Best Hoka Running Shoes

Given the fact that this guide is being created, it is not a bad assumption to assume that Hoka One One (also known as Hoka) excels at their craft and makes some unbeatable running shoes. But, what makes their running shoes so superb? Well, besides the fact that they understand the essentials that runners are looking for in their shoes, they actually started implementing a unique style in their shoes. Basically, a plethora of their models are designed with the model of maximum cushioning and minimum drop.

Now if you have heard about Hoka, or you just want a top-of-the-line cushioned running shoe for your running adventures, then we have you covered. Below we have done the research and listed the top ten Hoka running shoes on the market and explained why these styles are the best over the rest. We have also listed some criteria to keep in mind when trying to find the perfect pair for you, so check out the list and stay cushioned this running season.

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By Jordan Coleiro:

This list of Hoka Running Shoes has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed Hoka Running Shoes to help you discover you the maximum comfort and stability you can receive from a running shoe. A pair of Hoka Running Shoes to keep your eye on is the Bondi 5. We love this addition because it is highly rated, comes in a variety of colors, fits great on wide feet, and is both breathable and comfortable.

BONDI 5
  • BONDI 5
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Secure fit
  • Light stability shoe
  • Price: See Here
CLIFTON 4
  • CLIFTON 4
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Variety of colours
  • Good ventilation
  • Price: See Here
Vanquish 2
  • Vanquish 2
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Nice cushioning
  • Durable shoe
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Hoka Running Shoes

 

Bondi 5

Those of you who have been loyal to the Bondi Running Shoes over the years may be a little disappointed with the 5th version’s stiffer midsole. Then again, it is engineered to fit wider feet, which is nice.
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Comfort and Stability
A traditional EVA midsole is integrated and it delivers low-profile cushioning. Beyond this, the Ortholite insole provides additional cushioning and also arch support.

Ventilation and Weight
Despite the amount of cushioning utilized, runners noticed that the overall weight was still surprisingly light. Also, thanks to the mesh upper, your feet are allowed to breathe.

Sizing and Fitting
Not only are there extra width options available for those who have wider feet but the toe box itself is optimized for space. Finally, the 3D puff print frame delivers a secure fit.

Outsole and Durability
With the addition of more rubber on the outsole, the overall durability of this shoe gets a necessary boost. For a road shoe, also, the provided traction is a bonus.

Visual Design
The Bondi 5 definitely sports that “Hoka” appeal that so many runners have either grown to love or despise. No matter, there are a strong amount of options available.

Overall
This is another fantastic addition to the Bondi series of shoes. In spite of the fact that the stiffer midsole may not be a welcome sight, the wider toe box and wide size options are.
Pros

The meta-rocker helps the gate cycle

Outfitted to fit wider feet

Can help people who experience foot and hip problems

Cons

Some felt the meta-rocker technology felt dead

The stiffer midsole can be an issue

Clifton 4

Hoka updated the design of their Clifton Shoes and the 4th model, for most runners, offers superior comfortability, enhanced support, and high arch support.
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Comfort and Stability
As opposed to previous Clifton Shoes, this 4th model sports superior comfortability. The main reason why is because of the seamless SpeedFrame construction.

Ventilation and Weight
The combination of the breathable mesh and the synthetic overlays comes into play with the optimal amount of breathability that is offered by the Clifton 4.

Sizing and Fitting
A majority of the buyers that left a positive review noted that this shoe fit true-to-size. On top of this, the toe box is designed to be spacious.

Outsole and Durability
You take a chance with the durability of this shoe as one user noted they are made with high-quality, while another claimed the cushioning started to disintegrate after around 200 miles.

Visual Design
To be honest, these shoes can be hit or miss in terms of their visual design. Thankfully, the Clifton 4 definitely falls under the hit category.

Overall
There is no doubt about it; the Clifton 4 is a nice addition to the Clifton series of running shoes. While not flawless, it is certainly good enough to add to your collection.
Pros

Provides high arch support

Offers more support than previous versions

Many feel this is more comfortable than past versions

Cons

Seems to be stiffer than its predecessor

The ride is a little harder

Vanquish 2

As opposed to the original Vanquish Shoe, the follow-up model offers a superior amount of cushioning. Plus, the construction as a whole is highly durable and should hold up over time.
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Comfort and Stability
In addition to the meta-rocker geometry construction, a dual-layer EVA midsole has been implemented to provide a substantial amount of support and stability.

