Comments: Pros: Well-cushioned, light, responsive, fast. Cons: Just a bit too tight in the forefoot/midfoot region. I wasn't sure what to expect here, since I've typically preferred a firmer ride, but I was pleasantly surprised during my first run of seven-plus miles in the Huaka. Once warmed up and underway, I found myself moving along at a faster than usual clip, and half of those seven miles were into a fairly stiff headwind. Taken together, the shoe's responsiveness and cushioning felt, well, sublime. The unpadded tongue felt weird at first, but caused me no problems. The upper's breathability seems good. The fit is more or less true to size. I went with a US 9 here (my street shoe size), which was perfect lengthwise. However, the fit is a skosh too snug around the lateral forefoot/midfoot region. I can probably live with it, but hope it'll loosen up with use. I'm not sure yet if I'd pay full price for the Huaka, so thanks, RW, for having it on sale.
From: Bruce, FL, USA. March 30th 2015
Comments: Come on. These are NOT the worst shoe ever. I just put mile 278 on these today, on a fairly technical and rooty trail, and my guess is I'll get another 200 out of them before they become jeans shoes. They're not Hoka's most cushioned shoe, and they're not great in mud. But, they are very nimble and very cushioned -- there's no mistaking that the cushioning that is there comes directly from Hoka's lineage, even if it's not the cushion of the Cliftons, let alone the Stinsons or Mafates. The Huakas will move from road to buffed-out trail to the tech and rooty stuff I was on today, seamlessly. My only complaint is the narrow toe box, as I've grown to love Altra's wide toe box. But there's room in the quiver for these. Love 'em.
From: Chris, Lee's Summit, MO, USA. March 28th 2015
Comments: Worst shoe ever! I usually run in Newtons but decided to give Hoka a try to see what the buzz was all about. I purchased the Hoka Rapa Nui and thought I had found my new running shoe. After some good trail runs in my Rapa's, I figured the road version's should be just as good; boy was I wrong! I purchased the Huaka's and went on my usual training run which is about 19 miles. After my first run I felt like my legs more fatigued than usual and the bottom of my feet felt aggravated. I chalked it up to a bad run but after about 4 more bad runs in the same shoes I decided to switch back to my newtons. A miracle happened because my runs felt like normal. To be fair I wanted to use the Rapa's again and my run's were normal. I didn't want to feel like I wasted my money on the Huaka's so I did try them one last time, I finished my run and cut them up so I could never make that mistake again.
From: Eddie, Weston, FL, USA. February 24th 2015
Comments: I'm really disappointed in this shoe. I knew taking out some of the weight would result in a less cushioned shoe, but it feels like I'm running on a hard plastic plate. It feels just like a taller INOV-8 Road-X shoe.
From: Chris, Memphis, TN, USA. January 12th 2015
Comments: Light weight? Yes. Maximal cushioning? No. Before I purchased the Huakas, my favorite model was the Hoka Stinson Tarmac. The Tarmacs have the maximal cushion, but not so much that you lose the responsiveness and support. I hoped the Huakas would be a lightweight version of the Tarmacs, but was a bit disappointed. The feel of the Huakas is unlike the models with more cushion like the Stinson and Bondi. They feel to me more like a conventional running shoe, not unlike my Nike Pegasus 30s. They are extremely lightweight for a Hoka, but I noticed that when running in temperatures below 20 degrees F., my toes could really feel the cold. They would probably work best for warmer weather running. They didn't seem to feel as heavy nor put strain on my calves like some of the other Hoka models, but I don't know how my feet will feel with these after running an ultra. I've run in them up to about 13 miles without problems. Plenty of room in the toebox for me, and the uppe r seems to have some give with helps in the toebox. I'm not sure how they will hold up over the long term though with the lightweight upper. So far so good. In summary, I would call these the lightweight racing flats of the Hoka line. I'll probably use them mainly for racing marathons and 50Ks, but probably not so much for day to day long training runs.
