The best Hoka hiking shoes that are designed for action
The Hoka Speedgohiker is the best-selling hiking shoes in the United States right now. It‘s especially popular with thruhikeers, ultralight backpacker, and casual walkers who want extra cushion.
However, not everyone likes these shoes’ huge, marshmallowy midsole and pronounced rockers. That’s why I wrote this HOKA Speedgoat hiking guide to help you decide whether Speedgoats might be right for you and a good match for the trails you hike.
Former Salomon employees Jean- Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoed founded Hoka One One (HOO-kah ONE) — named after the Māori word for “fly” — which aimed to create a running shoes that allowed runners to fly down hills.
Inspired by the idea of having large tires for off-road biking, Hoka developed a line of minimalist running sneakers called Maximuscle.
They soon sold their startup brand to Deckers Outdoor Corp., a large California company that owned Teva, UGG and other brands.
“Hokusai” have developed a culture-like followings. What’s so great about them? They’re minimal weight. They’ve got maximum cushioning. In fact, they’re more than an inches thick!
HOKA is a great shoe for hikers who love them a lot of cushion. They have a pronounced rocker which helps your foot move smoothly from one step to the next.
They’re not for everyone. Try them on first to see if you like their tall stack height and mattress like cushioning.
best Hoka hiking shoes
Hoka designed their running shoes for ultrarunners: endurance runner
s who’re into 50k or 100k races. However, their max cushion shoes quickly spread to other runners. . . and eventually to hikers.
My personal recommendations for hiking shoes include:
Hoka One One Speedgoat: best trail runner for hikers
The Speedgoat 5 is Hoka’ s most popular trail running shoe. It’s not just the best seller in the US right now; it’s also going to be available in Europe and Asia next year.
The Speedgoats’ marshmallowy midsole cushions your feet, protects them from rocks and roots, and provides better traction than most running shoes.
They’re designed for use on both wet and dry surfaces, so they offer good grip when walking on snow or ice. And their unique shape allows them to roll you forward into your next stride.
You may enjoy the extra speed boost from the Speedgoat 4, but if you’re not comfortable running barefoot, then stick with the Speedgoat 3.
If you’re a fan of maximum cushion, it might not get any better than these.
Buy here the Hoka One One Speedgoat
stability & support
The Speedgoat 3 is surprisingly supportive for such an inexpensive running shoe. It doesn’t have a TPU shink or thick rubbersoles, but Hoka’s massive midsole offers substantial foot support.
Those thick midsole cushions also offer some rotational stiffness–resisting twisting–which provides good lateral stability for a hiking shoe. The sneakers don’t have toe caps, but their pronounced rocker can help avoid some stubbed toes on stones and roots. Finally, they have a wider foot bed than most other Hokas, which adds some stability.
It has more support than you might think.
But is it stable and comfortable enough for people who hike with bad ankles? It took me several months before I was able to try Hokas.
I thought that the Speedgoats’ tall stack height and high centre of gravity would be a recipe for rolling ankles. However, I’ve found that they’re actually quite stable. They don’t roll over when I walk up hills, and I feel confident using them on uneven ground.
The Speedgoat Trail Shoes are super light for a trail shoe– even with all that cushion. They weigh approximately 24 ounces for a men’ size 11 and a few ounces less for a woman’s size 11.
It weighs half a pound less than most traditional hikers and a pound less than an average pair of boots.
It’s significant because it means you’ll save a lot of energy when hiking. And since hiking is one of the most common reasons people use ultralight backpacks, saving energy is a big deal.
Most hikers who buy Hokas choose them because they’re made from high quality materials. Hiking in HokAs is like hiking on miniature mattresses. The Speedgoats’ thick EVA foams (32mm/1.25 inches) make good shock absorber when your hiking feet take a beating on the trail.
That thick padding can be incredibly comfy when hiking for hours at a time. That’s one reason why Hokas were originally designed for ultramarathon runners: to protect their feet from blisters during 50K or 100K trail races.
