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HOKA ONE ONE BUYING GUIDE: IT'S YOUR TIME TO FLY


Initially distinguished by their oversized midsoles, today’s line-up of high-performance footwear from HOKA ONE ONE is designed with the same enhanced cushioning, inherent stability and problem-solving inspiration that now meets the needs of a wide variety of runners. We take a closer look at the brand ethos, as well as the bold and often unexpected approach that underpins some of the latest HOKA models.

The HOKA Difference

What makes HOKA different? Well, here are some of the notable technologies that make the brand a unique proposition:

Cushioned Midsole – Varying in thickness according to need, the super light and cushioned midsole offers shock absorption, comfort, and support.

Meta-Rocker – Meta-Rocker geometry, or wheels for your feet, drives the runner forward and reduces the height differential between the heel and toe, complementing the runner’s normal gait cycle.

Active Foot Frame – The Active Foot Frame beds the heel and foot deeply into the midsole, offering guidance to the foot without the need for ‘posts’ or other foot constrictions. The Active Foot Frame functions like a bucket seat in a race car, cradling the foot.

PROFLY™ - Dual-density midsole apparent on several HOKA models: softer in the heel for a cushioned landing and a higher-density foam in the forefoot for propulsion. It’s a forgiving landing with a responsive toe off.

J-FRAME™ - Dynamic Stability features the HOKA J-Frame™, which uses the functionality of the active foot frame but adds support with a firmer density foam on the medial side — where the over- pronating foot rolls in — all the way to the front of the shoe.

Our Favourite Shoes

While there’s a lot of choice, we've picked some of our favourite shoes:

The Badass Trail Option: Speedgoat 4 

Named after HOKA ONE ONE athlete Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, the Speedgoat 4 is part of an award-winning family known for making quick work of technical terrain, and it comes with a number of upgrades from its predecessor. Grippy on the uphill and secure on the downhill, the fourth edition Speedgoat features a new breathable yet rugged mesh, 3D printed overlays for increased midfoot support and a more secure feel, as well as a more accommodating fit in the toe box for improved comfort.

The Smooth Road Ride: Clifton 6

Fans of the early HOKA Clifton models will have reason to celebrate the latest iteration of the highly-cushioned, lightweight cornerstone of the brand’s line-up. A fine-tuning of the model that has long appealed to serious racers, everyday runners and beginners for its signature HOKA cushion and ride – alongside its surprisingly low weight – the Clifton 6 features a deconstructed upper with fewer overlays and embroidery reinforcement to minimise weight while retaining structural support.

The Uber Lightweight Speedster: Carbon X 

The racing shoe worn by ultrarunner Jim Walmsley to break the unofficial 50-mile World Record, which typifies the impossibly cushioned, impossibly-lightweight construction pioneered by HOKA. Made using never-before-seen HOKA ONE ONE® technology, this high-performance shoe features a specially engineered carbon fibre plate and an aggressive Meta-Rocker, designed to provide an efficient, propulsive ride. The PROFLY X technology, a special combination of foams, employed with trademark geometry, delivers an inherently stable, soft and responsive experience. The Carbon X is designed to empower athletes to fly.

Tackling All Terrain: Challenger ATR 5

One of HOKA’s most popular off-road options, the Challenger ATR 5 has an early stage Meta-Rocker as well as TPU toe reinforcement to help you sail over the toughest trails. A strategic lug pattern allows for smooth transitions and a soft ride, while its podular outsole design provides stability on uneven terrain. It boasts dual-layer mesh for both breathability and durability and the lightweight and oversized EVA midsole offers signature HOKA ONE ONE® cushioning.

Groundbreaking Stability: Arahi 4

The Arahi 4 provides a ride that is smooth and supportive but still prioritises performance. Featuring HOKA’s patent-pending J-FrameTM stability technology, it offers support and agility throughout your run. Complete with an all-new simplified and stripped back upper, the Arahi 4 is light and sleek on every mile. Runners will also benefit from structural support and increased breathability thanks to the updated upper, whilst an early stage Meta-Rocker facilitates a smooth ride, mile after mile.


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