Walking is an excellent exercise that can help you burn many calories without overexerting your joints. It’s a perfect way to get you outside for fresh air while breaking up the monotony of sitting or standing all day. While walking is easier on your body than running, it can still impact your joints, making it essential to have good-quality walking shoes.
Hoka has been making waves in the running realm and produces some of the best durable footwear that provides the perfect combination of comfort, support, cushioning, and style. With walking gaining popularity as an effective workout, Hoka also features various options explicitly made for walking.
What are the best Hoka shoes for walking? Key takeaways:
The best Hoka shoes for walking complement your natural gait cycle and help reduce the height differential between your heels and toes. They deliver a smooth transition and are lighter than running shoes, with more stability, support, breathability, and comfort.
The best Hoka for walking can help prevent injury and give your feet the support they need. In this guide, we’ll explore our editor’s top picks of the best Hoka shoes for walking to help you make an informed decision and ensure you get the most out of your walking workout.
Jump right into the Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents
- Key take-aways when looking for Hoka Walking shoes
- Top Recommended Hoka Shoes for Walking
- How To Choose The Best Hoka Shoes For Walking
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Recommended Hoka Shoes for Walking
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- Hoka Bondi 8 – Overall Best Hoka Shoes for Walking
- Hoka Clifton 8 – Best Lightweight Hoka Shoes for Walking
- Hoka Gaviota 4 – Best Stability Hoka Shoes for Walking
- Hoka Elevon 2 – Best Shock Absorbing Hoka Shoes for Walking
- Hoka Cavu 3 – Best Value Hoka Shoes for Walking
1. Hoka Bondi 8 – Overall Best Hoka Shoes for Walking
Support Type: Neutral
Heel-to-toe drop: 4 mm
What we like: Resilient foam, reduced weight, mesh construction, durable
What we don’t like: They can feel a bit tight
The Hoka Bondi 8 is a go-to shoe for recreational walking. It does most things properly to give you a well-balanced rocker, a firmer foam, and sole-flaring through the forefoot. Studies show that firmer foams have fewer negative impacts on balance and proprioception, your body’s ability to sense movement, location, and action, allowing you to walk without looking at your feet.
Sole flaring provides additional stability by widening the support base and contact surface. Featuring better sole articulation and a new crash pad design, the Hoka Bondi 8 is lighter and offers a softer ride than the Bondi 7. They transition extremely well in easy long walks, making them the overall best Hoka shoes for walking.
The Hoka Bondi 8 is available for men and women and fits true to size with a snug fit throughout the length of the shoe. It can feel a bit tight, especially if you have bunions. You can expect smooth landings and transitions thanks to the large heel bevel and forefoot rocker. Deep flex grooves improve traction and flexibility while helping facilitate a forward transition.
A large amount of cushioning, easy rocker, and tall stack height make the Hoka Bondi 8 best suited for long walks and daily mileage without worrying about pace. You’ll get breathable comfort thanks to the mesh construction, plus a soft, balanced ride from heel strike to forefoot transaction with the billowed effect of the rear crash pad.
2. Hoka Clifton 8 – Best Lightweight Hoka Shoes for Walking
Support Type: Neutral
Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm
What we like: Lightweight, balanced, stylish, plush, durable
What we don’t like: They can run warm
The Hoka Clifton 8 is a practical everyday footwear with a lighter and more responsive feel that will give you an airier, softer ride when walking. It features neutral stability, a breathable mesh upper, balanced cushioning, and different widths if you need a wider toe box.
The Clifton 8 are the best lightweight Hoka shoes for walking if you’re looking for a comfy walking shoe that will elevate your pace and give you a light glide. They’re visually appealing with an array of colors ranging from bright to neutral to ensure you can look hip and stylish when strolling around town.
Anyone who wears the Hoka Clifton 8 admits they fit like a dream and offer a terrific, springy lift from the ground. It’s a plush daily walking shoe or trainer that feels soft underfoot and offers and smooth rockered transition. Hoka uses high abrasion rubber and EVA foam to keep the shoe comfortable with plenty of energy return and plushness.
The Hoka Clifton 8 is incredibly light at only 9 ounces or 256g, but it’s also tough and durable. The early-stage meta rocker ensures a smooth ride through each step, while the gusseted tongue will give you great support over the top of your foot and throughout the midfoot. The upper has lots of padding and may feel warm after long walks or running, but the mesh keeps it breathable.
