Hokas Are Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for Their Unrivaled Cushion and Stability—These Are Your Very Best Options

Photo: W+G Creative / Hoka
With the Well+Good SHOP, our editors put their years of know-how to work in order to pick products (from skin care to self care and beyond) they’re betting you’ll love. While our editors independently select these products, making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission. Happy shopping! Explore the SHOP

Since hitting shelves in 2009, Hoka sneakers have absolutely exploded in popularity. There are many good reasons why: The minimalistic shoes marry stability and maximum cushioning while offering a boat-like ride during runs and walks. Not only have Hokas taken the running community by storm, but they’ve also claimed the hearts of celebs like Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, as well as shoppers—Well+Good editors included. In fact, we regularly feature some of the best Hoka shoes for women in our footwear articles because there’s a pair for just about every type of activity.

Experts In This Article

What also helps? Many styles are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for advancing good foot mechanics and health, so it should come as no surprise that they’re the footwear of choice for people who are looking for a smoother, more stable, float-y feel. That said, choosing a pair can be overwhelming; there are dozens of different Hoka styles on the brand’s virtual shelves, each claiming its own long list of benefits for wearers.

Below is a cheat sheet of the best Hoka shoes for women, all tried and tested by W+G staffers. You’re welcome!

Best Hoka shoes for women, at a glance:

What are Hoka shoes?

If you’re new to Hoka, let's catch you up to speed (pun intended). Hoka has some best-selling styles, with the most notable running shoes being the Cliftons and Bondis—both of which are lauded for their lightweight construction, rocker-like soles, and ultimate cushioning that makes it feel like you’re stepping on clouds. If you’re looking for speedy shoes, the Zinal ($160) and Mafate Speed 4 ($185) offer responsive cushioning and grippy soles to get you from point A to B even in the rockiest of conditions.

From pounding the pavement to scrambling up rocks to casual walks, seven Well+Good editors each put a pair of Hokas to the test. Read on to find out what we loved, what we didn’t, and our favorites.

Why do podiatrists like Hoka?

Podiatrists love Hoka simply because they’re one of the most comfortable shoes on the market while still offering stability and performance across their line of footwear. “Hoka sneakers continue to be one of the most recommended shoes by podiatrists,” says Nam Tran, DPM, a foot and ankle surgeon based in Dallas, Texas. Not only are they comfortable to wear, thanks to their marshmallow-like cushioning, but they also offer stability, have a rocker-like bottom that propels you forward during walks and runs, are breathable, and support healthy foot mechanics, no matter if you pronate, have flat feet, or experience plantar fasciitis.

Looking for more APMA-approved shoes? We have a few more sneaker recommendations to explore.

Can you wear Hokas for walking?

Three letters: Yes. You can definitely wear Hokas on your walks—in fact, they’re some of the best sneakers for long walks, thanks to their cushioning and stabilizing features. Generally, Hokas have a rocker-like bottom, making it easy to propel into the next step forward. “The rocker bottom forces a greater angle of knee flexion during walking and allows for a smoother toe-off,” Nelya Lobkova, DPM, a New York-based podiatrist and podiatric surgeon, previously told Well+Good.

Ready to purchase your first (or 10th) pair? Scroll on to learn about the best Hokas on the market.

Shop the best Hoka shoes for women

hoka bondi 8, one of the best hoka shoes for women
Best for long distances: Hoka, Bondi 8 — $165.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and wide widths

I’ve been wearing the Hoka Bondi 8 on my walks and runs for close to a year now, and they’re my favorite cushioned, supportive sneaker when I’m not in the weight room (I’ll explain in a second). The Bondi 8 is considered a rocker shoe (thanks to its ultra-thick midsole and heel) which means it’s fantastic for people who are looking for extra bounce in their stride. Great for running and walking long distances, these sneaks make it so foot pain is a thing of the past. Features like the cushiony EVA midsoles, pillowy tongue, and a memory foam collar make it feel like you’re wearing clouds on your feet. Adding to its cloud-like build is its breathable mesh upper, which airs out your feet as you move.

The Bondi 8 does have a large stacked height, so it’s not ideal for sprinting, lifting weights, or hiking on uneven terrain. While doing weighted lunges, I was pretty shaky in my form, which is why I prefer to wear a flatter sneaker, like a pair of Converse or Brooks Ghost 15.

