Summary

We spent 8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • One runner mentioned that he was able to run in the Hoka One One Gaviota 2 without experiencing any pain. He also felt that his recovery time might lessen because of the shoe's stability features and cushioning.
  • Some testers mentioned how great the shoe felt. Unlike other shoes, it did not aggravate their knee and foot issues.
  • A lot of reviewers appreciated the level of comfort delivered.
  • According to one user, the shoe felt stable during her runs.
  • One female user was happy about how the wide version fit her foot.

3 reasons not to buy

  • One male user mentioned that the midfoot section was as tight as the one on the first version. Even though he loosened the laces, the area under the tongue still felt constricted.
  • Some female reviewers weren't happy that there were not enough colorways for the wide version of the Hoka One One Gaviota 2.
  • Almost all female testers commented negatively on the color selection available. It would have been better if there were more vibrant options, they said.

Bottom line

The Hoka One One Gaviota 2 is a road shoe designed to handle the needs of runners who overpronate. Plenty of users found it to be comfortable and supportive. It did not cause them any pain nor did it aggravate underlying problems. There were users, however, who weren't pleased with the colorways the shoe came in. Nevertheless, the second version of the Hoka One One's Gaviota still proved to be a supportive shoe that allows runners to go the distance.

Facts

Terrain: Road
Arch support: Motion control
Weight: Men: 10.6oz | Women: 8.8oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 5mm | Women: 5mm
Pronation: Severe overpronation
Arch type: Low arch
Use: Jogging
Material: Vegan
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Foot Condition: Flat feet
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 32mm | Women: 32mm
Forefoot height: Men: 27mm | Women: 27mm
Release date: Dec 2018
Brand: Hoka One One
Type: Heavy | Big guy | Low drop | Maximalist
Width: Men: Narrow, Normal, Wide | Women: Normal, Wide
Price: $150
Colorways: Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Purple
Size
Small True to size Large
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy
Flexibility
Stiff Flexible
Breathability
Warm Breathable
Cushioning
Firm Plush
Durability 8/10
Comfort 7/10
Traction 8/10
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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87 / 100 based on 11 expert reviews

  • 96 / 100 | Mark Clements

    2019 Chicago marathon with Hoka One One Gaviota 2

    More photos

    I am a 42-year-old runner, about 170 pounds and 6’ 1” tall. I race all distances, from 5ks to marathons, and spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.

    The Gaviota 2 is a supremely cushioned, maximal stability running shoe. The foundation is mega-wide, and my feet felt like they were being sucked into plush, form-fitting, memory-foam cushioned shoes.

     

     

     

    At first, I thought for sure they would be too bulky, too big, and clumsy for running. They seem over-sized.

    I received the Gaviota 2 at 6 weeks to go until the Chicago Marathon. So testing these shoes incorporated the last 6-week build up to the marathon, covering my feet in every workout, and included running the Chicago Marathon in them.

    Preliminary fit

    Shoe length

    My feet are size 12 (Brannock). Size 12 in the Gaviota 2 gave me just the right amount of extra space in the toes. Perfect shoe length!

     

    Laces

    I use a heel-locking tie just like every other shoe I wear since it keeps my heels cinched down.

    The laces seemed to be a little long, even using all of the eyelets. However, I did not have one issue of the laces coming undone, even without double-knotting them. 

    Toe box

    The toe-box would seem to be extra wide considering the super-sized platform. However, the box was not overly spacious.

    I had no issues with cramping, but the shoe did seem to fit my foot width exceptionally well.

    Heel & arch support

    Putting on these shoes was like sinking my feet into customized plush house shoes. The arch support was spot on, and the heel sucked right around the backs of my feet.

    I do not know whether this shoe fits anyone else perfectly or not, but it felt customized to my feet after a while. 

    Upper

    Here is where the shoe began to lose points in my review. There is just too much structure on the upper portion; a lot going on.

    I don’t think the upper portion added to the overall weight too much, but, as you will read later, it tended to complicate matters over the course of runs.

     

    Midsole & outsole

    This shoe is exceptionally stiff and seemingly clunky. It is a very large footprint.

    The midsole is exceptionally cushioned, and the combination of rubber and foam in the outsole is interesting and soft. I anticipate the outsole will not hold up to the rigor of 500 miles.

    Weight

    Whatever Hoka did to make this shoe lightweight, they got it right. As clunky and large as this shoe, it is extremely lightweight for a stability shoe (coming in under 11 ounces).

    After 370 miles

    I gave the Gaviota 2s a full range of testing over the course of the final 6 weeks before the Chicago Marathon.

     

    • Short runs (3-6 miles) at recovery pace
    • Track speed work
    • Fartlek runs on the streets
    • 20+ mile long runs
    • Marathon

    Not only did these shoes become "very" comfortable over the span of their use, but the very large platform also did not really cause me any issues.

