The 9 Best HOKA Shoes, Tested and Reviewed


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Apr 15, 2024

The 9 Best HOKA Shoes, Tested and Reviewed

HOKAs, known for their ultra-plush padding and contemporary style, come in a bunch of different varieties perfect for walking, running, hiking, and anything else. Jump to a Section We independently

HOKAs, known for their ultra-plush padding and contemporary style, come in a bunch of different varieties perfect for walking, running, hiking, and anything else.

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Shape/Joy Kim

HOKAs have gained an almost-instant following thanks to their pillow-like plushness and street-style vibe that elevates any outfit. So we're not surprised if you want to add this trendy shoe to your repertoire. But with such an overwhelming amount of styles to choose from, it's almost impossible to pick just one pair.

Whether you're looking for a cushioned running shoe to last you through many miles on the pavement, or one that can pull double duty on the road and in the gym, or a sneaker that won't make your ankles and knees feel achy after a day on your feet, you're sure to find a HOKA to fit your needs.

To help you find the best HOKA shoe to strap on for your next hot girl walk, or do literally anything else, we spoke to running shoe specialists who dole up their top recommendations on what to look for when shopping for a sneaker. We noted their recommendations and tested specific pairs for fit, arch support, cushion, stability, responsiveness, and other notable factors. If you're wondering, "which HOKA shoe is best for me?", we're here to help. Here are the best HOKA shoes for running, walking, and every activity under the sun (or rain).


It's the most cushioned shoe in HOKA’s lineup and provides ample support and comfort through walks and runs.

These can run a bit narrow, but HOKA offers wide and extra-wide widths in this style so you're guaranteed to find your perfect fit.

Once you slip on the Bondis, you'll get why everyone's obsessed with HOKAs. "Our customers love the Bondi because it’s the most cushioned sneaker in HOKA’s lineup and it’s just as comfortable for walking as it is for running," says Caroline Bell, who oversees the Gear and Shoe Review process at Fleet Feet. The sneakers' ample cushioning and arch support make them a great option for people with foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis or flat feet, or anyone who's just on their feet all day.

"Not only are the Bondis cushioned on the bottom, but they're topped off with a plush, cozy upper that wraps around your foot like a soft hug," Bell says. Don't let all the plushness fool you: These go-to sneakers are super lightweight, smoothly catapulting you from heel strike to toe-off — which deems them perfect for everyday runs, walks, or anything else. And everyone's guaranteed to find the perfect fit for them, as the Bondis come in regular, wide, and extra-wide widths in the men's styles and regular and wide widths in the women's styles.

“These are truly a do-anything shoe,” says Kristen Geil, Shape senior commerce editor. “The second you put them on, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief and comfort. I thought the tongue was especially comfortable — it was like a pillow on top of my feet, and for me, they're the best HOKA shoes for walking my dog." She recommends ordering your usual size, even if you plan to wear them for running (many people order a half-size larger for running shoes to account for foot swelling); they felt big on her size 6.5-feet.

Price at time of publication: $165

Sizes: 5 to 12 women's; 7 to 16 men's | Widths: Regular, wide, X-wide | Colors: 21 | Recommended For: Running, walking, comfort


It has lightweight cushioning that's plush and resilient as well as an early-stage meta-rocker that supports a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

Some wearers note that the tongue is long and hits their ankle.

If you're an avid runner who logs miles either outdoors or on the treadmill, the HOKA Cliftons may become your new go-to running shoe. Our pick for the best HOKA shoes for running, the breathable knit upper hugs your foot, offering support while ensuring your feet won't get sweaty during long runs. And the extra lightweight cushion helps you rebound off the ground with each stride. This shoe is crafted with an early-stage meta-rocker midsole, which sort of serves as a rocking chair for your foot. It cradles your foot and "helps you gently transition from heel to toe," Bell says. "Not only is the HOKA Clifton great for running, but it’s a top choice among walkers thanks to its lightweight cushioning that feels both plush and resilient," she says.

We also love that this shoe has a gusseted tongue (which means the tongue is attached to the sides of the shoe) so it won't move around when you hit the pavement and it provides a more comfortable, secure fit. Speaking of fit, these sneakers come in both regular and wide widths, so folks with different foot conditions can benefit from a more customized fit (think: people with bunions might want to opt for a wider shoe).

Price at time of publication: $145

Sizes: 5 to 12 women's; 7 to 16 men's | Widths: regular and wide | Colors: 14-17 | Recommended For: Running, walking


It offers maximum stability to optimize your gait, plus balanced cushioning to help support you through long walks.