Ventilation and Weight
To enhance the breathability, the Vanquish 2 has an external web designed zonal 3D printing. Additionally, the air mesh upper also improves the overall ventilation.

Sizing and Fitting
According to a number of user reviews, the Vanquish 2 is a shoe that tends to fit both tight and narrow. Because of this, you may need to order a size larger than you typically do.

Outsole and Durability
Due to the strategic high-abrasion rubber outsole that sports durable zonal rubber placement, a number of runners have appreciated the overall durability of this shoe.

Visual Design
This designer is known for designing running shoes that are extremely vibrant in color and the Vanquish 2 exemplifies that to a tee. As a bonus, there are plenty of color options to select from.

Overall
Those of you who struggle to find shoes because your feet are extra-wide, you may have that same issue with the Vanquish 2 Shoes. But, that is the extent of the problems that this shoe possesses.
Pros

Has more cushioning than the original

The upper is both comfortable and breathable

Is a very durable shoe

Cons

Some reviews claim the fit is a bit tight

Gaviota

Gaviota
As a motion control and stability shoe, the Gaviota is actually quite light. Given the fact it integrates a superb amount of cushioning without adding excess weight, the results could not be sweeter.
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Comfort and Stability
While the last stage meta-rocker offers the stability runners crave, the thick underfoot foam is able to handle impacts very well and soften the blow every time you land from a foot strike.

Ventilation and Weight
Motion control shoes can add a ton of weight as they typically implement more cushioning. Yet, this model defies that and is one of the lighter models out there. Plus, the upper is breathable.

Sizing and Fitting
Most runners agreed that this shoe ran true-to-size. However, some users thought the toe box was roomy while others felt it was too tight. In theory, this is probably only going to be an issue with wider feet.

Outsole and Durability
The main component that adds durability to the Gaviota Stability Shoe is the RMAT J-Frame support.

Visual Design
A majority of those who have run in this shoe seem to be satisfied with the design. While there are some outlandish options available, most are pretty good.

Overall
Anyone looking for a top-of-the-line motion control shoe, it is tough to recommend one more than the Gaviota. It is quite astounding that Hoka was able to achieve the level of cushioning they did without adding excessive weight.
Pros

Designed with thick underfoot foam

Supports a smooth heel transition

For a stability shoe, it is quite light

Cons

Some runners felt the toe box was too tight

Arahi 2

Arahi 2
Dynamic stability has been integrated into this next shoe and in the words of Hoka, when this was released, it was the future of the stability running shoe.
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Comfort and Stability
As a top-of-the-line stability shoe, it is no surprise that so many runners have raved about the cushioning system and its ideal combination of response and comfort.

Ventilation and Weight
Stability shoes are notorious for being heavier as they are designed to implement more cushioning than normal shoes. Yet, buyers were surprised at the rather lightweight nature of the Arahi 2.

Sizing and Fitting
For the most part, the sizing seems to be spot on here. Be wary, though, some users commented that the heel collar is insufficient at securing your foot.

Outsole and Durability
Even though there have been claims of this outsole being suitable for road running and trail running, it has been known to peel off quicker than it should.

Visual Design
The appeal of the Arahi 2 is one of the better ones, quite honestly. A majority of wearers concur that the color schemes are attractive.

Overall
As the so-called future of the stability shoe, the Arahi 2 does a pretty good job of living up to that audacious claim. Plus, for the amount of cushioning provided, it is surprisingly light.
Pros

Lighter than most stability shoes

Designed with a superb cushioning system

Sports dynamic stability

Cons

For some runners, the outsole peeled off very quickly

The heel collar has been known to not secure your foot

Hupana

Hupana
The Hupana Shoe sports the renowned Hoka cushion feel and because of this, the response and cushioning provided are above-average. In addition, the RMAT outsole adds a ton of traction.
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Comfort and Stability
According to the experiences of some buyers, the underfoot cushioning of the Hupana was firm while maintaining an optimal amount of response.

Ventilation and Weight
Even though the knitted upper is designed to provide ventilation, a handful of testers agree to disagree. However, the lightweight nature has been vastly appreciated.

Sizing and Fitting
The Hupana actually tends to run a little large but what is nice is that the upper actually locks in your feet and provides an ideal fit.

Outsole and Durability
Few elements of this shoe have been held in higher regard than the RMAT platform. This provides excellent traction capabilities and on top of this, it delivers longevity.

