Pacers Running would like to present the newest addition to our always growing running shoe collection, the Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi WP. Hoka One One describes it as a “mountain running shoe” and by the looks and feel of these tough brutes, the Tor would eat up the craggiest of trails.
But don’t be scared away by these beasts of burden and their overbuilt appearance. They are full of loveable features and like all of Hoka One One’s well-cushioned offerings, they definitely have a softer side. A titan for all terrain as this shoe may be, it is your ally for adventure and shouldn’t be written off for the fact that it doesn’t look like a typical running shoe. Besides, if you dare read on, there is a much more imposing shoe monster at the end of this post.
The Tor Ultra Hi WP will fit like a boot, securing the wearer’s ankle inside. Hoka One One’s reasoning behind the high top is to protect and secure the wearer’s ankle while climbing and descending rugged mountain trails. To ensure you strike the ground efficiently, there is 4mm heel to toe offset. Meanwhile, you will find more than ample cushioning to handle impact and, weighing in at 17oz, it feels very light and responsive for a trail shoe.
Hoka One One knows it is hard to find a mountain trail without some sort of water feature or mud to splash through, so they equipped this shoe’s upper with waterproof material called Event, which is arranged like a bootie around the user’s foot. The Tor Ultra Hi WP also features a rubber toe guard, protecting the toes from tree roots, rocks, snakes, bears, the occasional car tire and anything the wearer might stub their foot on. Lastly, Hoka One One constructed the outsole with Vibram material, enhancing durability and traction. And, the lugging on the front of the shoe under the toe area is directed forward, helping the wearer run up hills faster, while the lugging on the heal is directed to the rear, adding grip to the heel strike while descending.
Trying on the shoe, I initially felt the toe box was a little big, but the Tor Ultra Hi WP has a lace to toe feature, allowing the user to create a specific fit around the foot. Once I adjusted the laces, it felt more like a Hoka One One running shoe. The Tor Ultra Hi WP is equipped with Hoka One One rocker geometry, helping the user move through their natural gait cycle. I like the fit around the ankle– it was not overly snug or tight– and I felt that it would support my ankle while descending the steepest trail.
I envision this shoe being ideal for those runners who run on rugged trails, for love of the sport or competition. I also see this shoe being used in obstacle course races, mud runs, or a GORUCK Challenge.
Pros: Light weight, super rugged all-terrain shoe meant for the most aggressive trails.
Cons: The shoe looks massive and at first glance could be misconstrued as some kind of hulky shoe monster. But upon trying it, its docile and agreeable nature is revealed. The difference is clear when it is placed next to a truly terrible shoe monster– my overly affectionate Yorkie named Ted. Just look at that vicious beast– the monster at the end of this post!
The Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi WP is available at Pacers Running in Old Town. If you are the type to appreciate these shoes for the cuddly shoe monsters they are, check out our Trail Running Group and join other like-minded folks who like to seek out woodsy adventures off the beaten path.
By Brandon Boucher
Assistant Manager, Pacers Alexandria