The Hoka Rocket X2 and Nike Vaporfly 3 are two of the most exciting new carbon racing shoes of 2023, but which should you get? Run Testers Tom, Kieran and Nick talk through the pros and cons of each shoe and give their verdict on which they’d choose to race in.

Check out our full reviews of the shoes:

Nike Vaporfly 3 Multi-Tester Review:
Hoka Rocket X2 Review:

00:00​​​​ – Intro
00:13 – Design & Key Stats
02:31 – How’s The Fit?
04:41 – The Run Test
15:58 – Verdict

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Hello and welcome to run testers my Name's Nick and in this video we're Going to be comparing the Hoka rocket X2 And the Nike vaporfly 3. So the rocket X2 and the vaporfly 3 are Two brand new carbon Racing shoes for 2023 the rocket X2 is a big leap forward From what we've seen from Hope in the Past whereas The Vapor fly 3 more Refines the formula of what Nike's done With its carbon shoes in the past we've Got a similar price the Nike is 235 Pounds in the UK and 250 in the US Whereas the rocket X2 is 220 pounds or 250 in the US the rape 5 3 is the Lightest shoe it's 206 grams or 7.3 Ounces in my UK 9 whereas the hoker Rocket X2 is 225 grams or 7.9 ounces in The same size the rocket X2 has the Lower drop at five millimeters whereas The Vapor Flies is eight millimeters and The Rock and X2 is listed as having a Lower stack as well it's listed at 36 Millimeters at the heel and 31 at the Forefoot fave fly Knight doesn't give The exact stats on the babyfly stack eye But it is bumping right up against the 40 millimeter limit on design you've got A Flyknit mesh upper on the 95 3 which Has got a very open design in the front More open than on past versions there's A little bit of structure and support Around on the heel more than you get on The Hoka actually with a thin strip of

Cushioning there to cradle your Achilles On The Run Zoom X midsole which is a Pima based foam with a full length Scooped carbon plate running through it You've also got these slight side holes In the midfoot here to try and add some Stability on the sidewalls on the Hocker Actually a little bit bigger and then on The outsole you've got Nike's usual Layout with two strips of rubber at the Back and quite good forefoot coverage But this is a thinner outsole than on Past vaporfly shoes to try and squeeze In some more zoom X foam into the Midsole Nike thinned out the outsole and Actually the patches at the back are a Bit smaller as well so coverage is some Brilliant durability has been a bit of a Concern for us but yeah that's the Outside layout on the vaporfly 3. with The Hoka rocket X2 you've got a Lightweight mesh upper that's a little Bit more closed than the vaporflies one But it still has breathed well for me on The Run there's not really much Structure at all at the heel there as You can see and really quite minimal Cushioning as well the profly x midsole Is a dual density midsole made from two People Foams with a slightly softer Layer on the top there are side walls That are quite big that your sits within To add some stability on the run and Then you've got a carbon plate running

The full length of the midsole as you'd Expect then the outsole has got similar Kind of layout to the Nike shoe with Four foot coverage and two strips at the Back but the rubber's a little bit Harder a bit thicker and in general Covers a little bit more area than on The Nike shoe so it should get a bit More durability out of the Hoka Foreign So a quick word on fit then I ran in a UK and a half in both these shoes and I Would recommend going true to size in Both the shoes there is one kind of Caveat here and that's that the Hoka Rocket X2 they come up quite kind of Narrow across the kind of midfoot around That kind of toe knock where the back of The toes can be a little bit Pinchy and Ideally I'd want them to go kind of up a Quarter of a size I don't think I really Want a whole Half Size because I think That's going to maybe give sort of too Much room too much length in the toe Just needs a little bit extra on the Kind of that bit so I think in terms of Fit if you are going to go for the Hoka Rocket XT you're definitely going to Want to try them on and have a think About that it might depend on your foot Shape you might if you've got narrow Feet you might get away with it if You've got wide feet your size might be A little bit restrictive you might have

