8 Best Hoka Running Shoes for Every Type of Runner

Looking for the best Hoka running shoes to chase your goals for training, racing or adventuring?
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👟Hoka has changed the running industry with:

  • It's design that blends cushion with lightweight materials and...
  • The well-known rocker sole. 

Many people either love or hate Hoka. But there is no denying that Hoka shoes have a lot of cushion.
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Wondering how to find the "the best Hoka running shoe" for training, racing, and off-road adventures?
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👇Check out these 8 top picks for every type of runner...👇

But first some Hoka FAQs

Hoka's core design philosophy revolves around creating shoes with a wide-rockered sole, that offer cushioning but also use lightweight materials. 

  • Fun fact: Even before carbon-plated shoes, Hoka has been a pioneer in using rocker technology.

A few questions people commonly ask about Hoka running shoes include:
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👟Are Hoka running shoes good?
 

Yes, but it's essential to find the right model for your needs.
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👟Are Hoka running shoes heavy?
No, they are among the lightest on the market.
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👟Do Hokas have a high heel-to-toe drop?
No, most Hokas feature a 4-5 mm drop.
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👟Are Hokas suitable for bad feet?
Yes, thanks to the high cushioning and typically wider toe box, but the right model is key.
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👟What is the rocker in Hoka running shoes?

  • The meta-rocker design is a hallmark of Hoka running shoes. It enhances a natural running gait and helps create efficient heel-to-toe transitions. 
  • There are two types of meta-rocker: the early meta-rocker and the late meta-rocker, helping runners find their ideal fit.

Ready to check out the best Hoka running shoes of the year?

We picked the best 8 Hoka running shoes for every type of runner, goal, race and terrain, including:

  • Road Running
  • Maximum Cushioning
  • Do-It-All
  • Stability
  • Racing
  • Fast Trail-Running
  • Long Trail Runs
  • Versatile Trail Running

Best Hoka Running Shoes for the Road

Hoka Clifton 9

1. Best Hoka Running Shoe For Daily Runs:

👟Hoka Clifton 9

Check out the Hoka Clifton 9 review here

  • Weight: 8.2 oz (M), 6.8 oz (W)
  • Drop: 5mm
  • Type of shoe: Daily Trainer or Walker

The Hoka Clifton 9 stands as one of the most celebrated running shoes in the industry. 
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It combines lightweight construction with ample cushioning, serving as a dependable choice for easy runs, long runs, or workout shoes. 
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Over the years, it has become more cushioned and durable.

Hoka Bondi 8

2. Best Hoka Running Shoe For Maximum Cushioning:

👟Hoka Bondi 8

Check out the Hoka Bondi 8 review here.

  • Weight: 10.8 oz (M), 8.9 oz (W)
  • Drop: 4 mm
  • Type of shoe: Maximal Cushion, Recovery, Daily Trainer

For those seeking maximum cushioning, the Hoka Bondi 8 is unparalleled. 
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More dense and cushioned compared to the soft, pillowy Clifton 9, the Bondi 8 is remarkably stiff, as its cushion does not compress. 
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For the utmost cushioning, the Bondi X, a more rigid version featuring a carbon plate, is also available.

Hoka Mach 6

3. Best Hoka Running Shoe that Can "Do It All":

👟Hoka Mach 6

Check out the Hoka Mach review here

  • Weight: 8.2 oz (M), 6.7 (W)
  • Drop: 5 mm
  • Type of shoe: Daily trainer

Updated in early 2024, the Mach 6 offers a responsive option that is very different from the Clifton and Bondi. 

  • It is "less shoe," than other Hoka running shoes and not what people think of when they think of the brand Hoka. 
  • Its Meta-Rocker sole enhances smoother and faster transitions, making it suitable for workouts and race days. 

If a multipurpose, responsive trainer is what you're after, the Mach 6 is an excellent choice. If you're new to the brand Hoka and want something that is not as cushioned, consider the Mach 6.

Hoka Arahi 7

4. Best Hoka Running Shoe for Stability:

👟Hoka Arahi 7

Check out the Hoka Arahi 6 review here

  • Weight: 9.6 oz (M), 8.2 oz (W)
  • Drop: 5 mm
  • Type of shoe: Daily trainer with stability

Another new update, the Arahi 7, a stable counterpart to the Clifton, combines support with cushioning through Hoka's J-Frame technology. 

