In 2009 two Frenchmen, Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, founded Hoka One One. These shoes were designed according to a radically different philosophy than was common at the time. Hoka was among the first to introduce an oversized midsole to aid in reducing the impact on the runner’s joints.
At first, the industry as a whole scoffed at these different-looking shoes because the minimalist trend was in full force and running shoes had been designed the same way for decades. Then, something happened. People realized that they worked extremely well.
Fast forward to the present and Hoka One One is now one of the most popular brands available and they sponsor some of the biggest names and teams in long distance running and triathlon.