Barefoot running is all the rage. Enter the counterpoint. Hoka One One says that fat, squishy soles are the true path to success. We've tested an ultramarathon of running shoes, and we've gotta admit that Hoka One One has some cushy merits. Though the marshmellow-soled shoes look like they belong in the clown tent, when you're pounding down a paved hill or crumbly mountainside they absorb the impact like nothing else. On the ascent, Hokas cut down on your ankle flex, as well as lower back pain.
The road/trail hybrid Stinson B Evo adds DIY pronation control to the package. All you'll need is a power drill, thin wooden dowels straight from an Ikea bookshelf assembly kit (included), and some sense of where the shoe sole should be harder or softer. For this, we suggest checking in with your local running shop. The Stinson B has dimpled drilling guides, but if you get over zealous a do-over will cost you $169. Available in February 2012, $169, hokaoneone.com.