To consider going half a size up but Overall I think on balance for me Personally I would go true to size in Both these shoes so the fit for me in These shoes is very comfortable in my UK Size 8 which is my size and I have had No issues at all I think there's um I'd Probably say that the vaporize got a Little bit more room in the forefoot Than the rocket X2 not much so I'd Definitely stick to your size in these Shoes fit uh both shoes have fit me Pretty well in my normal UK size which Is UK nine but it's supposed to say the Nike is my normal size across the board It's an eu44 and a us-10 whereas the Hoka comes up a little bit smaller in The EU and US sizes so so UK nine is an EU 43.5 and a US 9.5 foreign Fit I'm a little bit small and for my Size and I have quite a narrow foot so I'd be perfectly okay with it but it's Definitely something to look out for With the hooker if you're normally Between sizes it might be worth looking At getting a half size up to make sure You have enough room uh overall I'd say The Nike has the roomier toe box the More comfortable fit but I have had no Real problems with the hooker it's got a Nice dialed in racing fit for me the Heel did rub a little bit on the hooker In my early runs but heel locking the Shoe has solved that issue so yeah

Overall I've been happy criticizing my Normal UK size in both shoes but that's Probably because I've got like I say Quite a narrow foot with the hooker be a Bit careful on the sizes and it is a Slightly more cramped fit all round [Music] So I've done about 60k in the rocket X2 Now and I've done about 50 in the Vaporfly 3. and I think they're both Fantastic shoes I really enjoyed running In both of these shoes Um and to be honest there's not much in It when it comes to the run for me the Only main thing I would say that I Noticed about these two shoes is I think The vapefly 3 is a little bit more Cushioned it feels a little bit softer For me on the run and I think there's a Little bit more pickup when you're Getting into the latter stages of a fast Run or a race I've raced uh did half Marathon in the vapor fly threes a Couple of weeks ago Um and I I really like them for that I Was lagging quite a bit in the second Half of the race and I just felt that There's a little bit of extra cushioning In the wavefry 3s and it just helped me A little bit towards our second half of The race Um and yeah they're really pretty much For me they're about the same as the Vaporfly 2. I don't think there's a lot

In it I know there's a tiny bit more Cushioning in The Vape by three than They fly too it's not massively Noticeable I think the only time I've Ever noticed it was when I was doing That race and I was getting into the Latter stages and I thought well it's a Little bit more a little bit more Softness in these shoes but it's only Only a touch different and ultimately It's just a fantastic ratio it's still One of the best ratios out there it's Lovely versatile shoe to use and I'd Probably use it for all different Distances Um all the way up to Marathon it's just Exactly what you expect from a vape Fly Shoe um just probably for me slightly More cushioned not necessarily better But slightly more cushioned than the Original butterfly 2. now the rocket X2 Is an interesting one because when I First used the rocket X2 I just come Back from Barcelona marathon and I felt That it was a little bit firmer than What I wanted from a ratio for the first Couple of runs and I think that might Have been largely to do with the fact That I just got back from Barcelona Since then I've worn to it quite a lot More I still don't think it's as soft as The vapor fly Um three but it's still a very similar Shoe in how it delivered I think there's

A lovely bit of toe off in it it's a Very Punchy shoe it feels like you can Really nipply pick up the pace in it and It feels very light as well it's Definitely the fastest shoe occur has Ever made for me and it's definitely a Shoe that I would pick up if I was doing A race I'm actually going to be running A Hackney Hub marathon in these um next Week so we'll see how they do I haven't Used them for a ratio apart from 5K race Um but I yeah I'm really looking forward To trying those Out Half Marathon Distance I think they're a very Punchy Little poppy shoe Um I think I would say 353 is probably a Little bit more it's definitely not a Cruiser shoe a marathon Cruiser shoe or A race Cruiser shoe but I think it just Has a nice fluid comfortable action that Really pops you forward nicely I think The rocket X2 is a little bit more Aggressive than that just a touch Um but yeah definitely I'd probably say It's a it's better suited to short Distance racing as well just because of That nippiness that it has so I've been Using these shoes quite a lot over the Past couple of months I've raced a Couple of times in both shoes including Doing the London marathon in the Nike of 853 and overall I'm a big fan of both of These shoes they've got some Similarities in that they're both quite

