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Best Hoka Running Shoes 2024

Written on 29th May by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
162 other reviews
best hoka running shoes 2024
Hoka is a sportswear company that designs and markets running shoes. It was founded in 2009 in Annecy, France by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, former Salomon employees. They sought to design a shoe that allowed for faster downhill running, and created a model with an oversized outsole that had more cushion than other running shoes at the time. The shoes are named after the Māori language phrase meaning "to fly".

There are many Hoka running shoes in their range. Here, we’ve picked the best Hoka running shoes in each category to make it easier for you to make a choice when it comes to buying a Hoka shoe.

Table of content

Our selection of best Hoka running shoes

Keep scrolling or click on a shoe to find out why we chose it and what other shoes you should consider.

An overview of Hoka technologies

These are the most important Hoka technologies which you need to know about:

PROFLYX

Hoka’s lightest and most propulsive midsole foam made from PEBA.

PROFLY

A dual-density midsole consisting of a soft top layer with a firmer, more responsive layer underneath it.

SWALLOWTAIL

A forked heel design which encourages smoother heel-to-toe transitions.

H-FRAME

Designed to enhance stability, the H-Frame interlocks with the midsole foam to create a secure base.

J-FRAME

Provides extra support with a firm J-shaped foam that extends on the medial side where the foot typically rolls inward.

METAROCKER

A curved sole design which delivers smooth and efficient transitions.

Best Max Cushioned Trainer

If you want maximum protection and minimal ground feel, the max cushioned category is the one for you.

The winner

In short
The Bondi 8 is a cushy daily trainer that performs well on easy days and even better for recovery sessions. The Wider base and extended heel help runners glide through the gait cycle with stability and precision.
Pros

  • Smooth gliding ride
  • Good natural stability
  • Durable
Cons

  • Heavy
  • Snug narrow upper
Who should buy it

A daily running shoe that’s perfect for those seeking a highly cushioned ride.

Who should not buy it

Pass if you are wanting a maximal shoe that a can perform at faster paces.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
10.8 oz
Heel
mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
4 mm
Toe
mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
10
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
10
Landing
10
Transition
10
Toe-off
10
Traction
10
Durability
10
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
A thick, wide stack of compression moulded EVA foam provides bottomless cushioning for everyday walking and running.
Read full review

Best for Daily Training

A textbook daily trainer should be able to handle virtually every type. It should be durable, comfortable and versatile.

The winner

In short
The Hoka Clifton 9 is a narrow-fitting maximalist daily trainer with a Meta-Rocker midsole for energy-saving transitions. It has a highly cushioned ride which is on the soft side and it’s best suited to slow, easy paced runs. The 9th version of the Clifton has a 3 mm more midsole foam so it feels more cushioned. It also has a reformulated CMEVA midsole which provides a softer ride than previous versions.
Pros

  • No more bucket seat arch
  • Weight reduction
  • More cushioning
  • Softer ride
Cons

  • Normal width is still too narrow
  • Not much energy return
  • Price increase
Who should buy it

If you’re a runner looking for a highly cushioned daily trainer with a rockered ride, the Clifton 9 will deliver. The Clifton 9 has a high level of stability and feels efficient over long distances.

Who should not buy it

If you have really wide feet, the Clifton 9 won’t work for you because even the wide version feels narrower than most trainers. If you enjoy a flexible daily trainer with lots of ground feel, the Clifton 9 also won’t work for you because of its high stack height.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
8.7 oz
Heel
mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
7.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
6.0
Team review
Hoka’s most popular trainer. It has a thick compression moulded EVA midsole which is lightweight and a METAROCKER for super smooth, efficient transitions.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The HOKA Mach 6 is an everyday shoe that has enough stack height in the midsole to give you that comfortable ride for those long runs and light enough to make you pick up the speed. If you're interested in a well-balanced midsole that is responsive underfoot this can be the shoe for you.
Pros

  • Responsive and smooth ride
  • Strategic and grippy rubber on the outsole
  • Durable jacquard upper material
  • Versatile shoe that can handle the distance and paces
  • Lightweight trainer
Cons

  • Upper very snugged on the midfoot section
  • Not a soft or bouncy ride as its predecessor
Who should buy it

If you were looking for a versatile shoe that can handle the workload this is a valuable option. It also has the durability to handle the milage with its new midsole foam.

Who should not buy it

If you are expecting the ride to be the same as the HOKA Mach 5; soft and bouncy. Well, unfortunately it is not. The Mach 6 uses a new type of midsole foam that is not plushy nor bouncy, but more balanced and responsive.