Some wearers note that they don't have the best longevity.

The Arahi is one of the most stable shoes in HOKA’s lineup, as it achieves a balance between cushion and support thanks to its J-Frame cushioning, which wraps around the heel and extends up the inner side to provide extra support during walks or runs.

This feature makes the Arahis the best HOKA shoes for walking and great for folks with flat feet, as well, Bell says. "Runners with flat feet tend to have more flexible arches, which is why Fleet Feet outfitters may recommend a supportive, stable shoe. The HOKA Arahi uses HOKA’s J-Frame technology, a J-shaped 'hook' of firm midsole foam around the heel and medial side of the shoe to reduce excessive pronation (or the inward rolling of the foot)," she says.

And like the Clifton, which is our best HOKA running shoe, the Arahis are also crafted with an early-stage meta-rocker midsole that helps support a smooth transition from heel to toe. The pull tab makes these easy to slide on before hitting the streets, and the breathable mesh upper keeps your feet well-ventilated, even through long walks on sweltering summer days. However, some wearers note that these sneakers are quick to wear down if you don them daily.

Price at time of publication: $140

Sizes: 5 to 12 women's; 7 to 15 men's | Widths: Regular and wide | Colors: 11-16 | Recommended For: Walking, running


These feature maximum cushion and stability to offer extra support and help prevent pain from plantar fasciitis.

They don't come in as many colorways as other HOKAs.

Plantar fasciitis is no match for the super supportive Gaviotas that offer maximum stability and cushion. "If you [live with] plantar fasciitis, your feet can benefit from a high stack height (or the amount of material between your foot and the ground), extra cushion, and additional structure. And these features make the Gaviota one of our top recommended HOKA shoes for plantar fasciitis," says Victor Ornelas, the senior director of vendor management at Fleet Feet.

And like the Cliftons and Arahis, these also feature an early-stage meta-rocker that supports a smooth heel-to-toe transition and can help with the stabbing heel pain that folks with plantar fasciitis are all too familiar with. "The thick cushioning feels comfortable under your feet, and you can further customize your shoe with additional support by adding a structured insole, such as one from Superfeet or Currex," Ornelas recommends.Price at time of publication: $170

Sizes: 5 to 12 women's; 7 to 15 men's | Widths: Regular and wide | Colors: 6 | Recommended For: Walking, running


These are nimble enough for trail running and supportive enough for long pavement runs.

They only come in three colorways and regular width only.

Trail running challenges both the body and mind, and you need a shoe that'll keep up with you through rough terrains and tough descents. "The Tecton X offers a responsive ride, thanks to two parallel carbon-fiber plates in the midsole, plus a grippy outsole that offers aggressive traction and durability," says Nate Helming, Head of Content Marketing at Fleet Feet and member of the Gear and Shoe Review team.

The Tecton X gained major points in our trail running shoe tests because they're extremely grippy and provide excellent traction when transitioning between different types of terrain on the trail. And it's easy to switch direction and stay light on the feet with these on, and we actually really liked wearing them on paved roads, too. They're quite sticky on indoor floors and have a really nice grip, which makes them ideal for running over uneven surfaces.

Fit-wise, these had plenty of room in the toe box; they didn't require any break-in time and still, we didn't experience sliding or rubbing while wearing these. Major bonus: We found it very easy to get dirt off the fabric — simply wipe it off or rinse it off under the sink — so these sneakers will still look relatively new after consistent wear.

Price at time of publication: $225

Sizes: 5 to 11 women's; 7 to 14 men's | Widths: Regular | Colors: 3 | Recommended For: Trail running, race


Their strong base and stiffer cushioning make them great for transitioning between cardio and lifting.

They don't come in wide widths, and some wearers note that they run narrow.

While most running shoes are notoriously hard to lift in, the Kawanas provide a good balance between stability and cushion that make them well-suited for pre- or post-lift runs.

"We love the HOKA Kawana for cross-training because it’s firm enough to hold its own in the gym, during HIIT workouts, or just about any workout you throw at it," says Bell. "It stands out from other HOKA models because the cushioning feels much stiffer, creating a stable platform for cross-training exercises like lunges, burpees, or squats."

These have less cushion than the Bondis but more stability than the Cliftons. So when you want to hop on the treadmill after your last set, you can count on the Kawanas to provide a smooth, responsive transition thanks to the balanced cushioning and sloped heel. However, if your feet are on the wider side, you may want to go up a half size as these aren't available in wide widths and tend to run a bit narrow.Price at time of publication: $140

Sizes: 5 to 11 women's; 7 to 14 men's | Widths: Regular | Colors: 5-8 | Recommended For: Training, running


The Oras offer maximum cushion and breathability, plus excellent grip, for a slide you'll want to live in all year round.

