortable, and versatile lightweight trainer
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

The Hoka Rincon version 3 is an ultra-lightweight, breathable, and comfortable running shoe. A versatile shoe, it can adapt to the variety of your training, from daily workouts and uptempo sessions to recovery runs.

Runners will appreciate the soft yet responsive cushioning provided by the CMEVA midsole foam. This foam remains effective without being overly sophisticated, especially on a shoe this light (210 g/7.4 oz for the men’s version).

The upper has been improved compared to version 2, with a single-layer engineered mesh upper made from 100% vegan materials allowing better airflow. The result is an airy, well-fitting, and more environmentally-friendly shoe. The foot lockdown is impeccable at all times.

The outsole remains the main drawback of this otherwise great shoe. While the outsole rubber parts have been reinforced in the heel and under the forefoot, testers still doubt the long-term durability because of the exposed foam. Time will tell! As for the rest, the flexibility of the outsole dramatically contributes to the responsive ride of the shoe.

All in all, the Rincon 3 is a top choice if you’re looking for a versatile, responsive, and lightweight running shoe for your daily runs.

Read our full review of the Hoka Rincon 3 for more information.
Comfort
9.5
Responsiveness
9.5
Foot lockdown
8.5
Stability
9
Durability
8.5
Value for money
9
Design
9
PROS
  • Incomparable cushioning/weight/price ratio
  • Ultra-lightweight shoes
  • Breathable and perfectly fitting upper
  • Very versatile shoe
  • Vegan upper materials
CONS
  • Some doubts about the durability, even if there’s a slight improvement compared to the previous model

Hoka Rincon 3 Complete Review Analysis

Introduction

The Hoka One One Rincon 3 is one of the fastest, lightest, and most versatile running shoes from the ex-French turned American brand. It had no trouble finding its place in the Hoka lineup when it first came out, somewhere between the comfortable cushioning of the Clifton 8 and the snappy ride of the Mach 4.

Known for its weight/cushioning/price ratio, it’s one of the lightest shoes designed by the brand so far (210 g/7.4 oz for men and 176 g/6.2 oz for women).

There are few changes compared to the Rincon 2. The few adjustments aim to increase the durability of the shoe, its main weakness so far, and further improve its performance. Hoka added some rubber, modified the midsole foam, and adjusted the midsole cutouts.

Does the result live up to the runners’ expectations?

Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of this fantastic shoe.

Cushioning

CMEVA foam, Revisited Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry

I go by the sweet code name of S38x24|V603|W215. I was already present on the Rincon 2. I am ultra-lightweight with pronounced cutouts. I’m bouncy and more durable than my predecessors because I’m present in one block along the entire length of the sole. I offer impeccable cushioning. Finally, I’m the signature cushioning of the Hoka brand. I am, I am…? The new Compression-Molded EVA foam, of course!

Of course, it’s not the most sophisticated of foams if you compare it to others proposed by the competition (e.g., Nitro by Puma or ZoomX by Nike). But it gets the job done.

Hoka One One’s stated goal with this new midsole foam is to improve the shoe’s exceptional cushioning durability. It was indeed one of the frustrations of previous models: the rebound was dazzling but tended to disappear quickly. Some runners still have doubts about the effectiveness of the foam’s ability to last: will it stand the test of time as effectively as more sophisticated foams? We’ll need to check again in a few months.

The heel-to-toe drop of the shoe is still 5 mm, like in the earlier versions. The underfoot feel is responsive and smooth at the same time.

With a 29mm under the heel (26mm for women) and 24mm/21mm under the forefoot, the stack height is the same as the Clifton 8 (see comparison) and Mach 4’s but not as high as the Bondi 7’s (see comparison). It’s just as effective in terms of shock absorption and flexibility.

Overall, the runners who tested the shoe considered it punched way above its weight class in cushioning and flexibility.

Foot lockdown (upper)

Engineered Mesh, Thin Tongue

The upper of the Hoka One One Rincon 3 has been further refined for performance. Everything is there to ensure absolute comfort for the runners’ feet as well as breathability:

  • A single layer mesh ventilated and improved
  • A thin and asymmetrical tongue to avoid irritation on the top of the foot
  • Revisited materials that have reduced the weight by ten grams compared to the Rincon 2 besides being 100% vegan!

