Who should buy the HOKA Gaviota 4 

Get this shoe if you suffer from overpronation, love big running shoes, and need plenty of cushioning. It’s great as a marathon or ultramarathon training option but works pretty well for casual running too. Besides, it will please heavy runners looking for a lot of protection from the ground.

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Who should not buy it

Look elsewhere if you:

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For the long haul

While a great companion for easy training and recovery days, the Gaviota 4, judging from the reviews it has garnered, is also ideal for those runners who want to go far.

As a tester said, it is “built to take care of you mile after mile,” and another expert added that it’s “an exceptional trainer for longer distances” and of course for ultramarathons too.

HOKA Gaviota 4 keeps your feet cool

No issues were reported regarding the breathability of the shoe. As a runner stated after a few runs in the summertime, he had “no problems allowing the feet to breathe.”

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Surprisingly enjoyable

Reviewers liked the balanced feel that the midsole offers, which is “both plush while having some hints of firmness.”  

The ride is described as being “super-smooth, offering seamless heel-to-toe transitions.”  And according to the same runner, there’s also a “subtle energy return, which helped add a lively spring."

One of the best about comfort

Among reviewers, there were no doubts about how good this shoe felt on foot. As they perfectly put it:

  • “I put these shoes on and actually forgot about them”
  • “everything fit good with this shoe”
  • “I can't stop wearing them.”

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An outsole that works

Testers praised the traction that the Gaviota 4 provides. One of them noticed that it handled a variety of surfaces “without any issues."

On top of this, the outsole proved to be also very durable, and the same runner stated that it is “meant for hundreds of miles.”

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Plenty of support in the Gaviota 4

Runners with overpronation can benefit from HOKA’s J-Frame, a denser insert of foam that provides support and guides the foot. This, together with a wide platform, brings the necessary stability to the whole shoe.

Still a heavy shoe

Even though it doesn’t feel excessively heavy when running, according to reviewers who tried it on the Gaviota 4 is a shoe that could use some weight decrease. On the scale, it shows 11.4oz (323g) and the average for a road running shoe is around 9.6oz (273g).

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A true shield between the foot and the ground

As expected given the huge size, the ground feel is almost completely muted with this shoe, but on the bright side, the impacts are absorbed extremely well. This brought a tester to say that the shoe has “the most underfoot protection [he has] ever run in.”

No issues with the laces in the Gaviota 4

The so-called H-Frame is not something new in Hoka shoes, yet runners praised the fact that it works very well, or as an experienced runner said, “in a simple and effective manner.” 

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Not as rigid as before

Hoka shoes are often quite rigid, and when it comes to stability shoes this is even more apparent. Yet, while remaining a rather stiff shoe, the Gaviota 4 has a little bit more flexibility than its predecessor and as a runner stated, it feels more natural and enjoyable.

Gaviota 4 needs just a couple of runs

According to the testers, this shoe did not feel as soft as expected on their first run, and for a runner, it was even borderline uncomfortable. However, it took only a few miles to get better.  

Not for the budget-minded

Compared to the average price for a running shoe ($123) the Gaviota 4 is a little bit expensive, given that it costs $170.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 323g / Women 264g
Drop: Men 5mm
Arch support: Stability
Forefoot height: Men 35mm
Heel height: Men 40mm
Collection: Hoka Gaviota

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Author
Gabriele Zampieri
Gabriele Zampieri

Gabriele lives and runs in Italy and he knows the Alps inside out. No wonder given that he has 30+ via ferratas, 20+ trail races and 100+ hiking routes under his belt. And he willingly bivouacked more than 30 times in the middle of nowhere. He logs 25-45 miles per week with 1k-3k elevation gain and is now training for his first 100k race. Trails run through his veins but so does the Italian talkative side.