Tech & Gear Luggage The Best Hoka Shoes of 2023, Tested and Reviewed The Hoka Bondi 8 is our favorite overall shoe for its versatility By Nathan Allen Nathan Allen Outdoor Gear Editor University of Missouri-Columbia Lindenwood University Nathan Allen is the Outdoor Gear Editor for TripSavvy. Nathan loves many outdoor activities but makes it a priority to run or bike on singletrack every day. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Published on 02/22/23 Share Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. TripSavvy / Marcus Millan You've probably noticed that Hoka shoes have become wildly popular, seemingly overnight, worn everywhere and by everyone. The bright colorways and massive soles typically found on Hokas are simultaneously intriguing and a turn-off for many people. And as a gear editor, I'm frequently asked about these shoes and what the draw is. I started running in Hoka shoes in 2011 after seeing many pairs at a trail relay race in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains. Since then, I've run in dozens and dozens of road and trail Hoka shoes. Below are some of my favorite shoes Hoka currently offers. At the top, you'll find the latest version of the Bondi, one of Hoka's longest-running (lame pun intended) and classic shoes. It's probably the shoe that'll work for most people. (Example: It's the one shoe my 60-something-year-old father and I are currently running in.) But there are many other great options, depending on your activity of choice. Check 'em out below. The Rundown Best Overall : Hoka Bondi 8 at Nordstrom Jump to Review Best for Running: Hoka Clifton 9 at Nordstrom Jump to Review Best for Running, Runner-Up: Hoka Mach 5 at Dick's Jump to Review Best for Travel: Hoka Transport at Hoka.com Jump to Review Best for Trail Running: Hoka Mafate Speed 4 at Nordstrom Jump to Review Best for Trail Running, Runner-Up: Hoka Tecton X at Zappos Jump to Review Best for Hiking: Hoka Kaha 2 GTX at Dick's Jump to Review Best for Road and Trail: Hoka Challenger 7 at Dick's Jump to Review Table of contents Expand Our Picks How We Tested What To Look For FAQ Why Trust TripSavvy Best Overall Hoka Bondi 8 4.9 REI View On Nordstrom View On Dick's View On L.L.Bean What We Like Best all-around option for runners, walkers, or people who stand a lot at work Super soft with a ton of plush lightweight foam Some built-in features to boost comfort What We Don't Like Not a great specialist shoe like others below The Bondis are one of the most classic Hoka shoes. They’re super plush, lightweight, and feature neutral stability. And they’re an excellent intro to the brand for any Hoka-curious runners, walkers, or just looking for a comfy shoe to wear at work. These also might be the only running shoe my 60-something-year-old father and I both love. The newest version of the Bondi features new lightweight foam and extended heel geometry for a better fit. A memory foam collar and rear crash pad only boost the comfort and plushness of this shoe. At 11 ounces, they’re a pretty typical running shoe weight-wise. And a 4-millimeter heel-to-toe drop is also fairly standard. We picked these as the best overall because the shoe’s construction, fit, and purpose are most likely to fit the largest amount of lifestyles. Looking for a new running shoe with an extra-soft ride? The Bondis will work. Wanting a walking shoe? These are also excellent. Or if you have a job that requires long periods of standing, we also like the Bondis. We also love that they come in more than a dozen colorways and many sizes, including wide and extra-wide widths. And like some other Hoka models, these have the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, which recognizes products that benefit foot health. Price at time of publish: $165 Sizes: 7 to 16, wide, and extra-wide | Weight: 10.8 ounces | Drop: 4 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Plush Best for Running Hoka Clifton 9 Hoka View On Nordstrom View On Dick's View On Zappos What We Like An excellent all-around runner that has been improved with each version Lighter weight than previous versions Add comfort with new foam and plusher heel What We Don't Like Nothing yet The newest version of Hoka’s classic running shoe, the Clifton, might be its best. Hoka added 3 millimeters to the stack height while boosting the comfort around the heel and improving the foam and outsole design. You get an improved ride that is really a lot of fun. While this shoe works best on the roads, I have taken it on some dirt trails and gravel roads around my house and found it performs well enough on those surfaces. It’s also one of the only shoes I feel comfortable taking out of the box and immediately running an hour in them, which is what I did. Hoka rates these as having its highest amount of cushioning, but it’s not quite as robust as the Bondi 8’s listed above. But we prefer less cushioning if it means a lighter shoe. Price at time of publish: $145 Sizes: 7 to 16, wide | Weight: 8.7 