Are these 'frosted' Hokas the coolest running shoes ever?

(Image credit: JEANLUC.A.LAVELLE)

Hoka may be one of the hottest running shoe brands around, but their latest collaboration looks like somebody left a pair of their chunky-soled kicks in the freezer.

This – ahem – supercool collaboration comes courtesy of London based innovative techy menswear brand  J.L-A.L (which is short for the name of lead creative Jean-Luc A Lavelle). 

It’s basically an off-white, breathable knit Hoka Clifton 9 that has been embellished with white crystal-like nuggets to give the shoe a frosted sheen. You can just see Elsa from Frozen wearing them while hitting the trails with Let It Go blasting through her earbuds.

J.L-A.L has quickly grown from an Instagram-based brand three years ago into a buzz-creating brand renowned for technological innovation and experimentation.

This new collaboration make look a bit odd, but J.L-A.L and Hoka has teamed up before on the Hoka One One X J.L-A.L Tor Ultra Low and Tor Ultra High hiking boots, which proved very popular. They, though, seemed a lot more practical than this striking running shoe that looks like it’s going shed little shiny bits of plastic (or whatever the ice crystals are made of) ever time your foot hits the ground. 

This one’s clearly been designed more for sneakerheads than serious trail beaters, though there are doubtless some people (like Lil Nas X) who would run a marathon in them.

But for the moment the frosted version of the Hoka Clifton 9 is being described as an experiment, with a possible consumer release for spring / summer 2025. Odd, since you’d think they’d want them out for winter.