Tricks & Kicks for Six Foot Track 2021

We’re counting down to 6 Foot Track only six weeks away on Saturday March 13. And whether you’re tired from balancing high mileage weeks with work, or anxious because you haven’t put the training in yet, race day is creeping up and it’s getting pretty real.

Whether you’re following a program, listening to experienced running friends, it’s important to have a plan for these next few weeks or race day will be here before you know it.

Useful tips to get ready for race week:

  1. Get to the start line in one piece (sounds simple, but takes some great self-management).
  2. Get plenty of sleep/rest/recovery/massage/good food/hydration during race week.
  3. Don’t try to cram all your training in close to the race (see 2.).
  4. Downhills are still your friend – running big descents hard will blow apart muscle fibres that then repair stronger but this takes about 12 days, so get your biggest downhill sessions done at least two weeks out.
  5. Practise everything for whatever race day might be – hot and dry or wet and humid, make sure your clothing is good for humid or hot conditions. It’s especially important your footcare strategy works well for running through water and being on your feet for several hours. The shoe discussion below might help with this.

One option you might not have considered (particularly as it’s not quite on the market yet) is the brand new MACH 4. This model won’t be available for pre-sale until mid-Feb HOWEVER the reviews are in globally and locally.

Personally we’ve been running in the MACH 4 for the past few months and it is insane – it has the same stack heights as the best-selling fan-favourite Challenger 6 and Clifton 7 but it’s lighter, springier and has a broader fit. This shoe will blow your mind, especially if you’re a runner who has ever felt that HOKA does not have a model for you. They’re seriously the liveliest non-carbon ride on the market in 2021.

We can also say that as a road shoe the Mach 4 performs superbly on the polished 45km trail from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Quicker runners wanting more from less will absolutely love the light and springy ride of the MACH 4. The only challenging moments will be the first descent into Nellie’s if it’s a very wet day, and the final km into Jenolan because of the last steep section of loose rubbly surface. But with their nimble feel and sticky rubberised EVA outsole we’re feeling confident about this shoe’s light, fast, highly forgiving but responsive ride with hugely pleasing bounce and incredible fast drainage.

For 6 Foot, you want something that fits your specific foot well, be relatively light over a long run, handle long descents and feel smooth on big climbs, be comfortable over a period of several hours, drain well, and transition from single track to open fire trail effortlessly.

The better you feel as you get closer to Caves House, the better time you’re going to have.

Any questions you might have about foot care,
finding the right model for you, or even questions about the course itself, please get in touch through HOKA Australia Facebook or Instagram. 

COMPARISON TABLE

MODEL BEST FOR FIT BENEFITS LIMITATIONS
TORRENT 2
Low profile
Responsive, grippy ground feel
Lightweight
A great fast shoe.
Natural shape well suited to most standard feet. Drains very fast.
Extremely breathable.
Lighter runners will feel quite protected in Torrent 2.
Sticky grippy outsole.
Over longer distance, runners hitting with more impact might prefer more cushion. These feel racy. Also, they sell out quickly – check your HOKA retailer.
CHALLENGER ATR 6
All-terrain, modelled on Clifton 7
Versatile traction and a soft ride
WIDE available
Standard volume and shape. Rated by most users as immediately comfortable out of the box. WIDE very popular. Drains quickly.
A bit more cushion for long descents without feeling spongey.
Robust all-terrain outsole ideal on access roads and fire trails.
Real mountain goats might prefer a dedicated trail outsole, as in Torrent or Speedgoat.
SPEEDGOAT 4
Highly cushioned time on feet
Epic Vibram MEGAGRIP
WIDE available
Relatively straight fit. Some shallowness through forefoot for technical hold. WIDE gives higher midfoot volume than Torrent. A very smooth ride that takes a lot of impact.
Sticky Vibram outsole great for slippery descents.
WIDE now available. EVO (Goat 3) available for gram counters and faster drainage.
More outsole tread means slightly more weight. Standard upper takes about 1500 metres to really run the water out.
MAFATE SPEED 3 (new for 2021) and EVO MAFATE 2

Unbeatable traction with a heap of protection
Pronation control
Responsive cushion – firm but plush
Impossibly light
Standard volume, but stretchable fabric insert over toebox allows for extra volume. Deep heel cup holds feet or orthotics similarly to Speedgoat and Challenger. The Mafate Speed 3 uses a new highly elastic mesh for an accommodating performance fit.
Like EVO Matryx it drains insanely fast and breathes fresh on hot days.
Grippy Vibram outsole.
Fastest drying highly cushioned ride ever and possibly the world’s best long technical mountain racer.
Thicker midsole and deep teeth will initially feel chunky to some runners.
STINSON ATR 6
High volume mid-foot and forefoot for toe splay and comfort.
The unmatched comfort and dependability of a springy truck tire.
Generous forefoot splay. Really deep heel cup and full length cradle for feet shaped like South America. Huge toebox.
The thickest midsole.
Eats gravel and long runs for breakfast.
Committed all-terrain running.
New lighter foam feels super springy.
Underperforms for quicker runners on technical single track. Can be slow to drain.

Blue Mountains Running Company is our retail partner for 6 Foot Track and regularly carry all of these models, which are also available here on our website and through our other stockists at www.hokaoneone.com.au/stockists.

See you on race day.

Time to Fly!

Recent Posts