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Best Hoka Running Shoes reviewed & Tested

last updated Jan 17, 2019
Hoka is a specialty running shoe brand that has made quite a name for themselves amongst serious runners in the know. Known mostly as being a stability and support shoe that offers serious comfort and cushioning, as well as an elevated heel ramp to propel you forward with each stride, Hoka also offers shoes with less cushioning and different drop ratios so every style of runner should be able to find a shoe that works for them in their lineup. Hoka running shoes are also great at addressing issues such as plantar fasciitis or pain associated with repetitive impact injuries. Below we have a list of the top ten best Hoka running shoes currently available. Check it out and pick the best pair for you!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

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Bondi 5
96/100 our score
Comfort
98
Stability
98
Durability
93
Size
94
Support
97
Bondi 5
Why is it better?

Extremely light weight

Early Stage Meta-Rocker midsole for smooth transitions and improved gait

Wide toe box

Stable and supportive design

Short to non-existent break in period

Very comfortable

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Bondi 5
Test Winner: Bondi 5
Researched Sources
5
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1350
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By EJ Callanan:

Hoka is consistently coming out with new and updated products, which is why we strive to keep our lists and suggestions up to date. Below you will find our top ten list along with the different factors we considered when choosing these products, as well as more information about this innovative brand.

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Comfort Stability Durability Size Support By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Comfort
98%
Stability
98%
Durability
93%
Size
94%
Support
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Comfort
93%
Stability
97%
Durability
94%
Size
92%
Support
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
$89.95
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$129.95
$129.95
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3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Comfort
94%
Stability
94%
Durability
90%
Size
85%
Support
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
$129.99
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Comfort
92%
Stability
95%
Durability
85%
Size
85%
Support
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
$129.99
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Comfort
90%
Stability
94%
Durability
75%
Size
85%
Support
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
$104.83
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$109.95
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$132.17
$149.95
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$149.95
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6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Comfort
86%
Stability
91%
Durability
73%
Size
85%
Support
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Comfort
90%
Stability
85%
Durability
77%
Size
80%
Support
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
$104.95
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$129.95
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$129.95
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$130.00
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.4
Comfort
90%
Stability
90%
Durability
84%
Size
65%
Support
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
$67.65
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$89.95
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$114.95
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$129.95
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.4
Comfort
87%
Stability
88%
Durability
73%
Size
70%
Support
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Comfort
88%
Stability
88%
Durability
79%
Size
60%
Support
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.01.19)
$93.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Bondi 5
  • Clifton 4
  • Infinite
  • Vanquish 2
  • Gaviota
  • Constant 2
  • Arahi 2
  • Hupana
  • Tracer 2
  • Stinson 3 ATR
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Best Hoka Running Shoes

1. Bondi 5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Bondi 5
Comfort
98
Stability
98
Durability
93
Size
94
Support
97
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Pros:

Extremely light weight

Early Stage Meta-Rocker midsole for smooth transitions and improved gait

Wide toe box

Stable and supportive design

Short to non-existent break in period

Very comfortable

Cons:

Durability issues when used on certain surfaces

May have ventilation issues in extreme heat.

The Bondi series has been a staple of Hoka One One for many runners. Whether you are a long time fan of the brand or looking to branch out, the Bondi 5 brings together many of the improvements and innovations that Hoka has developed over the years. You would be hard pressed to find a better example of everything to love about Hoka than the Bondi 5, from its light weight design to its amazing support

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Comfort and Stability

The Bondi 5 is the peak of its line. The 5’s provide more comfort than any previous iteration of the Bondi line. While many may agree that the 5 is an improvement on most levels, it does seem as though the ventilation isn’t as thorough as the 4, with some heat build up on particularly hot days. But with a wider toe box and perfect comfort and flexibility right out of the box it is no surprise that the Bondi 5 quickly became a Hoka fan favorite. .

Quality and Durability

Like with most running shoes you should be careful with the surfaces that you use the Bondi 5 on. Certain non-traditional running surfaces, like gym use or on a carpet, may cause these shoes to wear faster than normal.

