Hoka Rincon 3 Review

The Hoka Rincon is a lightweight racer/trainer. That means that it is a shoe designed to be light enough to race in but, still offer enough cushioning for some training miles too. Usually shoes of this type have a firmer more responsive ride but, the Rincon 3 has a very soft initial feel to the cushioning. They even feel a bit softer than the previous versions. You would think that a shoe as soft as this would be designed more for slow recovery runs. As you sink into the midsole and although you get a lot of cushioning you don’t usually get much energy return from midsoles as soft as these. However, this is not the case.

The midsole is curved so that it rocks your foot backwards. This encourages a quicker cadence and more upright posture. Hoka adjust the position of the curve depending on what the shoe is designed to be used for. So, the curve on an everyday training shoe like the Hoka Clifton 8 is further back than on a shoe designed for running quickly in like the Hoka Mach 4. The curve on the Rincon 3 is placed further forward so once you start running in the shoe it transitions you onto your forefoot quickly which encourages to go faster. The flexibility in the midsole also adds to this allowing you to generate more power from your feet.

I am usually aware of the stack height in Hoka shoes as although your foot sits inside the midsole to give you increase stability the midsole is still thicker than a lot of other brands. However, the flexibility and lightness of the Rincon make you far less aware of the stack height.

The more cushioned shoes like the Bondi 7 or Clifton 8 are stiffer and to me it feels like the shoe is taking control of my cadence. Almost doing the running for me. This helps keep your cadence quick and your posture upright but, gives the shoe a little bit too much control for me. The more flexible midsole of the Rincon 3 feels a lot more natural.

The Hoka Rincon 3 feels feather light. The Men’s UK 8 is 210 grams and the Women’s UK 5 176 grams. The softness of the cushioning increases the feeling of lightness. This is almost the same as the previous versions of the Rincon. Although I do feel that the cushioning is just that little bit softer.

The upper is made of a more breathable and thinner mesh than the Rincon 2. It is one piece so there are no seems to rub. The tongue is also thinner and shaped at the top to fit around your ankle. This does make it shorter than tongues on other shoes that are designed to come high above the laces. I found the tongue very comfortable, and the thinness added to the lightness of the shoes. However, if you have narrow heels and need to use a butterfly lace loop to lock your heel into the shoes then you might find that the laces sit above the tongue. If you wear socks that don’t come above the collar of the shoes then this might cause a problem.

Although the Hoka Rincon 3 is designed to be used as a training shoe as well as a racing shoe they won’t be as durable as a shoe that is stiffer or firmer. Hoka have increased the amount of rubber on the outsole of the forefoot to increase durability but, the soft light foam is likely to flatten out sooner than an everyday training shoe like the Hoka Clifton 8 or the Hoka Bondi 7.

I have done over 100 miles in my Rincon 3’s and there is no sign of wear to the outsole or the upper. The midsole still feels soft and springy. I have used them mainly for steady runs or threshold sessions. They are very comfortable and cushioned during the warm up jog yet when it comes to pick up the pace they are a real joy to run in. The level of cushioning is good enough that my legs don’t feel battered even after an hour and a half of quick running. In fact they give you the feeling that you could just keep going.

The increased rubber on the forefoot gives the Rincon 3 a more secure feel on wet roads and makes the shoe feel a touch more responsive. Particularly when you have been running for over an hour.

The fit of the Rincon 3 is almost the same as the previous versions. The standard width is a narrow fit. Narrower than the standard width Clifton 8 or Bondi 7. The new upper makes the shoe feel lighter and softer but, the fit around the foot is very similar. The Hoka Rincon 3 now comes in a wide fit. This is similar to other brands 2E widths and equally as wide as a wide fit in a Clifton 8.

In summary the Rincon 3 has kept all the good fits from the previous Rincon’s and tweaked some of the not so good bits. They are a fun, fast, light shoe to run in.

Charlie @ Northern Runner Newcastle

Other Considerations

Scott Pursuit: If you are looking for a shoe that does it all. A fast training shoe then these offer more cushioning than the Rincon and are more durable. Here is our review:
Hoka Mach 4: A more durable more responsive racer/trainer from Hoka. Not as soft in feel and a bit stiffer. Here is our review:
Topo Cyclone: A broader more rounded toe box. Responsive but, cushioned. Here is our review:
Brooks Tempo: Slightly higher 8mm drop. Not as soft but, has a very smooth ride due to the curve in the midsole. The midsole is durable and remains responsive.

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