Lightweight carbon Racing shoes that are Really suitable for any distance they've Got that stability and Nimble feel for Short fast races like 5Ks whilst also Having enough Comfort there for longer Runs so the whole curve feels a little Bit softer at slower Paces but they've Probably got a similar firmness when you Start to up the pace in the shoes that We should say they're both quite soft Shoes The Vape fly 3 is known to be Softer than previous versions of the Shoe they do deliver a lot of squishy Comfort both of these shoes but then They do also Propel you on your way with The bounce in these people midsoles Another thing I say with the hoker is That over longer runs I do feel that its Phone bottoms out slightly for me Compared to the later fly um I think It's either a bit softer which is the Lower stack or just the way it's set up But yeah by the end of longer runs it Feels slightly deader than it did at the Start of those runs whereas if they fly Don't get that problem at all zoomax Foam is very resilient at the end of Them on the marathon you're still giving A lot of energy return delivering Exactly what you want from the shoe Whereas yeah that'd be a little bit of Concern I have with the Hoka the rides Also slightly different because of the Lower drop and the Hoka doesn't really

Although it has a bit of a rocker going On it is noticeably a lower drop shoe Than the Vape fly it has a slightly Flatter feel as a result and I feel like I get a bit more of a tip through and Push through from the Nike especially as A heel Striker get a little bit more of An aggressive roll through onto my toes And spring it on my way so when doing Fast off in the shoes I think the Babyfly probably helps me hold on a Little bit as I Tire towards the end of Those Rhymes and that's kind of at any Distance obviously in the marathon but If I did a 4.8 K race in the shoe and it Did feel like it was still tipping me Forward and rolling me on at the end of That short aggressive race the Fateful I Really thought was great for any Distance loved in the marathon here love Doing the shorter races in it and track Reps at the hope I think suits me more As a short distance shoe it's got really Light feel even though they flow is a Light issue I think they feel similarly Light on the foot I've really enjoyed Using this for track reps and also for a Good day another relay an issue that was A 7.2 K relay leg and I really enjoyed It for that oh it's got a slightly Cruisy feel because there's a low Drop For me it just kind of smooth smoothly Pushes through rather than having the Big tip forward you get from The Vape

Fly but it still feels nice and Aggressive and fast and you can Certainly go all out on it and I've been Really impressed actually by the grip on This shoe like I did a track session in This I was running some short all-out Sprints I think like 200 and 300s and it Was completely drenched attract like Absolutely flooded I would normally be Using spy X Plus testing this shoe and Grip was fantastic I was really Impressed like I was able to go out and Sprint you know right up on my toes Really pushing hard over 200 meters and They had no concerns with grip on a Completely flooded track Faithful I haven't actually had any Problems with grip like the London Marathon was very wet this year and Although I was avoiding manhole covers Just out of due care attention um I Didn't have any concerns with grip on The shoe during that race so I think Grip is okay but the outsole is Certainly concerned that they fly in Terms of durability you can see like Quite a lot of wear at the back of the Shoe there now I sometimes get this on My left foot in particular this is the Left shoe as a heel Striker I heel Strike a bit more on my left side but I've never seen wear like this after 100K even in other baby Fly shoes and Got nothing like that going on with the

Hoka I think it's going to be slightly More durable shoes you see those rubbish Those rubber Patches at the back extend Cover a bit more area and extend a bit Further back so we've mentioned it in All other five three coverage it is a Concern in a durability it feels like a Shoe you're going to be saving for race Day and the odd key session Hoka feels a Little bit more resilient except I'm a Little bit more concerned about the Midsole than this shoe and how it's Going to hold up over time just judging By the way when I've used it a couple of Days in a row I do feel it's compressed And lost a little bit of its bounce and I worry that might be the case longer Term just compress a bit quicker than Some of the other phones including Zoom X so then when it comes to the run test I have done all sorts in both of these Shoes pretty much the same kind of stuff I've done everything from short fast Interval sessions I've done all out Miles I've done a couple of sort of Faster 10ks at kind of near kind of Marathon pace I have done some I've done Marathon tests in the vapor fly next Percent two I have done a half marathon Test in the Hoka rocket X2 though I also Tacked on a seven mile warm-up run to That half marathon test so I ended up Doing 20 miles in those and that was a Pretty close indication of what those

