Best Hoka Running Shoes – 2021 Buying Guide
Hoka also offers shoes with varying degrees of cushioning and different drop ratios so every runner should be able to find a shoe that fits their needs. Hoka running shoes are also great at addressing issues such as plantar fasciitis or pain associated with repetitive impact injuries.
We've spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing nearly all of Hoka's models, so peruse our top picks below before making your purchase decision.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Running shoes need to be comfortable in order to be effective and applicable. Hoka shoes are known for their comfortable fit and are rated highly by users across the board. If you want shoes that make your feet feel good then give Hoka a try!
Our feedback and tester reviews demonstrate that Hoka’s been found to reduce muscle fatigue throughout their legs. Based on all data that we have compiled when it comes to minimalist running shoes (Hoka’s opposite), runners complain of increased muscle fatigue and soreness because of the lack of cushioning and support force the foot and legs to do all of the work.
So it’s no surprise that the Hoka’s will give runners the exact opposite outcome. We are happy to report that runner feedback reflects this help in natural biomechanics. This ends up helping you improve your stride and allows you to focus on your performance--something you can't do when you are in pain.
Keep in mind that Hoka shoes are not the best option for everyone, so make sure you invest in Hoka running shoes only if you need them. They work wonders for those of you tired of the pain that comes with arch issues and who need more stability and support when you are out on your daily runs.
Hoka shoes are popular choices among runners and athletes who want and need a high level of support and stability. They are specifically designed to provide stability and to help users maintain balance and traction as they walk and run.
If you are running in Hoka’s for the first time, stability is key! Remember that a thicker sole of this magnitude can place a little more stress on your ankles. This is especially true if you are coming from a running shoe with a very little cushion. Runners reported that it’s a good idea to go for shorter distances at first in order to get used to running in Hoka’s.
So take precautions and keep this in mind if you have had ankle injuries in the past. Also makes sure to consider the stability you need for the terrain you will be on. This is specifically important because where you run also plays an important role when it comes to which Hoka running sneakers will work best for you.
A good running shoe will need to be lighter can have a little less support, stability, and cushioning. On the other hand, if you want to hit the trails or more technical terrain, you will need to make sure to get Hoka running shoes designed to tackle uneven ground. Either way, you need to make sure you invest in the pair that provides you with the stability you need.
No one wants to spend hard-earned money on shoes that do not last and that do not hold up well to the wear and tear of daily use. Hoka running shoes are made to last and use materials and design elements that make them durable and reliable.
Hoka models can be a little tricky when you’re looking for a distance runner. Since they are all pretty strong in this department, it’s easy to get confused. Remember that they make long distance shoes, we’re talking about footwear for ultra-marathons and a hundred mile plus runners.
Read also about good long distance running shoes.
This is a small percentage of the population, so why they may still fit your needs, they may be overkill. If you’re considering a marathon runner for standard surfaces, stick to our top three selections. This is key because when you go the distance you need to make sure you get a pair that will give you long-lasting comfort.
At the end of the day, you need to make sure you invest in something that will hold up to the use you will put it through. This means taking a look at where you will be running and what you will encounter along the way. Make sure you stick to your needs if you want to make sure you invest in Hoka One One shoe running shoe that will hold up for you.
It can be hard to size shoes at times as there are usually some variations with some brands and shoe types. We made sure that the Hoka shoes we included on our list were rated highly for accurate sizing and reliable fits for all foot sizes!
Consider if you’ve ever had issues with running shoes being a little tight in the toe box region. You should be able to wiggle your toes a little. Because of the Hoka’s forward-leaning design, if you don’t have a ton of room in the toe box, your toes may get compressed as your feet slide forward.
To decide if Hoka’s are a good choice for you, take a look at your feet. Is your big toe larger than average? If so, you may feel some discomfort running in the Hoka’s that are labeled as narrow. If your feet have more of a “triangle” shape (middle toe is the longest), then you should be fine.