Visual Design
Funnily enough, some reviewers commented that this model was one of the only models to not look ridiculous. Honesty is a good thing, right?

Overall
Even if you wanted to utilize this shoe for more activities than just running, such as casual walking, you could. Overall, its unique and versatile design makes it worthwhile.
Pros

The lightweight nature has been appreciated by testers

It is ideal for other uses including casual walking

The transitions are super smooth

Cons

Breathability is a bit of a concern

A few claim the shoe runs big

Constant 2

Constant 2
Though there are some slight design flaws with the Constant 2 Shoes, they are ideal for those with wider feet and also sport an integrated meta-rocker to increase your overall stability.
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Comfort and Stability
Thanks to the active foot frame, your foot is allowed to relax and sick into the midsole unit. The result is an underfoot platform that provides an ideal amount of comfortability.

Ventilation and Weight
On one hand, the air mesh fabric of the upper delivers an optimal amount of ventilation. However, there is the other hand which is dealing with the issue of excessive weight.

Sizing and Fitting
The Constant 2 Shoes fit as well as any shoe on this list. Primary reasons for this are its TPU external heel counter and its wider toe box.

Outsole and Durability
There is an interesting dichotomy at play here because the combination of the EVA and RMAT technology is designed to add durable support. Yet, some runners shared that the outsole rubber began to wear after a few months.

Visual Design
Just with a quick glance, you can easily see that the Constant 2 Shoe sports a visual design that will probably appeal to the modern generation of runners.

Overall
With its exceptional fit for wide feet and superb ventilation properties, there are many reasons to love this running shoe. While the weight can be a red flag, this is still an excellent stability shoe.
Pros

Offers superb stability

Features a wider toe box

The upper offers a great deal of ventilation

Cons

The weight is a bit high

Some runners noticed the outsole wore off within a few months

Clayton 2

Clayton 2
The overall consensus of the Clayton 2 is that the issue of blistering which was present in the original is not as prominent. Still, though, a few runners have still claimed blisters can result.
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Comfort and Stability
While the blistering issue is certainly improved in the Clayton 2, it can still be an issue. However, the midsole does offer a unique balance of protection and propulsion.

Ventilation and Weight
In addition to the comfort, the upper of this model has been improved. On top of the lightweight nature of the shoe, the breathability as a whole has received a noticeable difference.

Sizing and Fitting
Over time, the Clayton 2 Shoe will actually adapt to your foot and start to fit better. The no-sew lattice and form-fitting heel do assist with the fitting, though.

Outsole and Durability
Durability was clearly a point of emphasis when this shoe was being designed. The end result for you is a running shoe that is capable of handling high-tempo runs or simply short runs.

Visual Design
Let’s just say that this is not a conservative-looking shoe. In fact, most options available combine vibrant colors and the results may be too outlandish for some people.

Overall
Besides offering necessary improvements over the original Clayton Shoe, this is a shoe that will get better with age as the upper will conform to the shape and feel of your foot.
Pros

The upper has received noticeable improvements

Adapts to your foot better over time

Provides dynamic cushioning and flexibility

Cons

Blisters can still be a slight issue

It can take a while for the shoe to adjust to your foot

Conquest 3

Conquest 3
The Conquest 3 may be most memorable due to the support that it offers you when you run. Of course, the exceptional durability certainly does not hurt matters any.
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Comfort and Stability
As opposed to the Conquest 2, the Conquest 3 provides more cushioning and it is thanks to its EVA top layer and accommodating forefoot.

Ventilation and Weight
To keep your feet cool and comfortable on the longest of runs, this shoe has been outfitted with an air mesh upper, which will deliver optimal ventilation.

Sizing and Fitting
There were some runners who warned buyers that this shoe tends to run narrow in the midfoot area. Then again, others claimed that the upper kept their feet secure during runs.

Outsole and Durability
Even while running on more abrasive surfaces such as asphalt, the Conquest 3 seems to hold up very well.

Visual Design
While it does not appear that the Conquest 3 is much different than other Hoka shoes in regard to the visual design, it is far from appalling or ugly.

