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Walking Boots

Hoka One One Sky Kaha Hiking Boot | Review

This hiking boot is not only extremely lightweight for its category, but it’s also highly cushioned and supportive

Why We Chose It: Lightweight, supportive, cushioned.

Hoka One One (pronounced Ho-Kah Own-ay Own-ay) was named after the Maori phrase that loosely translates as ‘fly over the earth’. Now that’s a pretty bold statement, but as running shoes go, they’re probably the company that comes closest to making this a possibility.

After bouncing onto the running scene back in 2009, Hoka One One quickly became well-known in running circles for their highly-cushioned shoes identifiable by a thick and wide layer of EVA foam that runs the entire length of the midsole.

Fast forward ten years and this is still the case, and they’re now bringing that technology and experience into the hiking boot world. The result: a collection of highly cushioned, comfortable and lightweight hiking boots called the Sky collection.

These, the Sky Kaha weigh a measly 508g per shoe, and they’re by no means stripped down and minimalist. What you’re getting is a fully-featured boot.

“The main guts of a Hoka One One shoe is of course through the liberal use of EVA foam to provide support, stability and cushioning.”

Hoka have managed to surround the upper with a full grain waterproof leather to give the boot supportive stiffness where it’s needed. For when the going gets wet and muddy, the Kaha hides an eVent lining behind the leather outer to give it full waterproofing combined with impressive breathability.

The main guts of a Hoka One One shoe is of course the liberal use of EVA foam. Here it provides support, stability and cushioning, particularly for when you’re walking downhill. The classic cushioned midsole also offers rebound for when you’re walking along the trail and comfort for when you’re lugging a heavy pack for long distances.

Liberal use of EVA foam gives the Kaha a highly cushioned feel. Photo: Chris Johnson
A leather upper improves durability and weather protection. Photo: Chris Johnson
A toe bumper adds durability to the boot. Photo: Chris Johnson
The sole unit is a mixture of Hoka's own Rangi EVA foam and Vibram Megagrip rubber. Photo: Chris Johnson

Stack height-wise, the Kaha comes in at 33mm in the heel and 27mm in the forefoot, which gives a neutral ramp angle of 6mm – you’d certainly expect a more aggressive ramp angle when you first glance at the cushioning of this boot. Despite the height of the midsole, there’s still a reassuring amount of stability thanks to Hoka’s ‘Active Footframe’ technology, where you’re essentially sitting in the midsole, rather than on top of it.

Hoka’s own ‘Rangi’ dense foam has been used to protect the sole where it’s exposed to the ground below while a Vibram Megagrip gives the outsole some teeth-like lugs to provide decent grip.

Taken from their running shoe technology, Meta-Rocker is a uniquely-shaped midsole that gives the boot a rocking chair shape. This allows your foot to roll from heel-to-toe naturally and to utilise the natural rebound of the foam as you toe-off.

All in, you can’t fault Hoka’s latest foray into the hiking boot market. The Kaha comes loaded with features to make your hiking trip as comfortable as possible, whilst partly retaining that running shoe lightweight feeling.

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer

“I’ll admit it: I was pretty sceptical when I first saw these boots, before trying them on. Their huge midsole and leather build not only makes the boot look like it would weigh a tonne, but it also makes the Kaha look like it could be extremely unstable, as though you’re walking on a pair of stilts.

“However, once I got my foot in, I was extremely impressed with the lightweight feel and also the responsiveness of the Kaha.

“Over long distances, I thought the traditional ‘Hoka’ use of a highly-cushioned EVA midsole was very effective, providing all-day comfort. I found it was pretty much ready to go straight out of the box which is handy.”

A higher cuff offers ankle protection. Photo: Chris Johnson

Hoka One One Sky Kaha

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