Our verdict

With a few tweaks to the original sandal, the Hopara 2 became an even more comfortable and effective hiking sandal for tackling near-water scenes with ease. We felt very confident in this amphibious Hoka shoe as it proved to be stable and protective on rocks, moss, and slippery slopes. We believe that the Hopara 2 can become your ultimate trail-to-coast holiday footwear!

Pros

  • Unmatched toe protection
  • Highly durable construction
  • Light for a closed-toe sandal
  • Excellent water drainage
  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Feels stable and grounded
  • Fantastic grip on slippery surfaces
  • Plenty of toe room
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

  • Traps sand easily
  • Not for narrow feet
  • Colour discrepancy

Audience verdict

77
Good!

Who should buy

We think that the Hoka Hopara 2 can make an excellent choice for people who need an all-purpose sandal for the following:

  • hiking by the water (with wet rocks, roots, and moss involved)
  • casual hikes on light-to-moderate trails
  • going on a cruise
  • gardening and other house chores
  • chilling and recovering outdoors

Hoka Hopara 2 review

Who should NOT buy

If you are in search of a go-to beach sandal, the Hopara 2 won't make the best option because of its sand-trapping issues. Better opt for the Chaco Z/Cloud or the Teva Hurricane XLT2.

A person with narrow feet will also end up swimming in the Hoka Hopara 2's roomy upper. They may want to choose the aforementioned sandals with adjustable forefoot straps or go for a slimmer hiking shoe instead.

Hoka Hopara 2 lab test

Durability

Toebox durability

The Hopara 2 inherited the oversized toe cap of the original sandal. It made us feel incredibly protected by softening the blow of the roots and rocks we stumbled upon.

To give you an idea of how sturdy this toe bumper is, we ruthlessly drilled it with sandpaper for 12 seconds. The speed of the Dremel was set to 5K RPM and the pressure remained consistent at 3.2N.

Hoka Hopara 2 Toebox durability comparison

As you can see from the comparison photo above, the Hopara 2 sandal proved to be more ready for abrasion than some of the hiking shoes!

Hoka Hopara 2 Cordura

Even the less high-wear areas of the Hopara 2 are made of strong Cordura mesh panels. This synthetic fabric has a long-standing reputation in military and outdoor products and is known for its exceptional durability.

Hoka Hopara vs. Hoka Hopara 2

We found it a very wise upgrade from the thick and stuffy synthetic leather overlays of the Hopara 1. There are no more gaps to let pebbles and dirt inside the sandal and the Cordura mesh offers much better ventilation and water drainage.

Outsole hardness

The Hoka Hopara 2 uses targeted rubber to protect the most wear-prone areas of the sandal.

Hoka Hopara 2 Outsole hardness

We found that this rubber compound is pretty tough using a Shore C durometer. At 82.9 HC, it is on par with most hiking sandals we've tested.

Test results
Hopara 2 82.9 HC
Average 79.7 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
50.5 HC
Outsole hardness
85.5 HC

Outsole durability

We turned to our Dremel once again to test if the sandal's rubber was indeed that heavy-duty.

After 22 seconds of drilling it at a high speed of 10K RPM, we only saw some light scuffing on the treading! Our tread gauge showed that it wasn't even a millimetre deep! Only 0.7 mm which is notably shallower than average.

Hoka Hopara 2 Outsole durability test

We anticipate that it would take a great deal of slashing the Hopara 2 against sharp rocks before its outsole rubber starts to give up.

Test results
Hopara 2 0.7 mm
Average 1.9 mm
Compared to 6 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Measuring the amount of rubber at the bottom, our calliper showed a standard thickness of 2.7 mm. That's good enough for a hiking sandal.

Hoka Hopara 2 Outsole thickness measurement

Test results
Hopara 2 2.7 mm
Average 2.5 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
3.6 mm

Weight

We were delighted to discover that the Hopara 2 shaved off a whole ounce of weight!

Putting it on our scale in a men's US size 9 returned 11.6 oz (329g) which is notably lighter than the original Hopara (12.6 oz/357g).

Hoka Hopara 2 Weight

We attribute that to the upper refinement where the ultralight Cordura took the place of thick overlays.

Hoka Hopara 2 sandal weight

This is by far the lightest option among the closed-toe sandals we've tested!

Test results
Hopara 2 11.61 oz (329g)
Average 11.18 oz (317g)
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
6.31 oz (179g)
Weight
14.60 oz (414g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

When you first see the Hopara 2, you probably think that it has a monstrous amount of cushioning.