    I am coming off a bad hip injury earlier this year, and I did not experience any major pain while I was running in these shoes.

    With all the good experiences in these shoes, there are a few negative points I must make. The first and most important of which is the upper construction.

     

     

    As noted earlier, there's so much going on with the upper. It seems to lack the ability to wick away moisture from the feet. In fact, these shoes do the opposite.

    After every single run in these shoes, no matter how short or long, the shoes were wet with moisture and dirt. They seemed to suck it out of the air. These shoes smell terribly after 370 miles.

    Secondly, and less importantly, I do not think the outsole construction is up to handling more than 300 miles or so. As you can tell, as I near 400 miles, the outsoles are beyond needing replacing.

     

    Performance

    I had no issues in these shoes when it came to performance. From daily training to marathon racing, I did not feel encumbered by them. Please take note, however, that I did not attempt to run a personal best in the Chicago Marathon. Coming off of an injury, my goal was to get through the training and the race without pain, and I did. If I had been trying to run a PB, I likely would NOT have chosen to run in these shoes.

    Expected Lifespan

    At 370 miles, my Gaviota 2 are retired. I do not think it wise to continue running in them any longer. The outsoles are pretty worn down, and the midsole seems to be breaking down as well. I would change this shoe out before 350 miles.

    Pros

    • Solid, comfy structure
    • Great shoe laces
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Non-wicking upper
    • Short outsole lifespan

    Final thoughts

    If you are looking for a highly structured, lightweight daily trainer that provides maximum stability, this shoe is for you. If you live in a drier climate with low humidity, you will enjoy them even more.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 72 / 100 | Robert Landauer

    The Hoka One One Gaviota 2

    More photos

    Meant as a semi-support shoe with Hoka’s famed maximalist, high-cushion approach, the Gaviota 2 isn’t a perfect fit for everyone, but after some getting-used-to, it does the job.

    Advertised Weight: 10.6 oz (M’s 9)     Measured Weight: 11.1 oz (M’s 9.5)       Drop: 5 mm

     

    Upper

    The Gaviota 2’s upper is mostly made out of a breathable mesh, but even so, I found it getting soaked through entirely during some runs on hot, humid days. That could’ve simply been bad timing.

    I first started running in them at the height of summer, but this happened more than once, sometimes in less than an hour of running.

     

     

    Maybe that’s a good thing. Sweat is getting pulled away from your feet and exposed to the air, where it can dry. Or maybe these simply soak up sweat like crazy.

    Overall, the upper is comfortable. There’s a double layer in the midfoot (presumably to add more structure there), but it doesn’t seem to be doing a good job since the midfoot feels loose and sloppy (see notes on fit).

    Fit

    Sizing is appropriate, but the fit is...odd.

    Right out of the box, these shoes felt unusually wide. That’s especially a surprise considering the Gaviota 2 is also available in a wide fit.

    When that’s the case, you’d expect the “normal” shoe to be a medium width, or possibly on the thin side, because those with wide feet can always get the wide option.

    As a runner with no need for extra width, this put me off the shoes before the first run. However, after a few runs, and fiddling with the laces, a reasonably good fit was accomplished.

     

     

    The fit is especially wide in the midfoot/arch area. I feel like the shoes need more arch support 80% of the time.

    Due mostly to the fit, these have even less than normal. I usually don’t use a runner’s loop to lace my shoes, but with the Gaviota 2, it was needed, and it made a difference.

    If you don’t like a lot of arch support and you have wide feet, you might like the fit. Try the regular before ordering the wide version, because the regulars might be wide enough.

    Tread

    When I first got these, the tread pattern had me excited. It looked like there was enough that running on city park trails would be right up its alley.

    In reality, they perform on trails about as well as any other road trainer. Trails aren’t what the Gaviota 2 is meant for. So it’s not necessarily a negative, but if you’re thinking these look like double-duty shoes, they’re not.

     

     

    On any unpaved surface, your feet slip a little if you try to run at speed, and cornering is an issue.

    Part of this is likely the high stack all Hoka shoes have - a shoe that’s lower to the ground connects to the surface better, allowing you to dig in, push off, and corner sharply.

    The Gaviota 2 is less like driving a Jeep and more like driving a van. You gotta slow down for corners, and while it can handle a dirt road, that’s not its purpose.

    Cushion

    Unsurprisingly, the Hoka Gaviota 2 has a ton of cushion. Enough that it takes some getting used to; these are probably the most cushioned shoes I’ve ever run in.

    You might expect running in a shoe with this much cushion to feel like running in sand, but that’s not entirely the case.

     

     

    That said, while many modern shoes have a lot of energy return, these don’t. The Gaviota 2 is somewhere in between an energy-sucking pillowy ride and the bouncy trampoline feeling you get from shoes with excellent energy return.

    It’s like...jumping on an old spring mattress that’s seen better days. But hey, nice and soft.

