For 2017 Hoka One One expanded from their neutral maximum cushioned base to models that work for all types of runners.
Hoka rounded out their stability shoe options for 2017 with two new stability options. The Arahi is the lightweight, stability oriented shoe with less cushion and a springy feel. Aside from the wide-based outside that is standard for most Hoka shoes the key to what Hoka calls “Dynamic Stability” is their new “J- frame technology.” Hoka uses a firmer density Eva midsole in the area around the heel and extending up the medial side of the shoe. The early stage meta-rocker makes for a smooth ride and a faster transition to the forefoot. The upper remains comfortable and breathable, very similar to the upper found in the Clifton series. The Arahi was also offered in a wide width version for runners that need the extra space.
The second and most structured of all Hoka models is the Gaviota. The Gaviota uses the same “J-frame technology” but using “Rmat” a rubber/EVA blend that is firmer, more supportive, and more durable than that found in the Arahi. The arch-lock wings provide additional support around the mid foot not found in the Arahi. In the Gaviota a late stage meta-rocker places transition zone placed in front of the metatarsal heads, which provides a more stable base of forefoot support. Overall, the Gaviota is more supportive, more durable, and has more cushion but a little heavier than its Arahi counterpart.
Hoka updated the Clayton for 2017. The Clayton 2 is effectively a half step between an everyday trainer and a race flat. While the neutral shoe is very light and sleek at 8.3 oz, it provides a surprising amount of cushion. The Clayton 2 utilizes Hoka’s PRO2lite midsole, meaning that the heel is for a cushioned strike and as you move toward the toe the cushion lessens and gets firmer for a responsive toe off. The full Rmat outsole means durable, high rebound cushion.
Hoka’s 2017 race flat is the Tracer, impossibly light for the amount of cushion at only 7 oz per shoe for a man’s 9. Designed for speed on race day, the Pro2lite duel density midsole makes for a cushioned heel strike while the firm under the toe for a super responsive toe off. The mesh upper offer superior breathability and all but eliminates water retention. As with many racing flats, the Tracer does run a bit narrower than other Hoka models.
If you’re looking to move from the road on to some more scenic trails while not giving up Hoka’s signature cushioned feel, look no further than the Challenger ATR 3. The Challenger’s nickname is the “Clifton of the Trail,” versatile enough to transition from road to trail with no problem. In this version Hoka widened the toe box just a touch for a little extra volume compared with its predecessor. 4 mm outsole lugs provide excellent traction on trails, while cushion comparable to the Clifton models make for a cushioned ride.