Some wearers complain about the heel cup that uncomfortably rubs against the edge of the feet.

Not your average slide, the Ora Recovery slide features a top layer of soft EVA foam for post-run bliss and an early-stage meta-rocker for smooth strides. "Fleet Feet customers love to treat their feet by sliding into these after tough races and workouts," says Bell. Recovery shoes tend to come in handy when your feet just need a break. So instead of walking barefoot around your home, give your feet more support by slipping into these cushiony slides. But note that these do have a heel cup, or a raised edge by the heel, which some wearers note causes uncomfortable rubbing against the heel.

The Oras feature four air-flow channels for extra breathability as well as a wide base, a moderate amount of stability, a slip-resistant sole, and superior cushion for all-day comfort. And you can even wear these with socks thanks to their textured footbed that helps keep your foot in place. We also love that these are made of a renewable material, sugarcane, so you can take comfort in the fact that these are a bit better for the plant than your typical rubber slides.

Price at time of publication: $60

Key Specs:

Sizes: 5 to 16 women's; 3 to 14 men's | Widths: Regular | Colors: 6, plus 17 seasonal colors | Recommended For: Recovery, lifestyle

Dick's Sporting Goods

They're super comfortable, and the monochromatic suede makes these stand out from your regular running shoes.

Because they're suede, they might be difficult to spot clean and remove stains.

The Clifton Suede is a great option for those who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for style. These shoes combine everything we love about the Clifton, such as plush, resilient cushioning, with a stylish suede upper for everyday comfort, Bell says. The chunky Clifton Suedes come in neutral monochromatic colorways, including a sandy beige and black-on-black, that complement many wardrobes and will add some street-style flair to any outfit, says April Benshosan, SHAPE commerce writer and digital nomad, who relies on her HOKAs to comfortably explore new cities abroad.

However, because suede can be difficult to clean, especially if it's a light color, you'll want to make sure to take extra care when trying to remove stains. "Water is suede’s worst enemy, so use dry tools to gently remove dirt and scuff marks," recommends Bell. "Start by removing loose particles with a dry brush like an old toothbrush. Then, you can use a Magic Eraser or a microfiber cloth to gently remove marks." And if the stains are really tough, you can use white vinegar to clean them; just use a little at a time and don’t soak the material, Bell says.Price at time of publication: $170

Sizes: 5 to 15 women's; 4 to 14 men's | Widths: Regular | Colors: 5 | Recommended For: Walking, lifestyle


They have very detailed grips on the bottom, firm support inside, laces that can be tucked away, a cushiony platform, and they work well with precipitation weather.

They run large, so you may want to order a half size down

These shoes are highly cushioned, sort of like a firm pillow, and heavier than the Tecton X2 trail running shoes, mostly because of that extra cushion and tread. When testing the Kaha Low GTX, we noted that they're very clearly hiking shoes, and not trail running shoes, and have the heft and tread ruggedness you'd want from hiking shoes. They do run a bit large, but these hiking boots fit very well once we found the right size — we noticed that they are very comfortable straight out of the box and didn't cause any blisters, which is surprising since hiking boots typically cause some pain when breaking in. Plus, these felt breathable yet warm thanks to the Gore-Tex material, so these would be great for chillier or wetter fall hikes.

This shoe's rigidity adds a nice amount of stability—both for the foot and the ankle. Its stack height (or the amount of material between your foot and the ground) provides plenty of shock support, too. Also worth noting: These shoes are really, really responsive. The Vibram Megagrip traction and ankle support will help you propel with ease without being uncontrollably springy. Overall, these would be the perfect boot alternative for someone who hikes often.

Price at time of publication: $220

Sizes: 6 to 15 women's; 5 to 14 men's | Widths: Regular | Colors: 2 | Recommended For: Hiking

Elevon 2: We loved the extra bounce these give off and the design of the pull tab (it's integrated seamlessly into the side of the shoe and isn't just an extra piece of material sewn onto the back as an afterthought). However, we didn't like that the tongue bent inwards and needed to be adjusted multiple times.

Speedgoat 5 GTX: These trail-running shoes are extremely grippy and provide excellent traction when transitioning between different types of terrain on the trail, whether wet or dry. What's more, the gaiter helps keep loose gravel or debris from getting into the shoe, and the breathable, stay-dry material comes in handy, especially when traversing or short-jumping the occasional stream or brook.