Shoes will feel like when you're on Tired legs with a seven miles slow and Then 13 miles at half marathon pace so I've done pretty much similar tests all Of it pretty much on compacted gravel Piles or roads and tarmac the stuff they Were built for I've also just done a Side by side Mile with a Hoka rocket X2 On the right foot the very fine X103 on The left foot and it's throwing up some Interesting points the first thing I'm Going to say very very quickly is just About the fit 35×103 much roomier I Don't believe they hold quite as Securely Poker rocket X2 very very hugging very Kind of race fit very dialed in and I Think they hold more securely than the Next percent three although as I said Before they might be a bit tight for Some people they might find that a Little bit restrictive particularly over Longer distance when you get deep into The marathons there was a little bit of Pinching right into that 20 mile run the Bay flight experts are very very roomy Lots of wiggle room in the toe box and This will come down to how you prefer Your shoes if you like them dialed in go Rocket X2 if you like them nice and Loose and roomy then the boat fly Nexus 3 are going to be more for you now one Of the things I think from all the Run Testing I've done and having them both

On the foot like that is just basically How much Hoka has closed the Gap in Terms of the ride and the punchiness and The propulsion the energy and the race Feel and just how good they are with the Rocket X2 Versus the very fine extra percent three If you'd have taken the vapor fly next Percent too I think the next percent too Is still a better shoe arguably the Neither of these two that I've got on my Feet now but when you're looking at the Two comparatively here those changes That Nike has made to the very fly Nexus 3 I think they've seeded some of the Kind of the the all-out kind of raciness Of the shoe and Hoka with the rocket X To have caught up you know they've got a Really nice energy underfoot one of the Differences for me is that the next Percent Three the zoom X foam it's very it Collapses a little bit more and you're Kind of waiting for it to kind of Rebound back it doesn't quite come as Much it feels sort of softer and a Little bit squishier and for that I Think it's lost a bit of the stiffness And that overall kind of propulsion it's Lost a bit of the race feel that made You feel like you wanted to get up onto Your forefoot and really run it's Definitely more protective as a result You know you're getting more cushioning

Particularly when your form goes ragged And you may be rocking back but if You're looking for something that's Going to drive you and make you feel That all-out kind of raciness I think It's lost a lot of that the interesting Thing is that the rocket X2 has a lot of That going in its favor it now has Plenty of that and I'd argue that the Slightly kind of firmer foam on the Rocket X2 actually makes it it doesn't Kind of take quite so long to sink down It kind of engages a bit quicker and it Pushes you through into that rocker Motion I find the sort of toe spring a Little bit better and it gets me Clipping along almost much quicker Through each stride than I find with the Vaporfly next percent three with the Next person too that wasn't the case you Were kind of had to be up on your toes With the next percent too and you just Had to move quickly through with the High Cadence and you're kind of fast Stepping and it made you feel racy if Anything I think the rocket X2 does that More now than expect three I think That's something that's a bit of a step Backwards for Nike with their carbon Racer so when it comes to stability I Don't think there's an awful lot to Choose here between these two shoes I Get pretty much the same kind of ride I Don't think I would be making a choice

Based on the difference between those Yeah it's pretty much the same deal for Me in terms of the concussion protection When you're kind of rocking back and Maybe you're not running so well you Know again thinking about those kind of Last six miles of a marathon where you Might be on tired legs you need a little Bit of help kind of with that old to the Ground coming up through into the feet You might not be running in your finest Form again I think these both do a Brilliant job of offering good Cushioning at that point and you know if You're looking for a shoe for that kind Of thing give you a little bit of extra Later into longer runs where things Might not be great then both these shoes Have got that again I wouldn't draw a Distinction between them as a result Quick word on durability as well one Thing I've noticed the mesh uppers on The next percent three they've got like These quite big holes they almost look Like kind of crocheted they're not but That's how they look and I've already Noticed that because there's quite a lot Of wiggle room and my toes move around In these shoes quite a lot those the Toes across the top of the toe box they Look they're starting to stretch already And I'm a little bit worried about how Durable they might be over the real kind Of long long mileage none of that with

The Hoka rocket X2 the upper's you know There's a decent amount of structure to Them they're not going anywhere and I Have a question mark really over the Durability for me I feel like the Hoka Rocket X2 are going to shade it and be Marginally more durable than next Percent three Foreign Ty on these two shoes it's a really Difficult one I'm still gonna go for the Vapor fly v53 over the rocket X2 just Because I think this is a little bit more Comfort in it I think it's a little bit More efficiency when you're racing Especially longer distances Um and it's just it's still just a Fantastic shoe it's brilliant All-rounder and it can do anything Rocket X2 I Is a fantastic shoe it's Hawk has done a Great job bringing this out it's Definitely the best ratio that they've Got Um and is really up there with with the Top tier carbon plate shoes now what I Would just say about it is that from the Runs I've done in it I just I don't Think I'd want to use it for a long Distance race I am doing happy half Marathon in it so that might change but What I found of it is when I got to About 15K I've just wanted some a little