2. Clifton 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Clifton 4
Comfort
93
Stability
97
Durability
94
Size
92
Support
95
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Pros:

Full-length compression-molded EVA for shock absorption and comfort

RMAT rebound material in midsole

Lightweight

Meta-Rocker midsole geometry for improved gait and smooth transitions

Improved no sew mesh upper

Cons:

Slightly heavier than the previous version

The Clifton's come in a ton of attractive and fun color combinations. They appeal to those looking for bold and bright colors and more muted and subtle colors. Whereas Hokas tend to be somewhat heavy, these ones are super lightweight. The list of pros for Clifton's is long, so get ready to read.

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Comfort and Stability

Like all Hoka One One models, this one has that thick, comfortable "marshmallow" cushioning that devoted Hoka fans know and love. The midsole in this model has been updated with Hoka One One's RMAT material, which allows for more rebound than previous versions. The mesh upper has also been updated and excels in terms of breathability and comfort. Even with its weight gain compared to the previous model, the Clifton 4 is a pretty lightweight shoe and won't feel clunky or heavy on the foot. The Clifton 4s are especially comfortable for long runs. New for this model, the Clifton 4 is available in a "wide" sizing. In terms of stability, like previous versions, the Clifton 4 offers a stable platform underfoot; however, this shoe is designed for the neutral runner.

Quality and Durability

The Hoka One One Clifton 4 has definitely improved in terms of durability from its last iteration. Reviewers noted that the rubber outsole lasted much longer than the previous version. Hoka One One has always offered a quality product, and the Clifton 4 is no different. Between the updated RMAT compression molded EVA midsole, the new, comfortable mesh upper and the bold, sleek design, it was a no brainer to add the Clifton 4 to our list and put it towards the top.

3. Infinite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Infinite
Comfort
94
Stability
94
Durability
90
Size
85
Support
92
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Pros:

HIP CMEVA midsole for underfoot protection

No-sew upper is breathable and non-irritating

Padded tongue for comfort and support

Sticky rubber outsole for traction on wet surfaces and various terrains

TPU Support Strapping for secure fit

Cons:

Not ideal for those with wide feet

Because they have a bit more forefoot stability than other models, the Infinite are good shoes for short runs and long runs alike. They have the cushion and support necessary for road running. Thanks to the comfort tech Hokas are known for, these make the list of the best Hoka running shoes out there.

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Comfort and Stability

The comfort and stability of the Infinite is due to features such as its full length HIP CMEVA Midsole, lightweight external TPU heel counter, deep foot frame as well as the lightweight no sew SpeedFrame construction. These get excellent customer reviews as far as comfort is concerned. It is important to note that these are probably not ideal for those with wide feet.

Quality and Durability

Overall, these are well-built shoes, without any major quality issues which might take away from their reliability.

4. Vanquish 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Vanquish 2
Comfort
92
Stability
95
Durability
85
Size
85
Support
92
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Pros:

Early Meta-Rocker geometry for semi-rocker shape of sole unit for great transitions

Impact protection with Rmat midsole

Race Lace system for secure, custom fit

Roomy toe box for toe splay and comfort

No-sew upper for sockless, non-irritating running experience

High-abrasion rubber soles for traction and durability

Cons:

A bit heavy

The Vanquish 2's are mega-cool. They show off the brand name in bold lettering and the color combinations are attractive and trendy. If you pride yourself in wearing fashion-forward shoes, look no further. Of course, this isn’t the only reason Huakas score so highly when it comes to the best Hoka running shoes. For one, they’ve got high-tech Early Meta-Rocker geometry for awesome, effortlessly smooth transitions. For another, they are classically comfortable and supportive.

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Comfort and Stability

The mesh, SpeedFrame upper, Hoka’s Race-Lace system and full-length RMAT midsole are features that supply this shoe with not only outstanding comfort, but great stability as well. Like other Hoka One One shoes, these are also quite bulky, especially if you are used to wearing shoes with a much lower profile. If that is the case, they will take some time to get used to. But, once familiar with them, you may not want to go back.

Quality and Durability

The Hoka Vanquish 2's are quite well made. As Hoka One One shoes in general, are expensive shoes, expect to pay a lot for these, but as with most things you get what you pay for. And in this case you're paying for and getting a durable, quality made running shoe.

