They now have a high range of lightweight running that does not look like the usual maximal design from Hoka and it is the first appearance from their lifestyle line.
Even if the Hupana 2 looks like a lifestyle shoe, you don’t have to be fooled by the design. It has a full knit upper, that was improved compared to the previous version. The design is completed by a full-length RMAT midsole and outsole with a shaped Ortholite insole.
What I like a lot on this pair of shoes is the stack height. They have only 25 mm height on the heel area and 20 mm in the forefoot area, so a drop of only 5 mm. The height is not only a few mm lower than traditional Hoka shoes, but at the first sight, they feel way thinner thanks to its design.
The full RMAT midsole and the outsole is responsible with the comfort. I find these shoes appropriate for any kind of distance or training. The sole is light, very comfortable and responsive. For the long runs, they absorb very well the shocks and is a good choice if you want to increase the number of miles of your runs. You can feel the advantages of the sole when running high-paced miles. The shoes are very light and responsive and are a good choice for a comfortable race or tempo run.
The first time when I took them out of the box, I went for an easy 5 km run, just to get used to them. I was so happy with the cushioning and the shoe overall, that the 5 km run was actually a 10 km tempo run. Even if it’s not recommended to do that, I did not feel that they need a break in period or that they are too stiff or uncomfortable to run out of the box.
The upper knit does not only look good but it also provides a nice breathability overall. It feels thick, hard and not very flexible. If you have a wide foot and your fingers are rubbing the mesh there are high chances for blisters to appear.
I have a normal foot, not wide and I do not have any problem with the space on the toe box. If you have wide feet, I recommend to try them before buying from your local store.
The RMAT material was introduced a few years back and is a bended EVA foam. The Hupana 2 has a full-length RMAT material, so the outsole is not protected by additional high durability rubber in the contact areas, like most of the shoes are.
The insole is comfortable and has high edges towards the walls of the shoes. I find it very stable, it’s not moving or slipping inside the shoe.
The sole around the heel is wide but sometimes lacks stability. I use the lace locking technique to tighten the laces, thanks to an additional lace eyelet and keep the foot stable inside the shoes.
After 80 km (50 miles) of running with these shoes, small signs of wear start to appear on the outsole. Since the outsole material is not protected of additional rubber to keep the shoe light, I consider that the signs of wear are expected. The RMAT is still more durable than the usual EVA foam that would wear faster than this one.
The front of the shoe does not present any sign of wear. If the contact area with the ground is wide, the pressure will have a better distribution and the wear will appear after more kilometers. In my case, the contact point with the ground is on the side, so the wear starts from that area of the sole.
For an amateur that started with an entry-level running shoe, these shoes are built with comfort and performance in mind.
Hupana 2 can be used for easy training when you just want to be very comfortable and also in long races. I’ve done a PR in half marathon with these shoes and at the end of the race, I did not feel any discomfort caused by the shoes.
I highly recommend the Hoka One One Hupana 2 to everyone who wants to have high comfort during running. If you want to increase the length of the runs and need comfortable shoes, or just want to have everyday walking shoes, these may be a good choice.
Hupana 2 does not look like the usual Hoka One One maximal shoe, but definitely provides the comfort this brand is well known for. Even that they are advertised as lifestyle shoes, they are highly capable as running shoes.
Once worn, the Hoka One One Hupana 2 looked very big on my feet compared to the trail shoes that I am used to. With the laces tied as tight as possible, a slight ripple formed at the tongue's bottom.
The shoes felt wide on the bottom of my feet. But, after a quick jog, I didn’t see any obvious problems with it. I look forward to trying these on lots of different terrains at various speeds!
The Hoka Hupana 2 is a very lightweight shoe. As with all Hoka shoes, the aim is to create a supportive yet lightweight shoe. The Hupana exhibits both of these.
The upper is knitted, which gives the shoe a more fashionable, stylish appearance. There is a looser knit on the area above the forefoot. This is to allow for breathability.
Currently, I haven’t found a problem with a lack of breathability.
All Hokas are renowned for their cushioning. I was expecting a more overall responsive ride.
