That sounds like a contradiction, but if I snug up the laces, the shoes pinch laterally for my average-width forefoot, and this leaves vertical room for the foot to move around, plus the toe box is wider than other brands.
A narrow foot or someone who likes a roomy fit, will really like the HOKA mold.
Hoka One One Arahi General Info
Runners who love HOKA’s signature cushion but also need a more structured shoe have been wanting the brand to offer a shoe with more stability.
Arahi is HOKA’s answer to this demand, and the shoe offers low to moderate stability similar to that of Brooks’ Ravenna 8 but with a higher degree of cushion.
The cushion is delightful but also absorbs a bit of energy rather than transferring everything applied into the toe-off.
Hoka One One Arahi Sole Unit
I find the most dramatic changes offered by HOKA toward increased stability and durability to come in Arahi’s sole unit.
In addition to HOKA’s standard wide base, Arahi features a more durable sole unit in key areas along the medial aspect and lateral heel, with the introduction of the brand’s J-Frame midsole technology as well as more durable rubber in parts of the outsole.
The “J” of firmer-density EVA foam wraps around the heel and extends medially, keeping the shoe lightweight while allowing it to withstand both repeated pounding and increased medial pressure from overpronation.
There is a bit of counter to that pronation as well, but the shoe’s highest strength is still found in its lightweight cushion.
Hoka One One Arahi Upper Info
The synthetic upper patterned with thin stripes molds to my foot just a bit better than Clifton 2’s, providing a more secure fit, though it maintains HOKA’s more narrow midfoot.
Too much tightening of the laces still pinches a bit laterally. The heel fit is loose, but using those “extra” heel-lock holes at the top of the laces keeps my heel from sliding around too much.
(This is the only shoe I’ve been able to use those holes on, anyway, without the laces cutting into my ankles! But it goes along with keeping the full lacing a bit more loose.)
Hoka One One Arahi Conclusions
Arahi came along when I needed a highly cushioned shoe to ease some pressure from the repeated pounding of high-mileage weeks (60-70 is high for me). It’s an excellent shoe for recovery runs, and, if you love the fit, for longer runs as well.
I ranked this shoe very highly because it lives up to the company’s claim to offer a lightweight, highly-cushioned shoe with “just a touch” more stability and support.
What have you found with running in HOKAs? Are you going to give Arahi a try? Let us know what you think!
We thank the nice people at Hoka One One for sending us a pair of Arahi to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.