Hoka One One (pronounced Ho-kah Oh-nay Oh-nay) is known for their cushion. Founders Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud started Hoka One One in 2009. Their vision was to create a shoe that would help alleviate fatigue, impact, and muscle strains so runners could just enjoy running. They produce light weight oversized shoes with plenty of cushioning. Some of their top sellers include the Bondi 3, Clifton, and Conquest. If you want a shoe that feels like you are running on clouds, Hoka might have a shoe for you. Today I am going to review the new kid on the block, the Huaka (pronounced Waaka).
The Huaka is a lightweight, low heel drop shoe that is fast and comfortable. Many of Hoka’s shoes have a high stack height and tons of cushion. I tried the Rapa Nui Tarmac in the past and found that it had too much cushion for me. I didn’t feel like I had a connection with the ground, causing me to run with bad form once I got tired. That was not the case with the Huaka. This is one comfortable shoe!
The Huaka has a 2 mm heel drop. I am used to the zero drop Altra shoes and I love that this has a lower heel drop as well. It allows me to run with better posture and I can land mid to forefoot easier. The Huaka also has an early stage meta-rocker which guides your foot during your stride, from heel strike to toe off.
The shoe has a stack height of 25mm at the toe and 27mm at the heel. I don’t feel like I am too high off the ground and the shoe felt very stable. They use a very light cushion allowing the shoe to remain light and stable. The Huaka weighs in at only 9.3 ounces for a men’s size 9. Not bad for a cushioned shoe. The best part of the cushioning is that your foot sits down in the midsole, which accommodates different types of feet and running styles.
The Huaka is just as good on groomed trails as it is on the road. I am not sure if you would have enough traction in muddy conditions, but they worked great on the dry trails that I used. I felt like I had great control and it really helped stabilize my ankles. I think that this is Hoka’s best shoe yet. If you are looking for a great training shoe with some cushion, give them a try.