June 13, 2024 1:57 pm

Tectonic Shift: The HOKA Tecton X Puts Carbon on the Trail

In an increasing market of carbon-plated trail running shoes, the new HOKA Tecton X is the brand’s first offering to the genre.

With a history of creating high-cushion performance trail shoes as well as success with several models of carbon-plated road running shoes, Hoka Shoes has combined technology and experience from several styles of running to create the new Tecton X. Inspired by the earth’s tectonic plates and aiming to make a tectonic shift, the Tecton X offers uncompromising traction and increased running efficiency with dual carbon plates in a lightweight shoe.

With a wide footprint, the Tecton X provides stability on long runs without compromising on performance. Those looking for a spry and energetic shoe that can handle the rigors of the trail will appreciate this new race-ready option for their shoe quiver.

Woman running in the HOKA Tecton X

Running in the HOKA Tecton X. All photos: HOKA

HOKA Tecton X Basic Specifications

Let’s take a look at the specifics of the HOKA Tecton X.

  • Actual Weight: 8.7 ounces (248 grams) for men’s size 9
  • Drop: 5 millimeters
  • Upper Material: The upper is made of jacquard engineered mesh. This durable yet flexible material allows for a secure midfoot lockdown while providing high breathability. A bright orange and blue colorway makes this shoe stand out, and the toe rand provides protection from rocks and roots as you navigate technical terrain.
  • Lacing System: The Tecton X has lacing that stretches nearly to the cap of the shoe. This provides a highly adjustable fit and allows the shoe to accommodate a variety of foot shapes.
  • Tongue: The gusseted tongue lies flat and is minimally padded. This improves the foot-hugging fit while still providing cushion under the laces for all-day comfort.
  • Midsole: The ProFlyX™ midsole uses dual-density technology combined with two independent carbon fiber plates to create what HOKA calls intelligent cushioning. A softer upper layer provides a supportive ride, while a firmer EVA foam lower layer will ensure a responsive toe-off for faster running.
  • Outsole: For maximum traction with minimum weight, the Tecton X is equipped with a Vibram® Megagrip Litebase outsole. The lugs are strategically located around the toe and heel of the shoe while leaving the middle bare.

Lateral view of HOKA Tecton X

The HOKA Tecton X.

Medial view and outsole of HOKA Tecton X

The HOKA Tecton X.

Unique Features of the HOKA Tecton X

While the HOKA Tecton X borrows several design features from the brand’s carbon road shoes, it is distinctly a trail shoe ready to excel on a variety of trail surfaces via its unique dual carbon plate design, a midsole made of two densities of foam, and a grippy outsole.  Let’s take a look at these three elements of the HOKA Tecton X.

Dual Carbon Plate Design

The dual carbon plate design of the Tecton X is inspired by the movement of the earth’s floating tectonic plates and provides the added efficiency of a carbon midsole without compromising on the shoe’s ability to handle technical terrain. It is built with two independent carbon plates running the length of the shoe.

While carbon road shoes, including the HOKA Carbon X 3,Hoka One One are built with a single carbon plate to optimize lateral and longitudinal stiffness, the Tecton X knows that trail runners need to have confidence on uneven terrain. The two carbon plates allow for increased lateral flex in the shoe so that it can better contour to the changing surfaces of the trail. This provides increased stability over uneven terrain.

Still, the two carbon plates maintain the longitudinal stiffness that provides the increased efficiency and energetic response that carbon-plated shoes are known for. The Tecton X allows for a propulsive, smooth stride on any trail.

Hoka Tecton X graphic with dual carbon plates

The dual carbon plates of the Hoka Tecton X are located in the shoe’s midsole.

Cushioned Yet Responsive Midsole Design

The ProFlyX™ midsole of the Tecton X is designed to provide an exceptional weight-to-cushion ratio. HOKA has used several weight-saving techniques to allow this well-cushioned shoe to punch well above its weight.

The dual-density foam uses a softer upper layer to cushion each footfall. The bottom layer of the midsole is made of supercritical EVA foam, a firmer material known for its high elasticity and shock absorption that allows for an energetic response.

In between the two layers lie the dual carbon plates optimized to maximize the efficiency of the shoe. The Tecton X uses a similar midsole construction as the HOKA Speedgoat 5 and is ready to handle long days on the trail.

Woman running in the HOKA Tecton X

The HOKA Tecton X in flight.

Grippy but Lightweight Vibram® Megagrip Litebase Outsole

The Vibram® Megagrip Litebase outsole of the Tecton X provides outstanding traction in both wet and dry conditions. With four-millimeter lugs concentrated on the heel and toe of the shoe, it provides traction where it’s needed,Hokas Shoes saving on rubber weight where possible. The center of the outsole is left as bald, supercritical EVA foam.

Megagrip rubber technology offers an extremely durable and sticky surface and is used in many different shoe types, from trail running to mountain biking to mountaineering. The Litebase design from Vibram® further reduces the weight of the sole by 30% by reducing its thickness by up to 50%.

[Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by HOKA. Find out more about the HOKA Tecton X. Thank you to HOKA for its sponsorship of iRunFar, which helps to make iRunFar happen and free for all to enjoy. Learn more about our sponsored articles.]

Hoka Tecton X - carbon plates - trail running

The HOKA Tecton X on trail. Photo: HOKA

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