Reviews You Can Rely On

Hoka Tecton X Trail - Women's Review

A very responsive and comfortable shoe that is great for long and short distances provided you can swallow the higher-than-average price point
hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review
Credit: HOKA ONE ONE
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $200 List
Manufacturer:   HOKA ONE ONE
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 14, 2022
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 20
  • Foot Protection - 25% 7.0
  • Traction - 20% 9.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 8.0
  • Stability - 15% 8.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 6.0
  • Weight - 10% 10.0

Our Verdict

If you have been looking for a trail running shoe that combines responsive energy return and comfort, the new Hoka One One Tecton X might be a perfect match. The Tecton X is one of the first widely available trail runners to include a carbon plate for added propulsion. With great traction, an extra-long, customizable upper, and a 33m stack height, the Tecton is unlike any shoe we have tested. It features a 4mm drop and strong mesh overlays for trail stability. Though not a sensitive shoe, the Tecton allows you to feel the trail's undulations so you can easily adapt and roll over trail features. This isn't a weather-proof runner either, but it's a great trail companion for runners looking to elevate their game.
REASONS TO BUY
Efficient energy return
Great traction
Surprisingly sensitive
Stable
REASONS TO AVOID
Pricy
Require a short break-in period
Heel cup won't suit everyone

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award 
Price $200 List
$200.00 at REI
$180 List
$134.96 at Backcountry
$125 List
Check Price at REI
$64.98 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$100 List
$80.93 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
79
81
80
79
69
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Efficient energy return, great traction, surprisingly sensitive, stableSuperior comfort, light on foot, protective cushioning, stable architecture, breathable upper, great tractionWell-cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high valueLight, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stableAffordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runners
Cons Pricy, require a short break-in period, heel cup won't suit everyoneLace pocket is difficult to use, tight collar can bite into the ankle, pricyStack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebedNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-inNot rugged enough for technical trails, less sensitive
Bottom Line A very responsive and comfortable shoe that is great for long and short distances provided you can swallow the higher-than-average price pointOur favorite shoe offers a well-balanced ride with one of the stickiest and most confidence-inspiring outsoles we've ever seenWith a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mileStable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alikeIf you are looking for an affordable shoe to run light trails and fire roads, look no further because this is the perfect shoe for you
Rating Categories Hoka Tecton X Trail... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Foot Protection (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
8.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
10.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Specs Hoka Tecton X Trail... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Measured Weight (per shoe) 7.13 oz (size 7) 8.68 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
7.41 oz (size 7)
8.6 oz (size 9)
9.45 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
8.0 oz (size 7)
Heel-to-Toe Drop 4 mm 8.6 mm 5 mm 8 mm 8 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 33 mm, 29mm 26.8 mm, 18.2 mm 31 mm Not disclosed 20 mm, 12 mm
Upper Engineered mesh Textile/synthetic Engineered mesh Mesh, continuous nylon Synthetic mesh
Midsole ProFly X, dual carbon-fiber plates Energy Cell, polyurethane foam EVA Feline SL midsole EVA
Outsole Vibram Megagrip Litebase Rubber Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer Rubber
Rock Plate? No Not disclosed None Not disclosed Yes
Wide Version Available? No No No No No
Sizes Available 5 - 11 4 - 13 6 - 11 5 - 11 5 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hoka Tecton X is unlike any other shoe we have tested and, frankly, unlike most of the trail running shoes available on the market. The addition of the carbon plate makes for unforgettable runs, and the beefy lugs allow you to climb to inspiring heights. This lightweight, techy, do-it-all trail running shoe offers enough ground feel and plenty of bounce for added responsiveness.

Performance Comparison


hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - the tecton x is a shoe that is well-suited for a variety of terrain...
The Tecton X is a shoe that is well-suited for a variety of terrain types.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Foot Protection


Hoka has a way of constructing shoes with just enough foot protection, and the Tecton X falls in line. Those who run in more volatile conditions might find Hoka's protection style a bit too minimalistic. Instead of encasing their trail runners in firm rubber, the toe cap has just enough rubber to protect against accidental rock-kicking.


The jacquard mesh is strong and layered enough to deflect small bits of sand and other trail debris. But when it comes to weather protection, the Tecton X didn't outshine the competition. This shoe did well as we splashed through shallow puddles and ran through misty rain. But when we got down to the nitty-gritty and dunked them in water, they didn't shed it as readily as some of our other contenders. Because of this, the Tecton won't be our first choice if many water-crossings are on the horizon. But it will be our first choice for most sandy, central California trails.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - the wide platform and stack height of the tecton help us roll over...
The wide platform and stack height of the Tecton help us roll over rocky terrain.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The Tecton X has a 33mm stack height at its highest point, with only a 4mm heel-to-toe differential. The ultra-light underfoot cushion is very protective without being intrusive. In many lower-weight designs, the outsoles are more susceptible to abrasions, leading to less foot protection. That is not the case with the Tecton X, and we love that. We pounded over 100 miles in these shoes throughout our testing. During that time, we tripped over rocks and got snagged on branches. Never once did we injure our feet or damage the shoes (outside of normal wear and tear, of course). With a stripped-down version of foot protection, you will likely love the Tecton X for flowy, semi-technical trails.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - for a semi-maximalist shoe, the foot protection is minimal but...
For a semi-maximalist shoe, the foot protection is minimal but functional.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Traction


With a sticky Vibram Megagrip sole and 4mm lugs, this trail runner is suitable for most terrain. The small-but-mighty multidirectional lugs and beefy outsole bite into the trail when needed but also let you cruise when smooth downhill sections beckon.


The lugs on the Tecton X are thick and strong, so they don't wear down easily if you run roads. We don't recommend this as a crossover shoe, but it also isn't quite as specific as some more aggressive trail runners. It grips when needed and makes for a great shoe when speed is your priority on the trail. The lugs don't extend onto the outsole like on a few of the burlier trail hogs, but the LiteBase outsole is grippy enough to provide optimal traction.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - the wide outsole and multi-directional lug pattern help you grip the...
The wide outsole and multi-directional lug pattern help you grip the trail beneath your feet.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Sensitivity


This is the metric where the Tecton X blew our expectations out of the water. We weren't sure that a carbon-plated shoe with a 33mm stack of foam would provide any sensitivity, but we were wrong. After a run or two, the internal fluff packs out a bit to truly accommodate the unique shape of your foot and provide information about the trail beneath you.


Even with the ample stack height, the ground feel and sensitivity of the Tecton X are pretty solid. This isn't the most sensitive trail running shoe around, but if you like a dampened sensation of the terrain underfoot, you'll love the feeling of the Tecton. While more sensitive options exist, the ultralight base of the Tecton offers balanced sensitivity. If you like the idea of being able to field ground-level information comfortably, the balanced elements of this runner are likely to suit your needs.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - while not the most sensitive shoe, the tecton is sensitive enough to...
While not the most sensitive shoe, the Tecton is sensitive enough to provide trail information and comfort.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


After years of hard lessons about ankle rolls, the anatomy of the ankle, and how to best heal sprains, we have learned a lot about the importance of stability. The lower-than-average heel-to-toe drop of the Tecton provides excellent stability when on the move. The lower your heel is to the ground, the less likely you are to roll an ankle. This is especially true when your legs are fatigued at the end of a long run — keeping your body moving in the right way is crucial to longevity in trail running, and the Tecton cradles the foot and seems to absorb the impact of ankle-twisting rocks.


Some trail runners are less susceptible to ankle rolls than others, and we certainly don't hesitate to recommend less stable trail shoes based on their scores in other metrics. That said, if you are prone to rolling your ankles and want to try out a pace-pushing trail running shoe, the Tecton is a safe bet. Even at our most fatigued, the shape and fit of this shoe felt super stable.

The wide platform and 4mm drop make for a stable trail shoe on rocky...
The wide platform and 4mm drop make for a stable trail shoe on rocky surfaces.
The carbon plate makes a big difference when it comes to feeling how...
The carbon plate makes a big difference when it comes to feeling how responsive the Tecton is. We can't feel that it is any different from a standard trail shoe by just wearing it, though.

Comfort and Fit


The new Tecton X fits like many other shoes by Hoka. We understand that everyone has different anatomies and preferences, which makes this metric a bit fickle and subjective. We, however, cannot get enough Hoka in our lives. If you also lean toward loving this brand, the Tecton likely won't disappoint.


