Hoka Rincon 2 VS Hoka Rincon 3: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka One One Rincon 2 and Rincon 3 are both lightweight, responsive, and versatile neutral running shoes suited for a variety of runners and training needs. But with the release of the updated Rincon 3 in 2021, runners face the dilemma of which version of this popular shoe is the better option.

This in-depth comparison of the Rincon 2 vs Rincon 3 analyzes the key differences in materials, technology, fit, cushioning, and performance to help you decide which Rincon model is the right choice for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Rincon 2 and Hoka Rincon 3:

FeaturesHoka Rincon 2Hoka Rincon 3
Launched In 20202021
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight7.2 oz (men’s), 6.2 oz (women’s)7.2 oz (men’s)
CushioningModerateHigh
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsolePROFLYTM dual-densityPROFLYTM dual-density
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$131$125

Features Comparison

Materials

The upper on both the Rincon 2 and Rincon 3 is made of a breathable engineered mesh that provides a secure fit. The Rincon 3’s upper uses a redesigned, streamlined engineered mesh for improved breathability and fewer seams over the toes for a smoother feel.

RINCON 2
RINCON 2

rincon 3
RINCON 3

In the midsole, both models incorporate Hoka’s PROFLYTM dual-density foam that offers responsive cushioning from heel to toe. Hoka claims the Rincon 3 has an improved midsole blend for even more responsiveness and energy return.

The high-abrasion rubber outsoles are nearly identical on both versions. The Rincon 3 outsole utilizes the same strategically placed rubber in high-wear areas. However, Hoka says it fine-tuned the outsole design on the 3 to optimize grip and durability.

Durability

The Rincon 2 is known as a comfortable, lightweight shoe that isn’t the most durable option for very high mileage. The engineered mesh upper is prone to some tearing after 200-300 miles. The PROFLYTM foam also tends to lose some bounce over time.

The Rincon 3 aimed to improve the shoe’s durability with a more resilient engineered mesh upper and refined midsole foam compound. Early reviews suggest the updates make the Rincon 3 the more durable option of the two.

The upper holds up better over miles of use with less tearing or abrasion issues. The midsole also maintains its energetic snap a bit longer than the Rincon 2 before packing out. However, the rubber outsole tread still exhibits average durability and is positioned as a “race-day use” rather than the high-mileage trainer.

Fit

The overall fit profile remains similar from the Rincon 2 to the Rincon 3. Both models run true to size for most runners with a wider toe box to allow natural toe splay.

RINCON 2 TOP VIEW
RINCON 2 TOP VIEW

rincon 3 top view
RINCON 3 TOP VIEW

The updated engineered mesh upper on the Rincon 3 provides a sleeker, less bulky fit through the midfoot and forefoot with fewer overlays. The Rincon 3 also removed an external TPU heel counter for a smoother, more seamless interior around the ankle collar.

Underfoot, the Rincon 2 and 3 offer nearly identical dimensions with moderate forefoot volume and a medium midfoot wrap. While the exact stack heights differ slightly, the overall 5mm drop and Early Stage Meta-Rocker midsole geometry promote smooth transitions.

Therefore, both Rincons suit neutral runners with medium to high arches best rather than flat-footed overpronators. The secure upper fit works for narrow to slightly wider foot shapes.

Stability

As neutral cushioned trainers, the Rincon 2 and Rincon 3 are not designed to correct overpronation or provide guidance for runners who need support.

Both models have an overall flexible, medium-density midsole without any substantial medial posts or dual-density elements to control excessive inward rolling of the foot.

However, the low-profile, meta-rocker sole promotes a natural gait cycle through the stride. The Rincon 2’s upper fits snugly through the midfoot but the minimal structure may not lock down narrower feet optimally.

The Rincon 3’s re-engineered upper hugs more securely for those wanting a touch of added midfoot hold while avoiding an overly constrictive fit.

For such lightweight shoes, both Rincons offer suitable midsole cushioning to absorb impact while remaining flexible and allowing the foot to go through its natural range of motion. The shoes cater best to efficient neutral runners rather than heavy overpronators requiring correction or guidance from their footwear.

Cushioning

The dual-density PROFLYTM midsole foam provides responsive cushioning from heel to toe in both Rincon versions. However, Hoka made the Rincon 3’s midsole slightly softer and bouncier underfoot.