Overall
Arguably the greatest aspect of the Conquest 3 is the upper as it delivers a secure fit and exceptional breathability. Of course, the narrower fit could be an issue for some of you.
Pros

Features a contoured footbed

Built to last with fantastic longevity

The upper secures your foot in place

Cons

Does run a bit narrow

The tongue can provide discomfort

Stinson 3 ATR

Stinson 3 ATR
For those who like running on uneven terrains, the Stinson 3 ATR Shoes will be ideal as they are trail running shoes. Because of this, the outsole has been engineered with longitudinal flex grooves.
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Comfort and Stability
As is a theme with other popular models from this manufacturer, the 3rd version of the Stinson ATR features more cushioning than previous models. Plus, the no-sew construction eliminates skin irritation.

Ventilation and Weight
The previously mentioned no-sew construction also aids in reducing the overall weight of this shoe. In addition, the air mesh upper offers superior breathability.

Sizing and Fitting
With the Lycra ComfortFrame and the active foot frame technology at work, you are provided a sock-like and secure fit and increased responsiveness, respectively.

Outsole and Durability
Even though some reviews alluded to the fact that the upper of this model tends to wear out quickly, the flex grooves of the outsole aid in traction and improved stability.

Visual Design
Despite the fact that the available color palettes are pretty good overall, some runners did not appreciate that the Stinson 3 ATR Shoes made their feet look awkwardly large.

Overall
Overall, it is easy to overlook the small flaws of this design when you assess its lightweight nature, superior fit, and above-average cushioning.
Pros

Designed with a no-sew upper

Delivers more cushion than previous versions

Your foot relaxes in the midsole

Cons

Durability has been a concern

The heel cup can cause blistering

Criteria Used For Evaluation

Comfort and Stability 

There was a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and it addressed what has been a long-standing theory amongst several shoe experts. While some may believe that the most important factor in determining the best running shoe is to find the best gait, this study actually lead researchers to conclude that how comfortable a shoe is, holds more importance. With that being said, what is it that makes a running shoe comfortable? The obvious answer is an optimal amount of cushioning and yes, this does play a key role (especially in motion control shoes).

But, the shock absorption technology is also paramount. The components of a shoe, including the insole and the midsole, need to protect your feet when you strike the ground. Due to the speed that you run, your feet will strike off the ground with a great amount of force and alleviating the shock that your feet endure is critical. Of course, you may also see a seamless construction and this can greatly reduce the chance of skin irritation.

Breathability 

If you regularly participate in any form of physical activity, it is ideal that all of your garments and clothing be breathable. As your body builds up heat, it releases sweat and if your clothing absorbs this sweat and offers minimal airflow, the experience will be more dreadful. This same concept applies to running shoes and it is amplified when you take into consideration your feet have the most sweat glands in the human body. Along the same line as the comfort, how can a shoe be designed to be breathable?

It really comes down to two main components; that being the weight and ventilation. Wearing a shoe that feels like it is dragging you down is never fun and can cause your feet to sweat at a more rapid rate. This is especially important if you need motion control shoes as they integrate more cushioning and this can lead to excess weight. Although, the ventilation is just as important. This is where the design of the upper comes into play as it should be made with mesh material to accommodate for airflow.

 Fit and Security

Part of the reason why finding the right pair of running shoes can be such a daunting task is because of the way they fit. See, as opposed to your everyday pair of shoes, a running shoe is probably going to need to be slightly larger. Due to the nature of their design, you need a little bit more room than you do in a casual pair of shoes. Of course, all you really need to do is keep in mind three key tips when trying to decide the right size for you.

First off, the fit throughout the midfoot should be secure but comfortable at the same time. Secondly, there should be little to no slipping off your heel when running. And, finally, between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe, there should be around a thumb’s width of the room. Okay, so, clearly, you can’t physically try on a pair of shoes when ordering them online. As such, look through user feedback to see how others claim the shoe fits.

The Outsole and Overall Durability

Everyone understands that shoes do not last forever and even though that a number of dynamic variables will determine the longevity of them, some models will be built with superior durability. Outside of investing in a model that is not going to deteriorate inside and out, you should also assess the design of the outsole. Also referred to as the sole, this is the bottom portion of a shoe and it is the part that physically makes contact with the ground.

Rubber will be a primary component of outsoles and in general, may be seen in one of two different types. For one, you have carbon rubber and this is the same material that is used on tires. This is probably the most durable outsole out there but it is not quite as light or as flexible as blown rubber. Either way, if you know you will want to run on abrasive surfaces from time to time, aim for an outsole with an ideal amount of traction and durability.