5. Gaviota

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Gaviota
Comfort
90
Stability
94
Durability
75
Size
85
Support
93
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Pros:

Excellent cushioning

Very comfortable

Supportive

Preserves energy of strides

Easy on knees

Relieves pain

Cons:

Pricier than other Hoka options

May not be great for long term durability

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.

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Comfort and Stability

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 body. 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.

Quality and Durability

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.

6. Constant 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Constant 2
Comfort
86
Stability
91
Durability
73
Size
85
Support
90
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Pros:

Oversized Active Foot Frame for custom fit to underfoot

Breathable Lycra Comfort Frame upper

EVA and RMAT tech for durability

Padded tongue for comfort

TPU External Heel Counter for security and reduced slippage

Wide toe box for nice toe splay

Cons:

Some customer reviews suggested durability issues with the outsole

If you’re looking for constant support and stability during long and short runs, go for the Constant 2’s. They’re great for racing as well as daily training and walking.

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Comfort and Stability

These have that same great cushioning that Hoka One One shoes are known for. Although these are heavier shoes, it seems that, for many, the thick, cushioned sole is a fair trade for a little extra weight.

Quality and Durability

Although the upper seems to be well constructed, there are some reported issues with the shoe’s outsole holding up under constant use.

7. Arahi 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Arahi 2
Comfort
90
Stability
85
Durability
77
Size
80
Support
83
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Pros:

Great support and stability, including specialized frame

Midsole meta-rocker for smooth stride

Very comfortable thick padding

Designed to mitigate pain and prevent injury

Cons:

May take time to adjust to unique stride

The Arahi are all about support. Hoka wants runners to have everything they need to optimize their performance. Many of this shoes features are designed with long term wear in mind. A ventilated mesh to prevent heat build up and discomfort. A number of different padding placements not only to keep your feet comfortable but also minimize shock. The Arahi is one of the top shoes when it comes to maximizing comfort in design.

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Comfort and Stability

Made with the extra thick padding that Hoka has become known for, the Hoka One One Arahi is one of the most comfortable shoes a runner can get. Everything about the shoe was intentionally designed with an extra level of padding from heel to tongue as to minimize discomfort,. The rocking stride that the of the Arahi may take some time to adjust to, but stability is not something these shoes lack. In fact, the specialized frame of the Ahari provides a lot of support where a runner needs at most.

Quality and Stability

The Arahi is one of the better shoes along the Hoka brand in terms of durability, very few runners reporting issues with long-term use of the shoe.

8. Hupana

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.4
Hupana
Comfort
90
Stability
90
Durability
84
Size
65
Support
83
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Pros:

Lightweight but still supportive

Breathable

High quality RMAT material

Cons:

Some runners said that the toe box was too narrow for them

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.

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Comfot and Stability

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 very stable shoe thanks to the Meta Rocker Geometry and great traction.

Quality and Durability

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.

9. Tracer 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.4
Tracer 2
Comfort
87
Stability
88
Durability
73
Size
70
Support
84
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Pros:

Very lightweight but still well cushioned

Great fit

Comfortable

Cons:

Not many color options

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!

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Comfort and Stability

There’s much less cushioning than in average Hoka shoe so you feel more stable when you hit the ground. The Meta-Rocker geometry adds to the stability. 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.

Quality and Durability

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.

10. Stinson 3 ATR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Stinson 3 ATR
Comfort
88
Stability
88
Durability
79
Size
60
Support
80
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Pros:

Active Foot Frame for customized, comfortable fit

Built to last on the trails

Flex grooves for comfy, snug fit

Great traction

Improved cushioning

No-sew upper for breathability and non-irritation

Cons:

A bit bulky, even for Hokas

Cushioning. Stability. Support. If Hoka adopted a motto, this would be it. The Stinson 3 ATRs 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. They’re also versatile and can please runners looking for high performance as well as a daily trainer. Take these to the races!

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Comfort and Stability

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, this shoe, built for the trail enthusiast, will definitely have more than enough comfort and stability to get you from start to finish.

