Good to know
-This premium footwear from Hoka One One combines the cushioning and comfort of a runner and the strength of a trekking shoe. It features the Megagrip outsole by Vibram, which offers ample traction on wet or dry conditions.
-The thick EVA midsole creates a bouncy, soft platform for the foot. In addition, the Meta-Rocker technology encourages a guided gait cycle that promotes an efficient, smooth roll from initial impact to toe-off.
-It also comes with the eVent waterproof membrane with full bootie construction to protect the foot from external moisture.
The men’s Hoka One One Tor Ultra Low WP JP hiker has an upper made with full-grain leather and nylon that gives comfort and support around the foot. It has lace to toe construction for a personalized fit, and an extra eyelet near the cuff in case you want your shoes to be extra snug in the midfoot.
Furthermore, the shoe features an Active Foot Frame that “cradles” the foot. It basically beds the heel and foot deeply into the midsole, offering guidance to the foot without the need for “posts” or other foot constrictions.
Lastly, the ultra-low heel collar gives the ankle more mobility but less support, which makes this shoe ideal for experienced hikers.
This shoe has an outsole made by Vibram. It features aggressive lugs that are 5mm deep which suggests solid traction on challenging terrain, particularly muddy ground or wet grass. Note, however, that shoes with deep lugs can feel a little uncomfortable when walking on pavement or firm dirt. Thankfully, the thick cushioning in the midsole ensures a smooth ride on nearly every surface.
The Megagrip design of this Vibram outsole makes this ultra-low hiker from Hoka One One suitable for both wet and dry conditions. It’s made with long-wearing rubber that is firm yet flexible enough to support a wide variety of foot movements.
This model has a full-length EVA top midsole for cushioning and a rubberized EVA midsole for support and shock absorption. EVA is a lightweight material and has that “memory foam” feel, which is why it makes a popular choice in performance footwear.
But what sets this Hoka One One shoe apart from other low-cut hikers is the addition of Meta-Rocker. It’s a brand-exclusive midsole geometry designed with a low heel-toe differential and a sculpted outsole that creates a unique “fulcrum effect,” similar to a rocking chair. According to the company, this structure is meant to promote the natural gait cycle of your feet to facilitate efficient and smooth movements.
The Meta-Rocker technology comes in two types - the “early stage” and the “late stage.” The Tor Ultra Low WP JP features the “late stage” where the Meta-Rocker is placed in front of the metatarsal heads, creating a more stable and supportive base for the forefoot.
Two premium materials are used to build the upper: full-grain leather and nylon. Both of these fabrics are durable and resistant to moisture.
The shoe also features a full bootie construction with the eVent waterproof membrane that offers complete protection against external moisture. Note, however, that it’s a low-cut hiker which means water can seep through the collar when it’s raining or if you’re stepping on deep puddles. It’s always a good idea to use a gaiter when hiking in extremely wet conditions.
Completing the upper is a lace to toe construction which means you can lace the shaft and ankle differently for better fit and stability.
Merrell also offers a fleet of low-cut hikers similar to that of Hoka One One. One of their most popular footwear is the Moab 2 Waterproof. Below are the key differences between these two reliable hiking shoes:
Material. The Moab 2 WP features an upper made with suede leather and mesh. While suede is lighter, softer, and “more breathable” than full-grain leather, it has less resistance to abrasion, as well as wear and tear. If you’re constantly on your foot or enjoy challenging terrain, the Hoka shoes may provide better durability.
Price. There’s a huge difference between the price of the Moab 2 WP and Tor Ultra Low, with the latter being significantly pricier than the former. The type of materials used for the upper (such as the full-grain leather), plus the unique features of the shoe (like the Meta-Rocker), largely contribute to the hefty price tag of the Hoka One One Tor Ultra Low.
Weight. These Hoka shoes are slightly lighter than the Merrel Moab 2 WP. If you’re day hiking and carrying a lighter load, a lighter shoe is a better option.