Hoka Tecton X 2 - Women's Review
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Hoka Tecton X 2 - Women's
|Price||$224.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Consumer-accessible carbon fiber plated shoe, responsive, lightweight, well-placed cushioning, stable||Comfortable, great traction, affordable, durable, packs out to fit your foot shape||Great weight distribution, stable architecture, breathable upper, well-tractioned||Light, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stable||Affordable, responsive, beginner-friendly, familiar fit|
|Cons||Expensive, less sensitive, more techy than many runners need, not the most suitable for rugged terrain||Might be too cushioned for some runners, slightly less sensitive||Lace pocket is difficult to use, tight collar can bite into the ankle, pricy||Narrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-in||Less aggressive traction, runs slightly narrow|
|Bottom Line||These pricey shoes are built to keep you comfortable and spry as you ratchet up your speed on moderate trails||A great all-around trail shoe that hosts some of our favorite protective features, all for a relatively affordable price||A great trail shoe that offers a streamlined fit with a grippy, confidence-inspiring outsole built to tackle the most technical terrain||Stable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alike||An affordable shoe that is perfect for novice runners who want to take their trail legs for a spin|
|Rating Categories||Hoka Tecton X 2 - W...||Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo...||Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3||Dynafit Feline SL -...||Brooks Divide 3 - W...|
|Foot Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (15%)|
|Specs||Hoka Tecton X 2 - W...||Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo...||Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3||Dynafit Feline SL -...||Brooks Divide 3 - W...|
|Measured Weight (per shoe)||7.51 oz (size 7)||7.48 oz (size 7)||8.68 oz (size 7)||9.45 oz (size 7)||8.04 oz (size 7)|
|Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot)||30 mm, 25 mm||21 mm, 16mm||26 mm, 18 mm||Not disclosed||20 mm, 12 mm|
|Heel-to-Toe Drop||5 mm||5 mm||8 mm||8 mm||8 mm|
|Upper||Matryx textile||Mesh||Anti-Debris mesh with sockliner||Mesh, continuous nylon||Mesh|
|Midsole||Carbon fiber plate, ProFly X construction||EVA||Energy Save PU foam with Profeel Film rock protection||Feline SL midsole||EVA|
|Outsole||Vibram Megagrip with Litebase||Rubber||Salomon Contagrip MA||Sticky Pomoco Outer||TrailTrack rubber|
|Rock Plate?||Yes||No||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||No|
|Wide Version Available?||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Sizes Available||5 - 11 US||5 - 11 US||4 - 13 US||5 - 11 US||5 - 12 US|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Tecton X 2 is a shoe that combines responsive energy return and comfort for the ultimate trail racing experience. With a 5mm drop and super secure heel cup, you are the driver, and the shoes are the wheels on this speed-ready machine.
The platform of the Tecton X is protective thanks to its 30mm of underfoot stack and thin carbon fiber plate. The addition of a carbon fiber plate makes the entire base of a shoe feel a bit more rigid, which ultimately adds protection against sharp rocks and sticks you may encounter on the trail. The upper is less protective because of its minimalistic construction, but it does provide enough of a barrier to be equipped for moderately technical trails.
The upper of the Tecton features rubber overlays that provide some protection and structure. These overlays decrease the exposed mesh area, where sand, dust, and water can creep in. The mesh is finely woven but permeable, so expect your toes to get dusty on the trail. This lightweight trail shoe readily allows water in but dries quickly because of how thin the Matryx textile upper is. The toe bumper is mostly one of these rubberized overlays, with a bit of outsole extending up towards the toe tip of the shoe. If you are planning on tackling super rugged and technical terrain, we recommend a shoe with a bit more protection. But if moderate and flowy trails are your jam, the protective underfoot pep of the Tecton might make it a great choice for you.
