HOKA ONE ONE’s TenNine Hike GTX is a Maximalist FlexRelease: 17 May 2021
Part of the ‘Happy Trails’ outdoor exploration in the latest edition of Sneaker Freaker magazine, HOKA ONE ONE are a relative newcomer to the running world, but their ‘maximalist’ design credo has revolutionised industry presumptions over the past decade. The pillowy-proportioned midsole concept was originally based on the founders’ observation that downhill mountain bikes with huge air-filled tyres and shock absorbers seemed to work pretty good. If less is more, surely bigger is better? And so it began.
Described by HOKA as ‘part-hovercraft and part-hiking boot’, the all-new TenNine Hike GTX takes chunky trainer steez to its logical and most ludicrous end-game, but rather than focus on form as pure fashion, this is unadulterated function at its eye-popping best. Where do we start? Ripstop textiles, 100 per cent recycled RPET lining, proprietary foam midsoles, GORE-TEX ‘leaf’ waterproofing and Vibram Litebase MegaGrip soles add tech-sheet heft, but it’s the TenNine’s bazonkers ‘wedged’ heel that flips lids from any angle. Like Ben Lexcen’s controversial winged keel design that took home the America’s Cup yacht race in 1983, the TenNine’s radical posterior has been artfully articulated to maximise performance. Infused with HOKA’s ‘Hubble Heel’ geometry, hikers will appreciate the super efficient heel-to-toe transition and the Rolls Royce–like glide over the toughest of terrain.
Resplendent in bad-ass black – except for those bright yellow Vibram callouts – the TenNine’s tactical stance is softened somewhat in more melodious colour combinations, but there’s no denying these iconoclast proportions are bound to ruffle feathers.
As HOKA say, ‘Go ahead… it’s time to fly!’ Head to their webstore right now to cop!