We Examined Hoka's Greatest-Promoting Stability Shoe. It is Definitely worth the Hype

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Arahi is a beloved member of Hoka's expanding running shoe lineup. But in a collection largely characterized by everyday neutral shoes and bouncy racers, it stands apart by providing extra stability. The shoe is definitely a Hoka—just check out that chunky sole—but for a company that's always run in its own lane, Hoka Arahi 7 treads a more traditional trail the likes of Asics, Brooks, New Balance, and Saucony have blazed before.

If you're a runner who likes shoes with extra support, Arahi 7 is your entryway into Hokaland. And if you're already familiar, know that the latest version of the shoe has an all-new upper that ups the comfort factor. After putting dozens of test miles into a pair, I found Hoka Arahi 7 makes good on its promise of extra support for everyday running.

Related: The Best Running Shoes of 2024

Overall Impressions of Hoka Arahi 7 

Hoka Arahi 7

Tanner Bowden

A lot of people like Arahi; it's one of Hoka's most popular models. Those people will appreciate not much has changed in the latest version, besides the new flat-knit upper. I'm a fan of the new design, which has a nice look to it. But, more importantly, thanks to that plush tongue and heel collar, the combo feels like one of those comfortable airplane neck pillows but for your ankle. The upper locks the midfoot down but was roomy enough for my toes to splay. While other reviewers noted being narrow, I didn't notice that—and it's also available in wide.

Although I found it to be a little clunky—I don't typically run in stability shoes—I didn't notice it as much when I picked up my pace. When I decided to throw some strides into an easy run, Hoka Arahi 7 handled them just fine. It wouldn't be my choice for speed, but if it's all you have, it's capable.

Arahi 7 is firmer than expected. In terms of feel, it falls between Hoka Clifton and Hoka Gaviota. It doesn't run like the neutral and everyday-oriented Clifton—it's not as responsive—but has a similar profile. Gaviota has the stability factor more akin to Arahi. However, Arahi's J-Frame system feels more substantial and akin to traditional stability shoes, while Gaviota has more of the traditional Hoka rolling max-foam feel. Looking beyond the Hoka catalogue, you might compare Arahi to the Asics Gel-Kayano or Mizuno Wave Inspire, both of which provide traditional stability shoe experiences.


  • Plush and comfy tongue and upper
  • Roomy toe box with good midfoot lockdown
  • J-Frame provides noticeable stability but isn't overkill
  • Great for walking and everyday wear


  • Stiffer than expected of a Hoka shoe
  • Can feel clunky at times


  • Weight: 9.9 oz (size 10 men's)
  • Stack Height: 37 mm heel, 32 mm forefoot
  • Drop: 5 mm

Final Verdict

With its built-in stability features, Hoka Arahi 7 is a solid choice for runners who experience overpronation, which is when the arch collapses and causes the foot to roll in. It's also great for runners who prefer a firmer, more stable ride.

Arahi 7 is also a solid choice if you only run every once in a while and want a shoe that's good for just walking around in, too. Hoka Arahi comes in colors appropriate for everyday wear and, as we mentioned, is available in wide sizes.

$145 at Zappos$145 at Hoka

Key Features and Tech in Hoka Arahi

Hoka Arahi 7 is one of the few stability shoes in Hoka's lineup. It features the brand's J-Frame tech, which consists of a firm piece of foam shaped like the letter "J." The foam sits inside the EVA midsole, hooking around the heel to the medial side of the foot, helping mitigate overpronation.

While previous iterations of Arahi were pretty similar, the newest version boasts a new upper with more cushion in the tongue and gussets on either side to stop it from sliding around. Hoka Arahi also has zones of grippy Durabrasion rubber and a swooping heel entry.

Why You Should Trust Me

I started running in middle school. Since 2017, I've trained for and run five marathons, qualifying for the Boston Marathon and earning a personal best of 2:56 at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon. I run year-round—nearly 1,200 miles in 2023—in my home state of Vermont and across New England, where there are plenty of dirt roads and trails in addition to paved paths. Conditions range from sub-zero wind chill to 90-degree humid heat.

In addition to running, I've been writing about running and running gear for nearly a decade. That work has included reviewing road and trail shoes, apparel, recovery gear, nutrition products, as well as the culture that surrounds the support. In doing this work I've been in constant contact with brands, athletes, designers, and other industry pros.

Recently, I tested nearly every Hoka running shoe for Men's Journal. I ran (and walked) in the Arahi 7 while training for the 2024 London Marathon.

How I Tested Hoka Arahi 7

I put 30-plus running miles on Arahi 7, along with some walking miles. I ran mostly on pavement and sidewalks, with a few miles on dirt roads and a few on snow. I also tested them across a variety of training runs during a marathon buildup, including slow-paced recovery runs, easy-effort runs, and fast-paced intervals. Test run distances ranged from six to 10 miles.

Many factors go into evaluating a running shoe. I pay close attention to step-in feel upon first try and after a few runs. I analyze fit, as in how much room there is in the forefoot; how good the lace lockdown is; and if there's any heel slippage while running. I also check to see if I experience any weird pressure points or hot spots. Finally, I evaluate responsiveness, cushion, support, and grip.

Who Should Wear Hoka Arahi

The Hoka Arahi 7 is a good daily driver for runners who are just getting started or run at slower paces. However, if you regularly incorporate speed workouts into your training, you might opt for a different Hoka shoe. 

two feet are alike—not even when they're attached to the same human. A shoe that works for one person may not work for another. What's more, scientific studies, like research published in the British Journal of Sport Medicine, suggest that your singular notion of shoe comfort is a great guide for choosing a shoe. Fan Zhou, REI's general manager of running and footwear, says, "A good running shoe is one that, when you take your first steps and walk around, feels comfortable, supportive, and you get excited to run in it." 

If Hoka Arahi 7 sounds like a good shoe to you, head to your local specialty running store and try on a pair.

Related: The Best Nike Running Shoes of 2023

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