Hoka Mafate women’s trail shoes: Review

I was asked if I’d like to try some new trail shoes and, as I’d recently been pondering buying a new pair due to my other pairs currently being caked in mud and still in the plastic bag they were put in when we moved house nearly a year ago, I thought hurrah, that’ll save me cleaning my other ones, and so I said ok then, ta.

A big blue box arrived for me on Saturday. I opened the big blue box and inside were THE MOST HIDEOUS SHOES EVER. Nothing that ugly has been near my feet since my mum used to make me wear sensible Clarks shoes for school circa 1979.



Still, they’re marginally less repulsive not actually that bad looking once they’re on.


I was a bit scared of bumping into the postman when I was taking my Garmin outside to get a signal, although why I think the postman would laugh at me, I don’t know, as he’s about 65, has a shock of mad frizzy grey hair, and permanently orange legs in shorts that he wears all year round and so if anyone’s going to be doing any laughing, it’s going to be me at him, not him at me in my, um, lime green platform trainers.

After charging my phone that had been drained because of Shaun playing Angry Birds on it all night, I’m ready to go.

The Hoka Mafate’s have a high instep and they squeak on the wooden floor. I’m not sure about this at all but I venture outside and start to run. I immediately don’t care what they look like, as they’re amazingly light and cushiony and comfy and bouncy and it feels like I’m springing along effortlessly. They’re magic!

I run up to where the new sheep are and stop to take their photo.


As I continue down the trail, another runner approaches and I wonder if he’s jealous of my magic shoes and I decide he probably is and he also probably thinks I’m hardcore but then I remember he just saw me stop to take photos of sheep and so he actually probably thinks I’m just a girly wimp in bright green shoes.

I get to the end of the trail and cross the road to go into the cow field. I’m not sure how magic my magic shoes are and if they’ll stop me from slipping off the wet stile as I clamber over it but I manage to get over without falling off and I get into the field but I can’t see any cows, just lots and lots of cow pats and I wonder if my magic shoes will stop me skidding on a cow pat and I decide I don’t want my magic shoes covered in cow poo, and so I dodge all the cow pats and then over on the other side of the field I see cows.


There are cows in that photo, honest.

I get to the end of the field and it’s fenced off and I don’t know how to get any further and so I turn round and go back the way I came and try not to fall off the slippery stile and then I’m back down the trail and there’s a couple walking a couple of dogs which aren’t evil countryside devil dogs but nice happy friendly spaniels or something and the couple say ‘morning’ and I say ‘morning’ back and then I see the poodle man with his poodle and he also says ‘morning’ and I think it’s a nice change to have people saying ‘morning’ and having nice friendly happy dogs and not stupid evil countryside devil dogs and I get back to the road and I see the orange postie and for once he actually sees me running as usually I manage to go past him when I’m on a walking bit (but let’s face it, I do a lot of walking bits) and then I get to two feet of the front door and slip on a paving stone and maybe my magic shoes are only good for trails, grass, mud and puddles and not paving stones or wooden floors and I get in and my magic shoes are muddy


but my socks are nice and clean and dry(ish)


but I’m not sure even the Hoka Mafate’s with their magical properties are going to keep me dry at Grim.

The technical bits:

Through Rocker, Lower Ramp Angle (4mm) and the Ultra Light Weight sole and upper, we reproduce the conditions a barefoot runner will experience when running on grass or sand.

The Oversize frame (mid-sole) with 2.5cm elastic trave will absorb any hard obstacle your foot may hit, and once compressed the featherweight-density eva (-30%) will spring back under your metatarsals for acceleration.

With 50% more surface area in contact with the ground, and a mid-sole that allows the foot to recess into it by almost 2.5cm, the shoes provides protection, stability and pronation control unmatched in universal or support running shoes.

Hoka One One website

Distance: 2.23 miles
Time: slow
Pace: slow
New pairs of hideous bright green platform trail shoes: 1
Pairs of trail shoes that prove you shouldn’t judge a shoe by its appearance: 1
Phones needing charging due to boyfriends draining the battery by playing Angry Birds: 1
Fields with sheep: 1
Fields with cows: 1
Nice happy friendly dogs: 2
Stupid countryside evil devil dogs: 0


  • They don’t look that bad. Well, maybe they do. But they sound amazing. I need trail shoes!

  • Maybe we’ll all be wearing them in a few years time..they are quite something!

  • They were really really really really really really comfy! And I can’t believe how dry my feet were after going through so many puddles. Amazing.

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  • trying to like them, trying, trying, trying…nope, can’t do it, sorry! I flirted with trail running shoes for a couple of years – until I destroyed the two pairs I bought. I now tend to trail run in road shoes (Asics Cumulus and Nimbus.) The turning point came a couple of years ago when I knew my route would take me through water at least waist deep; I grabbed the shoes that would let water out quickest, which happened to be a pair of Cumulus with a couple of hundred on the clock. The trail was a bumpy, tree-rooted, rocky affair – most are around Sydney – and I was fine. I’m lucky that I can bounce about and pick my footfalls, so any shoe will do. Not sure how I’d go in mud though…happy running

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