Hoka One One Gaviota 2

8.4
8.4 score
[Editors rating (8.4)] = Runnerclick score (8.4)/10

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Hoka One One Gaviota 2 Review Facts
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The Hoka One One Gaviota 2 is a maximalist running shoe that focuses on cushioning and stability. It brings back most of the same features that were found in its predecessor with a slightly simpler design. The same high-abrasion rubber is used on high-impact areas of its outsole, which also features the same tread pattern. The midsoles RMAT and J-Frame technologies return for a responsive wear that corrects the runner’s gait. The same goes for the shoe’s Late Stage Meta-Rocker and Molded Ortholite insole. Though engineered mesh is now used, its breathable wear and supportive Arch-Lock wings are still present. Runners may also notice that the overall platform height has increased by three millimeters for more cushioning and protection.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

-Corrective wear

-Extremely comfortable

-Highly responsive

-Eye-catching design

-Surprisingly lightweight

Cons

-Does not fit true to size

-Can lack durability

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Gaviota 2 utilizes a high-abrasion lightweight rubber compound to protect and prolong the wear of its tread pattern. This material is placed around the edges of the forefoot and heel, areas that receive the highest impact and, therefore, wear down the fastest. Its tread pattern is comprised of rectangular lugs, each with a hexagonal design carved into them for an extra strong grip on paved road surfaces and wet conditions. A vertical flex-groove runs from the toes to the heel, following the natural curve of the foot, to stabilize the runner's gait cycle.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

With a heel height of 32mm and a toe height of 27mm, the Gaviota 2's maximalist design offers plenty of comfortable cushioning that also safeguards the underfoot against jagged surfaces. Its dual-density midsole unit is comprised of RMAT, a combination of rubber material and EVA foam to ensure lightweight, comfortable, and durable cushioning. The brand's J-Frame technology is in place, consisting of a denser cushioning unit that runs from the toes down the medial side of the foot and wraps around the heel. This particular unit is present to act as a type of guardrail, guiding the foot and correcting the runner's gait cycle. A Late Stage Meta-Rocker is also present, placed in front of the metatarsal bones for a smoother and more stable ride. As an added bonus, a Molded Ortholite sockliner cushions the foot while it actively prevents in-shoe wobbling. While almost all critiques on this particular feature are positive, some do say that its build prevents them from reaching a higher speed.
Upper
Upper

Upper

A lightweight, open engineered mesh makes up the Gaviota 2's upper unit, featuring multiple ventilation holes for unrestricted breathability. Arch-lock wings form a supportive midfoot cage that integrates with the shoe's lacing system for greater stability and a more customizable wear. Printed overlays form a toe bumper at the front for added structure and protection. A stitched on heel counter is placed at the back to really lock the foot into place, and flat laces offer a more secure fit than rounded ones. Finally, a padded collar and tongue offer comfort, security, and ankle support.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Even though its platform height is much higher than that of the average running shoe, the Gaviota 2 still manages to be surprisingly lightweight. According to the Hoka One One website, men's sizes average out at 10.6 oz. while women's sizes are around 8.8 oz. This, of course, is thanks to the careful engineering and measurement of all the shoe's features and the materials used to create them. Thanks to all of this, reviewers say that wearing this shoe feels a lot like running around on a cloud. On the other hand, there have been a few buyers who feel that its lightness takes away from its stabilizing features and, therefore, causes it to perform poorly.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Aside from its supportive sock-like fit, the Gaviota 2's engineered mesh upper also allows for plenty of ventilation. In fact, a number of reviewers even state that this model's breathability is even better than its predecessor. A number of air holes mark the forefoot and sides, allowing the worst hotspots to be targeted easily. The use of Molded Ortholite for its sockliner enhances this quality by drawing moisture away from the foot, allowing the runner to feel cooler and more comfortable as they wear this shoe.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Across all online review platforms, buyers have praised the Gaviota 2 for its extremely comfortable wear. The RMAT and J-Frame technologies work together to create a midsole that's stabilizing and responsive, and the Molded Ortholite sockliner is made to support the foot's natural shape. The shoe's open engineered mesh upper provides a secure yet adaptive fit while ensuring unrestricted breathability and soft ankle support. Reviewers are not only impressed with the soft and comfortable cushioning, but many even say that its corrective features actively reduce their foot, leg, and joint pain.
Style
Style

Style

Hoka One One is known for sporty, maximalist designs, and the Gaviota 2 definitely follows this model. The sides of its midsole unit are lined with multiple ridges and grooves which aid in flexibility but also add to the shoe's overall look. The brand name is featured prominently on the tongue and heel, and a pull tab is fixed to the back for easier insertion. Though some reviewers were a bit dissatisfied with the selection of colorways, those who enjoy the color blue would definitely want to check out this particular model. There are also black and grey options for runners who prefer more neutral tones.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Certain parts of the Gaviota 2 are much more durable than others. The high-abrasion rubber that covers high-wear parts of the outsole allows it to last longer, even after constant use on paved road surfaces. The RMAT unit within its midsole combines EVA with rubber to ensure extremely sturdy cushioning, and the inclusion of a J-Frame strengthens this feature even further. On the other hand, reviewers have noticed that the engineered mesh upper does not last nearly as long. Though this type of material is usually stronger than standard mesh, this particular fabric is occasionally known to develop small tears. Therefore, it's recommended that runners take proper care of this shoe by avoiding activities such as trail running.
Protection
Protection

