Was durability something that had any real influence on the design process of this shoe? What is the anticipated lifespan of this shoe-would it be reasonable to waste some it’s lifespan on training runs?
Like most HOKAs, the Rocket X has a wide mid-foot footprint with full stack under the arch. What’s the design advantage of this extra midsole material outside the foot strike area versus reducing material and associated weight, especially in a racing shoe?
The Rocket X is honestly a perfect blend of cushion and response similar to how the Rincon feels like to the Clifton 7 without a carbon fiber plate. If you like the Rincon and how it feels underfoot, the Rocket X would be a bouncier, springier package with the same weight profile!
We would say it comes down to personal preference. In terms of training, some days will require different options depending on how the athlete feels. Some use the Carbon X as a daily trainer and racer and we know some might use the Rocket X in this way also, however the Rocket X midsole does not have a combination of PROFLY like the Carbon X and is more suited, durability wise, for races only. With how the Rocket X was envisioned, the weight category, the midsole response in combination with the CF plate; The Rocket X can be used from anything from the 5k to the Marathon distance. It just depends on what distance feels better for the individual.
With the Combination of our lightest weight foam to date and our split CF plate design, the Rocket X aims to reduce foot strike fatigue and overall running economy breakdown. The CF plate combined with our midsole disperses impact forces more evenly and aims to transfer energy loss forward at toe-off.
We will be releasing the new Carbon X 2 that will use similar materials found in the Rocket X. The CX2 will feature the same CF plate and even more of our lightest weight foam to date! The CX2 will handle longer distances for training and racing comparative to the RX that was designed to handle mainly racing only.
Overall the Rocket X was designed as a racing flat specifically. This means large amounts of training would be better suited in a model like the Carbon X over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, mileage is not the most reliable determinant when calculating something subjective. What the shoe feels like underfoot to some may feel very different to someone else over a given amount of use. We do know the durability and ride experience will change over time like most footwear depending on a plethora of factors. These include but are not limited to; surface run on, individual gait patterns, exposure to extreme temperatures, and other variants of those. The CF plate does help distribute forces across the midsole evenly, leveling "wear/use." That being said however, The plate resiliency is dependent on the factors of "use/wear" for each individual since the CF plate and midsole work together.
The great thing about the Carbon X is that the PROFLY midsole (softer foam in the heel, firmer in the forefoot) combined with our meta-rocker and the CF plate, allows for a very efficient and responsive toe-off that ergonomically helps the foot roll forward. The Carbon X coming in at 8.8oz can definitely handle the faster turnover required for the 5k. Rumor has it that all top-ten finishers from Big Sur 5k 2019 finished in Carbon X shoes with the top man and woman going 15:39/18:48 respectively...
What is the specific difference and usage for the carbon rocket vs the carbon x?
The main difference between the Rocket X and our first CF plated shoe, the Carbon Rocket, is the type of midsole foam, amount of stack height, and overall fit. The Rocket X builds upon the silhouette of the Carbon Rocket with an improved fit, a new lightweight midsole and plenty of it. The Rocket X can certainly handle any distance up to the Marathon and is our newest iteration of the HOKA flight plan.
I am 62 & training for a marathon PR, which HOKA do you recommend for racing & training?
For training we could recommend a great many of our footwear models. From the all new Challenger ATR 6 coming out in November to the tried and true Rincon 2, however depending on your preferred level of cushioning, softer midsoles would be found in our GLIDE line while the more responsive models can be found in the FLY line. A preferable combination might be the Clifton 7 to train in and the Rocket X to race in.
Do these run true to size and what distances do you recommend them for? Women’s size 7.5
The Rocket X does run true to size and provides ample lockdown for takeoff.
How much support do these offer? I currently wear the Arahi 4s and love the extra support. Also, I noticed the stack height and drop are the same as the Arahi 4s, will they be as cushioned. I have a difficult time finding supportive shoes that are light and soft.
Although the Rocket X was designed as a racing flat, it does provide a generous amount of midsole cushioning to save your feet and legs in the later stages of a race. However, the Rocket X does not contain the HOKA J-Frame, our dynamic stability frame that supports the foot along the medial side when overpronation occurs.
What of your shoes are good for daily training... mileage/easy runs? Something comparable to a Brooks Launch or Nike Pegasus
Our most popular daily trainers can be found in the GLIDE section of HOKA. These include the Clifton 7, Bondi 7, and Rincon 2. Their stability counterparts are the Arahi and Gaviota. Depending on where your adventures take you, the Speedgoat and Challenger may give you the right amount of cushion on the trails for those longer efforts.