The same day that Asics launched the shoe that he wore on his way to a course record in Kona last year, Jan Frodeno announced that Hoka One One will be his new running shoe partner for the next three years.
When it was announced that Frodeno, a three-time Ironman World Champion and the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, would be leaving Asics, there was some speculation that we might see him competing in Nike’s Vapourfly shoes. After “months of testing dozens of shoes,” Frodeno decided that Hoka One One answered “two simple questions: Is the performance there and is that brand evolving high performance endurance sport.”
“I want to be at the very top of the game for another three years and, with the support of Hoka, I believe I have the shoes on my feet to do just that,” Frodeno said in a release. “I am heavily invested in high performance – a passion and dedication that is clearly also shared by the Hoka brand.”
Hoke One One certainly has invested heavily in the world of long-distance triathlon both in terms of events and athletes. The company is the official running shoe sponsor of Ironman North America and Ironman Europe and sponsors three-time Kona champ Mirinda Carfrae, last year’s Kona runner-up (and Carfrae’s husband) Tim O’Donnell, last year’s third-place finisher Sarah Crowley, Heather Jackson and Great Britain’s Joe Skipper, who set two new course records in winning Ironman Florida last year and Ironman New Zealand in March.
The investment in sponsorship appears to have done Hoka One One well – it has topped the running shoe count at the Ironman World Championship in 2017 and 2018 – there was no count done in 2019.