Our verdict

The Hoka Transport X leaves us scratching our heads in the lab. It's equipped with a carbon plate and a razor-thin upper, characteristics usually found in racing shoes. Yet, it's marketed as a versatile option for running, gym workouts, and even commuting. It's abundantly cushioned and performs well overall, but we just can't give it our stamp of approval as a running shoe. And at a $200 price point, we found it hard to justify the expense for what it offers and its limited durability.

Pros

  • Exceptional toebox
  • Remarkably stable
  • Ultra-cushioned
  • Midsole withstands cold temperatures
  • Excellent for gym workouts and CrossFit
  • Superior breathability
  • Astoundingly lightweight

Cons

  • Prohibitively expensive at $200
  • Unnecessary carbon plate
  • Durability concerns

Audience verdict

85
Good!

Who should buy

The Hoka Transport X is a tricky shoe to recommend, but we believe it suits the following people well:

  • Those who want just one shoe for absolutely everything, from running and CrossFit to going to work.
  • Gym aficionados looking for a premium-quality shoe that can also handle occasional runs.
  • Heavier folks who want a lot of cushioning for all kinds of sports activities or even just walking.

Hoka Transport X

Who should NOT buy

One of the main issues with this shoe is its steep price tag. At $200, you could pick up an ASICS Superblast, considered by us as one of the best cushioned daily trainers on the market. And if running isn't your main focus, the Hoka Kawana is a less expensive option that works great for the occasional run.

If running isn't a priority for you, the Hoka Transport is a great all-around option for those with narrow-to-medium width feet. For a max-cushioned walking and neutral shoe, we also recommend the Hoka Bondi SR as an excellent alternative.

Hoka Transport X parts

Breathability

For a shoe that's designed to be worn throughout the year—like the Transport X—breathability is key.

The Transport X exhibits excellent breathability through the tongue

We put this one through our lovely smoke test in the lab and were thrilled to give it a perfect score of 5 out of 5.

Our light test just confirmed what we had already observed—the upper is super thin and allows air to flow easily. But we wanted to dig deeper to understand how they achieved this level of breathability.

Hoka Transport X microscope

Using the microscope we discovered that Hoka didn't just rely on making holes in the upper, like many other brands do, which can weaken the shoe.

Instead, Hoka used an ultra-thin engineered mesh that lets air pass right through.

Hoka Transport X microscope

However, keep in mind that this upper isn't as flexible as you'll find in some other everyday shoes—it's quite the opposite, actually.

Test results
Transport X 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 230 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

While this shoe excels in breathability, we found that it doesn't hold up as well in durability. During our dremel test on the toebox in the lab, the Transport X didn't perform too well (1/5).

Hoka is aware of this issue. That's why they've added a larger-than-average plastic overlay on part of the toebox. This helps to prevent damage to the toe cap.

Hoka Transport X Toebox durability
Test results
Transport X 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We found that, like many other shoes, the heel also scored low in durability—just 1 out of 5 in our second dremel test.

While it sounds alarming, it's mostly a concern for those who usually wear out the heels of their shoes. For most runners, we don't think this will be a problem.

Hoka Transport X Heel padding durability
Test results
Transport X 1
Average 3.2
Compared to 160 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We measured the outsole hardness in the lab and found it to be pretty average at 80.5 HC.

Hoka Transport X outsole

Those weight-saving cutouts truly look Hokawesome.

It seems like Hoka's goal is to strike a balance between durability and grip.

Hoka Transport X Outsole hardness
Test results
Transport X 80.5 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

For the third and final round with the dremel in the lab, we checked out how durable the outsole really is.

We ended up with a 0.8-mm dent in the rubber—a pretty average outcome.

Hoka Transport X Outsole durability
Test results
Transport X 0.8 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 142 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

However, we were disappointed when we found out just how thin the outsole is. Measuring only 1.8 mm, it's clear that Hoka was more focused on making the shoe lightweight than on making it last.

Durability definitely took a backseat with the Transport X.

Hoka Transport X Outsole thickness
Test results
Transport X 1.8 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

At only 9.7 oz (274g), we can confirm that the huge Transport X feels light and it's... really light!

Hoka Transport X Weight
Test results
Transport X 9.67 oz (274g)
Average 9.35 oz (265g)
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

This is a very big shoe. In the lab, we measured a whopping 40.2 mm in the heel.

Hoka Transport X heel

That's one of the highest measurements we've ever seen. So, if you're looking for lots of cushioning, you won't be disappointed.

Hoka Transport X Heel stack
Test results
Transport X 40.2 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot is also quite thick, measuring 30.8 mm in our lab tests.

This pretty much means you won't get any ground feel. And that's not surprising because, like all Hoka shoes with an "X" in the name, it comes with a built-in carbon plate...

Hoka Transport X Forefoot stack
Test results
Transport X 30.8 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

We measured a 9.4-mm difference in height between the forefoot and the heel, which is known as the heel-to-toe drop.

