Best Hoka Running Shoes reviewed & Tested
Searching for Hoka One One Running shoes? Take a look at the best picks, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them online or in a store
Hoka has been continuing to conquer the running market very fast. It’s all about the unique design of their shoes. When you test every of their shoe, you came to the point when you feel so comfortable that you won’t to buy a next pair. Hoka features very lightweight padding, the meta rocker feature is also really praised. Hoka has many choose to offer but it’s clear that we want only the best of the best so you can check our research below. Maybe it will be easier for you to choose the right pair. Enjoy!
- Hoka One One Clifton 4
- RMAT rebound material
- Hoka One One Bondi 5
- Improved mesh upper
- Hoka One One Vanquish 2
- Deep foot frame
10 Best Hoka Running Shoes
1. Hoka One One Clifton 4
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 / 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 is no wonder why the Clifton 4 is the top choice out of all Hoka One One models.
- Full-length compression-molded EVA for shock absorption and comfort
- RMAT rebound material in midsole
- Meta-Rocker midsole geometry for improved gait and smooth transitions
- Improved no sew mesh upper
- Slightly heavier than the previous version
2. Hoka One One Bondi 5
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 / 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.
- 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
Durability issues when used on certain surfaces
- May have ventilation issues in extreme heat.
3. Hoka One One Vanquish 2
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 / Durability
The Hoka Vanquish 2 are quite well made. As Hoka One One shoes, in general, are not low priced shoes, you tend to get your money’s worth with a durable, quality made running shoe.
- 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
- A bit heavy
4. Hoka One One Stinson 3 ATR
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 / Durability
Like most of the shoes in the Hoka One One product line, these are not plagued by any major quality issues that could could affect the overall durability and reliability of them.
- 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
- A bit bulky, even for Hokas
5. Hoka One One Arahi
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 / 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.
- Great support and stability, including specialized frame
- Midsole meta-rocker for smooth stride
- Very comfortable thick padding
- Designed to mitigate pain and prevent injury
- May take time to adjust to unique stride
Hoka One One Mafate Speed 2
When you hit the hard and uneven terrain, the plush cushioning helps to absorb the shock in very efficient way. The overall design is very firm and there’s no slippage. The heel counter makes your foot stay in place and Vibram lugs also add to the stability.
The High abrasion rubber is very durable, the lugs are also well made. The upper is debris repellent, the cushioning is really firm, the foam retains the original shape.
Cost or value
The cost isn’t low in this case, these shoes are a little bit more expensive than average trail running shoes. However, this is because there’s very thick amount of cushioning implied and it’s really worth to invest some money.
Comfortable also for people with wide feet
Upper protects from debris and is very breathable
Some runners said that the cushioning felt a little bit too hard and stiff
7. Hoka One One Infinite
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 / Durability
Overall, these are well built shoes, without any major quality issues which might take away from their reliability.
- 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
- Not ideal for those with wide feet
Hoka One One Speedgoat 2
It’s not surprising that when you search for most comfortable trail running shoes, this model appears really often. It’s extremely comfortable thanks to the features. The midsole is very thick and wide, there’s also EVA foam very thick lugs so the shock absorption works as it should.
The previous version was less durable than this one. Although it’s not the longest lasting trail running shoe, it will handle many miles without any significant signs of wearing. You don’t need to worry about water or mud.
Cost or Value
140 dollar for trail running shoe is an average price. It’s not high and the shoes will be loved by trail runners so it’s worth to give them a chance.
Thick cushioning and lug system
Rocker design that will help to increase speed
Some users said that the lugs wear out too fast
9. Hoka One One Constant 2
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 / Durability
Although the upper seems to be well constructed, there are some reported issues with the shoe’s outsole holding up under constant use.
- 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
Some customer reviews suggested durability issues with the outsole
Hoka One One Tracer 2
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.
Even though the material is thinner, it doesn’t mean that shoes are less durable. However, they will best for racing definitely not for trail.
Cost or value
The price is okay, considering the comfort and design of the shoe, it’s worth testing.
It’s very lightweight but still well cushioned
It fits very well
There aren’t many color options.
Hoka One One Hupana
The shoe is quite lightweight, so it adds to the comfort. The cushioning is a little bit thicker than an average running shoe, it’s not too soft but it provides 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.