Our maiden voyage in the Tecton was a bit off-kilter, as many first runs in new shoes are. But after a few miles, we found that our feet settled into the engineered mesh, EVA sockliner, and PROFLY-X construction. The inner comfort of the Tecton is forgiving without being mushy. The jacquard mesh and molded sockliner are firm and durable but offer enough give to accommodate your foot shape. We love how the landing platform stays springy and fresh as it molds to your foot.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - the heel cup sits pretty high over the achilles, but the comfort of...
The heel cup sits pretty high over the Achilles, but the comfort of the Tecton is top-notch.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Our average-width feet felt right at home in the body of the Tecton, with plenty of room for our toes to splay while we ran. While we judge comfort and fit based on the most nuanced details of the shoe, we have also noticed that we tend to reach for the more comfortable shoes amid heavy-duty training blocks. The Tecton X is a shoe we have been reaching for more than any other, so when it comes to comfort and fit, we know that this shoe has our vote.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - hard-packed trails and loose scree are both handled with relative...
Hard-packed trails and loose scree are both handled with relative ease in the Tecton X.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

We have one small gripe here, though. The ankle collar is quite stiff and initially caused a bit of discomfort as we ran. We adapted, and the collar softened after a few runs, but it wasn't our favorite sensation out of the box. As usual, we think it is best to try shoes on before buying them since some runners might find the collar shape more intrusive than others. After a few miles, we made peace with the sensation and never had any issues with blisters or chafing. Additionally, the tongue of the Tecton is un-cushioned, causing the laces to dig in if you tie your shoes tight. On the flip side, the extra-long lace bed helps ensure a customizable body fit.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - the extra-long lace bed helps you secure your shoe exactly how you...
The extra-long lace bed helps you secure your shoe exactly how you want it. We loved this for really long trail excursions.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


We love to fly down super technical trails, and if we could always do that in kicks that weigh less than 8 ounces, we would. Typically, trail running shoes are too beefy to be classified as "feather-weight." But here we are, singing praises for an ultra-techy trail running shoe that weighs 7.13 ounces per women's size 7 shoe. Wow.


The Tecton X is the lightest shoe we reviewed this time, earning it a perfect score in our weight metric. The advent of super lightweight materials in this one-of-a-kind shoe makes it a great choice for speedy trail runs. Look no further if you want a light but rugged shoe with a propulsive landing pad.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - simply unboxing these shoes gave us a hint to how lightweight they...
Simply unboxing these shoes gave us a hint to how lightweight they would feel on the trail.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Hoka One One Tecton X?


No shoe is right for everyone, but we feel like the Tecton X might be suitable for most. Of course, purchasing a trail running shoe ultimately depends on your preferences, fit, and budget. The Tecton is a bit pricier than many of the shoes in our lineup, but not exorbitantly so. The higher price tag is justified when we consider the new and still somewhat niche design. The Tecton is suitable for both short trail jaunts and ultra-distances, adding to its versatility as well. We tend to look at versatility as it relates to value, and since this is a do-it-all kind of shoe, we think it is worth its price. If you are looking for a responsive, lightweight trail runner with carbon plates, plenty of foot protection, great traction, and a comfortable profile, you'll love the Tecton. If you are on the fence about trying out a carbon-plated shoe, we recommend waiting until this tech becomes a bit more mainstream.

hoka tecton x trail for women trail running shoes review - the tecton x is now our go-to trail race shoe. while not our...
The Tecton X is now our go-to trail race shoe. While not our favorite for some terrain types, it handles most with strength.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


The most comparable trail running shoe to the Tecton X is the Hoka Torrent 2. The Torrent fits much the same way as the Tecton but is a bit heavier and mushier underfoot. The Tecton prioritizes responsiveness in an uncommon way, so if a responsive and lightweight trail shoe is what you're after, we are confident that the Tecton will be your new trail bestie. If you want a more streamlined profile, we recommend the Dynafit Feline SL or the La Sportiva Bushido II. For a wider and more luxurious fit, we love the Altra Lone Peak 6 and Salomon Pulsar Trail.

Ally Arcuri
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More