For many running shoes, this would be a pretty standard number. But here's the catch: Hoka claims this shoe has a 5-mm drop, which is almost half of what we found in our lab.

We can't say how Hoka does their measurements, but we can tell you they're not using the same World Athletics guidelines that we follow.

Hoka Transport X Drop
Test results
Transport X 9.4 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

We measured the insole of the Transport X and found that it's only 4.5 mm thick. There's really nothing special to note about it.

Hoka Transport X Insole thickness
Test results
Transport X 4.5 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 296 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

In the lab, we checked the foam's softness and got a 22.8 HA reading. 

These shoes don't offer the ultra-soft feel you might expect from other Hoka models. And since there's a carbon plate inside, you should expect an even firmer ride.

Hoka Transport X Midsole softness
Test results
Transport X 22.8 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 228 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We put the Transport X in the freezer for 20 minutes to see how they'd hold up in cold weather. After taking them out, we measured their softness again with the durometer.

We found that the reading was 27.5 HA.

The measurement only went up by 20.9%, which is really impressive!

Hoka Transport X Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Transport X 20.9%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 227 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Designed to be the ultimate do-it-all shoe, the Transport X aims for rock-solid stability. After putting it through our tests, we can confirm it's really stable.

Torsional rigidity

Most versatile shoes aren't super stiff, but they also usually don't have carbon plates.

We're not sure why Hoka put a trail-style, dual-forked carbon plate in the Transport X. But we do know that the shoe is extra-stiff and scored a 5/5 in our tests.

Test results
Transport X 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 279 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Maybe they should've named this shoe the Hoka Stiff X. It clocked a 5/5 in another one of our tests, this time for having a really rigid heel counter.

While this design adds a lot to its stability, we found that it could make the shoe less comfortable during runs or even walks.

Test results
Transport X 5
Average 2.8
Compared to 263 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

We discovered that the Transport X has a midsole width of 118.5 mm. That's wider than most running shoes on the market.

The wider landing platform tells us the design is, again, geared toward stability.

Hoka Transport X Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Transport X 118.5 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

We found that the heel is also quite wide. This makes it an excellent pick for heel strikers who often have trouble with stability in other all-around shoes.

Hoka Transport X Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Transport X 94.4 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We've mentioned that this is a stiff shoe, but we wanted to put some numbers to it.

After testing it in the lab, we found that the shoe scored 53.4N in our 90-degree bend test. That's almost twice the average!

Test results
Transport X 53.4N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

So how does the Transport X perform in cold weather? We found that, like most shoes, it becomes stiffer. We measured 65.5N in the same 90-degree bend test we did in the lab.

We found an impressive 22.7% difference between the room temperature test and the cold-weather test. This is actually an excellent result.

The smaller the difference, the more consistent and reliable the shoe performs in various conditions!

Test results
Transport X 22.7%
Average 36.2%
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Internal length

Hoka advertises the shoe as being 270 mm long, but we measured it and found it to be slightly shorter—265.4 mm for a standard US size 9.

Hoka Transport X Internal length
Test results
Transport X 265.4 mm
Average 269.2 mm
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
259.9 mm
Internal length
280.4 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

One big problem with the non-plated Hoka Transport was its super snug toebox. That feature turned away a lot of people, making it a good fit only for those with narrow feet.

The Transport X fixes this with a more roomy design. We measured its toebox at 99.8 mm in its widest point, making it a comfy fit even for some people with wide feet.

Hoka Transport X Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Transport X 99.8 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

We also measured the size of the area around the big toe, which was 78.3 mm.

We do this because one measurement alone doesn't give us the whole story. Based on what we found, this shoe is a great fit for people with wider feet.

Hoka Transport X Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Transport X 78.3 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 175 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The shoe's tongue is semi-gusseted, helping to keep our foot securely in place while running. Honestly, we'd find it surprising if a shoe that costs two hundred bucks didn't have this feature.

Hoka Transport X Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Transport X Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

During this review, we mentioned that this shoe is pretty light for its massive stack height.

One big reason for that is the super-thin tongue. We measured it at just 1.7 mm, making it more like what you'd find in a racing shoe rather than in typical cross-training or easy running shoes.

Hoka Transport X Tongue padding
Test results
Transport X 1.7 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

We noticed the shoe doesn't have a heel tab, but getting your feet into it is still pretty easy. So the lack of a heel tab really comes down to personal taste, rather than being a big issue.

Hoka Transport X Heel tab
Test results
Transport X None

Removable insole

We found that removing the insole was easy. Plus, since the shoe isn't super narrow, it can comfortably accommodate insoles from other shoes or custom orthotics.

Hoka Transport X Removable insole
Test results
Transport X Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Hoka promotes this shoe with "360-degree reflectivity," a feature that's pretty rare in running shoes.

We've got to say, we're big fans! It has multiple shiny, reflective strips that really catch the eye. This is an awesome safety feature that we absolutely love.

Hoka Transport X Reflective elements
Test results
Transport X Yes