3. Hoka Gaviota 4 – Best Stability Hoka Shoes for Walking
Support Type: Stable
Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm
What we like: Maximum cushioning, J-frame, mid-foot H-frame, late-stage meta-rocker
What we don’t like: They tend to run small
If you’re looking for a max cushioned stability shoe that can help you walk many miles, the Hoka Gaviota 4 is an excellent choice. Hoka’s tried, true J-frame makes the Gaviota 4 the best stability Hoka shoe for walking, whether you’re looking for Hoka men’s walking shoes or women’s Hoka walking shoes.
The J frame midsole cushioning starts at the forefoot and runs down the medial side of your foot before wrapping around your heel. The Gaviota 4 engages your feet and makes minor stability adjustments when walking. It subtly corrects overpronation through denser foam zones that push your feet into alignment when walking.
The Hoka Gaviota 4 features a hidden reinforcement and single-sided tongue gusset that reduces slippage and comes with a plusher collar and tongue. The late-stage meta-rocker is closer to the toes to give you enhanced toe-off, unlike the early-stage meta-rocker that transitions your foot closer to the ball of the foot.
The forefoot of the Gaviota 4 slightly curves upwards to encourage more momentum, making it beneficial late in high mileage walks by keeping you going. The H frame in the Gaviota 4 is under the breathable upper mesh, making it more effective in delivering a secure and adaptable fit. Ensure you fit them or buy a size larger than your usual size, as they tend to run small.
4. Hoka Elevon 2 – Best Shock Absorbing Hoka Shoes for Walking
Support Type: Neutral
Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm
What we like: Enhanced shock absorption, individualized fit, support, comfort
What we don’t like: They can feel stiff
The Hoka Elevon 2 is perfect for you if you’re a heavy heel striker. It features an extended heel for smoother transitions plus softer cushioning to emphasize that step-in comfort. The extended heel helps provide more shock absorption in the heel to ensure you don’t feel any impact when pounding the pavement.
The movement of the heels usually differs between runners and walkers, and you’re likely to consistently strike the ground at the heel as the first point of impact. You can easily adjust the fit of the Hoka Elevon 2 thanks to anatomical internal support wings that allow an individualized fit.
The Hoka Elevon 2 has an asymmetrical tongue that provides a lock-in effect for your feet and locks down your midfoot for a more supportive ride. A top-layer ProFly midsole ensures a responsive toe-off with a forgiving landing and more cushioning under your feet. You also get better support and stability with a deeper active foot frame.
The cushioning supports a slow to moderate pace making them one of the best Hoka shoes for walking. The Hoka Elevon 2 is lighter than it looks and features a springier and softer ProFly foam for a firm, well-cushioned and durable ride. Strategic grooving improves flexibility but can feel stiff if you’re not used to a snug fit in your walking shoes.
5. Hoka Cavu 3 – Best Value Hoka Shoes for Walking
Support Type: Neutral
Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm
What we like: Low price, comfortable, responsive, adaptive upper, flexible
What we don’t like: Restrictive forefoot for wide feet
The Hoka Cavu 3 allows you to get the brand’s best features at an affordable price. It offers soft landings, a lightweight ride, and springy toe-offs by combining EVA and ProFly foam in the midsole. This gives you the best of both worlds, providing the soft comfort of EVA with the responsiveness of the stiffer ProFly.
The Hoka Cavu 3 features a meta-rocker midsole for a low heel-toe differential. The slightly convex platform ensures you get the most out of your walking workout and facilitates an even landing on your foot. You’ll get an energized toe-off, and you don’t have to worry about instability because your weight will not flatten the platform.
The upper unit of the Hoka Cavu 3 features an adaptive stretch knit that hugs your feet without limiting natural movement. A wraparound shoe opening makes you feel like your feet are wrapped around a seamless sock while still allowing space for collar padding. The extra cushioning shields your feet from impacts while preventing wobbling.
If you’re looking for affordable Hoka men’s walking shoes or women’s Hoka walking shoes, the Hoka Cavu 3 is an excellent choice. They offer amazing flexibility for different gait styles, breathability, responsive rides, and reliable tractions. However, the forefoot section can feel restrictive if you have wide feet.
How To Choose The Best Hoka Shoes For Walking
When going for your walking workout or routine, you must ensure the shoes you wear support proper foot biomechanics, especially if you’re walking long distances. Foot biomechanics when walking is relatively different from foot biomechanics when running.
The foot usually strikes the ground at the heel when walking but strikes the ground around the midfoot when running. Here are a few factors to help you choose the best Hoka for walking:
Good cushioning is important no matter the terrain you’ll be traversing. It ensures your shoes remain comfortable when walking on city pavements or uneven terrain. A uniform cushioning instead of huge heel cushions is more comfortable for walkers.
