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Hoka One One Cavu 2 Review


Introduction:
The Hoka One One Cavu 2 is a lightweight neutral trainer recently released by Hoka with a different approach than most of their other models on the market. This shoe is designed to be light and responsive. This defers from the maximum cushion model normally seen from Hoka.


Specifications
Weight: 7.2 oz
Drop: 5mm
Classification: Lightweight neutral trainer

FIT/UPPER

The Cavu 2 upper is a synthetic mesh that is designed to breath well without giving up durability. The upper wraps the foot well without placing excessive pressure over any points of contact. The lacing is held down and covers the dorsum of the foot snug. The forefoot region is roomy and does not compress on the toes or on the lateral/medial sides of the foot. The Cavu 2 does run relatively small (true to size to about 0.5 size up).


RIDE/MIDSOLE

The PROFLY midsole provides a responsive sensation by assisting with the toe off portion of gait. PROFLY technology may not be as responsive as some of the other midfoot technologies on the market, but will suffice for daily runs, tempo runs, and fartlek runs.  It is a type of responsiveness that feels good at moderate paces (for me about high 5's, low 6 minute miles).

Despite this shoe placing emphasis on the PROFLY midsole, this shoe will appeal to a larger variety of runners. The moderately responsive misole allows for the shoe to feel good for all foot strikes, with midfoot being the most comfortable. This is because the shoe is not overly aggressive, it is more a fluid ride with a touch of responsiveness, rather than a fast ride with a lot of responsiveness. The sole is a little wider than other neutral trainers on the market, providing some indirect stability to the shoe as well.


STABILITY

As this is a neutral shoe, there are no formal "stability" features.  The shoe encompasses a wider sole that indirectly adds stability accompanied by a thicker (not more dense) midfoot. The rigid foam also adds a pinch of stability in comparison to more cushioned foams out there. The heel counter of this shoe is moderate in stability. My foot does not slip, but it is not necessarily locked in either. This is a shoe that encompasses minimal stability with moderate responsiveness, thanks to increased rigidity of the foam in the forefoot and midfoot.

SPEED

The Hoka Cavu 2 is best for long runs. The shoe is light, responsive, and can assist with driving the legs home when they are fatigued. The shoe is light enough to tackle tempo runs, fartleks, and longer interval workouts.  The shoe loses some appeal at the highest of speeds (but then again, it is a trainer, not a racing flat).  It feels great at moderate speeds (high 5's, low 6 minute miles). This is not a shoe that I would recommend racing in for high performance, but for recreational long distance use it can do the job.


DURABILITY

The sole is moderately durable and matches up well with other road training competitors. The X shape technology helps with traction across terrains, but doesn't add any real integrity to the sole. The sole has hardened rubber at the lateral heel and entire forefoot, though the hardened foam is significantly less durable than some other daily trainers on the market. This is a shoe that I would estimate to tap out around 300-350 miles.

Even though the focus is on responsiveness, this shoe does offer a moderate/mild amount of cushioning. This shoe definitely feels more like a trainer than a racing flat, but does so in a way that is more rigid and firm. The shoe still holds a relatively high stack height for a trainer (though lower than many other Hoka's on the market).

THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

The Hoka One One Cavu 2 is a shoe that is designed for someone who is relatively biomechanically efficient. The wider sole and raised midfoot allows for more gait deviation than some other lightweight neutral trainers on the market, but not enough to "correct" any deviations. This shoe serves more as a vehicle for bridging the gap on some minor impairments and providing a platform for a runner who is looking to push the pace when they want to and also run at a steady state with the same shoe. If one does not have proximal hip or intrinsic foot stability, they may find themselves collapsing into the classic genu valgus (knee collapsing inwards) loading response in many runners.  The PROFLY midsole technology acts as more of a guide to a fluid toe off, rather than a "pushing" sensation seen in the Carbon X.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

The Cavu 2 is for a neutral runner that is looking for a shoe that can handle higher paces without giving up the features of a daily trainer.  The PROFLY midsole provides mild to moderate responsiveness to the shoe, allowing it to be appropriate for a wider audience. The Cavu 2 is a road shoe that can expand to flatter trails/grass surfaces as well, so those who live in highly concreted areas may enjoy it. For someone who wants flexibility out of their shoe to be a milder workout and training shoe, this is a decent option on the market!

GRADING

Fit/Upper          9/10
Ride/Midsole    7/10
Stability            7/10
Speed                8.5/10
Durability          8/10

Total Score: 7.9/10

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. David Salas DPT PTLA CSCS
Physical Therapy License Applicant
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Disclaimer: We put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 50 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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