Hoka Tecton X Review Analysis (2022)
Last update: May 2022
The Hoka Tecton X is a lightweight, fast, and flexible trail running shoe for runners looking for ultra-performance on relatively dry and smooth terrain.
If you find the Zinal too fast for you and the Speedgoat great but overly built up, the new Hoka Tecton X may just be what you need!
First off, it’s the first trail running shoe of the brand to boast a carbon-fiber plate. Other brands in the trail running shoe industry have tried it before (the first one was The North Face), but Hoka’s originality lies in using dual carbon plates. Supposedly inspired by the workings of tectonic plates (hence the name), it aims to deliver easy forward propulsion with enhanced stability.
The ProFly X midsole is the other technological innovation of this trail running shoe. This dual-density foam midsole combines two materials. The result is softness and flexibility immediately under the foot with the top layer, while underneath the supercritical CMEVA foam delivers lightness and responsiveness. It’s a winning formula that provides a soft, bouncy, and cushioned ride that reviewers loved.
Another highlight of the shoe is its lightweight, with a weight of only 252/8.9 oz g in the men’s version, it’s enough to make you fly while running–or at least feel like it!
Next, the grip is effective on a wide variety of surfaces with its Vibram Megagrip Litebase outsole and 4 mm lugs. However, some runners complain about limited performance on technical trails like rocky terrain or sticky mud.
Finally, the foot lockdown is snug and comfortable, with an expanded forefoot to accommodate wide feet.
In short, the Hoka Tecton X is a technological gem that will undoubtedly seduce many runners in 2022!
Please read our full review of the Hoka Tecton X for more information.
- Bouncy and propulsive ride with the two carbon plates
- Lightweight shoe
- Soft and responsive cushioning
- Good foot lockdown
- Suitable for most terrains
- Very high price ($220) but inline with other carbon-fiber plate shoes
Hoka Tecton X Complete Review Analysis
When your name is Hoka, and you proudly craft the most popular trail running shoe globally, what idea could you possibly have for releasing a competing shoe in the same month as the 5th iteration of this shoe (namely, the Speedgoat 5)?
There are two reasons for this crazy idea: innovation and performance. Indeed, the Tecton X is the brand’s first carbon-plated trail running shoe. Hoka breaks new ground with an innovative dual plate system to make a bold statement.
Is this shoe the most revolutionary model since the first Hoka Speedgoat? Do the carbon plates have a real added value on this trail running shoe? Is Hoka taking a risk by releasing this technological jewel only a few months after the Zinal, in appearance very similar?
That’s what we’re going to check in more detail in this analysis!
Grip and durability
Hoka stays true to its typical outsole design:
- A zonal rubber Litebase construction with Vibram Megagrip as material.
- Strategically placed 4 mm lugs, aggressive but not overly so.
The combination has worked for years on other brand models and provides excellent grip. No reason to mess with it!
The lugs cover strategic areas of the sole, including the edges of the shoe. The central part of the foot remains bare. This is where you can spot the famous “X,” symbolizing carbon.
Trailers note the formidable traction of the Vibram Megagrip sole on dry and hard surfaces (including very packed snow), its favorite terrains. On soft ground, reviews are more mixed. On loose surfaces, mud tends to accumulate on the central “X” and weighs down the shoe. This can be uncomfortable, especially at the end of a run, when you’re at the end of your life and feel like your body has completely separated from its extremities (head and feet).
Last but not least, the testers appreciated the natural stability of the Hoka Tecton X resulting from the relatively wide platform. A real fatigue repellent!
It’s an understatement to say that Hoka has put a lot of technology into the midsole.
The ProFly X midsole is a great combo of 2 different foam layers, two carbon plates, and a rocker.
The layer immediately under the foot is ultra-soft and flexible, maximizing comfort. The bottom layer is Hoka’s supercritical CMEVA foam, which is lightweight and responsive. According to testers, the combination of the 2 works perfectly and provides a balanced cushioning between bounce, comfort, and ground feel.
The cushioning to weight ratio is remarkable. The Hoka Tecton X keeps the same stack height as the Hoka Speedgoat (33 mm stack height in the heel and 29 mm in the forefoot – drop of 4 mm) with 20 g/0.7 oz less.