Moreover, I found that Adidas Boost outsoles were more responsive on mid-distance tempo runs compared with this shoe. The cushioning is more noticeable when walking.
This shoe model is more stylish than other models. I can see myself wearing this on my day to day and rest days for recovery.
I did find a lack of flexibility with this shoe. With the amount of cushioning, it is expected. But with my previous favourite road shoe, the Nike Lunar Flyknit 2, the outsole is a lot smaller in volume.
The Flynit's flexibility is a lot more responsive and noticeable on both slow and fast runs, as well. Compared to Flynit, I found that Hupana's lack of flexibility did affect the ride on slow runs.
I found the fit to be quite wide. On uneven surfaces, the outsides of my feet would shift around towards the sides. This would decrease my confidence on any slightly rocky paths.
The overall fit is quite big. I went for half a size up. Perhaps, it would have been better if I bought the shoe true to size to address the wideness issue.
The shoe definitely returned what was put in. When on a recovery run, I would feel very slow and sluggish. It felt like I was running on rigid pieces of polystyrene.
When running tempo or race pace, the push-off is very dynamic. The cushioning helps significantly when running in a 5k race wherein my style would change to a more forward-leaning stance.
There have been no problems regarding durability. However, with narrow feet, the pulling of laces is likely to cause damage quickly as I do have to tighten the shoe quite dramatically.
As there is no sticky rubber outsole, any uphill trail running does cause the shoe to slip. Downhill running is no problem.
But, I suspect if someone leans back whilst descending, they are likely to lose traction with the Hoka Hupana 2.
I would personally prefer a narrower shoe with a sticky outsole. I feel that this shoe lacks versatility with its RMAT only outsole. The cushioning is very comfortable.
Good to know
- The Hoka One One Hupana 2 is a performance running shoe that’s designed for the roads. It is also optimized for people who have neutral pronation. It has a full-length cushioning foam that also serves as the outsole. There isn’t a traditional rubber layer on the external pad; the ground-contact foam is the one responsible for doling out traction.
- Similar to the original Hupana model, the second version also uses a knitted fabric for its upper, but it has now been modified to be more form-fitting and breathable.
The Hoka One One Hupana 2 was designed using the standard measurements, so it’s expected to accommodate the regular sizing preferences of runners. When it comes to width, the options are D – Medium and B – Medium for men and women, respectively. The natural curvature of the human foot is supported by the semi-curved shape of this running shoe.
RMAT is a full-length platform that serves as both the midsole and the outsole of the Hoka One One Hupana 2. The external part delivers traction and abrasion protection. Surface grip comes from a tread-pattern that consists of curved lines and slightly raised portions.
Some of the curved lines that decorate the outer sole are meant to let the platform bend. Such a mechanism allows the foot to flex naturally, especially when gearing towards the toe-off phase.
The midsole part of the RMAT platform offers a lightweight ride. It also holds the weight of the wearer, cradling it and keeping it cushioned. Moreover, it is able to absorb impact during the landing phase of the gait cycle. A similar shoe that presents similar benefits, but with a different structure, is the On Cloud.
A knitted fabric serves as the external part of the upper unit. It has been redesigned since its implementation in the first Hupana, taking in a more breathable construction to allow more air into the foot-chamber.
The front, sides, and heel feature a close-knit configuration for extra security and structural soundness.
The interior sleeve makes use of a soft textile to provide a smooth wrap. The non-irritating design of this inner wall enables the runner to put on this running shoe without socks.
A traditional lacing system is employed in the Hoka One One Hupana 2. Semi-flat laces crisscross across the instep portion, and they go through inconspicuous eyelets that are reinforced by stitching. This setup is meant to tighten and loosen the fit.
Extra eyelets are placed near the edge of the collar. The purpose of this additional hole is to allow the runner to modify the lacing scheme and fundamentally causing the rest of the collar to follow the tautness or slackness of the fit.
The padded tongue cushions the top portions of the foot. It also serves as a protective barrier between the skin and the potentially irritating shoelaces. A lace anchor on its middle prevents it from slipping to the sides or furling to the front.
The back portion has a pull tab stitched onto it. The goal of this fabric loop is to help the runner when it comes to donning and removing the Hupana 2.