First of all, we must put the Carbon X 2 in the context of 2020. After the rush for carbon footwear in 2018/2019, the novelty stage has passed. We are now spoilt for choice, with every major brand offering at least one carbon-fiber plate model. In this regard, the weight of the Carbon X 2 is in the high range with 239 g/8.4 oz (men's model). In comparison, the Adidas Adios Pro weighs 224 g/7.9 oz and the Nike Alphafly 229 g/8.0 oz despite their high stack height close to 40 mm.
The Hoka Carbon X 2 offers a thinner sole than before with 32 mm for men and 30 mm for women under the heel with a 5 mm drop. The cushioning of the PROFLY X midsole and its CMEVA foam is softer but remains firm overall. The carbon plate, which was very stiff on the first model, is also a bit more flexible, which gives a smooth but less propulsive ride than before, according to the testers. Also, the softer cushioning reduces the ground feel. Overall, this slight configuration change provides greater comfort and versatility for longer runs.
Next, the upper remains very similar to the first model, but with a new sleek flared heel. It was well-received overall, especially because of its padding that locks-in the heel comfortably in the shoe. Besides, the mesh is a little thicker, which makes it more resistant than before. The result is a tighter lockdown. The testers praised this improvement, noting that it makes the shoe more suitable for racing. Finally, the wide, foam-rich "Swallow Tail" heel adds stability. It's specially designed for runners who heel strike (the majority) and provides more comfortable cushioning upon landing. However, if you forefoot or midfoot strike, the benefit may be minimal, and the bulky piece may even weigh you down for nothing.
When it comes to durability, the rubberized foam of the outsole is frankly not ideal for high-mileage runners. For example, some users have noticed wear signs after about 250 km/155 mi, which is not great considering the shoe's price. Unfortunately, it's often the case with this type of shoe.
In summary, the Hoka Carbon X 2 remains true to the first model with a firm and springy cushioning that lends itself well to long distances. However, the shoe seduces without impressing, and its durability limits its versatility. In other words, it lacks this WOW factor to instantly turn heads. Hoka fans, go for it! For others, take the time to compare with other carbon-fiber plate shoes to determine what suits you best.
- Comfortable and responsive cushioning
- Sturdy yet lightweight upper that offers impeccable lockdown, especially with its new flared heel design
- Lightweight shoe
- Versatile to go fast and far
- The durability of the outsole is concerning
- Narrower design than before, which may not be suitable for some runners
Model: Hoka Carbon X 2
- The outsole of the Hoka Carbon X 2 features rubberized EVA foam that combines the cushioning of EVA foam to the sturdiness of rubber for more comfortable and snappier stride. This setup ensures a great grip on city surfaces.
- The midsole is equipped with the technology PROFLY X. It’s a lightweight and resilient dual density foam. It’s found above the carbon-fiber plate.
- The firm part of PROFLY X consists of CMEVA (compression-molded EVA), a single-density padding that offers responsive cushioning.
- The Swallow Tail is a decoupled heel geometry with a stable, padded and wide ground contact zone for softer landings.
- Early Stage Meta-Rocker: a unique design of Hoka that provides a natural rocking motion for smoother transitions.
- The upper of the Hoka Carbon X 2 is a lightweight engineered mesh that promotes a comfortable and secure foot lockdown while facilitating ventilation, especially in the summer.
- The gusseted tongue prevents debris from entering the shoe while running. Also, the design of the tongue (wide and connected to the mesh on both sides) keeps it in the middle to run worry-free.
- The Flared heel design improves foot support to prevent slippage while respecting the Achilles.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Does the Hoka Carbon X 2 fit true to size?
Yes, this shoe fits true to size. Indeed, runners who tested the shoe confirmed that it fits without any surprises. Therefore, you can order your regular size for running shoes. Having said that, if this your first pair of Hoka shoes, it could be wise to give them a try in-store to be 100% sure.
Is the Hoka Carbon X 2 good if I have overpronation?
Yes, this shoe should be adapted to most athletes. Indeed, it’s a neutral running shoe. As such, it’s designed to suit all athletes independently from their pronation type. It doesn’t offer stability props to guide the movement and reduce overpronation. Anyhow, let’s note that stability shoes are not a better choice than neutral shoes to prevent injury. Accordingly, we advise that you choose your running shoes based on their comfort, as it’s the most important criterion. To summarize, you can use these shoes independently from your type of pronation, as long as it’s comfortable.
I'm a heavyweight athlete. Are the Hoka Carbon X 2 suitable for me?
Yes, this model should normally be suitable regardless of your weight as it’s comfortably cushioned with a 32 mm stack height under the heel (30 mm for women).
Is this model suitable to run a marathon?
Yes, this shoe offers comfortable (though firm) cushioning that lends itself well to marathon running. With this in mind, Hoka created this model, and testers confirm that it’s a solid choice for marathon racing.
Comparisons – Hoka Carbon X 2 vs:
Hoka Rocket X
The Rocket X offers a similar but softer configuration with a similar stack height. The main difference between these two models lies in their cushioning: the Carbon X 2 offers a more pronounced rocker movement while the Rocket X, despite its carbon plate, behaves more like a classic trainer. So it’s all a matter of personal preference. See the side-by-side comparison.
Saucony Endorphin Pro
The Saucony Endorphin Pro is one of the most impressive carbon footwear with its explosive cushioning. However, its platform is even stiffer than that of the Hoka with a narrower profile. This makes it a winner in terms of performance, but it’s less stable and less versatile than the Carbon X 2. See the side-by-side comparison.
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro
According to the testers who tested both shoes, the Adidas is vastly superior for racing with its more responsive cushioning and lighter build. However, they note that the Hoka is more versatile and better suited for daily workouts. See the side-by-side comparison.