HOKA running shoes are known for their oversized midsoles and smooth rides, making them ideal for a wide variety of running and training.
The best HOKA running shoes share the same roots, but designers tune each model for specific attributes. Originally built to help carry momentum forward, the new generation of HOKA does that and so much more.
Here are the best HOKA running shoes for every type of run:
[This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
The HOKA Clifton 7 is the best HOKA running shoe for everyday training because it combines big cushion with little weight for a premium running experience.
HOKA built the Clifton 7 on top of a big stack of its signature EVA foam. The midsole provides a cushy ride and smooth transition from heel to toe.
On top of that, HOKA used an engineered mesh upper for comfort. The mesh is lightweight and flexible for a natural feel, and it breathes well on hot days to keep your feet dry.
Even with the big cushion, though, HOKA maintained the Clifton 7's light weight: The women's Clifton 7 weighs 7.1 oz, and the men's model weighs 8.7 oz.
Fleet Feet testers in the HOKA Clifton 7 review said the newest Clifton delivers unbeatable cushion at an unbelievable weight, making it the best all-around HOKA training shoe.
The HOKA Bondi 7 isn't just the most cushioned running shoe in HOKA's formidable lineup—it's one of the best-cushioned running shoes of all time.
HOKA built the Bondi 7 to prioritize softness above all else. The newest version of the shoe has an impressive stack height: 31/27 mm for the women's model and 33/29 mm for men.
Packing that much foam underfoot gives the Bondi 7 an extremely plush and bouncy feel that won't bottom out. HOKA then carved that foam into its early stage Meta-Rocker shape for quick, smooth transitions.
Designers topped the Bondi with an engineered mesh upper for breathable support, and they built a padded heel collar for an even softer step-in feel. From heel to toe, the Bondi 7 is one of the cushiest running shoes you'll find.
In the HOKA Bondi 7 review, Fleet Feet testers praised its soft feel and surprisingly light weight for a shoe its size.
The HOKA ONE ONE Carbon X 2 is built for long, speedy runs.
The recently updated carbon-fiber plated running shoe features a padded collar and a sleek, single-layer mesh upper to keep your run comfortable and lightweight.
A robust midsole with a natural Meta-Rocker keeps you rolling forward and supports smooth, cushioned transitions without compromising your speed. The Carbon X 2 is a favorite among elite ultrarunners and hobby runners alike.
Fleet Feet runners loved HOKA's focus on minimizing weight and maximizing speed to create a comfortable race shoe. Read more in our HOKA Rocket X review.
Want HOKA cushion for the trails? Get the HOKA Speedgoat 4.
The Speedgoat 4—named after professional ultrarunner Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer—is an ultra-cushioned trail running shoe built to keep you comfortable for the long haul.
HOKA cushioned the Speedgoat with its signature stack of EVA foam, but they mated it to a Vibram MegaGrip outsole for traction in all conditions. A layer of 5mm deep rubber lugs give you grip on uphills and downhills, and a wide forefoot fit gives you stability and comfort on unpredictable terrain.
In the HOKA Speedgoat 4 review, testers loved how dependable the shoe is year after year. There’s nothing crazy about the shoe, it just works every single time.
The HOKA Arahi 4 is a great shoe for overpronators because it uses HOKA’s J-Frame stability technology.
Stability shoes have long used a medial post to create stability, which means shoe makers inserted a firmer, more durable piece of foam or plastic in the arch to help the shoe wear evenly. HOKA’s J-Frame, though, extends the firmer foam all the way around the back of the shoe.
The hook of foam runs from the medial side, around the heel and to the lateral side of the shoe to give you stability from all angles. Even with its built-in stability, though, the shoe keeps things light: The women’s version only weighs 8 oz, and the men’s weighs 9.6 oz.
Fleet Feet testers said in the HOKA Arahi 4 review the shoe provides a big stack of foam for softness, but the extra wide base coupled with the J-Frame creates a stable ride.
Entering into the growing market for running shoes with carbon-fiber plates, the HOKA Carbon X gives you the springiness of a carbon-fiber plate with signature HOKA cushion.
Designers sandwiched the carbon-fiber plate between layers of foam to create HOKA’s Profly X technology, which marries cushion and shape for a soft and propulsive ride. Draped in a thin mesh upper, the Carbon X breathes well and doesn’t hold on to any unnecessary ounces.
In the HOKA Carbon X review, Fleet Feet testers said it has the low-to-the-ground feeling and responsiveness of a racing flat but the protective cushioning of an everyday training shoe.
Simplicity makes the HOKA Rincon 2 an outstanding running shoe for speedwork or racing.
HOKA used clean, simple upper that makes the Rincon 2 comfortable and keeps it light. It smooth and flexible, so it doesn't distract you from your run.
The other star of the show is the Rincon 2's big foam midsole. The big bed of foam creates a soft ride and very smooth transition—and it manages to do it without adding any unnecessary weight to the shoe.
In the HOKA Rincon 2 review, Fleet Feet testers praised the shoe's minuscule weight and cushy ride. After a few hundred miles of testing, testers said the Rincon 2 makes the miles feel like they're adding up fast.
We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best HOKA ONE ONE running shoes for most runs and the most runners.
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on orders over $99, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.
HOKA makes some of the best running shoes in the business, but there are plenty of excellent shoes from other brands. See the best running shoe brands 2021 for more great shoes.
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