HOKA Skyward X Preview: One shoe to rule them all?

The HOKA Skyward is a super trainer like no other and we believe that it will sell like hot cakes

Marathon expos are the perfect opportunity for brands to showcase their latest products and innovations. Major marathons expos are even better as they are covered by global media and the number of visitors often reaches 6-digit figures. The marketing team at HOKA knows about this and used the first major marathon of the year (aka the Tokyo marathon) to reveal a new super trainer: the Skyward X.

HOKA Skyward X reveal

The HOKA Skyward X is a  so-called “super trainer” in a skyrocketing market

“Super trainers” are shoes that work together with racing shoes, often in the same marketing silos even, and that are meant for faster paces during harder or longer training sessions. They are called “super” because they feature similar technologies as race day shoes but often in a heavier and more protective package. This is definitely debatable but the first super trainer could very well be the Nike Pegasus Turbo released in 2018. It was meant to work together with the Vaporfly 4% in a rotation and featured some ZoomX (PEBAX midsole) like the top of the line racer. In more recent shoe history, the likes of the Saucony Endorphin Speed, ASICS Superblast, Adidas Prime X, New Balance SC Trainer and even HOKA Mach X joined this very competitive market. Why so competitive? These shoes are appealing to the consumers. They often look good and sell for less money than race day shoes. Yet they feel relatively close for some of them and offer similar benefits when it comes to saving the legs and providing with a fun ride.

HOKA Skyward X price
HOKA Skyward X release date

What are the specs of the HOKA Skyward X

Let’s start with some specs:


Weight (in HOKA’s sample size US10 / EU 44): 320g (11.2 oz)

Stack height: 49.5mm

Drop: 5mm

MSRP: €225/$225 releasing in April 2024

HOKA Skyward X heel
HOKA Skyward X plate

More details about the HOKA Skyward X and how it felt on foot

Upper: The upper of the HOKA Skyward feel really thick and sturdy. The lockdown system in the midfoot appears to be relatively unique.


Midsole: there is a lot going on in the midsole of this shoe. The yellow part that you see in the heel of this women’s colorway is a layer of supercritical PEBA that actually extends all the way to the forefoot. The blue layer is supercritical EVA that acts as a protective frame, enhancing stability. In between these two layers of foam, is an H-shape plate that helps activate the midsole and offer a snappy ride. It extends on the lateral side as shown on the above picture.


First thoughts: the shoe felt good on foot. On the heavier side of things though. The bevelled heel seemed well designed and offered a natural landing platforms for the first strides I ran. The most impressive part was definitely the amount of midsole underfoot. The 49/44 setup is noticeable and almost surprising, even for a HOKA – funny how they almost invented maximalism and now that everyone does it they take things to yet another level. With the relative disappointment of some other super trainers recently, I look forward to getting a pair and testing properly. I don’t think it will dethrone the ASICS Superblast for weight reasons but I somehow imagine it as a Prime X competitor and the battle will be tasty regardless. 


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Alex Filitti Meta Circle


29 years old

183cm (6′) – 68kg (148lbs)

Mid/Forefoot striker – Stride runner

Moderate pronator


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