The shoes won’t wear out fast, they will last for many miles. The cushioning retains the original shape.
The price isn’t a killer, you will need to spend less than 120 dollars on this pair. This is an average price for this type of shoes.
It’s lightweight but still supportive
High quality RMAT material
Some runners said that the toe box was too narrow for them
If you’re willing to throw out the extra dollar, Hokas won’t let you down. Besides stability and comfort, they’re known for great durability with strong rubber outsoles. Hokas can easily move from walking and running to trail running thanks to the outsole protection, durability, and traction.
All of the best Hoka running shoes are radically comfortable, supportive, and protective. Whereas, other more minimalistic shoes are often lacking in protection, which can result in injury, these maximalists keep your feet safe and happy. They’re highly breathable, fit snugly, and rate highly on comfort. And what’s more important than comfort?
The Criteria Used When Choosing The Best Hoka Running Shoes:
Well, They Aren’t Minimalistic
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 For The Soles Of Your Feet
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.
Less Of A Drop Between The Heel And Forefoot
When compared to the running shoes that sit towards the top, (ASICS, Mizuno, New Balance) the Hoka’s have much less of a drop between the heel and the forefoot. This is why, believe it or not, runner’s claim that running in Hoka’s feels more like running barefoot than their typical running shoes. When speaking on the comfort levels of the footwear, testers frequently gave the metaphor of running on clouds. We compared weight with other running shoes that we’ve reviewed and they actually compare in weight to minimalist shoes.
The Focus On Forward Lean
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 shoe brand, and appreciated the effortless stride changes that the feature brings along with it.
Reduction Of Muscle Fatigue
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.
Other Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Hoka Running Shoes.
If you believe that you are the type of road runner or trail runner that can benefit from the strengths of the Hoka brand, we hope that you can choose a model that can help you get out and run with more cushioning and support. However, before you go, take a look at the wide range of feedback and data we went through when compiling our selections. This will help you choose a Hoka running shoe that’s right for you. Keep in mind that it’s important that you make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.
Consider Your Needs For Distance
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.
Focus On Your Ankles
If you are running in Hoka’s for the first time, 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.
Toe Box Concerns
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 are have more of a “triangle” shape (middle toe is the longest), then you should be fine.
Transition From Barefoot To Hoka Carefully
Safety always comes first to us at Runnerclick. This is because we know all too well the terrible feeling of being kept off of your feet because of an injury or foot issues. This is why if you’re choosing to move to a Hoka maximalist running shoe from a more “barefoot” running shoe, make sure that you transition slowly. Especially if you are coming over from a high heel-to-toe drop. We suggest shorter distances until your leg muscles adapt to the change. We provided some excellent Hoka middle of the road styles, but we encourage all of our runners to exercise caution with the transition.
We’re confident that by taking some of these factors into consideration when making your choice, you’ll find a Mizuno runner that is perfect for you. Before you get out there and run, we’ve also compiled some frequently asked questions that commonly arise when searching for a new running shoe.
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 Hoka’s defined by just a thick outsole?
A: It’s easy to make that assumption because our eyes are automatically drawn to the most obvious difference in the footwear. In reality, Hoka’s are defnied by their higher than average cushioning, widebody design, rocker profile. That’s what really sets the Hoka brand apart from anything else that’s out on the market today.
Q: These looks pretty heavy, will my run slow down?
A: They may look heavy, but they aren’t. In fact Hoka running and trail running shoes are the same exact weight as their counterparts. Additionally, out top three are actually lighter than a typical running shoe. It’s hard to get over the outlandish looks of the shoes, but once you get over that hill, you see their true competitive nature.
Q: Do I have to break in these running shoes?
A: Not really, but it’s a good idea to wear them on a short walk or around the house if you are planning to go out on a long excursion. This will make sure that you have the right fit; it’s not really to break in the shoe itself. Take this time to make sure that your feet feel secure and that you have plenty of room in the toe box to wiggle your toes. This will ensure that you have a great fit, and that your feet get used to your new Hoka’s
This was our approach when selecting the right pair of Mizuno running shoes. Remember that selecting the right pair of running shoes is an investment and making a selection that is based on personal use and needs is crucial. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice between form and function. Thanks for following along with us. Now make the perfect selection for you and keep running!
Here are some sources used while conducting our research
It’s important to use a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted running enthusiasts and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide: