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HOKA'S LATEST RACE running shoe, the Cielo X1, officially launched today, February 1, 2024. Available now for $275 on the brand's website, it can also be found on select online retailers like Holabird Sports, Portland Running Company, and Marathon Sports. It is yet to be released on Amazon.
Known for its maximalist design with sky-high midsoles with substantial cushioning, Hoka running shoes offer both great comfort and impact absorption. The brand's shoes often feature a distinctive rocker design (often referred to as a ‘meta rocker’), that encourages smooth transitions from heel to toe and promotes a comfortable running experience. Hoka running shoes are often favored by those who crave a little extra bounce and cushioning underfoot, which we particularly like for race day.
The new Cielo X1 follows the Rocket X2 in Hoka's race day shoe offerings (the brand also has the Mach X, a highly responsive Pebax-plated training shoe and the Cielo Road, a speedy racing flat for shorter distances). "The Rocket X2 is the super shoe that launched Hoka's race day line into the stratosphere with a responsive foam and snappy plate the brand had been lacking," says Brett Williams, NASM, MH Senior Fitness Editor, who had the opportunity to test both the Rocket X2 and the Cielo X1 pre-launch.
Similar to the Rocket X2, the Cielo X1 is designed for race running spanning 10k to marathon distances, and is Hoka's best-performing racer yet, according to Williams. He mentions, "This new release puts Hoka in the conversation for one of the better carbon plate options available." Although he hasn't raced in them yet, Williams' tempo training and long runs have felt energized by the light, speedy kicks.
The minimalist knit upper and collar offer a secure yet breathable feel, and the metarocker shape, winged carbon fiber plate, and 39 mm of bouncy foam cushioning contribute to a swift stride cycle. That said, the Cielo X1 is slightly heavier than the Rocket X2 (by about an ounce), which hasn't been an issue for Williams’ runs up to 10 miles—but it’s something he'll keep in mind when ramping up closer to half marathon or marathon distance.
The Cielo X1 is a well-rounded, exciting addition to Hoka’s budding collection of super shoes. If you're gearing up for races of 10k or longer this year, the Cielo X1 could be a valuable addition to your lineup.
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