But let us dispel that illusion with a calliper measurement. With a heel stack height of 26.2 mm, this Hoka sandal is actually 4.7 mm lower than the Teva Hurricane XLT2 (30.9 mm)!

Hoka Hopara 2 vs. Teva Hurricane XLT2

We take stack measurements following the rules set by the World Athletics: at 12% and 75% of the shoe's internal length.

The Hopara 2's midsole appears bigger than it is because of its boat-like shape. It has tall sidewalls but the middle portion is cradled so the foot ends up sitting inside the midsole and not on top of it. 

But it doesn't mean that underfoot protection or cushioning is lacking in the Hopara 2. In fact, we found it to be rather generous for a hiking sandal. It helped mute out rocks and other trail debris very well.

Test results
Hopara 2 26.2 mm
Average 26.4 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
15.9 mm
Heel stack
30.9 mm

Forefoot stack

We also found the sandal's cushioning to be abundant under the balls of our feet.

Hoka Hopara 2 Forefoot stack

Measuring the forefoot stack height returned 23.0 mm which is about 5 mm thicker than average! We felt safe tiptoeing our way on rocky shores and rooty paths.

Test results
Hopara 2 23.0 mm
Average 19.2 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
13.8 mm
Forefoot stack
23.0 mm

Drop

One of the hidden tricks that help the Hopara 2 feel well-cushioned but stable (aside from the cradled midsole), is a low heel-to-toe offset.

Hoka Hopara 2 Drop

According to the brand's official stats, the drop should be at 6.0 mm. However, we found that it is even lower than that - 3.2 mm!

Having our heels nearly level with the toes definitely helped us feel more grounded and surefooted while still reaping the benefits of great cushioning.

Test results
Hopara 2 3.2 mm
Average 7.3 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
2.1 mm
Drop
11.9 mm

Midsole softness

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

Having cut the Hoka Hopara 2 in half, we found that its midsole is made of two foams - a softer one on top and a firmer one at the bottom.

Together they create a nice balance of step-in comfort and confidence underfoot.

The video above mostly shows the firmer foam in action. Pressing our Shore A durometer against it returned 33.5 HA which is indeed 20% firmer than the average sandal foam.

Hoka Hopara 2 Midsole softness

This layer is responsible for protecting the foot as well as extending the Hopara 2's lifespan.

Test results
Hopara 2 33.5 HA
Average 27.8 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
21.6 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
35.1 HA

Secondary foam softness

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

Now to the fun part.

Hoka Hopara 2 Secondary foam softness

We measured the softer layer of the Hopara 2 at 24.0 HA. This is a good 40% plusher than the bottom foam!

It felt pleasantly soft and even a little bouncy - the perfect combo for all-day comfort! We can wholeheartedly recommend this Hoka sandal for hours of walking and standing.

Test results
Hopara 2 24.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Stability

Lateral stability test

Hoka describes the Hopara 2 as a neutral sandal as it doesn't feature any additional components to support the arch or prevent overpronation.

However, based on our own lab tests and experience with the sandal, we wouldn't write it off as incompetent for people with flat feet and pronation issues.

Hoka Hopara 2 arch support

We found that the Hopara 2's construction has a good deal of inherent stability which can benefit those in need of light-to-moderate support.

Torsional rigidity

First of all, let's have a look at the Hopara 2's torsional rigidity. We must say that it's not so easy to twist this sandal!

On a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 is the stiffest, we readily gave it a 3 out of 5. It is notably stiffer than a typical hiking sandal.

Test results
Hopara 2 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 6 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

As befits a Hoka shoe, the Hopara 2 beats records when it comes to sole dimensions.

Hoka Hopara 2 Midsole width in the forefoot

With a calliper measurement of 121.9 mm in the widest part of the forefoot, the sandal confirmed its status as the widest platform among our lab-tested hiking sandals!

It is followed by the KEEN Newport H2 at 121.1 mm.

Test results
Hopara 2 121.9 mm
Average 119.9 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
112.6 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
125.1 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The Hopara 2's heel turns out to be wider than the industry average too.

Hoka Hopara 2 Midsole width in the heel

Showing 98.4 mm on our calliper, it is a solid 8 mm wider than the majority!

Hoka Hopara 2 wide heel

We thoroughly enjoyed this wide landing area as it helped us feel planted and steady on rocky and uneven surfaces.

