The New Hokas are Too Narrow! On New Shoe Models

About a month ago 3 of my running friends were having a conversation during our morning run:

Runner 1, “Have you tried the new Hokas?”

Runner 2, “Yea, what did you think?  Mine are tight.”

Runner 1, “They are definitely tight in the toebox, my feet hurt and I’m getting blisters.”

Runner 3, “Me too – I need to return them”

Runner 1, “I did return them and got the wide and my feet feel much better. The new model runs narrow.”


A Common Conversation:

Unfortunately, this scene is played out over and over again, brand by brand as new models are continuously rolled out, roughly every 18 months or so.  You love your current pair that is now getting older – it is time to get the new pair and your favorite shoe is discontinued!  So you try the next model and it’s not perfect.  Sometimes, if you have flexibility, you can go to another brand easily.  I have a very wide foot (9 1/2 2E!!) so there are some brands that don’t carry that size/width.   What to do?

Stock up:

When I do find that great shoe and have run it it for some time, I buy 6 at once.   It can be a big layout for some, but for me it then keeps me whole for about 2 years.  I average about 1200-1300 miles per year and I rotate 2 pairs of shoes at once and replace by about the 800 mile mark (combined).  (For you math wizards, 2 pairs x 400 mi each x 3 sets of 2 shoes = 2400 miles total).  This does not even count when I use my flats for races and track workouts, so the time lasts even longer sometimes.    This saves time looking for shoes as well.   I also look for “endangered” shoes for sales and further stock up.


This does not preclude you from keeping tabs on all your running shoes.  I label the 2 pairs I am using “A” and “B” so I don’t mix them up.   I rotate them every day to let them dry out from sweat or rain and when I need to clean them.  Also, I date them so I know when I started using them.  This makes it easier to track the total mileage in order to know approximately when to change them.

For more on running shoes, please refer to my blog post here.

What were your favorite ‘retired’ shoes and what was the next shoe for you?

Trials of Miles,

Coach Nick

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.


  1. Fitshoeman says:

    Designers are out of a job if they don’t change things. this is actually applicable in any field.
    Plus, many people are sure there is something out there that will make them faster, better, improve them, etc.

  2. MJ Bodeau says:

    I am a female who has to wear men’s 8.5 4E, with a bunion and orthotics. There are a handful of models across all brands that are the right size on paper, less when they’re on my foot. I have had to go through through a lot of pain over the years having to make shoes work when mfrs changed the only model that fit/worked. I too tend to stockpile anything that comes close to ok – pricey though and eventually you won’t be able to find them anymore. I don’t care who makes the shoe or what it looks like or what it costs – I don’t “get to” if I want safe and healthy running. And don’t get me started on trail shoes! Mfrs must think no one with wide feet wants to run trails. The NB Leadville 3 is the only one I have found that fits.

    Adrenaline 13 (then nothing till the 17 which was tolerable and 18 which is better) – I even had to wear the Beast/Ariel for a while when Adrenaline didn’t work. Just bought more 18s as I haven’t yet found a replacement.
    Nimbus 17 – disappointed in each since, including the 20

    Then there are the shoes with shorter return windows, which become expensive knockaround shoes.