    Ride

    The Hoka Gaviota 2 is described as a stability shoe, but it doesn’t always feel that way. Rather than forcing you into a certain stride or footstrike, the Gaviota 2 simply nudges you in the right direction.

    That’s great if you still want some control over how your foot hits the ground, as well as a little extra flexibility and agility. However, a shoe with this much stack height isn’t agile in the first place.

    If you’re looking for a high-stability shoe, this isn’t it. However, if you want some stability from your daily trainers, these accomplish that, while still letting you run. For many runners, this is the perfect amount of stability.

    Looks

    Since the main color is grey, you don’t notice it at first, but there are no less than five colors on this shoe. Even with five colors, this shoe manages to look boring.

    Some of the other color options are more exciting than grey, but Hoka picked a dull shade no matter what color the shoe is.

    Bright colors are great and stick to only a couple, three at most. I’d much rather have a pair of bright orange shoes than a pair of grey-white-blue-black-orange shoes that still manage to look boring.

    Once again, the cardinal sin: Stop making white outsoles! You might as well make the outsole an ugly grey-brown color because that’s what it’ll be after one hour of running.

    Overall, the design looks OK. It got a beefy look, not sleek at all, but that’s as a result of its function. Fix the colors, and this might look good. More reflectivity would be nice.

    Overall

    If you have flat, wide feet, run at an easy jog pace, like a ton of cushioning, want a moderate amount of stability, and don’t care what it looks like, then this could be the shoe for you.

     

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 88 / 100 | Grounded Running | | Level 2 expert

    It's got a fantastic, very very stylish look to it. It's got some suede offerings as well as that breathable engineered mesh.

  • 91 / 100 | The Active Guy | | Level 5 expert

    If you are looking for a responsive and lightweight stability running shoe, I would recommend giving the Hoka One One Gaviota 2 try. While it isn’t the lightest running shoe, it offsets some of the weight with a responsive feel.

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  • From printed mesh, the upper material was updated and replaced with engineered mesh. According to Hoka One One, there was a significant amount of complaints about the upper not being breathable enough. Hoka listened and made the upper more stretchable with better ventilation.
  • Guidance loops for the shoelaces were added on the base of the tongue and towards the tip. These loops hold the laces in place, preventing them from moving side to side while the runner is in motion.
  • Formerly, the structural component that supports the heel was part of the upper. On this new version of the Gaviota, the heel counter was made separate, allowing the upper to be more flexible and breathable.

The Hoka One One Gaviota 2 is available in standard lengths for both men and women. Runners who wish to own a pair can make use of their usual size preferences. As for the width, runners can choose from medium to wide - 2E is available for men while D is for women. It's also important to remember that an Ortholite sock liner improves the fit from within.

The outsole is made up of standard rubber and Hi-Abrasion rubber. The standard rubber is placed on areas that need the most flexibility. The lightweight Hi-Abrasion rubber, on the other hand, was strategically placed on high-wear areas for durability and increased traction.

The tread is made up of segments separated by deep flex grooves. These grooves allow the bottom of the shoe to move without inhibition. Each segment's contact area has been designed with a honeycomb pattern for better traction and grip on different surfaces.

On the midsole is the RMAT J-Frame. RMAT is a material made with a combination of soft and standard foam. It's more durable and resilient compared to the usual EVA foam. It was shaped like the letter J, and placed along the medial side of the shoe, around the heel, to control the excessive inward rolling motion of the foot without using a traditional medial post. A comparable alternative to the motion-control function of the Gaviota 2 is the Brooks Beast18.

The midsole platform was engineered to have the Late Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry. Designed to have a curve with the transition zone placed in front of the metatarsal heads, the platform creates a more stable base of the forefoot support, as it smoothens the transition from one phase of the running cycle to the next.

The upper is made up of Engineered Mesh which is lightweight yet offers better structural integrity compared to standard mesh. It caters to different foot shapes and it hugs the foot in all of the right places without making the runner feel constricted. The mesh material also allows air to pass through the shoe easily, making it well-ventilated.

The midfoot area is wrapped by a component called Arch-lock Wings. These wings can be found on both sides of the shoe, and they act like a cage, minimally locking the midfoot into place. The wings don't stabilize the midfoot completely, but they do aid in minimizing overpronation.

A heel counter has been added for better support. Just like the Arch-lock Wings, the counter doesn't immobilize the heel completely, but it still serves as a structure that slightly cups the heel into the right alignment.

At the back of the shoe is a loop which serves as a feature that allows for the easier slipping on of the shoe. Runners can pull on the loop so their heel can slide into the shoe without much effort.

Inside is a molded Ortholite Sockliner which acts as an extra layer of comfort and cushioning for the underfoot. In addition, it also keeps the inside environment of the shoe ideal as it manages moisture effectively.

Comparison