 Design

No matter how many shoe experts you interview around the world if you ask all of them if you should buy a shoe based on appearance they would respond with an emphatic no. There are so many other elements that supersede appearance, such as comfort and fitting, that it should never be a priority.

However, the reason it is being focused on in this guide is that it is never a bad thing to desire running in a pair of shoes that you actually find appealing. The thing about Hoka, though, is they typically implement some crazy and outlandish color combinations. If this is not your thing, you may have to look long and hard for some more subtle designs. But, do not get it twisted; the performance will always be a higher priority.

FAQs

Q:   What is a Meta-Rocker?

When you begin looking into this particular manufacturer’s shoes, you will begin to notice a pattern developing. Or, perhaps a better way to say this is they all have something in common. That “something” is a meta-rocker. This is designed into all their shoes and it is built into the mid and outsoles of their shoes. Basically, it is technology that is designed with a low heel-toe differential and a sculpted outsole. The result for you is a shoe that supports your natural form and one that will promote a more efficient roll.

This is one of the key advantages to their shoes and without a doubt, it is technology that the company prides themselves on. Given the fact that this helps their shoes deliver a smoother and faster ride, it is rightfully earned.

Q:   Why Do Runners Not Wear Their Shoes All Day?

Depending on the expert that you ask, you may get a different answer to this question. After all, some may claim that running shoes should only be worn for running as that is what they are designed for. Granted, you should probably not wear them when partaking in other physical activities (such as basketball or football). Yet, these types of shoes can be optimal for walking as they do deliver a superb amount of cushioning and shock absorption.

Then again, probably the main reason you never want to use them outside of running is that you want them to last as long as possible. Your shoes will wear down quicker the more you run as they typically are rated to handle an x amount of miles.

Q:   How Should You Wash Hoka Footwear?

No matter how many guides you stumble across in regard to any type of shoe in the world, this is the question that will come up time and time again. Everyone knows that shoes can become utterly putrid if you refuse to maintain them and because of this, they need to be cleaned before they become overbearing. When focusing on this manufacturer and their shoes, the cleaning process is not much different than what runners are used to.

Really, you just need to avoid machine washing your shoes as this can lead to unfixable damage and a destroyed pair of new shoes. Instead, opt for the old-fashioned way and hand wash them with a mild soap and cold water. When done, merely allow them to air dry away from a direct heat source.

Q:   What is the Shelf Life of Running Shoes?

The issue with the durability of these types of shoes has already been documented but it deserves a further look. It seems like a simple question at the surface (how long do these shoes last) but once you begin to analyze it, you begin to realize how complex it can be. In fact, two people could invest in the exact same pair of shoes and they will not last the same amount of time. While delicacy and the manner in which you treat them will always matter, what is more important are the different variables that come into play.

Simple factors such as the weight of the runner, their running style, and the types of terrains being run on can determine how long a shoe last. So, a heavier individual who is harder on a pair of shoes and runs on abrasive surfaces will see their pair wear out quicker than others.

Q:   Where Can You Learn Proper Running Technique?

Is it so hard to believe that running is an art that takes time to perfect? Any old average Joe can go outside and go for a run but it takes a knowledgeable runner to perform the correct technique. After all, anyone can swing a golf club but without proper technique, the golf ball is not going to travel very far. Most sports are predicated on technique and running is no exception. Improving your technique can help it reduce the chance of injury and also increase your speed.

Doing so is no easy feat, though, and takes practice. While you could opt for tutorial videos online, you could also see if there is a local class you could take. Learning tips of the trade from professionals can make you a more efficient runner.

Q:   Why Do Women Have to Deal with Heel Slippage?

For all you women out there, you can have it rough when looking for new shoes. While newer methods are being integrated and companies are trying their best to resolve this issue, you may have to deal with more heel slippage than men. The reason for this is most women’s shoes are basically the same as men’s.

But, there are quick fixes you can implement for heel slippage and one of them is to invest in a flat insole. With this insole, add it underneath the sock liner of your shoe. Another method, though, is to mess around with the lacing and to try to create a more secure fit.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to look past Hoka’s running shoes because of their often exaggerated appeal but, as you now know, they have also designed some incredible models that excel in performance and comfort. This is what makes them one of the leaders in the industry as they continue to integrate new technology into their already existing impressive shoe brands. The ball is in your court now, though, as you now should possess the tools you need to make an informed final decision.

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