Test results
Hopara 2 98.4 mm
Average 92.6 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
81.6 mm
Midsole width in the heel
100.5 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Even though the Hopara 2 makes an impression of a very unforgiving platform, we found that it is not much stiffer than the average sandal.

We bent it to a 90-degree angle with the help of a force gauge. The tool showed a fairly standard reading of 23.4N which is only 9% more force than it takes an average hiking sandal.

Hoka Hopara 2 rockered shape

Nevertheless, the heel-to-toe transitions felt marvellously smooth in the Hopara 2. We believe that its rockered sole shape played a key role in that pleasant experience too.

Test results
Hopara 2 23.4N
Average 23.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
7.0N
Stiffness
36.8N

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

Even though the lug depth of the Hoka Hopara 2 (3.0 mm) doesn't stray far from the average, the sandal kept us surefooted even on wet rocks and grass!

Hoka Hopara 2 Lug depth

A mix of exposed foam, sticky rubber, and diverse lug shapes and sizes all worked together to create a pretty strong bite in a wide range of situations.

Hoka Hopara 2 outsole

But if you tackle mud and highly technical terrain on a regular basis, we strongly suggest upgrading to a hiking shoe with deeper lugs (at least 4.0 mm).

Test results
Hopara 2 3.0 mm
Average 3.0 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Lug depth
4.1 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Trying the Hoka Hopara 2 in our regular US size 9, we found its toebox fit rather spacious. The photo below even makes it seem like the sandal is too big for us.

Hoka Hopara 2 fit

But in our case, it was not critical enough to size down.

Measuring the sandal's forefoot width in the widest part, our calliper showed 104.1 mm. This is indeed a few millimetres wider than average.

Hoka Hopara 2 Toebox width at the widest part

We believe that folks with wider feet will appreciate all that room in the toebox.

Test results
Hopara 2 104.1 mm
Average 102.5 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
89.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.4 mm

Lockdown

The second iteration of the Hopara sees a couple of design tweaks that help to fine-tune the sandal's fit.

Hoka Hopara 2 heel strap

The most notable change would be the adjustable Velcro strap on the heel. Given the added toebox space, some people may find themselves looking for a tighter fit around the ankle and the strap helps to provide it.

Hoka Hopara 2 knit collar

Secondly, the knit collar of the v2 felt more sock-like against our ankles than the neoprene bootie of the v1. Sitting closer to the skin, we also found the knit collar more effective at preventing debris from getting inside.

Hoka Hopara 2 bungee laces

Even the toggle lace received an update. We found it much easier to work with and there is no more extra knob at the end of the laces bumping the top of our insteps.

Comfort

Upper material thickness

The knit portion of the Hopara 2's upper is very thin. Measuring it on top of the instep returned a mere 2.3 mm.

Hoka Hopara 2 Tongue padding

We are glad that Hoka kept the bulk only in the areas where it is most needed for protection.

Test results
Hopara 2 2.3 mm
Average 4.1 mm
Compared to 8 hiking sandals
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
8.2 mm

Heel tab

The finger loop at the back was pretty handy for shoving our foot inside the Hopara 2. It is a helpful feature considering the sock-like collar.

Hoka Hopara 2 Heel tab
Test results
Hopara 2 Finger loop

Misc

Sustainable materials

We discovered that Hoka includes ethically sourced materials in nearly every new pair.

Hoka Hopara 2 sustainable materials

It's nice to know that the Hopara 2 helps you feel a little more in one with nature as it features the following components:

  • 30% sugarcane topsole & midsole
  • 100% recycled knit upper
  • 100% recycled Cordura mesh

Colour discrepancy

Please beware of the colour mismatch between the Hopara 2's online photos and what the colour actually looks like in person.

Hoka Hopara 2 color

We can speak for the Barley/Oat milk colorway in particular. Even in our own photos, there is a discrepancy between studio and outdoor shots. Please keep in mind that the outdoor photos convey the hues more realistically.

Hoka Hopara 2 outdoor

Water drainage

When it comes to water drainage, we believe that the Cordura mesh of the Hopara 2 is a better choice than thick synthetic overlays. 

It helps the water escape from the sandal much quicker and doesn't let pebbles and dirt in as much as the v1 did.

The only problem is the sand. If you are looking for a beach sandal, the Hoka Hopara 2 is less than ideal for sinking into the sandy shores. It is practically impossible to get the stuck sand out of the sandal without taking it off and giving it a good rinse.

Hoka Hopara 2 water drainage