Main Specs
Type
Lightweight
Weight
8.3 oz
Heel
37 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
32 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
7.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
7.0
Transition
7.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
7.0
Team review
A PROFLYX midsole provides a lightweight, energetic ride which is perfect for everyday running. It has a rubberised EVA outsole which is lightweight and engaging.
Read full review

Best Supportive Daily Trainer

Also known as stability shoes, these trainers are for runners who overpronate excessively.

The winner

In short
The HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 5 offers top comfort and support, with an ultra-wide base and one of the brand’s highest stack heights, yet has dropped almost an ounce from previous models. This latest Gaviota offers an enhanced stability, accommodating fit, comfort, lower weight, and a more smooth transition through the footplant over the past two models.
Pros

  • Wide, plush base
  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • Large heel loop
  • More accommodating toe box
  • Lighter than previous
Cons

  • Moderate outsole durability
  • Price
Who should buy it

Gaviota’s updated midsole supports runners who supinate (run on the outside of the foot) as well as overpronate (roll excessively in) and is especially suited for long and recovery runs; it is also a great shoe for walkers and those on their feet all day who need supportive shoes.

Who should not buy it

Though Gaviota is lighter than in the past, it is not best for speed-focused runs or runners who prefer a light, quick feel underfoot. The midsole support is helpful for non-neutral runners, this outsole is not the most durable option for those with heavy wear patterns.

Main Specs
Type
Stability
Weight
10.9 oz
Heel
999 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
999 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
8.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
10
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
A stabilising H-FRAME provides support while soft EVA foam provides comfort. An early-stage METAROCKER makes transitions seamless. The Gaviota is a stability version of the Bondi.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Hoka Arahi is a moderate stability trainer built to be a daily trainer. It is a blend of traditional and nontraditional stability aspects that makes it an unique trainer. The Arahi has its strengths but the inconsistent and sometimes uncomfortable feel stops any progress of becoming great.
Pros

  • J-Frame Stability System
  • Upper material
  • Meta Rocker
  • Gusseted Tongue
Cons

  • Inconsistent Ride
  • Pressure from Laces
  • Heel Slippage
Who should buy it

This would be for a runner who is looking for a nontraditional stability trainer

Who should not buy it

This would not be for someone who is not willing trying something different and unique in terms of stability

Main Specs
Type
Stability
Weight
9.6 oz
Heel
34 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
29 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
6.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
6.0
Sole unit
6.0
Landing
6.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
This supportive daily trainer has a J-FRAME to help you combat excessive overpronation. It has a thick, compression moulded EVA midsole which provides a very cushioned ride.
Read full review

Best for Speed Training

If you want to go fast but you don’t want to put mileage on your expensive super shoe, you get a speed trainer which delivers a similar feel but in a more durable package.

The winner

In short
The Hoka Mach X is an excellent new speed trainer which has a versatile ride. It shares more in common with the Rocket X 2 than the Mach 5 because it has a soft, energetic ride as a result of the Profly X layer in its midsole. The Mach X fills the important role of the plated speed trainer which has been missing from the Hoka lineup.
Pros

  • Good energy return
  • Excellent lockdown
  • Great durability
  • Versatile ride
  • Very stable
Cons

  • Slightly too expensive
  • Runs a half size small
Who should buy it

If you love the Rocket X 2 and you’re looking for a similar ride in a cheaper, more durable package, the Mach X is the perfect shoe for you.

Who should not buy it

If you’re looking for a trainer with a similar ride to the Mach 5, the Mach X is not for you. It’s softer, stiffer and a lot heavier than the Mach 5.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
9.4 oz
Heel
mm
Carbon plate
Plate in other materials
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
10
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
7.0
Team review
A lightweight trainer with a PROFLYX midsole with PEBA on the top and EVA at the bottom. It has a Pebax plate in its midsole for extra propulsion.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Hoka One One Rincon 3 is a multipurpose trainer that can handle almost any pace and any distance. Its strength is its lightweight build but its weakness is its lower than average durability.    Version 3 is a big improvement over previous versions. It has a smoother ride, a more resilient midsole and a more durable outsole.
Pros

  • More durable than previous versions
  • Lighter than the Rincon 2
  • More outsole rubber
  • Smoother ride
Cons

  • Lower durability than other daily trainers
  • Tongue is not gusseted
Who should buy it

Who should not buy it

Main Specs
Type
Lightweight
Weight
7.4 oz
Heel
mm
Carbon plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
mm
Rating breakdown
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Team review
An incredibly light speed trainer made of a compression moulded EVA midsole. It has a METAROCKER-shaped midsole for speedier transitions.
Read full review

Best for Road Racing

Super shoes have an energetic, super foam midsole paired with a stiff carbon plate for unparalleled speed assistance.