The outsole design of the Tecton 2 is grippy and provides confidence across many terrain types. The 4mm lugs are mostly trapezoid in shape and are evenly distributed and facing different directions across the outsole. The sharp edges of each lug provide a strong grip on loose terrain, while the Vibram base adds an even stickier grip. Unlike many Hoka-made outsoles, the Tecton doesn't perform quite as well on slick, muddy, or wet surfaces. The middle section of the outsole has a larger lug-free zone than most trail shoes, which adds to this shoe's lighter weight, responsive bounce, and overall minimalism in architecture — though it does seem to reduce the ability to stay secure on more slippery surfaces. If you want a racing shoe to carry you over quick, dry trails or those covered in sand, the Tecton is a great choice. If your runs take you across slick granite or steep sections of mud, there are better options out there.
The sheer amount of bulk in the base of the Tecton inhibits sensitivity. With a 30mm stack and a carbon fiber plate, you can feel what is going on beneath your feet, but not very well. At its forefoot, the stack is 25mm, which is significantly thicker than the entire stack of many trail running shoes. The added rigidity of the carbon fiber plate dampens the sensation of whatever you are running across, which helps allow for quick turnover, but doesn't provide the intimate trail experience that many trail runners crave.
While the Tecton lacks sensitivity, it does not lack stability, which is often the case in the world of trail running shoes. With a wide landing platform and precise-fitting midfoot, the security of this shoe is palpable from the moment you tighten the laces. The Tecton has a 5mm differential, so your heel doesn't sit particularly high above your toes, which adds to the overall stability. The heel design adds comfortable stability by being the most padded part of the shoe body. Its contoured fit stays snug, and the heel-lock eyelet allows for a bit of customization to widen the array of ankle sizes it works for. The rubberized lattice adds some structure, creating lateral support.
Our main tester took a serious digger after misstepping on a fist-sized rock on a downhill section of trail while wearing the Tecton X. A tumble that would have resulted in a sprained ankle in a shoe with a higher heel lift or less lateral structure resulted in some minor bumps and bruises and a minorly sore ankle. Her ankle was the weak link that caused the fall, but the wide platform and padded heel collar saved the vulnerable ligaments and allowed her to finish the few miles of trail that led back to her car.
Comfort and Fit
The Tecton performs well in this metric because of the updates made with this iteration's release. The rubber overlays create more lateral stability, which results in a secure fit through the midfoot. The gusseted tongue has a tiny amount of cushion where it is most likely to cause discomfort but is super minimalistic otherwise. The stack of the shoe is well-padded without being plush; the same goes for the well-contoured heel cup. The carbon plate is noticeable when you take the Tecton out onto paved surfaces, so we do not recommend it as a crossover shoe. The springy base and scant cushioning provide a comfortable and responsive ride, which is what makes this shoe so comfortable for racing. The toebox is large enough to allow toes to splay without being clunky, and the extended lace bed enables you to find a more customized fit.
Should You Buy the Hoka Tecton X 2?
If you want to PR or beat your friends and want a slight edge by which to do so, the Tecton is a tool to get you there. This shoe offers noticeable responsiveness, which always comes in handy during races and friendly competitions. If you are in the market for a versatile trail shoe that can handle everything from fire roads to nearly vertical faces, other shoes will serve you better. We love the overall ride of the Tecton but hesitate to recommend it as it is a fairly niche trail running shoe and expensive to boot. While it may be close to universally comfortable, it is far less versatile than our go-to recommendations are.
What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?
For a shoe that is just as comfortable as the Tectonbut is slightly more capable and sensitive, we recommend the Hoka Torrent 3. The Torrent has a bit more cushioning, no carbon fiber plate, and is available for a notably lower price point. If you like the idea of a thick underfoot stack and minimal upper but think that the Tecton might not be the right fit, the Hoka Challenger 7 might suit your needs a bit better. And if you want a peppy trail shoe that doesn't have an excessive underfoot stack, the more traditionally-shaped Saucony Peregrine 13 might be a great option for your trail excursions.
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