Are you ready to fly?
If you’re wearing a pair of HOKA running shoes, we sure hope you are — you’ll feel like you’re running on air in every pair. Between their lightweight and breathable mesh uppers and their iconic cushioned midsoles, HOKA makes many of the best running shoes currently on the market.
Learn more about what makes HOKA shoes special, which HOKAs can help solve your foot health concerns (including plantar fasciitis and arch pain), how to take care of your HOKA running shoes, and more!
Why Are HOKA Running Shoes Good?
HOKA’s most recognizable feature—their overblown cushioned midsole—is a huge part of what sets them apart from other running shoes. This layer of cushioning absorbs the shock of your feet hitting the ground, which energizes your rebounds and helps protect you from pain or injury. This cushion won’t weigh your shoes down, though; in fact, one of runners’ favorite things about HOKAs is how lightweight they are.
HOKA also boasts a propulsive Meta-Rocker, the natural curve of which keeps your feet from landing flat and instead enhances the natural heel-to-toe rocking motion of your strides. This increases your momentum and smooths your transitions for a faster and more comfortable ride. There are two types of Meta-Rockers, which vary based on your shoe’s purpose: The Meta-Rocker may transition from heel-to-forefoot (early stage Meta-Rocker) or closer to the toe (late stage Meta-Rocker).
Other excellent features of HOKA running shoes include breathable and flexible mesh uppers, plush tongues and collars, and Active Foot Frames that cradle and support your feet. Many HOKA shoes are vegan and/or are partially made from recycled materials, making them a good choice for the environmentally-conscious runner. Finally, many styles are certified beneficial for foot health by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
Does it get any better than that? We don’t think so!
Do HOKA Running Shoes Run True To Size?
In general, HOKA shoes do run true to your regular shoe size. However, we always recommend stopping in store to have your feet measured by our fit specialists and to try on multiple sizes. It’s the best way to ensure a perfect fit! If you’re shopping online, it may be helpful to use this sizing chart from HOKA.
In terms of width, most report that HOKA is a comfortable fit for regular shoe sizes, if occasionally running slightly narrow. HOKA offers a sizable number of wide-width options as well, so no need to fear if your feet run wider than average.
Which HOKA Shoe is Best For…
The Bondi 8 is one of HOKA’s most cushioned shoes, so it’s perfect to neutralize the heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis by absorbing the shock of impact. The cushioned memory foam collar also cradles your ankle and Achilles, reducing some of the strain that plantar fasciitis can cause in those areas. This shoe is even verified by the American Podiatric Medical Association as one that promotes good foot health!
Like most HOKA shoes, the Clifton 8 boasts an impressive layer of cushioning in the footbed, which protects high arches from collapsing and reduces the shock of impact on other zones of the foot. Additionally, its wide base provides excellent stability and its early stage Meta-Rocker makes transitions incredibly smooth. This neutral shoe is perfect for all types of activities, whether running, training, or walking. And, like the Bondi 8, this shoe is verified by the APMA as one that promotes good foot health.
Overpronation and Flat Feet?
If you have flat feet or tend to overpronate, you’ll want a stable shoe to help protect your feet, ankles, and knees from injury: The Gaviota 4 is just that. As a lightweight and effective stability shoe, the Gaviota 4 has a J-Frame™ midsole with extended heel support. It also features the classic HOKA cushioning and a snug fit upper for enhanced midfoot stability. This is the perfect support shoe for flat-footed runners of all kinds.
Can You Wash HOKA Running Shoes?
Running outside is a lot of fun, but it can often be equally as dirty. Puddles, mud, and dusty roads can take your mint-condition HOKAs from pristine to filthy in just a few hours, so you’ll want to make sure to clean them often. Regular cleaning also protects your feet from bacteria, keeps the fabric breathable, and reduces odors.
Here are a few of our best tips for how to wash your HOKA running shoes:
- Outsoles are the easy part: Start by clapping the shoes together to shake off the biggest clumps of dirt. Then, just grab a small brush and scrub until all the mud and dirt is gone. (We highly recommend this brush and cleaning solution set from ECCO! Otherwise, a toothbrush will do just fine.) If you’re having trouble, try getting the brush a little wet or gently rinsing the bottom of your shoe.
- Remove the insoles and laces, and then clean your uppers by mixing water with gentle detergent. Use a brush, sponge, or small washcloth to scrub away stains and then rinse with warm water. Squeeze any excess water out of the uppers before putting them in a room-temperature area to dry, keeping away from direct heat or sunlight. Stuff them with newspaper or paper towel to absorb the dampness, and change them regularly until dry.
- Repeat Step 2 for the insoles and laces. Set out to dry separately from the shoes, and only reinsert once all components are dry.
Enjoy your clean shoes! Until they get dirty all over again, that is (We respect the grind!).
When Should I Replace My HOKA Running Shoes?
Where you run, how you run, and what you use your shoes for will play a role in how long your shoes last. The breakdown of shoes typically occurs anywhere between 300-500 miles or 4-6 months, whichever comes first.
If you’re not sure whether it’s time for a new pair, we’ve developed a Shoe Quiz that will take you less than 2 minutes to complete. It will help guide you on what signs of wear and tear to look for in your shoes to determine if your pair should be kicked to the curb or if you have some miles left!
Where Can I Buy HOKA Running Shoes Near Me?
Since 2010, HOKA shoes have been designed for everyone to feel like they can fly. HOKA makes their shoes with the goal of inspiring runners, walkers, and athletes of all kinds to push forward with purpose and passion. HOKA thinks outside the box and crafts bold, innovative new solutions for every type of athlete.
HOKA has also committed themselves to bettering the planet and treating people well. Their packaging is thoughtfully made from recycled and responsibly managed forests, their leather is from LWG certified ethical tanneries, and 90% of their shoes contain at least one recycled or natural material. They also have committed themselves to representing a diverse array of ethnicities, sexualities, and body types in their campaigns, and they partner with sustainable and ethical organizations at every step of their supply chain. They care about the planet, the people who live on it, and, of course, you!