The winner

In short
The Hoka Rocket X 2 is a top-tier marathon racer with a soft, energetic ride. It has smooth, stable transitions and a stiff carbon plate for speed assistance. Version 2 is a vast improvement over the original version although it comes in at a higher weight and a much higher price.
Pros

  • Aggressive plate placement
  • Increase in energy return
  • Increase in cushioning
  • Relatively stable ride
Cons

  • Forked plate results in less propulsion
  • Weight increase over v1
  • Huge price increase
Who should buy it

This racer is recommended for runners looking for a very soft super shoe which can handle long-distances. The Rocket X 2 is for runners looking for a propulsive alternative to the Vaporfly 2 & Adios Pro 3 which has more stability.

Who should not buy it

If you prefer a firm racer with a lightweight build, the Rocket X 2 is not the shoe for you. It’s not one of the lighter super shoes and its soft ride is built for long-distance comfort.

Main Specs
Type
Racing
Weight
8.3 oz
Heel
36 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
31 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
A PROFLYX construction built with explosive PEBA foam forms the chassis of this elite road long distance road racer. It has a full-length carbon plate unmatched propulsion.
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Hoka Cielo X1 is a heavy racer which feels more like a long run trainer. It has incredibly deep, soft cushioning and a high toe-spring but its flexible carbon plate makes it feel too relaxed and not aggressive enough. While it feels very comfortable and efficient on long runs, it’s not a top-tier racer and at $275, it’s heavily overpriced
Pros

  • High level of bounce from dual PEBA layers
  • Good outsole rubber coverage
  • Bottomless, plush cushioning
  • Reflective upper for safety
  • Energy-saving transitions
Cons

  • Not as propulsive as top-tier racers
  • Thick and warm knitted upper
  • Way too expensive
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a soft racer and you’re aiming to race a marathon in 3:30 or slower, the Cielo X1 is a good option. If you like the Rocket X2 but you find it not cushioned enough, the Cielo X1 is also a good option.

Who should not buy it

If you’re looking for a really lightweight, firm racer, the Cielo X1 is not for you. If you like a lot of ground feel, the Cielo X1 is not the shoe for you.

Main Specs
Type
Racing
Weight
9 oz
Heel
46 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
10 mm
Toe
36 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
6.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
7.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
6.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
5.0
Team review
An even more cushioned, built up version of the Rocket X 2, the Cielo X1 delivers an efficient, uber-soft ride. It has a dual-density PEBA midsole and a winged carbon plate.
Read full review

Best for Trail Running

Built to withstand tough elements and uneven terrain, these shoes have protective uppers and aggressive outsoles to help with traction.

The winner

In short
The HOKA Stinson 7 provides an exceptionally stable, reliable, highly cushioned ride for road to non-technical trails. For everyday training or longer efforts where the terrain varies between roads, grass, and gravel, the Stinson 7 goes the distance in plush comfort.
Pros

  • Exceptionally stable on road and non-technical terrain
  • Plush cushioning
  • High stack protects from underfoot hazards
Cons

  • Subpar agility in tight spaces and on rocks
  • Outsole can get slippery on rock when wet
  • Break-in period may be required before optimal comfort
Who should buy it

For a road-to-trail runner or non-technical trail runner or hiker looking for a stable, maximalist shoe to go the distance in comfort.

Who should not buy it

Trail runners who primarily run on technical, uneven terrain with tight rocks where a lot of agility is required or speed is the focus.

Main Specs
Type
Trail
Weight
12.7 oz
Heel
45 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
40 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
6.0
Traction
6.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Hoka Challenger ATR 7 is lighter while maintaining the same cushioning, propulsion and comfort that the brand is known for. Those who loved previous versions of the Challenger will love this one even more. Runners looking for an even lighter trail shoe for moderate terrain will also find comfort and satisfaction with the Challenger 7.
Pros

  • Extremely versatile shoe, good for paved and natural surfaces.
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Lighter than previous versions
  • Brings energy and stability
Cons

  • May not work for toe strikers
  • Not a great option for technical terrain
Who should buy it

The Hoka Challenger ATR 7 is a solid option for many runners, including those new to Hokas, runners seeking options for up to moderate terrain, and those training for races that offer a mix of paved, dirt and/or grassy trails.

Who should not buy it

If the vast majority of your runs are in technical terrain, skip the Challenger. While these shoes are an excellent option for mild to moderate trails, there are options much more suitable for technical running. Scroll down to the conclusion for one option.

Main Specs
Type
Trail
Weight
8.9 oz
Heel
mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
9.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

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