IntroThis is the battle between my new Hoka One One - Bondi B Low and the New Balance - Minimus Trail 00.
First off there's already reviews out there e.g. on iRunFar.com. For the Hoka you may want to read this or for the NB Minimus this.
Hoka Bondi BAs for the Hoka, now after two runs with them (25k road only and 30k including roads and single-trails of different surface) I think this pretty much matches what was said by Travis Liles in his video review.
After getting more and more into minimalist running I had my doubts about such bulky and high shoe. But after a lot of positive reactions from other ultra runners I felt I give it a try (In my area Boeblingen, Germany you can get them at Kona Sports, Gaertringen). Again, watch the video review, I can only repeat what was said. I do had the feel that they are a bit too high and less stable because of that. But I think I got used to it. I ran a few downhill trails with some roots, rocks, and such and felt good. I cannot tell anything how good they are on mud but I think they will have their limits. At least Hoka is coming with a Trail version of this shoe. And I do think they do aid recovery. That was two runs within three days and I do not feel the distance. This is different if I do this in "barefoot" shoes.
And I want to add that I personally feel that this is not a "fast" shoe but a "go far" shoe. This probably comes from the big amount of cushioning of the shoe such that if you try to run very fast your force is simply absorbed by the shoe instead of bringing it in the ground and brining you forward. So I think I would not wear the Hoka in order to beat my PB in a city Marathon but maybe I should give it a try ;)
I just ran a 100 miler which is mostly forest roads, paths, or ways and trails. And it did again prove right on what was already said, this is a long distance shoe! And you definitely have less pain in the lower legs an even keens during and after the run. I mean don't get me wrong 100 miles do hurt no matter what but I felt fresh for a longer period of time. And not too crappy on the next morning(s).
NB Minimus Trail Zero
Honestly I did not had real chance to test them out. However they fit well, the outsole seems to have some good grip. A little bit of walking through the city was an interesting feeling. They do not have the same contact to the ground as for example the Vivobarefoot Evo, that probably comes from the outsole having some "bigger" tread pattern. So they to some extend still have a little bit of cushioning. But you definitely have to wear them on trails and not on any road.
Now I did some easy runs including trails any can say that they just work.
This means you get what you pay for a good, light, and minimal trail shoe. I will not put it on to go for an 100 miler (at least not at this point in time) but it has some good grip on terrain with loose gravel for example. Could not test on mud as there's now rain here for a while ;)
I will update this once I have used them and have the time to do so.