When Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard founded Hoka One One in 2009, there was one question on everyone’s lips: how the heck do you pronounce it?! The issue of pronunciation has been a constant query for runners for many years, but it may no longer be a problem: the brand appears to have dropped the confusing bit and has simplified its name to just Hoka.
The original name, which means “fly over earth” in Maori (the language spoken by the Maori people of New Zealand) is pronounced oh-nay oh-nay, not “won won” as most English speakers are wont to say. Now, according to Dan Empfield at slowtwitch.com, the brand is just going by Hoka, or “fly”. As he points out, the brand’s website is no longer hokeoneone.com, but simply hoka.com. As you navigate your way through the site, you’ll notice there is no One One to be found in any of the brand’s messaging.
The brand itself has not yet made an official announcement about the change, and so far the new name appears to have largely gone unnoticed — likely because we were all referring to it as Hoka (full stop) already. If you’re a Hoka fan, have no fear — nothing has changed about the brand aside from the name. And if you currently own a pair of One One’s, you’ve officially got a relic.