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Hoka – Our best picks! Taking over the running shoes industry and we love it

Bondi 8 Road Running Shoe by HokaBondi 8 Road Running Shoe by Hoka

The Expertise Behind Every Step

When it comes to understanding the intricacies of running and fitness shoes, few have the depth of experience I possess. My journey began with the gruelling challenge of an Olympic triathlon, a test of endurance and determination that few dare to undertake. This experience not only honed my physical capabilities but also deepened my appreciation for the importance of the right footwear.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting with pioneering running shoe creators, gaining insights into the art and science of shoe design. One of the highlights? Being introduced to the gait analysis machine, a revolutionary tool that ensures runners find their perfect shoe match. With this wealth of knowledge, I’m here to guide you through the world of HOKA, a brand that’s making waves in the running shoe industry.

Hoka: A Revolution in Footwear

HOKA began with a simple mission: to craft shoes that allow athletes to run faster, farther, and with more enjoyment. Born in the mountains of Annecy, France, HOKA’s founders, Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud, were driven by a passion for trail running and a desire to challenge the status quo. Their innovative approach led to the creation of shoes with a unique geometry, featuring a thicker midsole that defied traditional design norms.

The brand’s name, HOKA ONE ONE, is derived from the Maori language and translates to “fly over the earth”. This perfectly encapsulates the sensation that HOKA shoes offer – a feeling of lightness and speed. Over the years, HOKA has expanded its range, catering to diverse terrains and athletic needs, from road running to hiking.

What truly sets HOKA apart is its commitment to constant evolution. The brand believes in pushing boundaries, experimenting with new technologies, and listening to the feedback of athletes. This dedication to excellence has earned HOKA a loyal following among both professional and amateur runners.

Gaviota 5: The Road Runner’s Dream

Price: £150.00

Pros:

  • Enhanced stability for long-distance runs.
  • Sleek design that combines style with functionality.
  • Adaptive fit that moulds to the foot’s shape.

Cons:

  • Might be on the pricier side for some.
  • Takes a bit of time to break in.

The Gaviota 5 is a testament to HOKA’s expertise in crafting top-notch road running shoes. Designed for those who crave stability during their runs, this shoe offers a perfect blend of comfort and performance. Its sleek design is not just about aesthetics; it’s a reflection of the shoe’s aerodynamic build. One of the standout features is its adaptive fit, ensuring that the shoe feels like a natural extension of your foot. While it might be a bit of an investment, the Gaviota 5 promises a running experience that’s worth every penny.

Challenger 7 GORE-TEX: Trailblazing Excellence

Price: £160.00

Pros:

  • GORE-TEX material ensures waterproofing and breathability.
  • Rugged outsole provides exceptional grip on uneven terrains.
  • Lightweight build for agile movements.

Cons:

  • Not ideal for extremely muddy conditions.
  • Might feel a bit stiff initially.

For those who love to venture off the beaten path, the Challenger 7 GORE-TEX is your perfect companion. Crafted with the trail runner in mind, this shoe boasts of a rugged outsole that offers unparalleled grip, ensuring you stay sure-footed even on the trickiest terrains. The GORE-TEX material is a game-changer, providing a waterproof yet breathable environment for your feet. While it’s built tough, the Challenger 7 doesn’t compromise on agility, thanks to its lightweight construction.

Challenger 7 trail running shoe by hoka
Challenger 7 trail running shoe by hoka

Bondi 8: Elevate Your Gym Game

Price: £150.00

Pros:

  • Cushioned sole for impact absorption during workouts.
  • Versatile design suitable for various fitness activities.
  • Breathable material keeps feet fresh during intense sessions.

Cons:

  • Might be too cushioned for some weightlifting exercises.
  • Design leans more towards functionality than fashion.

The Bondi 8 is HOKA’s answer to the needs of the fitness enthusiast. Whether you’re hitting the treadmill or engaging in a high-intensity workout, this shoe has got you covered. Its cushioned sole acts as a shock absorber, minimising the impact on your joints. The versatile design means you can seamlessly transition between different activities without needing a shoe change. And when things heat up, the Bondi 8 ensures your feet remain cool and comfortable.

Anacapa 2 Low GORE-TEX: Hiking Trainer/Shoe by Hoka

Price: £140.00

Pros:

  • Durable construction built for rugged terrains.
  • GORE-TEX layer for waterproofing during wet conditions.
  • Supportive structure that reduces foot fatigue.

Cons:

  • Might require a break-in period.
  • Not as lightweight as some other hiking shoes.

Every hiker knows the importance of reliable footwear, and the Anacapa 2 Low GORE-TEX delivers on that front. Designed to tackle both gentle trails and challenging terrains, this shoe boasts of a durable construction that can withstand the elements. The GORE-TEX layer is a boon for those unpredictable rainy days, ensuring your feet stay dry. With its supportive structure, the Anacapa 2 promises to be your trusted companion on every hiking adventure.

Clifton L: Where Style Meets Comfort – Lifestyle trainer / shoe by Hoka

Price: £140.00

Pros:

  • Trendy design that’s perfect for casual outings.
  • HOKA’s signature cushioning for all-day comfort.
  • Durable build that promises longevity.

Cons:

  • Might be a bit bulky for some fashion preferences.
  • Price point is on the higher side.

In the Clifton L, HOKA seamlessly blends fashion with functionality. This lifestyle shoe is perfect for those who want to make a style statement without compromising on comfort. The trendy design is complemented by HOKA’s signature cushioning, ensuring your feet remain pampered throughout the day. Built to last, the Clifton L is an investment in both style and comfort.

There you have it! A deep dive into the world of HOKA, a brand that’s redefining the standards of athletic footwear. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or someone looking for a comfortable pair for daily wear, HOKA has something for everyone. Happy running!

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and completed an olympic length triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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