The best way to ensure you are ordering the right size shoe is to go to the store and try them on if you are able to. If you need to order from an online retailer. make sure to measure your feet and compare it to the sizing chart to ensure you get the right size for yourself. And, remember, to consider the running socks you will be wearing to ensure they fit properly as well.
The right support is an important factor to consider because without it you won't be able to use your running shoes. Make sure you get the shoe that best fits your foot type and take a look at our reviews to see the level support offered by each running shoe.
The final key factor that determined how good a pair of running shoes truly are is how well they support your feet. The Hoka brand is famed for quality design shoes that are supportive and that protect your feet from fatigue and even injury! Hoka’s are purposely designed to encourage a healthy forward lean and smooth toe-off.
When you see the Meta-Rocker name on their models’ features list, know that it’s not just hype. It’s a strong taper under the toes that feels like you’re getting “pushed” forward as you run--which gives you that extra push you need to improve your stride, which is imperative for those of you who want to improve your speed and performance.
This feature scores high marks to runners that were new to the brand and appreciated the effortless stride changes that the feature brings along with it. So, just make sure to take all of your needs and preferences into consideration before you make your final decision--this way you can be sure to purchase a pair of running shoes that will truly meet your needs.
Top 11 Hoka Running Shoes
1. Bondi X
The latest update to the Bondi line makes things a little bit lighter and less boxy. If you need a stability shoe to provide ample cushioning and support in all stages of your gait, this is a really great choice. As with all Hoka One One trainers, it is composed of quality materials that will hold up quite well over hundreds and hundreds of miles.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about Bondi X is that it is packed with features that provide a good deal of stability. It boasts a compression-molded EVA midsole that contours to the shape of your foot as you wear it, but it doesn’t break down too quickly. Runners love the memory foam heel collar that won’t rub blisters into the back of your foot!
While the outsole and midsole provide a good deal of support. The upper is composed of lightweight and breathable mesh to keep your feet cool and try. It has simple laces with a flat tongue to provide excellent lockdown. The internal heel counter also helps to keep your foot locked in place when taking tight turns.
If you are in the market for something that provides you with a good deal of stability and support without a big and boxy design, the Bondi X from Hoka One One is one of your best choices. It is composed of incredibly durable materials that hold their shape even after well over 100 miles of travels together.
2. Clifton 7
The Clifton design is one of the more popular models in the Hoka line and for a very good reason. The Clifton 7 marries stability and speed into one sleek design that comes in a wide variety of colors. Runners love this design because it keeps them light on their feet when running long distances, and it doesn’t feel overly heavy and bulky.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about the Clifton 7 is that it has a super lightweight upper that contours to the shape of your foot for added support and comfort. The high heel collar helps to reduce the risk of rubbing blisters into the back of your foot. The seamless overlay also prevents the occurrence of hot spots as well.
The midsole is packed with features to provide a good deal of support without weighing you down too much. It boasts a full-length EVA foam midsole that absorbs the impact of each and every step when running on hard surfaces. Based on previous users, the midsole is so soft you can feel it spring under your feet with each and every step!
If you want something lightweight without sacrificing energy feedback and stability, this design is a great option. We love that it comes with a wide variety of neutral color options with bright accents that help you be seen when running in low light. They may cost a little more than others in the Hoka line, but it is well worth it for daily runners.
3. Speedgoat 4
If you want to take your training off of the roads and onto the trails, the Speedgoat 4 is a great companion. What runners love most about this design is that it provides users with all of the standard support as their roadrunners with added traction and stability in the outsole that is perfect for uneven surfaces.Read more
What makes the Speedgoat 4 stand out from the pack (besides its peculiar name!) is that it boasts a Vibram rubber outsole. Whenever you see the Vibram logo on the sole, you know that it is made for off-roading! Not only does the outsole have excellent treads, but it also has a slightly tacky feel to it that is perfect for gripping slick surfaces as well.
While it can grip the ground beneath you, the construction of the midsole and upper provides you with excellent energy feedback that adds an extra spring in your step. It has a full-length EVA foam midsole that is incredibly durable and won’t break down into a pancake even after 100 miles.