Overall though, this is the shoe you want if you go on long walks and endurance runs—your feet will feel like they’re on cloud 9 all day long. -Gina Vaynshteyn, W+G contributor

Best for: Long-distance walking and running

Colors: 10+

Weight: 8.9 oz.

Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm

Read the full Hoka Bondi 8 review here.


  • Extremely comfortable
  • Lots of color options
  • Great for wider feet
  • True to size


  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t provide great stability for uneven terrain or weight-lifting

hoka clifton 9, one of the best hoka shoes for women
Best for running: Hoka, Clifton 9 — $145.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and wide widths

“One of Hoka’s most popular models is the Clifton, of which there are nine iterations to date. The latest installment, the Clifton 9, is the lightest version ever—but don’t take that to mean that it doesn’t have the shock absorption for which Hoka is known. Even though the shoe is less than eight ounces, I have to say it’s become my all-time favorite sneaker. I’m an avid runner and can log miles upon miles in this light-yet-supportive sneaker. I also sported them on a six-hour flight, during which I barely felt them on my feet because they fit so well. They might be called the Clifton 9, but these kicks get a 10 in my book.” – Natalie Arroyo Camacho, W+G contributor

Best for: Running and walking long-distance

Colors: 16

Weight: 7.3 oz.

Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm

Read the full Hoka Clifton 9 review here.


  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Cushioned midsole
  • Has a rocker-like sole


  • Wide widths don’t come in a variety of colors

hoka zinal 2, one of the best hoka shoes for women
Best for trails: Hoka, Zinal 2 — $160.00

Sizes available: 5-11, in half sizes

“As soon as I laced up the Zinals, I thought to myself, ‘I am not the person to be testing such speedy shoes.’ Because I don’t trail run, and I knew that walking around in them was not going to do them justice. However, I have some thoughts. First: They’re sticky. Like, you will not have to worry about slipping and sliding in these things. As soon as I took my first steps (on pavement) I could feel them gripping the surface almost to the point of sticking. So if you’re scrambling rocks and running over roots, I can see how these will come in handy.

Second. They’re incredibly lightweight. I test a lot of shoes, and these are definitely designed to be ‘barely there’ in terms of look and feel. Come summertime, these will keep your feet nice and cool on the trails. Unfortunately, I have very very flat feet, so the mesh upper is a bit unsupportive for my ankles—if you tend to over-pronate, you’ll probably want something with more support in both the upper and in the ankle cuff, since these are pretty low profile.” -Francesca Krempa, commerce editor

Best for: Trail running, sprinting

Colors: 2

Weight: 6.9 oz.

Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm


  • Lightweight
  • Grippy sole
  • Built for speed


  • May be unsupportive for people with flat feet
  • Limited colors

hoka transport, one of the best hoka shoes for women
Best lifestyle: Hoka, Transport — $150.00

Sizes available: 5-11, in half sizes

“Hate tying your shoelaces when you’re rushing out the door? Same. Enter Hoka’s Transport sneakers—designed for the intersection between lifestyle and performance—that feature a quick-toggle lace and heel loop for extra assistance that makes slipping these ultra-practical shoes on and off even easier. (They also come with a set of traditional laces if you prefer them.) Aside from being the answer to my shoe-lace-tying woes—one always seems to come undone, these shoes are ideal for a variety of activities like a light jog, city strolling, or in my case, taking my energetic dog, Bixby, on beachside strolls or moderate hikes in Southern California.

To test them out, I slipped on my size 8.5 sneakers (they’re true to size) with a pair of medium-thick ankle socks and headed on a three-mile walk along the boardwalk at my local state beach. During my walk, I found the shoes incredibly comfortable, and they felt like walking on clouds. What’s more, they have a supportive wide midsole and grippy outsole (made with Vibram EcoStep Natural’s sustainability-friendly technology) that stabilized my walking as my dog demanded we pick up the pace.

That said, I’m basically the blister queen when it comes to breaking in new shoes—and although I was worried about taking a brand new pair of ‘em on a long walk, there were absolutely zero signs of aches or pain once we were done. Indeed, the shoes felt like a well-loved pair of sneaks that had already molded to the nooks and crannies of my feet, yet they were fresh out of the box.” -Maki Yazawa, food writer

Best for: Everyday wear and hiking

Colors: 4

Weight: 9.1 oz.

Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm

Read the full Hoka Transport review here.