Protection

While a high-abrasion rubber shields high-wear areas of the Gaviota 2's outsole, its tread pattern ensures a completely safe run across paved roads and other everyday surfaces, whether they're wet or dry. The midsole's cushioning and responsiveness work together with its corrective J-Frame to relieve the runner's chronic pain and fatigue. The thickness of this unit is also more than enough to safeguard the underfoot from sharp or jagged hazards that they might face while running. Its level of breathability staves off foot odor, infections, and blisters, while the sock-like fit is enhanced by Arch-lock wings and the lacing system to keep the foot in place.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

With plenty of cushioning comes plenty of responsiveness, and the Gaviota 2 proves this perfectly. Its midsole's RMAT technology combines rubber with EVA foam, giving the runner a greater level of shock absorption and a higher rebound than standard materials. This, in turn, makes it a suitable running shoe for going long distances. Its J-Frame feature adds to this by preventing the foot from rolling inward, and the engineered mesh upper is able to stretch and bend along with all of the foot's movements.
Support
Support

Support

Stability shoes, like the Gaviota 2, are almost always guaranteed to provide the wearer with a great deal of support. The shoe's RMAT midsole and J-Frame unit already do this fine enough on their own, but the inclusion of a Molded Ortholite insole adds to this by conforming to the natural curves of the foot for less pain and in-shoe wobbling. The open engineered mesh upper wraps completely around the foot and features arch-lock wings to better customize the fit to the runner's liking. There's even a padded collar and tongue for incredibly comfortable ankle support.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Listings and reviews suggest that the Gaviota 2 be used for road running. Though its maximalist platform could definitely be useful for shielding against jagged surfaces or certain types of trailing hazards, its outsole wouldn't be durable enough to withstand constant use of rough terrains. Still, it's more than capable of carrying runners across miles of concrete or cement. And, according to some buyers, its traction performs remarkably well on wet or even icy surfaces. And its breathable wear makes it especially useful during warmer weather.
Price
Price

Price

One of the Gaviota 2's most notable downsides is its expensive price tag. This model runs for $150 on a number of online outlets, including Zappos, Road Runners Sports, and Hoka One One's one website. Not surprisingly, a number of buyers might be put off by this high cost and wonder just how smart a purchase it could actually be. But when they consider this shoe's long-lasting comfort and support and level of stability, with its eye-catching design being an added bonus, many feel it's worth every dollar they spend. Of course, those who are still looking for a deal can easily find one on Amazon or eBay.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Aside from its high levels of comfort and stability, the Gaviota 2 has also been praised for its amazing traction. High-abrasion rubber is placed along the edges of the forefoot and heel, which receive the highest impact, to protect the outsole and form an even stronger grip where it's needed most. Multiple rectangles make up its simple yet aggressive tread pattern, and each one features a hexagonal design carved in to increase the shoe's overall traction. Reviewers feel completely secure running across paved roads, wet surfaces, and even snow. Though there is a chance that it could handle more rugged terrains, the shoe's other materials and overall lack of durability make it unfit for trail running.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Since the Gaviota 2 focuses more on stability, and due to the overall thickness of its midsole, it's quite safe to assume that its wear isn't all that flexible. However, the multiple flex grooves on its outsole and the deep ridges and grooves on its midsole allow the runner to move their foot naturally enough to make the shoe comfortable for everyday use. Its engineered mesh upper encourages this as well by adapting to each bend and stretch.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Reviewers are extremely happy with how stabilizing the Gaviota 2's wear is, even saying that it greatly reduces or eliminates their chronic pain. The durable responsiveness and cushioning already do a fine job of keeping the running moving along smoothly. Along with this, a J-Fame completely takes over the shoe's medial side and wraps around the heel in order to prevent inward rolling. A Late Stage Meta-Rocker is also set in front of the foot's metatarsal bones to better smooth out the foot's heel-to-toe transition. The open engineered mesh upper does most of the supportive work, thanks to its sock-like fit, and the arch-lock wings form a midfoot cage that wraps around and integrates with the lacing system for greater security. The stitched-on heel counter and padded collar further lock the foot into place.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Despite its substantial platform height, the Gaviota 2 has a low heel-to-toe drop height of just 5mm. Thanks to this, runners are given an incredible amount of balance, as well as better posture, that keeps them stabilized throughout their workouts. It also allows them greater control over their movements, even with the shoe's higher-than-average platform.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

-Zonal rubber placement on outsole
-Rubberized foam J-Frame midsole
-Late-stage Meta-Rocker for stability
-Molded Ortholite sockliner
-Open engineered mesh upper
-Arch-lock wings around midfoot
-5mm heel-to-toe drop
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Just like its predecessor, the Hoka One One Gaviota 2 proves to be an incredibly useful and comfortable option for those in need of stability and lots of cushioning. Road-runners are pleasantly surprised with its level of traction, and they feel completely at ease with its slightly higher and softer platform. Its stabilizing features do an outstanding job of correcting and smoothing out the runner's gait cycle, thereby giving them wear that ends with less pain and stiffness. Its overall breathability levels and eye-catching design don't hurt either. There are a few notable downsides, such as its inconsistent fit and upper's lack of durability. Still, those who prefer the maximalist design would be very happy with how this model performs.