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Hoka to Open Pop-up in Support of UTMB Trail Running Event


The Hoka brand was founded in 2009 by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, two French ultrarunners who were desperate for a shoe that allowed them to run downhill on mountainous terrain with cushioning and stability.

So it’s not a huge stretch that the brand recently signed on as the premier footwear and apparel partner of the UTMB Mont Blanc and UTMB World Series, a trail running race series founded in the French Alps in 2003 with seven races around the world. The event culminates in what is billed as the toughest foot race in the world, the UTMB Mont Blanc, a 180-mile team event with 87,000 feet of climbing that started on Monday in Chamonix, France, and ends on Aug. 28. The race, where a Brazilian runner died in a fall on Monday, follows a death last year of a Czech runner.

But despite the tragedies involved in participating in the event, Hoka uses its association with the race to promote its partnership with the esteemed series and its trail running shoes. And on Friday and Saturday, the brand will open a newsstand pop-up in New York City on Houston and Lafayette Streets, an immersive outdoor viewing experience around the UTMB race with complimentary giveaways, prizes, photo moments and light refreshments.

As part of its sponsorship, Hoka provides an assortment of footwear and apparel to volunteers and select runners at all UTMB events and created a new assortment of products tied to the races.

Hoka One One — pronounced O-nay O-nay, a Maori phrase that means “fly over the earth” — was acquired by Deckers Brands in 2013 and is now approaching $1 billion in volume. Sales in the fiscal year ended March 31 jumped 56.1 percent to $891.6 million and the brand has done collaborations with Bodega, Moncler and others.

In a report released last week by StockX, the resale site, in 2022 Hoka experienced a 3,606 percent increase in growth on the secondary market. The next closest was Puma, which experienced growth of 415 percent last year, according to StockX.


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