The Hoka One One Rincon 3 is touted as a lighter, more durable and more breathable update to this favourite triathlon running shoe.
When the original Rincon launched, it hit the sweet spot for many triathletes thanks to its combination of max-cushioning protection, a smooth ride and lighter weight than classics like the Clifton. Just launched, the Rincon 3 takes what was great about the shoe’s first two iterations and intends to improve on the formula with even lower weight, better comfort, more breathability and increased durability.
With the Rincon 3, Hoka set out to create the best cushion-to-weight ratio on the market, dropping 8.5g from what was already an impressive shoe in both departments.
Much of the Rincon 3’s svelteness comes from the compression-moulded EVA midsole, which is designed to provide comfy, fatigue-reducing softness without losing responsiveness. In Hoka terms, it’s categorised as balanced cushioning – so not right up there with the plushness of the Bondi but not as snappy as the Carbon X 2.
The shoe features a 5mm heel drop, which should give a good balance of raciness without putting too much pressure on the calves. While the neutral design doesn’t manhandle your feet with unnecessary stability pillars and the like, Hoka’s Early Stage Meta-rocker tech helps you quickly into a springy forefoot toe-off whether you’re a heel- or midfoot-striker. This Hoka hallmark gives a feeling of energetic efficiency that’s perfect for keeping the legs turning over deep into long runs or when fatigue sets in during triathlon races.
To further trim weight wherever possible, the midsole has aggressive cutouts while Hoka has upped the rubber coverage to improve the shoe’s durability. This alone will please Rincon fans, who previously had to compromise on longevity to benefit from the shoe’s low weight cushioning.
The completely redesigned vented mesh upper is more breathable than before, helping to keep feet cool and dry off quickly after dousing yourself with water at aid stations. The heel tab is thinner than the Rincon 2, but remains to help a speedy transition – a feature that’s been replaced with a tall ‘elf-heel’ on the likes of the Clifton, Mach and Arahi models.
An asymmetric tongue is another new addition. Such designs provide a secure foot lockdown and stop the tongue from moving around or bunching up, avoiding any annoying discomfort niggles whatever the tempo.
Compared to the Clifton 8, the Rincon 3 prioritises low weight, coming in at 210g in men’s size US 9. The Clifton might have a little more support but the Rincon and be built as a training workhorse, but the Rincon 3 is a highly versatile shoe with enough cushioning for long runs and a low enough weight for race day – especially for long-course triathletes.
The launch of the Rincon 3 also gives the range a wide fit option for the first time. Given that Hokas tend to fit quite slim, this will bring the shoe to a whole new group of triathletes.
All that makes the Rincon 3 a real contender for triathletes who don’t want to sacrifice weight to give the cushioning needed for long training runs, higher intensity tempo sessions and race day running off the bike.