They Say – Created with input from our elite trail athletes, the EVO Mafate 2 takes performance on the trails to the next level. With an entirely new upper, the EVO Mafate 2 utilizes lightweight, secure and durable MATRYX fabric and features a breathable vamp for an improved fit and a soft, flexible feel. And the EVO Mafate 2 still has our signature cushion with an aggressive outsole, so you can attack any trail. Run far and wide in comfort.

  • Patented MATRYX® technology offers a lightweight, durable and secure fit
  • Breathable vamp provides a comfortable fit with improved forefoot flexibility
  • Gussetted tounge prevents migration across the instep
  • Early stage Meta-Rocker geometry optimizes heel-to-toe transitions
  • Lightweight compressed EVA midsole provides comfort
  • Rubberized foam midsole/ outsole provides responsiveness and resistance to compression
  • Sculpted arch pod includes support for medial control
  • 5mm Vibram® Megagrip rubber outsole
  • Sculpted, agressive lugs for the most critical conditions
  • Rubber composition for unparalleled grip on wet rocks

We Say – This shoe is made for aggressive running on technical terrain. Some Hokas in the past have been quite narrow, in my opinion, but the Evo Mafate 2 is quite a bit roomier. There’s a nice amount of space in the toe box, which I liked. I don’t have big feet yet still, with many brands, I’m made to feel like bigfoot at times. Not here. There’re not as roomy as, say, a pair of Topo Athletic which I find excellent for training and running on fairly easy terrain. But for going hard over long distances, these Mafate are a good bet.

The shoe offers plenty of cushioning and protection without feeling in any way unnatural or out of touch with the ground. The rubberized foam midsole provides a soft landing for comfort, but with increased energy return to supposedly help you go fast. I’m not fast or scientific enough to really know if that happened with me or not, but if you are, maybe it will appeal.

What I can say is that after wearing Hoka for a couple of years, I do trust the brand so I didn’t hesitate to make my first wearing of them an 80km mountain ultra in Florence, Italy (one of the Ecotrail races) which had around 2,400 metres of vertical. I know this may read similar to my other review of the new Topo Terraventure shoes, where I took them straight out the box for wearing in a 24 hour race. Well, that’s where it is with me, I know the advice is to check all your gear out before you use it in a race but if the shoes arrive late in taper week and I trust the brand then I’m going to give them a go on race day, especially if my only other shoes available at the time are at their end (which mine were).

I did well in the race, well, I finished it at least! And I didn’t fall over or have any discomfort in my feet. Success.

A short while later I took part in a 15 hour trail event in Canada and covered about 108km in 15 hours, gaining 2nd place.

I had no foot problems at all during that race, neither did I have to stop more than once to empty out debris. And that is all I am looking for really. To sum up, the shoe has great grip, the toe box is quite roomy and offers good protection against rocks and roots, the sole is supportive without being intrusive, the ankle fit is tight enough to prevent much debris in without being too tight, and they don’t give me blisters or any other foot problems.

Now, granted, I’ve been running so long my feet are pretty tough and blisters are very uncommon but regardless, these shoes suit me well for ultras over tricky terrain. They could perhaps be a little wider, so if you have wide feet and want to give them a try, order a half size up, or try them on first in your local running shop.

Check out the Hoka One One Evo Mafate 2 here