  • This design offers support as needed without excessive stability, ideal for those requiring occasional support but want a lightweight ride. 
  • Stability shoes are becoming more rare, but the Hoka Arahi 7 continues to be successful option.
Hoka Cielo X1

5. Best Hoka Running Shoe for Races:

👟Hoka Cielo X1

Learn more about the Hoka Cielo X1 here

  • Weight: 9.3 oz (M), 7.3 oz (W)
  • Drop: 7 mm
  • Type of Shoe: Race Day

The Cielo X1, introduced by Hoka in 2024, is Hoka's fastest shoe for distances ranging from 10k to marathons. 

  • It prioritizes a snug, breathable fit with an asymmetrical gusseted knit tongue and upper for comfort.
  • The midsole features a two-layer PEBA and a uniquely rockered design
  • The winged-carbon plate, provides better energy return and a touch of stability. 

With a full rubber outsole for durability and traction, the Cielo X1 is designed for speed. For those wondering, yes the Hoka Cielo X1 is a faster version of the Hoka Rocket X2.

Best Hoka Trail Running Shoes

Hoka Torrent 3

6. Best Hoka Running Shoe for Fast Trail Running:

👟Hoka Torrent 3

Check out the Hoka Torrent 3 review here

  • Weight: 8.7 oz (M), 6.5 oz (W)
  • Drop: 5 mm
  • Type of Shoes: lightweight trail running

The Torrent 3 continues as a lightweight trail option, favoring minimal cushioning and speed. 

  • It offers minimalism with protective cushioning for enhanced breathability and comfort, ideal for wet conditions or warmer months. 
  • This year's model features a reduced stack height and a responsive ProFly midsole with 5mm lugs for improved traction and durability, making it best for fast, minimal trail use.
Hoka Speedgoat 5

7. Best Hoka Running Shoe for Long Trail Runs:

👟Hoka Speedgoat 5

Check out the Hoka Speedgoat 5 review here.

  • Weight: 9.8 oz (M), 8.5 oz (W)
  • Drop: 5 mm 
  • Type of shoe: durable trail run 

The Speedgoat 5 provides substantial cushioning and agility, with improved traction and reduced weight over its predecessors. 
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  • Its Vibram outsole and multi-directional lugs offer reliable grip for both uphill and downhill, making it an excellent choice for ultra-running or rugged terrain. 

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 also features:
 

  • 34% recycled polyester upper
  • Laces that use 70% recycled nylon and 30% recycled polyester
  • 100% Recycled polyester sockliner top cloth. 

It's definitely trending in the right direction of sustainability. 
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If you are looking for a trail running shoe that can handle the rugged trails (like the east coast), this is a great option. 

Hoka Challenger ATR 7

8. Best Versatile Hoka Running Trail Shoe:

👟Hoka Challenger ATR 7

Check out the Hoka Challenger ATR review here.

  • Weight: 8.9 oz (M), 7.9 (W)
  • Drop: 5 mm
  • Use: Any and all trails 

The Challenger ATR 6 stands out as one of the most versatile trail shoes available. 

  • Suitable for a wide range of activities, from steep hikes to runnable trails and ultra-marathons, it's a go-to shoe for those seeking a "do-it-all" trail runner. 
  • That means even if you are running a mile or two on the road! The Challenger can handle it all!

This year, there is a slightly more dense midsole and a higher stack height. 

  • Yet, somehow Hoka makes the Challenger lighter than the previous version. 
  • This effects the run and it feels more springy. 
  • If you're looking for a trail shoe that can do everything or you want to try trail running for the first time, the Challenger ATR 7 is one of the best options. 

What's your favorite Hoka running shoe?

Hoka's running shoes have made a significant impact on the running community and they offer several options from daily training to race day performance and trail adventures. 
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Whether you're a new runner looking for your first pair of Hoka running shoes or an experienced marathoner, Hoka has a shoe for everyone. 

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Hollie S
Moderator
Mojave Desert, CA
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Hollie has worked in run specialty for 8+ years and fit over 1000 people for shoes. Her favorite distance is the half maratho...

Comments

David Moore Great rundown of different Hoka options! I have the Speedgoat 5 and Bondi X in my current shoe rotations. Clifton’s are on my short list to try.

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