This is a great option for runners like to travel off of the paved course every so often for a change. While it is designed specifically for trails, the treads are shallow enough that you can also wear them when training on sidewalks as well. They come in at one of the most expensive price points in the Hoka like, but we feel that they are worth every penny.
4. Carbon X
Many of the designs in the Hoka line are designed for stability, and Carbon X is no exception to that rule. What makes it different, however, is that it is designed for those that have a need for speed. The lightweight design as well as the construction of the midsole is made for quick times and tight corners. If you need something for various styles of workouts, this is a great design.Read more
The reason that the Carbon X is made for speed partially lies in the construction of the upper. It is made from breathable and lightweight materials that contour to the shape of your foot without much padding and cushioning. It also has reinforced stitching around the heel to the top of the foot to help promote lockdown so that it stays in place as you take tight corners.
What we also love about the Carbon X is that it also provides users with a good deal of cushioning and support through the midsole. It is composed of a full-length EVA foam that is super squishy throughout all stages of your gait. The inclusion of the Meta-Rocker also helps to guide your stride as you pick up speed.
If you like to travel quickly, Carbon X is the perfect option to shave a few seconds off of your time. Even though it is designed for high speeds, it still hosts supportive features such as a Meta-Rocker and full EVA foam midsole to protect your knees and joints.
5. Rincon 3
What we liked most about Rincon 3 is that it has a frame that is a little wider than some of the other designs in the Hoka line. It has a lightweight and simple design that provides you a good deal of support without weighing you down. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and designs that are bound to generate a few envious looks at the gym!Read more
The most notable feature of the Rincon 3 is the comfortable fit. It has a stretchy and lightweight mesh upper that contours to the shape of your foot. The breathable material also boasts limited seamlines that reduce the risk of hotspots, making it a perfect pair for training on hot summer days.
Runners also love that it boasts a full-length EVA midsole that provides a little extra bounce with each and every step. The wide toe box is also unique to the Rincon 3. It allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoes for added stability, and it prevents your toes from jamming at the end of the shoe as well.
If you are in the market for something that gives you a little bit more room for your feet while still offering excellent support, the Rincon 3 is a great choice. We love that it has a wide frame that won’t pinch your feet or jam your toes, and it is made from comfortable materials that are great for long training sessions.
The Hoka One One Men's Gaviota is another example of the comfort and support that this brand brings to every shoe they release. While the Gaviota is a little pricier than your average running shoe from this brand, it is the Hoka for energy efficiency. It uses every little bit you put into it and pushes it into the next motion.Read more
The Gaviota are shoes praised for their comfort. Not only will the runners who wear them speak highly of how comfortable they are but of how much they reduce pain and stress on their bodies.
These Hoka shoes do have a high quality of construction and comfort. Most wearers don’t need any break-in time; the wear of the shoe feels snug and secure right off the bat. That being said, there were some wearers who experienced some durability deterioration over the long term, within the first few months or so. This is something that is relatively rare but worth noting.
When it comes to size, you need to make sure to account for the variations, even within brands. These, luckily, run true to size, so you can expect them to fit properly
Joints that undergo a lot of strain while running will be greatly aided by all the additional cushioning. This type of support not seen in your average running shoe and you will be able to feel the difference.
7. Arahi 4
If you are new to running, Arahi 4 is one of your best options. What makes this design great for newbies is that it provides a lot of support and features to promote an even and measured gait. It is also the perfect companion for overpronators, runners with a heavy strike, or those carrying a little bit of extra weight.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about the Arahi 4 is that it boasts Hoka’s coveted Meta-Rocker. This midsole plate helps to naturally correct the movement of your foot placements to correct overpronation and guide your foot in a way that provides support to your joints and knees. It also boasts a firm EVA J-Frame that provides excellent energy feedback and support.
Runners also appreciate that the upper of this design is both breathable and structured. It has mesh panels in key areas to help remove hot air from your foot to keep it cool and dry. It also has stability panels that have a little bit more stability and support to the top of your foot as well.