They may be a bit uncomfortable at first, but they’re worth trying out. You’ll literally stand an extra one-and-a-half inches tall in them, for example, and their huge midsole and pronounced rocker (rocking footbed) work together to help propel you forward into each step
That circular movement might be less tiring than walking, but it isn’t natural. After a few weeks, I stopped noticing it.
Hoka One One Anacapa: best hiking shoes
It’s not just a running shoe company; it’s a hiking shoe company too. Its new Anacapas are its first dedicated hiking shoes.
Like all Hokas from Hoka One One, the low-cut Hoka Anacapa is light weight with maximum cushioning. But, they added firmer midsole support for better durability and hiking performances.
Those who know their Hoka shoes well will notice that the Anacapa isn’t quite as soft as the Speedgoat.
However, they’re heavier than most other lightweight hiking boots, which usually don’t provide enough cushioning for long hikes. They also come with an extra layer of protection from blisters.
They’re made from rubberized nylon fabric so they’re soft enough for good traction on hard surfaces, but they also have some aggressive, rounded lacing that digs into loose surfaces. The GoreTex lining keeps them water resistant.
Buy here the Hoka One One Anacapa
One One Sky Kaha
The Sky Kaha from Hoka One One is its hiking and backpacking boot designed for indulgent walkers who don’t mind spoiling their walking shoes with plush cushioning. Unfortunately, I’ve not had the chance to get my hands on one yet, nor have I tried out any of the company’s footwear.
But it’d be foolish not to give them a shot. They specialize in hiking boots, but they specifically designed these mid-weight boots for hikers and backpackers who need something comfortable yet durable.
The men’ s and women’ s Kaha boots not only have crazy cushions (like other Hokas), but they also have lots of foot and ankle support — enough to hold up to backcountry hiking. They’re also loaded with Gore-tex membrane and Vibram soles. But these boots stand out for their incredible level of comfortable.
It has to be the most cushy walking shoe on the market. The Kaha would be an expensive purchase for people who want to walk comfortably.
Buy here the One One Sky Kaha
Hokas for hikers: best fits/matches
I recommend that you buy a pair of Hoka One One Trail Running Shoes because they’re comfortable, durable, and affordable. They also come in a variety of colors so you can match them to your outfit.
If you’re looking for hiking boots that are soft and lightweight, then HOKAs might be for you. Here’s my take on HOKA’s “best fits” and “best match.”
Best Fit: Hokas offer three different last sizes, each with a different width. Their trail running shoes either fit slightly roomy or wide.
For this brand, one of the biggest issues isn’t fit, but rather the giant midsole sizes. You’ll want to be comfortable with their tall stack height (i.e. your feet more than an 1/8″ off the floor) before buying them.
For maximum comfort, choose a pack that fits your body type best. A good fit is important because it helps keep your back from hurting when carrying heavy loads. Packs made by companies like Peak Design, Osprey, and REI are popular choices.
As long as you’re hiking at a moderate pace, the lighter weight of this shoe makes them ideal for any type of terrain. Casual hikers may also enjoy the added cushioning.
Hokas: your brand for max cushion
Do you feel smarter after reading my Hoka One One reviews? I hope so! And I hope these reviews help you decide whether Hokas are right for you. They’re a fun shoe company, and an impressive one too.
However, it may or may not fit into your personal preferences or the types of hikes you enjoy doing.
Which HOKA running and hiking shoes suit you?
More and more people are running and hiking in Aruba! TRI-BIKE Aruba is the exclusive distributor of Hoka, one of the leading shoe companies in the world. Hoka originally developed footwear for hikers and ultra runners who immediately loved the brand because of its cushioning and inherent support.
Today HOKA has a wide variety of shoes available for different types of runners, including cross training shoes, trail shoes, road shoes, and even walking shoes. We’ll show you which ones fit you best, with your specific goals and your preferred type of shoe in consideration.