Radical change often comes about in trying to solve a simple problem. Our original goal was to improve endurance race times by designing a shoe to go downhill faster. In doing so, we inadvertently reinvented the running shoe.
Our new shoe improved the experience of going uphill too. And down again. And up again… It turns out that redesigning a shoe that helps an athlete tackle 100 miles in challenging conditions can help all runners perform.
While trail runners by night, our day jobs were in gravity sports. We had a hand in several snow sport and cycling innovations - including the parabolic ski - and every day we’d asked ourselves the question, “how do we go faster?” When we imposed a form-follows-function discipline to designing a trail running shoe, we asked the same question. We answered it with a shoe that was met with ridicule by the running shoe establishment, but embraced by runners. Those runners started winning races, and running shoe buyers started paying attention.
Our design ethos owes as much to surfing, skiing and cycling as running, and the patented elements we incorporated into the original shoe - AKA the HOKA difference – influence every shoe we build.
Jean-Luc Diard & Nicolas Mermoud
HOKA ONE ONE® Co-Founders