HOKA ONE ONE, a division of Deckers Brands, has unveiled Project Carbon X. The new max-cushion and minimal-weight shoe will be used in a 100K world record attempt by multiple HOKA athletes.
Project Carbon X – the 100K world record attempt – will mark the launch of the Carbon X. According to HOKA, this is ‘a racing shoe that embodies the impossibly-cushioned, impossibly-lightweight construction pioneered by HOKA upon the brand’s launch ten years ago.’
Project Carbon X features a 100K race in Folsom, CA on Saturday, May 4, in which several athletes will seek to break the 100K world record in the new shoe. HOKA ultrarunners Jim Walmsley, Patrick Reagan, Tyler Andrews and Mike Wardian, alongside reigning IAAF 100K World Champion Hideaki Yamauchi and fellow Japanese runner Yoshiki Takada, will attempt to better Nao Kazami’s world record of 6:09:14, set last year, on the fast and flat Northern California course.
HOKA athlete Sabrina Little, along with Aiko Kanematsu, will also race the 100K and attempt to break the women’s world record of 6:33:11, set in 2000 by Tomoe Abe. HOKA athletes Sage Canaday, Tim Freriks, Sarah Bard and Jared Hazen will act as pacers during the record attempts.
Additionally, five teams of ten runners will simultaneously participate in a 10x10K relay on the same course. A mix of HOKA athletes and athletes from select retail partners, these mixed-gender teams will also seek to break the 10x10K mixed-gender world record.
HOKA will also host a livestream of Project Carbon X on May 4. The 10x10K mixed-gender relay begins at 05:50 PST, and the 100K race begins at 06:00. The live feed will include commentary from HOKA athletes Magda Boulet and Eric Senseman, among other commentators.
“My passion and love of running is rooted in the trails; however, road ultras have a history that excites me,” said HOKA ultrarunner Jim Walmsley, who in 2018 set a course record at both the Western States Endurance Run and Lake Sonoma 50 Mile, and won his third consecutive ‘Ultrarunner of the Year’ title from Ultrarunning Magazine. He added, “I’m fortunate to work with HOKA given their history of creating innovative, performance-oriented products for any surface or distance.”
“Project Carbon X celebrates HOKA’s vision of empowering a world of athletes to fly over the Earth,” said Wendy Yang, President of HOKA ONE ONE. “Some of our top athletes will be chasing a new world standard in our most innovative shoe yet, and they’ll be doing it alongside relay teams who are also chasing a world record. The Carbon X is designed for athletes of all types to chase their own personal best.”
Update: on May 4, HOKA ONE ONE ultrarunner Jim Walmsley made history by breaking the 50-mile World Record (unofficial), clocking a time of 4:50:08 in the new Carbon X racing shoe.
Competing as part of the HOKA Project Carbon X race in Sacramento, California, Walmsley sped across the fast and flat course at an average speed of 5:48 per mile, and in doing so beat Bruce Fordyce’s 35-year record time of 4:50:51.
HOKA adds that the new Carbon X shoe is engineered to propel athletes to their best performance and is filled with features that will benefit athletes of all levels, regardless of distance or speed. It features a carbon-fibre plate in its midsole and an aggressive Metarocker. These are designed to provide an efficient, propulsive ride for athletes going at any speed.
HOKA’s signature active footframe construction is designed to make the shoe stable and supportive for a racing flat that weighs in at a mere 241g (men’s size 9).
“The Carbon X embodies everything that has made HOKA such a popular and quickly-growing brand,” said Gretchen Weimer, Vice President of Product at HOKA ONE ONE. “Combining premium performance engineering, an extraordinary weight-to-cushion ratio, and a user-friendly geometry and ride, this shoe is designed to empower athletes the world over, and to help them feel like they can fly.”
The Carbon X will be available for sale at hokaoneone.eu on May 15, and will launch globally online and in retailers on June 1.