After running 250kms in the 2020 Carbon X SPE shoes I was pleased to be one of the first to test the 2021 Carbon X 2 in Australia. I have thoroughly enjoyed the SPEs and they have been my go to running shoes since reviewing them. My first run in the SPEs was 42.2kms, and while I have only knocked out 24kms in these new Carbon X 2s they are feeling like my next favourite shoes.
With three 5km runs and a 9km moderate paced run in the bag my first thoughts are that these are smoother and more responsive than the SPEs. I am getting more ‘spring’ than I did when I first started running in the SPEs.
Hoka One One have made significant changes to this new model. New midsole foam gives the shoe a more cushioned feel. The carbon plate now sits lower in the shoe so you don’t have the same level of firmness you get with the Carbon X SPE model.
Weight is good with the men’s US 10.5 pair I have, coming in just under 260gsm. The heelcup is more comfortable with the new model.
Early thoughts are that I am getting the most out of them with a mid foot strike. When I went on to the forefoot I felt I wasn’t getting the same propulsion out of the carbon plate. For heel strikers the extended crash pad feels good and let’s face it, a majority of social runners heel strike. Not saying that’s a bad thing but if you heel strike this shoe could be helpful.
For triathletes seeking an edge with their running, carbon infused running shoes are definitely worth trying. There is definitely a ‘helping hand’ from the carbon plate. Even more so with the X2 and the pllate sitting lower in the mid sole. The Carbon X2 is a must try for the edge obsessed triathlete.
Karl is a Sydney based father of 3, a keen home improver and an age group triathlete who races on the M5 Acadamies triathlon team, coached by 'The Croc' Brad Beven. A good life balance is incredibly important! Karl is the co-founder of Trizone, works in the commercial joinery industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.