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Shoe Review: HOKA ONE ONE Rincon 2

A pair of the HOKA Rincon 2 running shoes

The much-anticipated HOKA Rincon 2 is finally here, and it’s just as good as expected.

The Rincon 2 builds on its impressive debut with a more accommodating fit but leaves much of the shoe the same.

Like the original, HOKA pared down the Rincon 2 to its essential components to keep the weight low. Despite the streamlined build, though, the shoe still packs an impressive amount of cushioning foam.

Fleet Feet runners ran a few hundred miles in the HOKA Rincon 2 to test how it fits, how it rides and how it compares to the previous model. Here’s what they thought.

Tech specs

HOKA Rincon 2

Weight

7.2 oz (W), 7.7 oz (M)

Drop

5 mm

Stack height (heel/toe)

26/21 mm (W), 29/24mm (M)

Category

Neutral

Use

Everyday training

Surface

Road, track

HOKA Rincon 2 Fit and Materials

A man running in the HOKA Rincon 2

The HOKA Rincon 2 is simple.

A single-layer mesh upper covers the shoe. The one-piece mesh wraps from the front of the shoe all the way around the back. There’s only one seam along the heel where HOKA sewed the two ends together.

HOKA used a light printed overlay on the outside that adds a bit of structure to the midfoot without adding any excess weight, and there are a few low-profile midfoot supports welded inside the shoe to really lock down the fit.

Fleet Feet reviewers say they love the minimalist upper.

“There’s nothing there to distract you from your run,” one tester says. “It’s smooth and light, and it breathes pretty well.”

Like the upper, HOKA designed the tongue to make it disappear. The tongue is thin, and it provides a very light amount of padding on top of your foot, but it doesn’t distract from the streamlined feel of the shoe.

HOKA kept the oversized pull tab on the heel to make it easy to slip on.

The Rincon 2 is designed on a straight last, which you can see if you look at the shoe from above. The medial side of the shoe tracks relatively straight from heel to toe rather than bending inward like shoes built on a curved last.

The straight last has a couple benefits: It feels natural and provides inherent stability. Because of that, the Rincon 2 feels stable without using any traditional features, like a medial post. It’s also built on a wide base, which enhances that stable ride.

HOKA Rincon 2 Ride and Performance

A man running on the street in the HOKA Rincon 2 shoes

While HOKA maintained a minimalist upper, they went the opposite way with the midsole.

The maximalist midsole is a signature feature of HOKA running shoes, and the Rincon 2 keeps up with tradition. Designers gave the Rincon 2 a full stack of its lightweight EVA foam to make the shoe soft and bouncy without being heavy.

“It’s surprisingly light,” one tester says. “It looks big and feels cushy, but it doesn’t weigh on your muscles.”

HOKA says the Rincon 2 weighs 7.2 oz for the women’s version and 7.7 oz for the men’s.

To keep weight down, HOKA only used a bit of rubber on the outsole instead of coating the entire shoe. The zones of rubber cover the highest-abrasion areas, like the toe and heel. Otherwise the midsole foam is exposed to the ground.

The foam started to fray a little after a handful of miles. One tester who racked up a few hundred miles noted the foam wearing down where there wasn’t any rubber. Even with the exposed foam and noted wear pattern, though, the generous helping of cushioning means the shoe will last a while before needing to be replaced.

Plus, as one tester says, you’ll notice the difference of such a lightweight shoe.

“It does wear down quickly, but your miles will come fast,” he says. “It's an easy shoe to pick up the pace in.”

The Rincon 2 also feels flexible. It rolls smoothly from landing to toe off, and it provides a snappy response.

HOKA Rincon vs. HOKA Rincon 2

A side-by-side comparison of the HOKA Rincon and HOKA Rincon 2

You won’t see many major differences when you compare the HOKA Rincon and HOKA Rincon 2, which isn’t a bad thing. The original HOKA Rincon made a splash in the running world thanks to its feathery weight and huge cushion, and the second edition doesn’t stray from the combination.

Fleet Feet runners say the fit of the second version feels slightly wider from heel to toe than the original, which testers appreciated, but the upper feels similar. Designers tweaked the look, but the changes there were mostly aesthetic.

The outsoles are identical. Strips of rubber coat high-wear areas on the heel and forefoot, while the foam is exposed in the midfoot.

Tech comparison

HOKA Rincon

HOKA Rincon 2

Weight

6.3 oz (W), 7.7 oz (M)

7.2 oz (W), 7.7 oz (M)

Drop

5 mm

5 mm

Stack height

27/22 mm (W), 29/24 mm (M)

26/21 mm (W), 29/24 mm (M)

Upper

Mesh

Mesh

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Use

Everyday training

Everyday training

Conclusion

When you want the lightest weight with the biggest cushion, the HOKA Rincon 2 is the way to go.

HOKA did almost everything it could to keep weight down: a single-layer upper, thin tongue and strategic zones of outsole rubber. Even with the exposed foam that shows signs of wear, we think the tradeoff for minimal weight and maximum speed is worth it, especially if you have multiple pairs of shoes in your rotation.

With a slightly wider fit than before and the same lightweight ride, the HOKA Rincon 2 is a speedy training or racing shoe that packs tons of cushion for when you’re planning to run long.

Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.

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