Consider your foot type and any foot conditions you may have. For example, more cushioning may be necessary for comfort if you have bunions.
A shoe with good stability ensures you get sufficient lateral support. Some of the best Hoka shoes for walking have heel counters at the back of the shoe for rear foot stability. A stiff heel counter with good cushioning provides the support you need when walking.
Weak or worn-out heel counters can affect how you walk and increase the risk of injuries, so ensure you assess your old shoes for external wear at the heels. If you find one side is more worn than the other, it’s time to replace your shoes.
The midsole provides the majority of the structural support. for a bouncy and comfy feeling under your feet, Hoka shoes for walking incorporate EVA foam layers. Some models even blend EVA with rubber for increased energy return, elasticity, and durability to ensure you get more miles out of your shoes.
ProFly is also used in Hoka shoes where a soft foam is placed around the heel for shock absorption and firmer foam in the forefoot for a bouncier toe push-off with some energy return.
The best Hoka shoes for walking keep your heels in place to avoid slippage or overpronation. Some incorporate increased padding, while others improve support below the heel.
Hoka shoes use a J-frame in the midsole by strategically placing a firm foam. It features dense cushioning on the forefoot, which continues in the length of the foot and curves around the heel to form a J shape.
Such placement suppresses overpronation and slipping by subtly nudging your feet into the optimum walking gait.
To ensure you get the most benefit from your walk, you want to avoid twisting at the mid-foot while ensuring there is enough flexibility in the toe area to support a natural forward motion.
Shoes can be manufactured with a straight, curved, or semi-curved midfoot area. A straight midfoot construction is better for walking shoes than running shoes. It ensures the shoe has more support under your arches and is more stable.
Unlike running, which is inherently unstable and can benefit from curved geometry for speed, walking is more stable.
Heel to Toe Transitions
Since walking involves heel-to-toe transitions, the best Hoka shoes for walking should promote a faster and easier transition from heel to toe. Hoka shoes for walking are innovative and feature meta rockers close to the ball of your foot, providing a little push so you can transition faster.
Shoes promoting heel-to-toe movement ensure you use less energy when accomplishing your stride, which can help reduce walking fatigue and pain from foot conditions like arthritis.
Learn more about how to choose the best Hoka shoes for walking
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should I Replace My Walking Shoes?
Most manufacturers recommend replacing your walking shoes after 500 miles or around a year of use, but whether or not your shoes need replacing will depend on wear and tear, usage, and maintenance. Extended daily use on hard surfaces may require you to replace them sooner.
Why Do Podiatrists Recommend Hoka?
Podiatrists recommend Hoka shoes for walking because they provide support, comfort, and shock absorption, making them an excellent choice for frequent walkers.
Some of the best Hoka shoes for walking have a seal of acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for promoting foot health.
Can Hoka Shoe for Walking Help with Plantar Fasciitis?
Yes. The meta rocker design in some of the best Hoka shoes for walking allows a smooth heel-to-toe transition and limits forefoot slippage or excessive flexing.
High bending stress in the forefoot region can cause pain for people suffering from plantar fasciitis, but a rocker bottom shoe can help alleviate such pressure.
Can You Use Running Shoes for Walking?
Yes. Some running shoes are suitable for walking, but you must ensure they support proper walking foot biomechanics.
Your foot will strike the ground at the heel when walking but strike the ground around the midfoot when running, so the walking shoe should allow easier and faster heel-to-toe transitions.
Can Seniors Benefit from Hoka Walking Shoes?
Yes. Hoka shoes with thick cushioning, such as the Hoka Bondi 8, are an excellent choice for seniors who need a comfortable walk or stroll. They provide optimum comfort and shock absorption with a plush and supportive feel.
They have breathable comfort and give a balanced ride with smooth heel-to-toe transitions.
If you’ve been looking for the best Hoka shoes for walking, consider some top recommendations like the Hoka Bondi 8, Hoka Clifton 8, Hoka Gaviota 4, Hoka Elevon 2, and Hoka Cavu 3. Since walking biomechanics differ from running biomechanics, consider factors like cushioning, stability, the midsole, slippage, midfoot twisting, and heel-to-toe transitions when selecting.
Hoka provides excellent walking shoes to suit all your needs and are recommended by many podiatrists thanks to their innovative features and design. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have in the comment section.
Picture in this post is from Danformshoes.com
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