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Plush Best for Running, Runner-Up Hoka Mach 5 REI View On Dick's View On Zappos View On Fleetfeet.com What We Like Incredibly fast and responsive ride Very comfortable Lightweight What We Don't Like Nothing yet These shoes rip. Road-focused, the Mach 5’s also performed well for me on gravel roads and trails and dirt trails. But where they excel is definitely on the pavement. So if you’re primarily a road runner and want a shoe that’s a tad lighter and much more responsive than the Clifton 9’s, opt for the Mach 5’s. Hoka took the Mach 4 and Mach Supersonic—two of our favorite shoes—and procreated a more evolved model of both shoes with the Mach 5. Like our best trail running shoe pick below, Hoka utilizes its PROFLY midsole to create an incredibly lightweight and responsive ride. Also, like the Mafate Speed 4’s below, we’ll sum it up by saying these shoes have some pop. But they’re also incredibly comfy thanks to the articulated heel collar and creel jacquard engineered mesh upper. On a recent trip to visit family in the Midwest, where carry-on space was limited, I brought these as my only running shoe. And it handled varied terrain, up to 15-mile long runs, and speed workouts that dipped to around a 5-minute per mile pace. The only reason I’ve stopped running in these is that I’ve put about 500 miles on them, which most will say is enough before retiring a shoe. Price at time of publish: $140 Sizes: 7 to 14, and wide | Weight: 8.2 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Responsive Best for Travel Hoka Transport Hoka View On Hoka.com View On Holabirdsports.com View On Roadrunnersports.com What We Like More neutral colors Middle of the road shoe that’ll work for long city walks and hikes on varied terrain What We Don't Like No wide widths available Hoka strayed from its lane a bit when it launched the Transport this year. The Transport is a true travel and commuter shoe, blending some toned-down colorways, Vibram outsole, and a quick lace system. So far, we’ve loved it. The shoe is comfy, thanks to the EVA midsole. And the rugged Cordura abrasion-resistant upper doesn’t sacrifice comfort for its toughness. The Vibram outsole makes it ideal for hiking and walking around the city. Price at time of publish: $140 Sizes: 7 to 15 | Weight: 11.2 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Balanced The 9 Best Women’s Travel Shoes of 2023, Tested and Reviewed Best for Trail Running Hoka Mafate Speed 4 REI View On Nordstrom View On Hoka.com View On REI What We Like Excellent all-around trail shoe that will handle the most technical terrain Good responsiveness and could work for races and tempo efforts What We Don't Like No wide sizing When most think about Hoka trail running, they probably think about the Speedgoat. And the Speedgoat is a solid trail running shoe, to be sure. But we’ve really been digging the Mafate Speed 4 for its responsiveness, lightness, and performance on technical and loose terrain. Or, to put it another way, it has more pop than the Speedgoat. That starts with the shoe's lightness, which weighs 10.4 ounces in the men’s version. While that’s similar to the Speedgoat, a significant difference is the PROFLY+ midsole, which employs a firmer material designed for more explosive and efficient toe push-off. Combined with the Vibram Litebase outsole, that creates an enjoyable ride regardless of the terrain. Our only qualm with these kicks? No wide sizes. Hoka designed these shoes to fit tighter around the foot than other trail running shoes in its line. We kinda like it, but just be aware that’s the case. Price at time of publish: $185 Sizes: 7 to 14 | Weight: 10.4 ounces | Drop: 4 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Responsive Best for Trail Running, Runner-Up Hoka Tecton X 5 REI View On Zappos View On Hoka.com View On Marathonsports.com What We Like One of the best trail racing shoes we’ve used Fast, responsive, lightweight What We Don't Like No wide sizes I had high expectations when I heard Hoka would dip into the carbon footplate market by creating a trail running shoe with true carbon footplates. Enter the Hoka Tecton X. And I’m pleased to report that these trail running shoes somehow surpassed my lofty expectations. From the moment I took out on my local trails with these, I was smiling. And now, hundreds of miles, multiple races, runs of up to 22 miles, and a few Strava CRs later, I can confidently recommend these to anyone looking for a trail racing shoe. Hoka’s designers took inspiration from tectonic plates, creating a parallel carbon plate design. A Vibram Litebase outsole and ProFly X midsole surround the carbon plates to create an incredibly light, responsive, and grippy ride. A jacquard-engineered mesh upper helps boost the comfort. Our one complaint is Hoka doesn’t offer wide sizing in these shoes, which are narrow. The next version is due out soon; we hope wide sizes will be available then. Price at time of publish: $200 Sizes: 7 