From: Tim, Mitchell, SD, USA. December 29th 2014
Comments: These are my new favorite shoes already after logging approximately 60 miles on them. I replaced the original insoles with Currex Sole RunPro. I only use these shoes for weekend long runs. I have other shoes I rotate into throughout the week, so I'm not really putting daily wear and tear on these shoes. I was worried about the uppers offering enough ventilation based on reviews of other Hokas, but they turned out to be more breathable than expected. I just hope the uppers hold up over time.
From: Anonymous. St. Louis, MO, USA. September 7th 2014
Comments: Great feeling shoe, but that may be all! After 40 initial miles the bottoms of the shoes are already wearing out significantly. The upper coating, plastic type material on the outer of the shoe are peeling away from the main fabric, catching everything from small twigs to rocks. The shoe is built very poorly and cheap for a very expensive shoe. Nice feel out of the box and while running so far, to bad they don't last.
From: Orin, OR, USA. September 3rd 2014
Comments: An update to my comments above--to give an example of how stable these shoes are, I walked all around Buenos Aires with them (i.e., concrete) last week (and ran around Buenos Aires, too, as well as did an hour and a half run in them in on more of a trail surface). No problem walking in them, wearing them back during traveling, running in them, etc. I couldn't imagine doing this in the Bondi and the other Hoka shoes that I've owned. Love them.
From: Anonymous. IN, USA. August 25th 2014
Comments: I love them. They are very light, and after a few runs they seem to adapt to the impression of my foot (I wouldn't replace or even take out the insoles in these because they seem to mold with the foot--after running I can feel my foot impression on the insoles), and the low drop actually does (unlike other low drop running shoes) help support a more forefront landing. In my opinion, calling them 'game changing' is accurate, not only for Hoka but for the running shoe industry. They are far, far more stable than the bondi and the previous Hokas, but only slightly less cushioned. (I can actually walk in these, too--I even race walk a little in them, which would have been impossible in the Bondi and for other reasons in many other running shoes.) With almost 30 years running behind me I'd rate them in the top three running shoes that I've had. They really are innovative; there is nothing like them out there nor has there been. Hoka did a really good job of innovation with creating and making these. The designers should be congratulated. They are my standard running shoe now. I'll buy another pair in the future.
From: Anonymous, IN, USA. August 14th 2014
Comments: So I did three runs in the shoe and decided to return them. The main reason being twofold: 1) The insoles are completely useless on any steep downhills. They slide forward to the front of the shoe and are probably the flimsiest I have ever seen. So midway through the third run I took them out and threw them away. This wasn't a deal-breaker for the shoe as I could find new insoles, until... 2) The overlays are tearing apart from the mesh upper already after only 35 miles. From the amount they have already broken down I can't imagine the upper is going to last very long. So while I loved the ride and responsive cushioning of the shoe I just don't trust that it will last and is worth $150. If they fix the upper I'll go back to the shoe.
From: Anonymous. August 1st 2014
Comments: Fantastic shoe. I have over 100 miles with my first pair and ordered a second pair. Shoe runs true to size I wear 11.5 in most shoes and the 11.5 fit great. I have used this shoe on trail runs and street runs and it works great. Highly recommend this shoe for someone wanting light weight and great cushioning.
From: George, Manteca, CA, USA. July 26th 2014
Comments:My first impressions of the Huaka are that it's more flexible than the Rapa Nui 2 with a less restrictive and wider toebox. The stack height feels similar but the cushioning doesn't feel as firm. At least not when walking around in them. I think the Huaka feels pretty cushy. Not nearly as cushy as say the Clifton (or Stinson obviously) but that's due to the RMAT midsole I assume. It's supposed to be more responsive while yet retaining a high level of cushion and I think that will be the case. The upper and heel collar really shine on this shoe out of the box. As usual though the speed lacing system is not for everybody, especially those with narrow feet. Hoka provides normal laces as well in the box should you want to cut the speed laces out. After a few runs in them I'll update the review.
From: Anonymous. July 24th 2014