Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Hi-Tec Haraka, road shoe (review)

In April I reviewed the Hi-Tec Shade, a road shoe that I've really enjoyed (and still currently enjoy). I've had this Haraka model for at least 2.5 months but I've been sitting on this review because I can't quite make my mind up how far I'd run in it. But I am quite clear on the Haraka being a versatile, comfortable and good-looking multi-purpose trainer.

Let's take a look at the Hi-Tec Haraka.

Shoe: Hi-Tec Haraka
Terrain: Road
Gender: Women's shoe
My shoe size:  UK8, US 10, EUR 42
Weight: 222g
Price: R699.00

Although I always urge runners to ignore the colour of a shoe when making their choice, it's hard to ignore attractive (and unattractive) colours. This pink-blue-white colourway is very, very pretty indeed.

I've put in more than 80 kilometres (straight-up running) into my pair. The longest single run being no more than 15 kilometres. I wear it many times a week as a casual-wear shoe.

The model
The Haraka comes in a men's and women's version. It is marketed as being "Ideal for wear at the gym, during fitness classes or running round the tracks (or just to the shops!)"

The weight
At 222g, this shoe is heavier than the super-ultra-light Hi-Tec Shade (an unbelievable 185g per shoe), but it is still lighter than most other road shoes. And you can feel it when you put the shoe on. This is one thing that Hi-Tec really excels in - producing light-weight shoes.

The fit
It's a wide shoe with a last (the inside shape of the shoe) that presents no lumps nor bumps underfoot. It's a comfortable and simple fit that is unlikely to interfere with most foot shapes and will be welcomed by those with broad feet and those who appreciate more room for forefoot expansion and toe wiggling.

In this picture these shoes actually look quite similar. They feel a lot different. The Shade is more narrow and the heat-moulded upper is soft; it spreads with the foot. The Haraka has a more sturdy upper with stitched support. It just is more roomy.
I always wear socks with my shoes and I found nothing inside these that scratched nor bumped nor rubbed. The sole is neither too thin nor too thick - but this will depend on your personal preferences. For me, it's a midway outer sole. These are very comfortable shoes.

This is the one area where the shoe doesn't quite suit me. Look at this photo.

I wear my running shoes relatively loose - such that I can pull on the shoes without untying the laces and I don't like laces to be too high. If I lace the Haraka in the upper-most hole (left image), the laces 'push' the tongue into my foot-ankle-bend, reduces the size of the foot pocket and just feels too high.

On the other hand, when I skip the upper hole and go one down (right image), there's almost too much space - or too much tongue. I only ran for about five minutes with the laces in the upper-most hole before dropping it down one, which works just fine but feels just that little bit too low - we're talking millimetres.

Different shoes for different purposes
When I look at a pair of running shoes I ask myself, "Would you run 100km in these?". Yes, I know. It's not really the right way to approach each and every trainer because running shoes are definitely suited to different purposes.

  • Would I run 100km in these shoes? Probably not. But they'd probably make it too.
  • Would I do Parkrun in them? Yes.
  • Would I run 10km in them? Yes.
  • Would you wear them to the gym for circuits, group classes, treadmill and cardio machine work? Yes.
  • Would I wear them with jeans? Yes - and I do, most days.
  • Would you pack them in your bag when you travel? No, because they'll be on my feet. I'm travelling to the Northern Cape in the morning and I'll be wearing them on the plane - and to social gatherings and around the place and to walk here and there and... I haven't left home without them since I received them.
As always, I recommend that you take your socks with you to the store and try on the shoes. Many shoes. Remember to try one size bigger and smaller to what you think to make certain that you're getting the right size -don't go on numbers alone.

If the shoe fits with no unsettling lumps and bumps and the foot-in-feel is good and your heel doesn't lift out the heel cup when you walk (try them on stairs too) and your toes can wiggle and your foot is comfortable... then buy it.

Note that Hi-Tec very kindly sent me this pair of shoes to wear, enjoy and review. I'm not sponsored by Hi-Tec and I have the freedom to review their products without bias.


Anonymous said...

Good post. I order a pair of them via internet some days ago. I believe i've done a good choice. Thanks

adventurelisa said...

Yours will probably be a newer model and I'm interested to know how you find them. Enjoy ;)