to 14 | Weight: 8.5 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Responsive The Best Winter Running Shoes for Any Condition Best for Hiking Hoka Kaha 2 GTX REI View On Dick's View On Zappos View On Campsaver.com What We Like Excellent weight-to-cushion ratio Comfortable and good support What We Don't Like Style might not be for everyone Hoka designed the Kaha 2 hikers with an eye toward a high weight-to-cushion ratio. Each shoe weighs just about a pound and boasts an extremely high bed of soft cushioning. The boots, which come in Gore-Tex and non-Gore-Tex versions, have a rocker shape and deep 5-millimeter lugs on the Vibram outsoles for excellent grip. You can also opt for a low version or the high-top. Price at time of publish: $240 Sizes: 3.5 to 14 | Weight: 16.8 ounces | Drop: 6 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Plush Best for Road and Trail Hoka Challenger 7 Hoka View On Dick's View On Zappos View On Campsaver.com What We Like Feel fine on the roads while still excelling on the trails Very responsive and light feeling They’ve got some pop What We Don’t Like Nothing yet If you’re like me, you might often run or hike on all sorts of terrain. Gravel. Dirt. Cement. Rocks. Pavement. Grass. It all goes. In that case, strongly consider the Hoka Challenger 7, which has quickly become one of my favorite all-around shoes that I continually catch myself reaching for when I should be testing other shoes. They’re just so much fun. And this is surprising considering I wasn’t that smitten with the Challenger 6’s. But Hoka has reimagined and rebuilt the 7’s, and it works. Hoka did a few things to improve this version of the Challengers. It simplified the upper mesh while adding a soft new foam and increasing the stack height. That helps create a plusher ride and feel, which I dig. And it redesigned the outsoles to mimic gravel bike tires. Specifically, it places smaller, tightly-spaced lugs in the middle and larger, further-spaced lugs around the edges. The result is a grippy shoe that does better at handling multiple terrains. Price at time of publish: $145 Sizes: 7 to 15, wide | Weight: 8.9 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Stability: Neutral | Cushion: Plush How We Tested We tested these Hoka shoes on runs, hikes, and walks. We ran hundreds of miles on trails, gravel roads, and paved surfaces. And we hiked on trails of varying terrain and steepness and walked through airports, restaurants, and neighborhoods with dogs. We tested shoes for comfort, fit, durability, traction, and overall performance. What to Look for in Hoka Shoes Fit and Comfort One of our favorite things about Hoka shoes is many often come in wide and extra-wide versions. Meaning it’s a more inclusive shoe brand with options for a wider range of foot types. And one of Hoka’s best selling points is the comfort the shoes provide. Maximum cushioning and softness give an incredibly comfortable wear. Type of Shoe Hoka mainly makes shoes focused on running and trail running. Consider what you’ll most likely use the shoes for and narrow your search to shoes within that category. If you’re looking for general walking shoes for walks on pavement, one of Hoka’s running or walking shoes will work. If you’re looking for hiking or trail running shoes, opt for that category. The main difference is hiking and trail running shoes will have tougher outsoles and lugs for boosted traction. Price Hoka shoes are generally on the more expensive side of the shoe price spectrum. That said, many models are updated each year, and when that happens, older models go on sale. Be on the lookout for that, which usually happens earlier in the calendar year. Frequently Asked Questions How does Hoka differ from other brands? Hoka One One was launched in 2009 by former Salomon employees as a pushback to the minimalist style of running shoes that was gaining steam. The brand launched with a “maximalist” approach, offering maximum cushioning in their running shoes. The founders wanted to create a shoe that would help runners fly up and down mountains while providing maximum cushioning with minimal weight. Since then, the brand has branched out into road running shoes, hiking boots, walking and lifestyle shoes, and sandals. Are Hokas good for your feet? Many Hoka shoes have the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Approval, which is only awarded to products with proven benefits to foot health. The maximum cushioning helps here as it slows the velocity of your foot-strike. However, we strongly recommend checking with a podiatrist if you’re concerned about medical issues regarding your feet. Why Trust TripSavvy Nathan Allen is TripSavvy’s Outdoor Gear Editor. He’s run and hiked in Hoka shoes for over a decade and has tested nearly every model the brand offers. Nathan regularly rotates the Tecton Xs, Mafate Speed 4s, Challenger 7s, and Clifton 9s. Tested: The 11 Best Trail Running Shoes of 2023 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 8 below.