Founded in 2009 by French trail runners Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, Hoka One One began just as the minimalist running shoe trend was reaching its peak. What Hoka offered was something completely different: a maximalist shoe that cradled and cushioned runners’ feet. Inspired by the smooth ride provided by mountain bikes and powder skis, Mermoud and Diard wanted to bring a similar floating feel to running.
They started by making prototypes themselves and eventually worked with a chemist at a Chinese shoe company to develop an entirely new kind of EVA foam that was soft and surprisingly lightweight—characteristics that are now hallmarks of Hoka kicks. Hoka One One Running Shoes
Early releases like the Mafate (now Evo Mafate and Mafate Speed), Bondi, and Stinson ATR proved that the Hoka design philosophy had merit. For runners, these shoes provided enough cushion to soften rough terrain and boost momentum, but weren’t so heavy that they felt weighed down. The shoes caught on, and Hoka has expanded rapidly ever since.
Mermoud and Diard developed their shoes around a few basic principles: adding cushion, using light materials, and creating a wide rocker midsole to help preserve momentum and create a smoother ride. Initially marketed to trail runners, Hoka now makes road shoes and even track spikes. While most other brands have forsaken EVA foam in favor of newer formulations, Hoka has stuck with its proprietary EVA blend known as RMAT, which is an EVA-rubber blend that’s more elastic (for better support and energy return) and more durable (it can stand up to higher mileage) than traditional EVA.
Hoka shoes also come with a Meta-Rocker design, which combines a low heel-toe drop and a rounded sole shape to work with your natural stride and help propel you forward. Other tech includes the Active Foot Frame, in which your heel and foot actually sit within the midsole, instead of on top of it. This allows the shoe to cradle your foot, providing excellent support.
Hoka has also rolled out other new support tech lately: ProFLY is a cushioning system that combines soft foam in the heel with firmer foam in the forefoot for better response and energy return, and the J-Frame uses denser foam on the outsole to help combat overpronation. Trail runners, road runners, pros, and casual milers alike have all grown to love Hoka’s unique brand—here are 10 of our favorite pairs.
Hoka One One Running Shoes – Hoka One One Cavu
The Hoka One One Cavu is a newcomer in road running yet it has won over many consumers, based on the considerable number of compliments it received. The shoe’s fit, comfort level, and performance were all appreciated as well. The very minimal criticism was only towards some of the structural components. Overall, the Cavu has been regarded by the majority as a shoe that is worth giving a try.
- The Hoka One One Cavu was extremely comfortable on cement and asphalt, said a reviewer. Others echoed this opinion by saying it was comfortable right out of the box.
- Many users described the shoe as lightweight.
- The upper wraps the foot fantastically, a runner expressed. Another mentioned that it felt like a slipper.
- Some buyers praised the snug support that came from the heel collar.
- The shoe performed well on speed work, slope runs, and sprints, a user remarked.
- One runner experienced consistent cushioning no matter the distance.
- A number of wearers were amazed at how the shoe remedied their plantar fasciitis.
- The shoe helped relieve knee pain that was previously present during running, according to a purchaser.
- Others also reported a decrease in similar body pains with the Cavu, which were usually caused by wearing the wrong footwear.
- The dual-density midsole brought terrific back comfort, according to a customer.
Hoka One One Running Shoes – Hoka One One Stinson 3
The response towards the Hoka One One Stinson 3 was generally mixed. Many were able to enjoy the quality of this shoe’s cushioning, as well as its efficient performance. They felt that it was comfortable and enjoyable to use for long periods of time. But there were also consumers who felt that it was a step back from the previous iteration. They reported some issues that prevented from fully appreciating this version. Hoka One One Running Shoes
- The cushioning system that’s present in the Hoka One One Stinson 3 was generous and efficient, a happy purchaser commented.
- The softness of the mid-sole made some testers feel like they were running on clouds.
- According to several commenters, the Meta Rocker design was able to help them transition through the gait cycle with ease and comfort.
- Many runners appreciated how the mid-sole was able to cushion landing impacts well.
- Some consumers reported that they remained secure and comfortable, even after wearing this shoe for long periods of time.
- This shoe didn’t cause any strain on the knees and the muscles of the leg and feet, according to a number of wearers.
- A good number of runners with lower back, hip, and knee problems were really able to enjoy their runs in this shoe.
- Some people who are up on their feet for hours on end really loved the support and cushioning of the 3rd edition of the Stinson.
- The RMAT midsole/outsole is amazingly durable.
Hoka One One Running Shoes – Hoka One One Valor
The Hoka One One Valor is a lightweight road running shoe that offers maximum cushioning, comfort and support. You can expect this shoe to give you the smooth ride you wanted, especially when traversing through flat roads and dirt tracks.
