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Hoka Tecton X review

Does a carbon plate make the Hoka Tecton X better than other trail running shoes on the market? Kate Milsom finds out in her full review...

Our rating 
4.7 out of 5 star rating 4.7

The new Tecton X is Hoka’s first carbon-plated trail shoe and is one of only a few on the market today, though that list is growing. But does it live up to the hype?


Hoka Tecton X review

This neutral shoe has a jacquard mesh upper and an extra-long lacing system. These translate to a decent level of breathability and flex, while the gusseted tongue and laces provide that locked-in feel.

Meanwhile, the ProflyX midsole has a dual-density construction that combines a softer upper section (to absorb impact and cushion the foot) with a firmer base (which maintains stability and responsiveness).

Tucked within the midsole sit two carbon plates that run parallel to each other along the length of the shoe. Inspired by the earth’s tectonic plates, the unique design aims to improve lateral stability while maintaining powerful propulsion when in motion.

Hard-packed trail is where the Tecton X really excels; the plate protects from jagged rocks and roots, while the curvature from the Meta-Rocker helps to maintain energy for any distance from 5km to 50km ultras, as well as encouraging a smooth motion from foot strike to toe-off.

The 4mm multidirectional lugs do a great job of maintaining traction on a range of terrain, including stretches of road, but struggle a little in very soft mud.

There’s plenty of room for foot swelling in the toe box, yet we’d have preferred slightly more protection from the slim toe bumper.

Having said that, you’d be hard-pressed to find a lighter trail shoe (210g per shoe, size 5.5) with the same cushioning and tech.

Verdict: The ultimate all-rounder; grippy, light and propulsive.

Score: 95%

Also consider…

Hoka Torrent 2

Sure, they may not have a carbon plate, but these are still some top notch trail running shoes. Plus, they’re considerably cheaper, with an RRP of £110 when compared to the Tecton X (£175).

In our Hoka Torrent 2 review, we praised the shoe for its chunky, grippy outsole and comfortable ride. We also noted that they felt nimble and quick when in motion, which is always appreciated when running on trails.

To summarise, we said they were among our favourite trail shoes for long runs in winter. Admittedly, they look pretty good, too.