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Hoka One One Evo Rehi Review

The Hoka One One Evo Rehi is the continued evolution of Hoka's road racing line.  From only the Tracer to now the Evo Carbon Rocket, Evo Rehi and (technically) the Carbon X (REVIEW).  Consistent with having multiple models that are different and similar at the same time, the Rocket and Rehi are both the choice for faster races and workouts, but have completely different rides.  The Rehi is the cushioned, flexible and super light Hoka ride, the likes of which are completely new to the market.  The ride and fit are very unique, and are certainly worth discussing and checking out.

Specifications (per Hoka One One)
Weight: 6.7 oz (men's size 9)
Stack Height: 24mm / 20 mm
Drop: 4mm
Classification: Road Racing Flat


The upper of the Hoka One One Evo Rehi is one of the most comfortable that I have ever tried.  The MATRYX material is made of strategically placed kevlar that provides a durable, but adaptable fit.  The upper itself is extremely soft and flexible against the skin.  I have done most of my workouts without socks in this shoe and came away with no irritations or blisters.  This has also been my go to recovery shoe and casual shoe as it is so comfortable.  The upper stretches very well and will accommodate a variety of foot types.   The forefoot is a little wider and more anatomic than most racing flats.  The heel and midfoot are a little snugger.  There is no heel counter, just the elevated midsole sidewalls that hold the rear of the foot well.  The flexibility of the upper does conform to the foot well, however this is not a shoe I would use for fast or sharp turns as there is little reinforcement outside the MATRYX material.


The ride of the Hoka One One Evo Rehi is very unique ride when it comes to a Hoka shoe.  While the heel is surprisingly cushioned for such a lightweight shoe, the forefoot is thinner and far more flexible than any shoe I have tried recently.  Your foot will sink into the heel and feels locked in by the elevated midsole side walls.  There is an extensive heel bevel (normal for Hoka) but little to no toe spring in the front of the shoe.  So those who are used to the metarocker in the front of their Hoka shoes will find it gone.  The forefoot is cushioned, but far thinner than any Hoka I have tried.  There is actually some ground feel thanks to the very flexible forefoot.

There is a 4mm heel drop, however depending on where you land that may change.  The extensive heel rocker makes for a smooth landing in the rear.  The flexible forefoot makes for a smooth natural transition up front.  The Hoka Rehi is by far the most natural riding Hoka I have tried, but know it still has an above above average level of cushioning for a racing flat.


The Hoka Rehi is surprisingly stable for a low to the ground cushioned shoe.  Most of this comes from the wider outsole and the elevated heel midsole side walls that cup the heel extremely well.  The sole is flared in the heel and forefoot, but the sole is soft enough that it compresses without causing jarring landings.  The midfoot outsole is far wider than most racing shoes, creating a more straight lasted shoe (which means more inherent stability). 


Given the lightweight and cushioning, the Hoka One One Evo Rehi works best for tempo runs and races from the 5k to half marathon.  The excellent ground feel makes the Rehi great for 10k races, but the amount of cushioning and lack of stiffness does not provide any additional responsiveness.  For all out speed, the forefoot bottoms out and you will feel the pavement or track when you toe off.


The outsole of the Hoka One One Evo Rehi is only exposed EVA.  While this does keep the shoe lighter, it does raise durability concerns.  Over 28 miles, I am beginning to see some wear, but no more than what I would expect for a racing flat.  The cushioning in the heel has remained consistent over the +25 miles, however I am beginning to notice the forefoot starting to firm up a little.  This does raise concerns about whether the forefoot cushioning will disappear, but I actually like it as it gives a little more firm toe off (instead of the bottoming out mentioned above).  The X-Shaped, flexible outsole does provide good grip on smooth of surfaces.  For road (even wet road) and smooth park trails, the grip on smooth wet and dirt surfaces is fairly good.  For grass and aggressive trails, I would definitely avoid using this shoe due to the excessive flexibility.


In the age of excessive toe spring and carbon fiber plates, it is rare to find a shoe, let alone a racing shoe, with as much forefoot flexibility as the Hoka One One Evo Rehi.  While this provides a great natural ride, there are a few biomechanical requirements to running in such a shoe.  One of the most important is having enough toe extension, particularly great toe extension.  The 1st toe (Hallux) is a very important pivot and power point for the foot.  A large number of muscles connect there and having appropriate range of motion is important to allow for the terminal stance and pre-swing/toe off phases of gait.  AKA the points where you actually push off the ground and propel yourself forward (or at least the point where your ankles and feet do that.  The areas above the foot and ankle can have different timing when it comes to forward propulsion).  

Image result for hallux extension
Image from Physiopedia

Normal range of motion required for walking is 60 degrees of great toe extension.  More is generally required for running, although exact amounts may vary depending on your source of information.  The ability to extend and roll over your toes is called the forefoot rocker, which is one of the many mechanisms that makes humans efficient with upright gait.  Having the ability to extend your toes, particularly your great toe, is also part of the windlass mechanism.  IE what your plantar fascia does.  Which is to tighten up and stabilize your arch, creating a rigid stable base (foot) to push off from.  When individuals have stiff toes, hallux valgus (bunions), hammer toes, etc, you lose this important mechanism and may lose arch stability. 

As we get older and stiffer, this is something that many quickly lose.  Continuing to work on your ability to extend your toes (which I will post about soon) is incredibly important for maintaining normal efficient walking and running patterns.  The loss of great toe extension can be compensated for by having extra toe spring (common to Hokas), however your ability to run in shoes like the Rehi will be limited.  So keep your options open.


The Hoka One One Evo Rehi is a lightweight cushioned racing flat meant for tempo runs and 5k to half marathon racing.  For looking to race shorter and faster distances, but still want the cushioning usually devoid of traditional 5k-10k racers, the Hoka Rehi will be a great option.  With the most comfortable upper I have ever tried, this shoe will work as a race, workout and casual day option (if your significant other lets you wear running shoes casually).  The upper will fit a variety of foot types thanks to the stretchy mesh.  The sole will provide far more cushion than your average 5k-10k racer.  The extremely flexible forefoot provides a natural toe off, but doesn't have the kick associated with a carbon fiber plate.  So for those looking for a natural riding, cushioned racing flat, take a look at the Evo Rehi.


Fit/Upper          10/10
Ride/Midsole    8/10
Stability            9/10
Speed                8/10
Durability          7/10

Total Score: 84%

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Dr. Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

***Disclaimer: These shoes were a personal purchase and were bought their full US retail price of $140.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 28 miles on my pair. My views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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