Reviewers consistently notice the Rincon 3 feels more cushioned and energetic without a major increase in stack height. The moderate 5mm drop places your foot in a balanced position over the cushioning platform.

The smooth rocker design encourages an easy heel-to-toe transition that complements the foam’s natural rebound qualities. This allows the Rincons to feel light and fast during faster-paced running while still absorbing shock effectively.

While the underfoot feel leans towards soft and forgiving, the Meta-Rocker geometry prevents an overly plush or unstable sensation. The Rincon 3 hits the sweet spot of providing adequate softness for recovery days or long miles alongside snappy responsiveness to pick up the pace when desired. Overall, the Rincon 3 achieves the best balance of cushioning, flexibility and road feel in the series so far.

Value

With the Rincon 2 now priced at $131 and the Rincon 3 at $125, the value proposition shifts slightly. The Rincon 2 becomes the more affordable option of the two models.

While the Rincon 3 still offers enhanced durability and versatility, the lower price point of the Rincon 2 makes it a better value choice for bargain hunters or runners looking for good performance on a budget.

At just $6 more, the Rincon 2 delivers a lightweight, cushy, responsive ride for less. However, for runners needing a shoe to last over higher mileages, the Rincon 3 still justifies its marginally higher price with key reinforcements that improve its longevity.

Performance Comparisons

Walking

The well-cushioned PROFLYTM midsole and flexible sole make both Rincon models comfortable options for walking shoes. The mesh upper and moderate heel drop provide a natural fit for walking strides.

Both offer good versatility for walking on roads, trails, treadmills or running errands around town.

The Rincon 3’s updates provide a smoother upper around the toes and a more stable midfoot hold that some may prefer for fitness walking. However, the Rincon 2 also remains a solid choice for an all-purpose walking shoe at lower prices.

Running

While the Rincon 2 performs well for long runs, tempo sessions and races, the Rincon 3 makes noticeable improvements that make it the better choice for logging daily miles.

The enhanced durability equates to a longer lifespan despite frequent running usage. The fine-tuned midsole foam increases energy return, providing better speed and efficiency for everything from interval training to marathons.

The Rincon 3 also offers a more secure midfoot lockdown and smoother internal fit to accommodate different foot shapes performing varied running movements. The added cushioning maintains an excellent ground feel but prevents fatigue over high mileage better than the 2.

For runners who found the Rincon 2 lacked versatility or longevity as a daily trainer, the Rincon 3 resolves these issues to become the high-mileage workhorse option of choice.

Plantar Fasciitis

The moderate cushioning and responsive foam of the Rincon series helps absorb shock to relieve pressure on the plantar fascia. The rockered design also encourages a smooth heel-to-toe transition to release tension in the foot.

Both provide adequate arch support for sufferers of plantar fasciitis, however, the Rincon 3 has a slightly softer midsole to compress and conform to the arch without losing stability. For those needing extra relief from plantar fasciitis pain, the enhanced underfoot cushioning of the Rincon 3 gives it an edge.

Standing All Day

While not tailored specifically for all-day standing comfort, both Rincons provide cushioning and support that make them better options than flat sneakers if you have to be on your feet for long shifts.

The padded collar helps prevent Achilles irritation and the meta-rocker outsole aims to reduce fatigue. The Rincon 3 gets a slight edge for all-day wear since the updates make it overall more comfortable and durable. But the Rincon 2 can still work well at lower prices if replacing shoes frequently is not a concern.

Final Verdict

Overall, while the Hoka Rincon 2 is still a lightweight and responsive neutral trainer, the Rincon 3 makes key improvements that make it the clear favorite for most runners.

The enhanced durability, smoother upper fit, and bounce of the updated midsole foam make the Rincon 3 the better versatile daily trainer and race day shoe in one package.


Runners needing support or maximum stability should still look elsewhere. But for those wanting a fast, lightweight feel without excessive bulk or stability elements, the Rincon 3 hits the sweet spot.

It can tackle everything from tempo runs to marathons with ease. The Rincon 2 still works well for bargain hunters at discounted prices or those needing fewer miles from their shoes.

However, at full price, the Rincon 3 ultimately gives you better value and versatility to put more miles across different running paces on this popular low-profile neutral trainer.

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