Hoka Rocket X2: We were hoping these would take our running to the next level, but they fell flat. We felt a bit off-balance while wearing them, and they didn't provide enough ankle or knee support.

To find the best HOKA shoes, we asked running shoe store specialists for their top choices for every activity, as well as picked their brains on what shoppers should look for in a HOKA shoe that best fits their needs.

We also personally tested a few HOKA sneakers ourselves, wearing each shoe at least three times a week for a month in order to get a feel of their fit, cushioning, arch support, stability, and standout features. We selected these HOKA sneakers based on expert recommendations, keeping in mind a wide range of activities these would be used for (like running, walking, or standing all day), foot conditions people may have (such as plantar fasciitis or bunions), and budgets.

HOKAs are well-loved for their cushiony soles, ample support, and style that's as versatile as it is trend-setting. But before you invest in a pair, here's what you need to know about this beloved sneaker brand:

Plush cushioning is probably what HOKAs are best known for. HOKA shoes generally offer a hefty amount of midsole cushioning, which absorbs impact as you run to lessen the load on your joints and muscles."Many runners look at the chunky midsole of a HOKA shoe and think the shoes will weigh them down, but they couldn’t be more wrong," says Helming. "HOKA shoes use a combination of innovative midsole foams to reduce the weight of the shoe while still offering cloud-like cushioning.

Still, it's important to get fit by a running shoe expert and try shoes on to see what you prefer before you buy. "Some runners and walkers prefer soft, pillowy cushioning while others may prefer a firmer, more structured underfoot feel," says Bell.

While HOKA shoes are well-suited for running because of their ample cushioning and relatively light weight, they’re also very versatile and can be worn during many different types of activities that put strain on your feet. "Thanks to their copious amounts of cushioning, we also recommend them to walkers or those who spend long hours on their feet," Bell says.HOKA shoes are also known for their meta-rocker outsole shape, which helps you transition from heel to toe more quickly. HOKA breaks this down into two categories—an early-stage meta-rocker that’s placed closer to the heel and a late-stage meta-rocker that’s placed closer to the toe, Bell tells us. "Early-stage meta-rockers are used in shoes designed for running fast because they help you roll forward into the toe-off phase more quickly and aggressively. Late-stage meta-rockers are used in everyday shoes because the rolling sensation is not as prominent, making them comfortable for slower running, walking, and standing," Bell tells us.

Bell often recommends shoes that offer more support and stability to runners who have lower arches, and neutral, flexible shoes to runners who have high arches.

Think of the old saying, “opposites attract” — it applies to running shoes, too! "Lower-arched feet tend to be more flexible and crave support, while higher-arched feet tend to be more rigid and crave flexibility," Bell says.

Although there are so many different types of HOKAs to pick from, choosing the right running shoe for you doesn't have to be complicated. The best way to know which features you need is to get fit at your local specialty running shoe store, like Fleet Feet.

Learning about your foot length, width, and arch height helps you understand what features to look for in your running shoes, Bell says. And you can use these factors to help you decide whether you want a neutral running shoe, like the HOKA Bondi or Clifton, or a stability running shoe, like the HOKA Arahi or Gaviota.

HOKA shoes can feel roomy to runners with low-volume feet. "Think of low-volume feet as feet that don’t take up a lot of space within the shoe, and high-volume feet as feet that do," says Helming.

Also good to know: Unisex shoes will fit differently depending on the type of last they are built around. A good rule of thumb is for men to wear their regular shoe size and for women to take their shoe size and subtract 1.5 or 2 off the men's sizing, Helming says. So if you're a women's size 7, you'll probably fit into a 5 or 5.5 in men's or unisex sizing.

HOKA sneakers are available at a wide range of retailers, whether you prefer to shop online or IRL.

If you want to shop their full range of shoes, including the latest (and limited-edition) releases, your best bet is to go on the official HOKA website. But the shoes are also available in sporting goods stores, specialty running shoe stores, and online retailers, such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Fleet Feet, Amazon, and Zappos.

Expect to spend between $140 and $220 on a pair of HOKA sneakers.

April Benshosan is a health journalist and editor who graduated with a Master's in Publishing, and her work highlights her passion for arming people with the information they need to make informed decisions about their health and purchases. She lives a very active life and relies on her HOKAs to walk comfortably through a new city while she's working nomadically or help her power through a weight-lifting session at the gym.

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