Quality and Durability

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.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

Our feedback and tester reviews demonstrate that Hoka’s have been found to reduce muscle fatigue throughout their legs, and to be perfectly honest we understand why. 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 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.

Stability

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 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 of you have had ankle injuries in the past. Also makes sure to consider the stability you need for the terrain you will be on.

Durability

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 ultra-long distance shoes, we’re talking about footwear for ultra-marathons and a hundred mile plus runners. 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.

Size

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.

Support

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. 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.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Don't knock it before you try it...

Don't be afraid of those thicker soles. In fact, most models from Hoka have great stability. Plus, good responsiveness doesn't always have to mean super thin soles.

Thicker sole doesn't have to mean less stability

Hoka running shoes are super recognizable due to the thicker soles on a majority of their models. But does the sole being thicker and higher throw off stability? It really depends on the rest of the shoe, and how it's put together. In fact, Hoka has some shoes in the stability category.

Other Factors to Consider

Ride

Hoka’s pretty much speak for themselves when it comes to form and design. We know that these are very different from other running shoes that you may be used to, but let’s keep an open mind. Hoka was started by two former Salomon Head Designers with the thought in mind to give trail runners a sturdy shoe that provide second to none cushion and support. Although Hoka’s look a bit wild, they are actually for serious rugged mountain races. They sponsor two of the countries best professional trail runners and are designed to take on the Alps, Pyrenees, and Dolomites. So they should do well in your backyard.

We have seen a significant amount of customer reviews that praise the Hoka brand for allowing them to get out on the trails again. Any footwear that allows passionate runners to get back out and do what they love, when otherwise the foot pain wouldn’t allow for it, is a brand that we can get behind! Let’s take a look at the strengths of Hoka’s and what they can do for you.

Protection

As mentioned, if you have any type of foot pain or discomfort because of injury, you must give the Hoka brand a try. User feedback on their trail rated footwear reports that most stones and bumps are literally ignored when running in Hoka’s. Simply put, you don’t even feel that you’ve stepped on a stone or bump roads. This type of protection is also reflected in their road running shoes. In fact, you cannot find a thicker outsole on a running shoe. Another advantage is that when using Hoka’s for road running on smoother surfaces, they allow you to go longer distances with less endurance drain. User feedback is positive in cushioning and stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What’s it like to run in a pair of Hoka’s?
a:

It’s best described as a super-soft yet resilient sensation under the foot. There’s a great amount of bounce to the stride; yet you’re feet remain flatter than a typical running shoe. Some testers likened it to running on a trampoline. The truth is, if you’re looking for cushioning, you should really feel it for yourself. There’s really nothing else like it on the market.

q: Are there more to Hoka than their thick outsole?
a:

It is easy to define something, especially a brand, based on what you can see. That is part of how they want to market themselves. They want you to see a shoe and know its a Hoka. But when it comes to Hoka, their thick outsole is just beginning of what they have to offer. A wide toe box. A rocker profile. Thick but light cushioning. These are the things that set the these apart from other running shoes, and it’s these things that become apparent from the first time you put on a pair of Hoka's.

q: These look pretty heavy, will they slow me down?
a:

You may be surprised to hear that Hoka running shoes are actually typically lighter than most running shoes. One of the strengths that Hoka has over other stability shoes is they are able to provide enough cushioning to provide proper support without adding additional weight. So while they may appear bulky, in this instance appearances are deceiving.

q: Do I have to break in these running shoes?
a:

One of the more interesting aspects of Hoka’s design is that, unlike many types of running shoes, the amount of break-in time required is minimal to non-existent. While you may not need to break them in, we do recommend wearing these shoes for a little while around the house or for a couple of very short runs before really trying them out. Hoka shoes are a stability shoe and they have a rocker profile. Both of these aspects of the Hoka’s design will affect your gate. With how these styles of shoe operate, you’ll have an easier time running after a bit of practice.

Sources

  1. Peter Larson, Run Blogger, Running Blog,
  2. Fell Runner Team, Fell Runner, Running Blog,
  3. Brian Metzler , Competitor, Running Webste,