HOKA One One Cavu Fly at Night Review

Designed for the early bird or night owl, these reflective shoes by HOKA One One changed my perspective on highly-cushioned shoes. And they're on sale!

I grew up as a competitive gymnast and rock climber and spent a lot of time focusing on the feel and accuracy of my foot placement. HOKA One One started to become popular around the time I started to run more seriously. This was also the time when low-to-zero drop, minimalist shoes were the fad. 

I’m fortunate enough to live in an area packed with badass ultramarathon runners, some of whom opened my favorite running store, the San Francisco Running Company (SFRC). When I started running more seriously, the crew at SFRC offered me a wide variety of options, from super minimalist to super padded (HOKAs), and the minimalist shoes felt more at home to me. I liked feeling road and trail beneath the ball of my foot. 

I trained for and ran my first 50K trail race last year. After back-to-back 4-hour, 20+ mile training runs, I began to understand why HOKAs have become a favorite in the ultramarathon world. While my minimalist shoes served me well for half marathons, the intensity of my 50K training started to have an effect on my body and the idea of more cushion intrigued me. 

I recently had an opportunity to try HOKA One One’s Cavy Fly at Night shoes, and I was surprised at how much I liked them. Inspired by the night running culture in Japan, the reflective Cavu Fly at Night shoes feature Hoka One One’s PROFLY cushioning which is softer in the heel for shock absorption and firmer in the forefoot for propulsion and energy return. Yet, despite the cushion HOKA is known for, this shoe feels insanely light and controllable on my feet! I have also found that the internal reinforcements encourage me to land on the ball of my foot, rather than my heel, but the cushion is there for when I get tired and my form suffers. 


Designed for running at night (or in the early morning, like me) these shoes have a black mesh upper with a reflective bootie underneath and reflective logos, which are surprisingly reflective and put my mind at ease when running through city streets before the sun comes up. Though they’re meant for road running, I have taken these on several trail runs and they’ve held up better than I expected. I wouldn’t take them out during really muddy conditions, but for the every day trail run, they show up with better traction than I expected for a road shoe. 

HOKA’s Cavu Fly at Night shoes have opened my eyes and suspended my fears of rolling my ankles while wearing the brand’s cushiony shoes. They’re definitely a bit more bulky as far as size goes than my minimalist shoe, but I feel light and fast while wearing them, and I continually reach for them over my other shoes when I head out for a run. And bonus, they’re on sale now for $79.99! Check them out here!

Published: December 4, 2018

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