  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Ideal for a variety of activities
  • Requires little to no break-in time


  • Limited color selection
  • Elastic laces may not be for everyone (but they come with traditional laces, too)

best hoka shoes for women
Most comfortable for walking and running: Hoka, Arahi 7 — $145.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and two widths

“They say a girl never forgets her first Hoka, and I can officially agree. After reading endless rave reviews on how comfy Hoka sneakers are, I had high expectations, but these still impressed me—the cushion and arch support felt springy and soft as I walked and ran around New York City. They were a tad clunky for pilates and HIIT, and I gotta be honest, I think they’re far from chic, but this baby blue color has me sold. Will definitely consider these my go-to comfy walking shoe going forward.” -Betty Gold, senior food editor

Best for: Everyday walking and running

Colors: 8

Weight: 7.6 oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm


  • Lightweight
  • Springy
  • Relatively sleek profile for Hokas


  • Runs slightly loose
  • Less color options than other models

hoka challenger 7, one of the best hoka shoes for women
Best hybrid: Hoka, Challenger 7 — $145.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and two widths

As a weightlifter and runner, Im constantly on the hunt for a shoe that does it all, so when I found Hokas Challenger 7, I was invested. The shoes cushioned midsole offers me enough support during runs, sprints, and jump rope sessions while giving me stability during lifts. While I mainly run on treadmills, I can see why this shoe is fit for outdoor runs. The grippy-ness offers traction and stability, especially on unstable terrain, which says a lot because I’m the wobbliest of all people. Pavement, trail, or indoors—this shoe can handle it all.

Since I have a bunion, I did find the shoe to be a bit snug and irritating on first wear; the shoe does have a narrower toe box. However, after breaking them in four or five times, the irritation subsided. With the shoes lace-up system, it’s pretty easy to loosen or tighten the width of the shoe.

Another notable feature of the Challenger 7 is its breathability—which I appreciate when doing HIIT workouts. Made of mesh, this shoe allows air to flow, venting hot air, so sweaty feet arent a concern. All in all, the Challenger has become my go-to shoe, and I don’t foresee future workouts without it. -Kayla Hui, W+G contributor

Best for: Running, weightlifting, and more

Colors: 14

Weight: 7.7 oz.

Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm

Read the full Hoka Challenger 7 review here.


  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Grippy sole


  • Narrower toe box may irritate bunions on first couple of wears

best hoka shoes
Best for competitive trail: Hoka, Mafate Speed 4 — $185.00

Sizes available: 5-11, in half sizes

As a long-time Brooks stan, I was absolutely floored by these shoes. The minute I put them on, I felt like I had my own personal foot clouds, and the traction was the icing on top. The combo of the bouncy cushion and the traction made jogging in them super light and bouncy (and I’m six feet and not small). I wear these even when not exercising because they’re just so comfortable. Not to mention the color scheme rocks. These run slightly loose so you can order your size, but just make sure to tie them extra tight.” -Han Schneider, W+G contributor

Best for: High-speed trail and outdoor running

Colors: 7

Weight: 8.5 oz.

Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm


  • Good traction
  • Cushioned midsole
  • Stylish


  • Less color options than other styles
  • Priciest style on this list

How to choose the right Hokas for you

Your activity type

While supportive and well-cushioned (and APMA-approved!), not all Hokas are created equal for certain activities. If you’re a runner who pounds the pavement or tread, you'll want to stick with road-running styles like the Clifton 9 or Arahi 7. If you're hoping to walk or commute in your Hokas, check out the Transport or Bondi 8. And for trail running, opt for styles with more traction and ankle support, like the Zinal 2, Mafate Speed 4, or Challenger 7.

Your personal style

Despite being lightweight, Hokas have a reputation for having a clunkier profile. If that style works for you, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. If you’d prefer a slimmer shoe, you might need to compare the stack of each shoe to find a silhouette you like. And, while most styles offer eight or more color options to choose from, a few (like the Zinal 2) are more limited.

Your budget

Quality running shoes are a bit of an investment, and Hoka’s prices are on par with other key players in the game like Brooks, New Balance, and Asics. The shoes on this list range from $125 to $185, but some colors go on sale throughout the year, so it’s worth keeping an eye out. And, if you don’t love your new kicks, Hoka also lets you return your shoes within 30 days (even if you’ve worn them).

But wait, there's more!
Want to be the first to hear about the latest (and greatest) SHOP product drops, custom collections, discounts, and more? Sign up to have the intel delivered straight to your inbox.
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Loading More Posts...