Bit more cushioning in it a little bit More of a smooth motion to it I think It's a little bit poppier than that and I definitely think it for me it veers More towards the shorter distances as Opposed to the longer ones but as I say That might change after having a half Marathon but for now I think it's really A short fast poppy uh race shoe that Really really comes into its own Um Overlook like prior to 10K distance The verdict is that these are both Really good shoes but I think all around I prefer the babyfly for any distance Really I think the only concern I have With it compared to how it goes Durability and we're looking at a racing Shoe probably wouldn't be Forefront in Your operations you just want to shoot Us really going to smash out the races Like I think you're really as great but It didn't get you through a whole year Of racing and you're saving it for that Then that faithful probably have done Its job and I think you get a slightly Higher level of performance from the Shoe if you're looking for a carbon Racer you're going to use a lot in Training as well then the durability is More of an issue and the Hoka might have A little bit of an edge on that regard But do have those slight concerns about The midsole flattening out a little bit Compared to the people foam in the Nike

If you do prefer lower drop shoes this Is a genuine like low Drop option in the Carbon soup if you want I think there's Been some others that have had similar Drops listed but they have had really Aggressive rockers and have felt Actually more like an eight millimeter Drop to me something like the New Balance scv3 was a four millimeter drop But felt higher to me was this feels Like a flat low Drop shoe with You know just a completely different Feel to Old School racing Flats because Of the bouncy midsole phone you've got Here in the plate if you are someone who Does love low Drop shoes this will offer An option that front whereas I prefer The slightly high drop the more tip Forward feel of the weight of Life Myself as a shuffling heel Striker it Just suits me a little bit better the Verdict time and this is a difficult one And that's the really interesting point I think what Nike has done for the next Three for me personally has made it much More difficult to choose between them And some of the other carbon races that We've got I think the Gap has closed I Think the others have caught up in a Major way here now price has got to come Into this for sure and in the states You're going to be paying the same price For these shoes in the UK though the Vapefront next percent is more expensive

And for me because of that I think the Hoka rocket X2 just Shades it marginally Now my reason for that I don't think There's a huge amount to choose between The comfort of the two shoes I think They've both got really strong points They've both got a couple of negatives The Hoka is a little bit tight I think The vapor on X percent three is a little Bit loose even those things out I think The Comfort overall is pretty much on a Par here I think the protection the Cushioning is on a par I think in terms Of the stability I'm getting the kind of Same kind of ride so what the main Difference for me here is I'm going on How racy these kind of feel underfoot in Terms of that ride and I actually think That that slightly firmer slightly Stiffer slightly springier midfoot Cushioning on the Hoka rocket X2 and the Kind of the way that I feel that the Rocker works and I get more spring as I Come off with each kind of toe off I Just think gives the rocket X2 The Edge I think right now for me this is a Better race shoe than the both flying Next percent three and I'd say Definitely over a half marathon distance It's probably closer over a Marathon Distance maybe but I think the Hoka Rocket actually based on price just Edge It for me I think that the vapor fly Next percent

Three have just seeded some ground They've just taken away that kind of All-out kind of raciness that I really Liked about the vapore next percent too They're not as stiff they're not as kind Of propulsive as a result they're not as Firm I just don't feel like I'm getting As much in terms of that all-out kind of Driving kind of race feel from them so Yeah it's an interesting one I didn't Think I would call it this way but for Me if I'm spending my money on them I'm Going to be buying the Hoka rocket X2 [Music] The 19853 and the hooker rocket X2 Please dive into the comments and let us Know what you think of both these shoes We've done a lot of vapor Fly videos Lately I think we've covered off a lot Of carbon shoe comparisons but let us Know if there's anything else you want Us to do or anything else you want to Compare the Hoka tube as well like Subscribe obviously and please do ring The little bell and yeah we'll see you Next time