- The Lyrca ComfortFrame upper is a durable material that’s stretchable and breathable.
- The TPU Heel Counter secures the heel, thus preventing any accidental shoe removals.
- This shoe offers impressive shock absorption features, as mentioned in some reviews.
- The Soft EVA Midsole provides a soft and comfortable platform on which the foot can rest.
- The Flat Waisted Geometry of the Valor delivers natural stability and control.
- The Rubber Outsole maintains durability, protection and traction on man-made tracks and surfaces.
Hoka One One Running Shoes – Hoka One One Arahi
The Hoka One One Arahi is a lightweight running shoe designed for road running. It is equipped with the necessary technologies to provide dynamic stability and responsive ride. The shoe is ideal for runner who are looking for more stability and support. Hoka One One Running Shoes
- A significant number of runners liked the responsive cushioning of the Hoka One One Arahi.
- The shoe provides necessary support and allows the foot to move naturally, noted in some reviews.
- According to some reviews, the shoe is very stable even on uneven surfaces.
- Several runners appreciated the durable outsole of the Arahi.
- It has a breathable upper and stretchy fit, hugging the foot comfortably.
- A lightweight shoe.
- Most of the reviewers gave a thumbs up to the shoe’s comfortable feel from the first stride to the last.
- A large number of reviewers valued the cushioning’s ability to absorb impact.
- The superior support and stability translate to excellent gym workouts, based on the comments of several reviewers.
- The wide options are very much welcomed by several runners.
Hoka One One Running Shoes – Hoka One One Hupana
A lot of runners enjoyed the Hoka One One Hupana. They welcomed its simple yet eye-catching design, as well as its comfortable cushioning. Neutral runners were happy that it was able to allow them to move naturally without compromising the cushioning. The lightweight nature of this road shoe also received positive recognition. Inversely, some runners had some complaints about the width and the sizing scheme.
- A lot of consumers appreciated the lightweight nature of the Hoka One One Hupana, stating that it didn’t drag their feet down.
- Several purchasers wrote that the upper was able to give a locked-in feel in the mid-foot.
- Some of those who have tried this shoe were able to use it for many kinds of activities, even casual walks; they noted that it remained efficient throughout.
- The underfoot cushioning was firm yet responsive to the movements of the foot, some runners commented.
- This running shoe looked visually appealing, according to some reviewers.
- A heavyset tester was happy that the cushioning system was durable and long-lasting, noting that it was a winner for those with heavier weights.
- Runners praised the traction-capability of the RMAT platform; they felt that it held the ground well.
- The price is very reasonable based on its performance and durability.
- The first Hoka shoe that does not look ridiculous, based on the comments of many reviewers.
- The versatility of the Hupana includes speed work, fartleks, and high-mileage running.
- A handful of expert reviewers were amazed by the smooth transitions, including a very nice toe-off phase from this shoe.
Hoka One One Running Shoes – Hoka One One Elevon
The Hoka One One Elevon is a neutral, road running shoe that plenty of users appreciated for its responsiveness. A good number of reviews complimented the style, compliance, and breathability of the upper. On the downside, a lot of testers said that the size ran a half or full size bigger than usual. Hoka fans also mentioned that the plushness was lesser than they expected. The same goes with the durability of the outsole and stitching on the upper. Nevertheless, the Elevon was still found to be a shoe worth checking for those seeking a lightweight trainer with sufficient responsiveness and adequate cushioning.
- Some runners mentioned that the shoe delivered good support.
- Plenty of users appreciated the style and design of the shoe’s upper.
- A few reviewers were glad about the level of responsiveness delivered. One mentioned that he felt enough spring effect during runs.
- A majority of testers admired the Hoka One One Elevon’s lightness.
- Most runners were glad that it did not require any break-in
- Based on a few reviews, there was a good selection of colors for both men and women’s versions.
- The upper was observed to be compliant, comfortable and breathable for many users.
- Those whose first Hoka shoe was the Elevon mentioned that the cushioning was sufficient.
Hoka One One Running Shoes – Hoka One One Kailua
The Kailua from Hoka One One is a robust trail shoe for those who want plush support for the underside of the foot, as well as breathable and secure coverage. It’s a solid option for off-road exercises and trainings.
- Debris-proof mesh offers breathable support and a secure fit.
- The upper is reinforced with TPU components, as well as a robust toe cap and foot-conforming tongue for protection and comfort.
- Runners felt they were adequately cradled by the cushioning system of this shoe.
- The mid-sole is 1.4 times thicker than most running shoes and it’s filled with a dense material that cushions the foot well.
- Reviewers appreciated the rocker design, which encouraged a better stride.
- The rubber outsole has gripping lugs that hold onto many types of surfaces based on a handful of reviews.