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A love letter to my Hokas

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Photo by Norsk bokmal under CC BY-SA 4.0


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OCTOBER 26, 2022

Dear beloved Hoka One One Clifton 7’s, 

You’ve been my tried and true pair of running shoes for a long time, racking up almost 400 miles since you first became mine. Your once pure white upper soles are now caked in mud and skid marks from my rainy day runs. Your bottoms show signs of wear and tear, slowly growing thinner and thinner as I rack up my miles. Every time I slip you on and off, I remind myself of how grateful I am to have found a pair of running shoes that feel like they were molded exactly for me. From going up hilly trails in preparation for my half-marathon, to my easy Sunday morning recovery runs, it all feels so effortless with you supporting my feet. 

On gloomy days when the sky is gray and covered in fog, your bright blue and vibrant yellow colors spark color in the monochrome environment, jolting me awake and filling me with the desire to run for miles. 

Even off the trail, your power to shift my mood from dreary to happy remains true. On the treadmill, I soon feel like the world record marathon holder, Eliud Kipchoge, as I sprint away all of my pent-up emotions. I stand proud and tall in front of the weight room mirror, admiring how your blazing colors on my feet complement my all-black matching set, making me feel confident enough to reach for a heavier set of weights. 

You and I make a great team. I can’t thank you enough for all the support you give me, literally and figuratively, during each and every one of my workouts. I’m not going to lie though, when we first met I was completely lost. I had no idea how you were going to work in my life. 

Yet, I took a leap of faith and put all my trust into you — trusting that you would carry me through the streets of my new running route so that I could completely focus on breathing and not stop to turn back and head home. Miles later, we hit personal records, traveled all across California and even trained for a half marathon together. For that I thank you, but it pains me to say that I’ve moved on. 

Our 453-mile (yes, I counted) relationship has ended. Don’t worry, you’ll have a permanent spot at the top of my closet shelf forever. Though you’ve been replaced by a brand new pair of Clifton 8’s, rest assured that each time I reach for them, I’ll be reminded of our time together. You’ve served me well when I needed you most, but my needs have changed and evolved into something the Clifton 8’s can satisfy more than you can.

Nevertheless, I’ll never forget you. 


Isabel Espinoza

Contact Isabel Espinoza at 


OCTOBER 26, 2022