By integrating not one but two carbon fiber plates parallel to the length of the shoe, Hoka was inspired by the way real tectonic plates float on the earth’s surface. Got the picture? Or do you wish you had paid more attention to your science class in 8th grade?
These two carbon plates represent the small revolution of the Tecton X. It is indeed the first trail running shoe of the brand to integrate this technology and provide a bouncy, smooth, and super soft ride on various natural terrains. We’ll see what the testers thought of it later.
Foot lockdown (upper)
The Hoka Tecton X uses a thin, flexible Jacquard engineered mesh upper, with no overlays or reinforcements other than a protective stone guard at the forefoot. This mesh is breathable and comfortable for your feet. The use of recycled and vegan materials will delight carbon footprint-conscious runners and animal lovers.
This upper is far from lacking structure, though. It offers a precise midfoot lockdown. The gusseted tongue is breathable and extends almost to the tip of the shoe. It allows for an easy and secure “forget me” fit. Trail runners also find the support better adjusted than on the EVO Speedgoat.
The weight of 252 g/8.9 oz in the men’s version puts the Hoka Tecton X in the Lightweight category, especially for trail running shoes. A definite advantage of the supercritical foam!
The toe box is quite spacious on the front part of the shoe, so it’s suitable for wide feet. The heel counter is lightly padded, flexible, and provides good support on a wide variety of surfaces (with perhaps the exception of super-technical terrain).
The Tecton X upper has all the necessary qualities to be appreciated by most runners. However, some people doubt its sturdiness on very rugged trails (isn’t the fabric too thin?). Time will tell, Hoka doesn’t have a spotless track record on this point (looking at you, Torrent 2), so let’s see!
This new model of trail running shoe from Hoka has won over the majority of trail runners who have tested it. They agree that the ride is light, flexible, and responsive. The ride feels excellent on its preferred terrains, moderately technical terrain (dry or frozen ground, packed snow). Even running on asphalt is quite unexpectedly pleasant for a trail running shoe! On the other hand, it could be better for more challenging surfaces, like rocky paths, sticky mud, or soft snow.
The combo of the 2 ProFly X foams offers a soft landing followed by a responsive bounce, especially with the supercritical foam. The carbon plates add to this by delivering a flexible impulse and energy return.
On the downside, some runners are skeptical about the incremental value of the carbon plates, taunted as a great technological revolution for trail running. Indeed, ultramarathon running is not only about speed for the common mortal. Finally, others were not too impressed with the so-called concept of tectonic plates and judged the shoe was actually unstable on tricky trails.
To summarize, the testers unanimously appreciated the ride and predicted a bright future for this new Hoka collection!
Hoka makes a (big?) bang with its carbon trail shoes! The Hoka Tecton X packs the best of the brand’s technology and other collections into a lively new collection that delivers on its promises. It’s a performance-oriented shoe for long distances, versatile enough to adapt to most situations.
With their peppy ride, versatility, and stability, there’s no doubt these shoes have their place in between the Speedgoat for long, technical runs and the Zinal for short, fast runs.
There’s no doubt that the Tecton X is an exciting new series and we can’t wait to see the direction it will take in the future!
|Heel stack height||33 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||29 mm|
|Weight (men)||252 g/8.9 oz|
|Weight (women)||210 g/7.4 oz|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft|
|Bounce (1-5)||5 – Very bouncy|
|Distance||Short, mid, long, ultramarathon|
Hoka Speedgoat 5
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This shoe runs true to size. Also, the toe box is quite soft and roomy, which should suit athletes with wider feet.
No, but it has two carbon plates that, besides the decent midsole stack, also provide some protection.
Aurore is a runner and a writer. She fell in love with running and trail running in 2013. Since then, the pleasure of running in the middle of beautiful landscapes has never left her. Aurore loves to travel, and the few finisher medals she is most proud of are: her 2 “road” marathons (Rome 2015, Copenhagen 2019); the Trail du Ponant in Belle-Île (2016); and the Mont Blanc Marathon (2017).