Hoka One One Rapa Nui 2 Trail Review
- Maximal cushioning
- 5mm drop (26mm to 21 mm)
- 10.8 ounces (size 9)
The Most Minimal of the Hokas
The Rapa Nui 2 Trail running shoe is the most minimal of the maximal running shoes by Hoka One One. What that means is that it has the smallest amount of cushioning of any of the Hoka One One running shoes. When I first decided to try maximal running shoes, I gravitated to the Rapa Nui 2 Trails for just that reason. I wanted a shoe with more cushioning than a traditional running shoe to address some issues I was having with foot pain, but I didn’t want the absolute maximum padding possible. I still wanted a shoe that would be relatively lightweight for possible race use, and that didn’t lift me as high off the ground. The Rapa Nui 2 Trails fit that bill perfectly. It has 26mm of cushioning in the heel, and 21mm of cushioning in the forefoot, giving the shoe a 5mm drop.
When I first started running in the Rapa Nui 2 Trails, it was like magic. I had experienced chronic foot pain in the ball of my left foot for about a year. I could still run, but anything over about 5 miles would leave me hobbling around the house for the next couple of days. Once I began running in the Rapa Nui 2 Trails, however, I found I could run much longer distances without the same pain in the ball of my foot. Although I got the “trail” version, I began using them even on the road because they made my feet feel so much better. In fact, I’ve since bought another pair of Hokas, the Bondi 3, for roads, which have even more cushioning, and now I have no foot pain at all.
I will say that although I bought the Rapa Nui 2 Trails with the intent to possibly use them for races, I have really only used them for training due to their relatively higher weight than ordinary running shoes. The Rapa Nui 2 Trails weigh 10.8 ounces (in about a size 9), which are the lightest of the Hoka One One family, but still a bit heavier than ordinary running shoes. That said, I don’t do many ultra-distance races. Certainly, if I were to do an ultra-distance trail race, I would consider lacing up the Rapa Nui 2’s, though I may even opt for the even greater cushioning of the Bondi 3. It’s pretty nice to have them both!
As with all the Hoka One One shoes, they come pre-laced with speed-laces. These are essentially laces that you cinch down with a cleat. Some people hate them. I think they are okay, but in any event, the Rapa Nui 2’s also ship with standard laces. Once you cut off the speed-laces, you can’t really put them back on again, so it may be a good idea to use them for a while and decide for yourself.
Finally, although I loved the Rapa Nui 2 trails best when I first got them, I’ve since decided I prefer the Bondi 3 shoes just because they have a little more cushioning, which has helped my foot injury to totally disappear. If you don’t have any foot injuries and want a maximal running shoe that has less volume and weight than some of the others, however, the Rapa Nui 2 Trails may be the perfect choice.