Hoka Rocket X Review

The Hoka Rocket X is a great carbon fiber super shoe that offers excellent value for its price. It’s lighter than most other racing shoes and has a more streamlined upper, making it ideal for short-distance competitions.

I gotta say, the Hoka Rocket X is a pretty impressive shoe. The lightweight mesh upper keeps your feet cool and comfortable during those shorter-distance runs, while the rubber sole provides excellent traction on any surface.

The updated rubber outsole provides better traction while the single-density midsole offers a firm yet comfortable ride. Compared to the Carbon X, it’s slightly lighter and has a lower stack height in the heel.

While some may prefer flashier, more expensive options, the Rocket X is durable and versatile enough for high-mileage training blocks. Overall, it’s a solid choice for runners looking for a reliable and affordable carbon fiber racing shoe.

Hoka Rocket X Review

Who Should Buy Hoka Rocket X?

The Hoka Rocket X is a carbon fiber shoe that is ideal for runners who are new to carbon fiber shoes. It is forgiving and easy to transition into. The Rocket X is more nimble and agile, making it better suited for half marathon and marathon distances. It is closer to a classic racing shoe than a carbon plate model, with a semi-rigid carbon-fiber unit that offers good support. The Rocket X is best for 10k to half marathon distances for most runners.

Who Should Not Buy Hoka Rocket X?

The Hoka Rocket X is not suitable for those who prefer a firm racer with a lightweight build. The shoe is also not recommended for those who want a marshmallow-soft ride usually associated with Hoka One One.

If you’re a forefoot striker, the Rocket X might just be your new best friend. But if you’re more of a heel striker, it may not be the shoe for you. Keep in mind though, that doesn’t mean any particular group of people should avoid this shoe altogether. It really all comes down to your personal running style and preferences.

Rating Breakdown

Comfort – 6.0

Build quality – 7.0

Upper – 7.0

Sole unit – 7.0

Landing – 8.0

Transition – 8.0

Toe-off – 6.0

Traction – 7.0

Durability – 6.0

Value / Price – 7.0


  • Brand – Hoka
  • Model – Rocket
  • Previous Model – No
  • Type – Running
  • MSRP – $150
  • Heel Drop – 5mm
  • Carbon Plate – Yes


  • Sizing – True to Size in Normal Size 10
  • Heel Fit – Secure and Snug
  • Midfoot Fit – Snug Midfoot Fit
  • Toebox Fit – Enough Fit

Cushioning & Ride

  • Types of cushioning – Traditional
  • Amount of cushioning – Firm Cushioning
  • Stability – Yes
  • Flexibility – Yes


  • Racing
  • Speedwork
  • Daily training
  • Trail Running
  • Heavy training

First Impression

When I first unboxed the Hoka Rocket X, I was immediately struck by how sleek and stylish they looked. The white and diva blue colorway is really eye-catching and the yellow outsole adds a fun pop of color.

As soon as I slipped them on my feet, I noticed that they felt a little long and wide in the forefoot, but when I tried on a half-size smaller, it was too tight. So, I decided to stick with my true size and wear thicker socks.

Over the next five days, I took the Rocket X out for several runs in different conditions. The grip was fantastic even on rainy days and I never once felt like I was going to slip or lose control. What really impressed me about these shoes was how smooth and consistent the ride felt. Unlike other carbon fiber shoes I’ve tested, I didn’t feel like the shoe was controlling my stride – I felt totally in control.

Even though they’re nicknamed the “speed dagger”, the Rocket X actually felt quite forgiving and comfortable even during longer runs. Overall, my first impressions of the Hoka Rocket X have been really positive and I’m looking forward to running more miles in them!

Upper Mesh

The upper mesh of the Hoka Rocket X is something I had the chance to test out personally. And let me tell you, it was a pleasant surprise. The airy mesh feels slightly rough to the touch but in a good way. It reminded me a lot of the Rincon 2’s mesh which I also enjoyed.

One thing to note is that the mesh has no stretch to it. So if you’re someone who needs a little bit of give in your shoes, this might not be the best fit for you. But for me, it was perfect. The spacious midfoot and forefoot allowed my feet to breathe and move around comfortably during daily training sessions.

The internal heel counter and double last-row eyelets for heel-lock lacing provided excellent lockdown with no slippage whatsoever. And the semi-gusseted tongue stayed in place throughout all my runs.

One small issue I did have with the upper was the length of the laces. They were too long for my liking and I had to cinch them tight resulting in loops that touched the ground even when using heel-lock lacing.

But aside from that, the upper mesh of the Hoka Rocket X gets a thumbs up from me. Great breathability, excellent lockdown, and is comfortable enough for long-distance runs.

Sole Unit

The sole unit of the Hoka Rocket X is impressive, to say the least. I had the chance to test it out personally and it did not disappoint. The cushioning level was just right for a marathon distance – firm enough in the forefoot to feel fast but with sufficient foot protection.

I tried out for a marathon distance and was impressed by its cushioning. The forefoot offered enough firmness to feel speedy, but still provided ample foot protection.

Even after running 35 kilometers, my legs didn’t feel beat up or tired. The midsole foam strikes a good balance between being soft and responsive without feeling too spongy.

The 1mm carbon plate has some flex to it and is not intrusive at all. It concentrates its feel at the midfoot, giving me no forward tipping sensation like in other shoes such as the Alphafly and Vaporfly.

It may feel less responsive than other super shoes with new-age foams like ZoomX or FuelCell, but the Rocket X is denser and more durable. In fact, Hoka says it’s the lightest foam they’ve ever used.


Overall, the Hoka Rocket X is a solid choice for runners looking for a versatile and dependable racing shoe. While it may not offer the marshmallow-soft ride of other Hoka models, its cushioned yet efficient midsole and unobtrusive carbon-fiber plate make it a great option for tempo runs and races.

It’s also forgiving for those new to carbon fiber shoes. The stable ride, smooth transitions, and comfortable upper make it suitable for high-mileage training cycles too. Although it may lack the energy return of some super shoes, the Rocket X is a well-rounded option at an affordable price point.

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