Back in 2019, the original Hoka Rincon surprised the running world with a well-cushioned, inexpensive and speedy shoe. In the succeeding years Hoka continued to tinker with that original formula, slowly improving a fan favorite shoe. Now, thanks to our good friends at Eastbay, who carry Hoka’s full line of running shoes, we get to tell you what changed on the Hoka Rincon 3 vs Rincon 2. The Hoka Rincon 3 made our list of the top cheap running shoes in 2022.
Interestingly, there are many attributes that are the same and many that are different. Let’s dig in and compare the Hoka Rincon 3 vs Rincon 2.
Hoka Rincon 3 vs Rincon 2: What’s the Same?
- Sandwich Mesh Upper. Though the pattern and style used is different, the popular (and comfortable) sandwich mesh is on both shoes. You get the same fantastic breathability and more comfort than any other shoe in the Rincon’s weight class.
- Weight. Ok, so the Rincon 3 and Rincon 2 are not exactly the same weight but they’re so close you can’t really tell a difference. They’re both incredibly lightweight. Light enough they’re closer to race day shoes than everyday running shoes. The Rincon 3 weighs 7.3 ounces which is 0.2 ounces less than the Rincon 2.
- Drop. Both shoes feature a 5mm heel to toe drop. A little less than the industry average 8mm but this shoe is meant to go fast and that often means a little less drop.
- Hoka Meta Rocker. In my opinion this is the reason Hoka is so popular among walkers and runners. It’s rocker-shaped soles are among the best in the running shoe industry. This results in a really nice transition and toe off. It’s part of why this shoe is so comfortable yet so fast at the same time.
Hoka Rincon 3 vs Rincon 2: What’s Different?
- Tongue. The tongues are similar but the Rincon 3’s sheds some weight because it’s not as thick up up top. There’s no compromise on the comfort side of the equation with the new tongue so chalk it up as a performance gain.
- Stack Height. The midsole thickness increases just slightly in the Rincon 3 which makes it even more impressive that the Rincon 3 weighs less. You get 1mm more foam throughout the shoe as the stack height goes from 27mm to 28mm in the forefoot and 32mm to 33mm in the heel.
- Outsole. Anytime there’s a lot of foam showing on an outsole, runners want more rubber for durability. But adding more rubber without increasing weight is hard. Somehow, Hoka managed. The Rincon 3 gets complete forefoot rubber coverage along with some extra coverage in the lateral heel strike zone. Both of those additions will increase durability. Thee Rincon 3 is built to last longer than any previous model.
- Price. There a $5 increase from the Rincon 2 to the Rincon 3 but you get a lot extra. I’d say it’s worth it because the Rincon 3 still clocks in at a very reasonable $120.
- Heel Tab. The only downgrade from the Rincon 2 is the heel tab. The thick heel tab of the Rincon 2 got removed to shed some weight. We get a nylon string instead of a legit pull tab. I didn’t even use it to get the Rincon 3 on foot so it could be removed completely and not missed. It’s not really a big deal but worth pointing out for those of you that love your heel tabs.
The Hoka Rincon 3 vs Rincon 2 comparison is a pretty easy one to make. They’re both great shoes but the Rincon 3 is better in almost every way. That said, right now you can get the Rincon 2 for $90 at Eastbay. If you’re on a budget, the Rincon 2 is a total steal. If you’d rather have the extra durability and various other small improvements, go with the Rincon 3. The Hoka Ricon 3 is also a great option for wide footers. Either way, you’re getting a high-performing, comfortable shoe with plush cushioning.