However, some testers lament a lack of flexibility of the mesh and its very plastic look (not fantastic!).

With its 210 g/7.4 0z on the scale (men’s version), the shoe is in the featherweight category for a model intended for daily training. It’s undoubtedly one of the model’s strong points, the one that has made its reputation since the first Rincon.

The old pull-tab has been replaced by a thinner pull-tab (a thin cord, really) that makes the shoe easier to put on. Testers’ reviews are somewhat mixed on the subject, with some finding the thread uncomfortable to use.

Finally, in terms of lockdown, the testers are unanimous: the upper wraps perfectly around the runner’s foot shape. We can even say a little too well for some runners, who would love to have 2 or 3 mm extra width in the midfoot and the toe box.

Fortunately, a wide version exists for wider feet if you need more toe room.

Grip and durability

Hi-Abrasion Rubber, Full Ground Contact Design

The outsole remains the weak point in this otherwise good road shoe. The rubber is too shallow to provide real protection over time. The Rincon would need more rubber to withstand the wear from the pavement.

However, runners note some improvements over the Rincon 2. The rubber parts are more numerous and come with a new design to provide a little more coverage. They prevent wear and tear in the sensitive areas directly in contact with the ground, especially under the heel and the ball of the foot.

The outsole features a new pattern with more longitudinal grooves under the foot, promoting flexibility.

There are mixed reviews on the large opening in the midsole. It’s great for heel strikers, who land directly on the rubber pads. It’s much less suitable for midfoot strikers who might tend to wear it out faster.

They all agree that the moderate amount of rubber allows the Hoka One One Rincon 3 to maintain its reputation as a light and flexible shoe.

The Ride

Hoka Rincon 3 road running shoe

Runners agree: the Hoka Rincon 3 provides a pleasant and fun ride from the very first stride. They appreciate this shoe’s responsive and plush cushion, which also feels light, so light that testers noted it made them want to go even faster, and they had to pace themselves!

The versatility of these running shoes is a definite highlight for all types of training and distances: daily training, uptempo sessions, fartlek, recovery sessions, etc. Runners love the fact that they can use the Rincon in all circumstances. However, most runners find that the Rincon 3 is best suited for shorter distances, up to half-marathons.

With the Rincon 3, there’s no need for a carbon plate or complicated geometric construction. Speed is the name of the game with its balance of a responsive midsole, modern outsole geometry, and ultralightweight in-shoe feel.

Conclusion

The Hoka Rincon 3 is a fun (look at its California beach colors!) and versatile shoe that packs many qualities: lightweight upper, snug fit (a little too close to the foot for some), bouncy cushioning, and very reasonable price.

It’s a shoe that offers the perfect balance between comfort and performance for runners who already have a good running technique. Simple and refined, it leaves the frills to its competitors to focus on nothing else but efficiency.

Some runners are still curious about how the Rincon 3 would fare in terms of ride, weight, and durability with an even lighter and more resilient foam. Imagine that. Bring it on Rincon 4!

Facts

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop5 mm
Heel height29 mm
Forefoot height24 mm
Weight (men)210 g/7.4 oz
Weight (women)176 g/6.2 oz
Features
Athletes
Release year2021
PriceCheck prices

Cushioning

SoftnessSoft
ResponsivenessHigh

Technologies

OutsoleHi-Abrasion Rubber, Full Ground Contact
MidsoleCMEVA, Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
UpperEngineered Mesh

Use

SpeedSlow, Moderate, Fast
DistanceMid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon
WorkoutDaily running

Comparisons

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does the Hoka Rincon 3 fit?

This running shoe fits true to size, but some testers felt it was narrow, especially around the midfoot. Luckily, a wide version is available if you need it.

Is this a stability shoe?

No, it’s a neutral shoe, meaning it aims to suit everybody. If you need more support, you should look at the Hoka Mach 4, which is more stable.

Is the Hoka Rincon 3 a good shoe for the marathon?

It’s up to you depending on your preferences. On paper, it fits the bill in terms of comfort and performance. However, its lower durability may not be sufficient to allow you to train and race with the same pair. So you may want to alternate with another model during your preparation.

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

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