Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.
Water-repellent boots offer basic protection from water splashes and rain and still have some breathability. But if you want full protection, go for the waterproof options.
Shoes that weigh less than 16 oz (450 grams)
Shoes with easily removable insoles that can accommodate custom orthotics.
Minimalist hiking shoes in which the heel is placed at the same height as the toes, as if you were standing on something flat. This allows for a more natural walking experience. Not recommended for beginners though.
Shoes designed in a way that their worn out sole can be replaced with a new one.
Placed in the heel section of the outsole, this component helps to minimize slipping and sliding on steep descents.
Shoes with a special lining that prevents growth of harmful bacteria.
Red laces serve more for style than function. A nod to retro hiking shoes.
Hoka hiking shoes
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The unique design of Hoka hiking shoes creates a fulcrum effect for a more efficient ride. As part of the Deckers brands, Hoka aims to provide high-performance hikers using a distinctive and oversized midsole volume with an agile foot frame. This American footwear manufacturer expanded their line by producing hiking shoes and boots with running shoe DNA.
Advantages of wearing men's and women's Hoka hiking shoes
Best Hoka hiking shoes - May 2019
Hoka is just one of the many brands that revolutionized the traditional, sturdy and rugged build of hiking footwear. See below for some of the benefits you will gain from wearing a pair of Hoka hiking shoes:
Offering a pillow-like cushioning, you will surely enjoy the comfort Hoka has incorporated into their hiking shoes. Their oversized midsole gives all-day coziness by cushioning each user’s step. This technology is part of the brand’s constant desire to render a responsive yet durable ride. The materials used by designers ensure that you will be able to enjoy its confines from its first moments out of the box.
Hoka developed technologies that aim to optimize stability even when you are tackling a rugged terrain. The Active Foot Frame is just one of the brand’s innovation that has been adapted to hiking shoes. It keeps the foot in a neutral position. Their footwear also boasts of a wide platform which holds users steady.
Despite the oversized design of Hoka men’s and women’s hiking shoes, it is surprisingly lightweight. Some of their models wear a durable textile upper which helps keep the weight low. Also, the technologies incorporated in select styles use light materials that do not compromise the user’s trail performance.
Hiking shoes from Hoka encourage a smooth transition from heel strike to toe-off, thanks to the Meta-Rocker design. The robust feature supports the foot and creates a guided gait cycle.
Technologies used in some of the best Hoka hiking shoes for men and women
This brand-owned feature, the Meta-Rocker, gives users a low heel-to-toe drop. Its sculpted outsole helps promote a smooth transition by creating a fulcrum effect (or a rockered profile). It supports the natural form of the user while optimizing a smooth transition from heel strike to toe off. It is split into two phases:
Early-stage Meta-Rocker. The transition zone is placed behind the metatarsals. This design aims to create a smoother stride and faster transition to the forefoot.
Late-stage Meta-Rocker. In this category, the transition zone is situated in front of the metatarsals. It yields a stable base of support at the forefoot.
RMAT is a Hoka-owned sole unit (a combination of the midsole and outsole) used in a majority of their hiking shoes. It is made of blended rubber EVA which provides an uber-comfy foam under the foot. This durable material optimizes rebound to create a more enhanced trail performance. It also boosts adherence on various ground surfaces.
Active Foot Frame
The Active Foot Frame technology puts the heel and foot deeper into the midsole. This mechanism helps stabilize the user’s foot by guiding it in a neutral position, eliminating the need for extra posts that are sometimes restricting. It cradles and supports the foot without slippage.
This third-party waterproofing technology uses billions of microscopic pores built into their membrane. It vents moisture in the shoe out and seals off water from the outside. It helps optimize the performance of wearers on and off the trail, without worrying about the changes in weather conditions.
Another known feature used in some hiking shoes from Hoka is a Vibram outsole. This popular brand is in demand for its soles and compounds that offer grip on most types of terrain. It uses aggressive lugs which bite into ground surfaces to elevate performance.
Hoka also partnered with Microban to keep a number of their hiking shoes odor-free. This antimicrobial technology inhibits the growth of mold and mildew, thus extending the usable life of the shoe.
A brief overview of Hoka’s history
The Deckers Brands, also the parent company of Teva (a brand of hiking sandals), completed the acquisition of Hoka in 2013. Currently, Hoka continues to create and develop products that bear their signature features: “maximalist” style, low weight-to-cushion ratio and unique, oversized midsoles. They have incorporated their running shoe DNA into various types of footwear to be able to cater to a broader audience. Their products aim to promote a more efficient stride by improving the user’s gait cycle.