If you are in the market for a pair of stability trainers that aren’t as heavy and boxy as some of the other designs out there on the market, you can’t go wrong with the Arahi 4. It boasts a slim and sleek frame that is composed of lightweight materials and is a great option for newbies, overpronators, or for those that need a little extra structure.
Hoka One Hupana is a shoe great both for running and wearing all day. It’s a minimalistic road shoe that is well designed and comfortable of course.Read more
The shoe is quite lightweight, so it adds to the comfort. The cushioning is a little bit thicker than in the average running shoe, it’s not too soft but it provides a very comfortable ride. The shoe is well ventilated, runners said that their feet stayed dry during the run and they didn’t have any blisters.
When it comes to stability, this is a very stable shoe thanks to the Meta-Rocker Geometry and great traction. The shoes won’t wear out quickly but instead will give the user many miles of comfortable running and the cushioning retains its original shape over those miles as well.
For Hok running shoes, these run a little narrower--but there are still options for those of you with wider feet. This option offers a great deal of support, however, if you need serious support these may not work for you.
9. Challenger ATR 5
Need something that is a little versatile? The Challenger ATR 5 has a frame that is made to travel from sidewalks to trails seamlessly. It is constructed from materials that provide users with a good deal of stability without feeling too heavy or bulky. Runners love that the squishy foam midsole feels like running on marshmallows! Plus, they are one of the most durable designs in the full Hoka lineup.Read more
The most notable feature of the Challenger ATR 5 is that it boasts an outsole that is designed to be used on and off of the trails. If your workouts take you from the gym to the sidewalk to the trails, this is the trainer you need. The treads on the outsole are deep enough to keep your footing on the trails, but not so deep that you cannot take them on the roads or to the gym.
The real magic happens in the midsole of this design. It has a CMEVA foam midsole that absorbs the impact of your stride to protect joints and has a squishiness that you can feel each time your heel strikes the ground. The inclusion of the Meta-Rocker helps to guide your stride which is great for overpronators and takes the pressure off of your knees and joints.
If you are on the market for something that is versatile enough to take anywhere, you can’t go wrong with the Challenger ATR 5. It provides users with a good deal of stability while keeping feet comfortable as well as protected. It boasts a wide toe box and a comfortable fit that you will want to wear all day long.
10. Tracer 2
Looking for a race shoes? Tracer 2 will help you to boost your speed and comfort at the same time. This is a second version of the Tracer model. If you’re tired of Hoka’s thick cushioning, check these out!Read more
These Hoka running shoes are really comfortable. They are lightweight and flexible, so they move with you and allow for a full range of motion with each and every stride. There’s much less cushioning than on average Hoka shoe so you feel more stable when you hit the ground. The Meta-Rocker geometry adds to stability.
Even though the material is thinner, it doesn’t mean that shoes are less durable. However, they are best for racing and road running and not for the trail. Those of you with wider feet will love the wider toe box and ample room these shoes offer for your toes to splay while you run in them.
The shoes are also much lighter and the fit is also improved. The shoes are well ventilated and The PROLite cushioning still absorbs the shock very well.
11. Stinson ATR 6
Cushioning. Stability. Support. If Hoka adopted a motto, this would be it. The Stinson ATR 6 are neutral running shoes made for the trails and roads. These shoes are such high-quality they had to make the best Hoka running shoes list.Read more
They’re also versatile and can please runners looking for high performance as well as a daily trainer. Take these to the races! This shoe, built for the trail enthusiast, will definitely have more than enough comfort and stability to get you from start to finish.
Like most of the shoes in the Hoka One One product line, these are not plagued by any major quality issues that could affect the overall durability and reliability of them.
These running shoes are chunky and bulky, but when it comes to fit they are a great option for those of you who have wider feet and need additional room in your toe box. The extremely soft and lightweight EVA strobal board lasting, combined with the shoe’s full-length HIP CMEVA midsole and 6mm heel to toe offset.