Hoka One One Arahi Review Facts
The Hoka One One Arahi, actually pronounced “O-NAY”, is Hoka One One's entrant into the field of support shoes. The Arahi is a high quality running shoe that is focused on providing support for runners afflicted with the common problem of overpronation. If you're looking for a shoe that can support your leaning arches then the Arahi was designed with you in mind. Another common running problem that the Arahi can help with is plantar fasciitis. If you experience stabbing pain in your heels when you wake up in the morning, then the Arahi might also be for you. Although it is designed with these problems in mind, the Arahi has impressed runners of all types with its many interesting features. So if none of those other problems applied to you then you may want to read on anyway and see if the Arahi is right for you too.
The outsole of the Arahi is where much of the technology that supports overpronators is found. It is built out of EVA foam with strategically placed rubber for extra protection. Called the J-Frame due to its shape, there is an extra layer of EVA foam around the outside edge of the sole to prop the foot into a more natural position. The outsole is shaped in a way that focuses your footfalls onto the midfoot to take some of the pressure away from the heel. Finally, the foam is built thicker than usual to add extra rigidity and support for your feet.
The Arahi has a unique midsole that is designed to help you run. Some reviewers even believe that it can make you run faster. The truth is that the Arahi is more effective at a higher pace
. The midsole is made of EVA foam and formed into what Hoka One One calls the Meta Rocker. By having a large difference between the heel and toe, specifically keeping the heel higher than the toes, it almost forces the runner into a more natural running motion that flattens your gait and smoothes out your stride.
The upper lining of the Arahi is made up of a fabric that can stretch out to the dimensions of your foot if it doesn't fit right the first time. It shouldn't take much longer than a couple runs for this to occur. It also has a padded collar that keeps your ankles from getting irritated by excessive rubbing. The outside of the upper is actually seamless due to its 3D Puff Print frame that is extra lightweight and adds some extra support to the foot. Finally, the toe box of this shoe of a medium width that does not seem to cause trouble for many wearers.
The Hoka One One Arahi is surprisingly light for all the extra layers of support designed into it. A size 9 men's pair of shoes will weigh about 9.3 ounces. The weight is kept down due to the lightweight nature of the frame that houses the upper, as well as the foam that makes up the outsole and midsole. Another reason the weight of this shoe will vary is that it is also offered in a wide option as well as the traditional sizing options.
With so much focus put into the support of the runner's foot, it may come as no surprise that the Arahi has a bit of an issue with overheating people's feet. This appears to be due to the friction caused within the shoe. The foam that makes up the midsole of the shoe retains heat quite well. On top of this, the material is not very breathable in general. The focus on support for those suffering from overpronation means that the material that makes up the Arahi does not have the permeability that an airier, but also flimsier, material would have.
As with any of the shoes that Hoka One One produce, the Arahi is very comfortable. Many reviewers claim it to be one of the most comfortable shoes they've ever worn. The fitted collar and the fabric lining are a very comfortable material, but it is especially the padding of the midsole and the padded tongue. The Arahi's goal of support goes hand in hand with snugly encasing your foot in ergonomic geometry designed to keep your foot in the most beneficial position possible
. Sadly, that can also be the issue with the Arahi as some users complain that their arches are too high for the shoe. Another issue to be aware of is that the heel can sometimes rub uncomfortably due to how high it is in relation to the toe.
If you want to stand out, there aren't many better shoes than the Hoka One One Arahi. It is alike to many other performance running shoes in its often bright color scheme and presentation. The multi color stripes of the frame look very modern. There's an almost bike chain esque pattern that runs along the side of the upper and is matched by the profile of the outsole. It has colors ranging from baby blue and neon green to a slightly more understated black and gold. However, an important thing to note when buying the Arahi is that some of the looks actually cost more than other looks so you might want to compare the one you choose to other styles of shoe.
There have been a few complaints about the durability of the Arahi. Not because it is a less than durable shoe, but instead because of its longevity at this price point. The upper and the sole are seamless and thus quite difficult to damage, but as with many shoes, there have been complaints of the two separating. In a cheaper shoe it has almost come to be expected sometimes, but with something as expensive as the Arahi it may cause pause. However, this isn't a common problem so it shouldn't stop you from purchasing, and of course, it is a fixable. The individual components are quite sturdy
, as would be expected from a shoe as focused on keeping your foot healthy. Thank the puff print frame of the upper and the zonal rubber placement on the bottom of the shoe.
The Arahi's focus on being a support shoe goes hand in hand with keeping you foot safe on long runs. The thick outsole lowers the impact on your foot to the point where it has been almost unnoticeable to some runners. The shoe also has specifically places sections of rubber to absorb a little extra impact. The primary feature of the Arahi, the J-Frame, has another extra thick layer of foam to keep your foot safe.
The responsiveness of the Arahi is a somewhat mixed bag. It is not responsive in the traditional sense, in that it is more responsive to the runner's foot than it is to the road. In fact, when first using the shoe you may feel a little off balance due to the thickness of the outsole. It absorbs so much impact in its goal to keep feet supported that you may not feel the road at all
. On the other hand, the shoe is designed in such a way that it almost pushes you forward when you lean into the strengths of the shoe. When playing into the shoe's desire to keep you moving forward, the springiness of the foam and the shoe's forward lean will have you feeling even more natural as a runner.
This is where the Arahi shines. Hoka One One's support shoe does exactly that with an incredibly sturdy design that effectively aids overpronation and plantar fasciitis. The J-Frame on the outsole raises the inward facing side of your foot to fix the deep inward lean that affects overpronators. The Meta Rocker design of the midsole helps smoothly stretch the tissue between your heel and toes in a way that doesn't cause as much pain. The midsole is molded upwards to account for higher arches as well. All of this on top of the sturdy 3D printed upper make for a shoe that you won't have any doubts in, despite the doubts you may have in your own feet.
The Arahi is specifically designed for running on roads. Many reviewers also claim it is a really good walking shoe. Some have said it is good for trail running
. Why it may be better to leave it on the road is that the lack of responsiveness in the shoe can cause trouble on surfaces that are a little less uniform than concrete. However, that same thick foam that causes that lack of responsiveness is also why the shoe is ideal for use on the hard ground of the road. Repeated impacts from long road runs can leave your feet feeling tired
, but the Arahi will reduce it greatly with the quality of its outsole.
The price range that the Arahi falls into is one where you should be a little more sure of what you're getting into. It is a performance support shoe, and has many features that will keep your feet comfortable, and safe. However, you will notice the price tag
. If you are just getting into running, consider looking into shoes that are a little bit cheaper. The Arahi does sit quite comfortably with other shoes at this price point if you are serious about your running shoes.
The Arahi has a good level of traction for a road running shoe. It leans towards having a little extra traction in comparison to pother road running shoes, which is why it might be used by some people as a trail running shoe. The rubber pads that give extra grip are a little overemphasized in this shoe when compared to others. It isn't enough to greatly affect your run, but it is enough to give a little extra firmness to each stride if you are worried about that.
One of the sacrifices the Arahi had to make in the name of strong for overpronation is that of flexibility. The outsole is very firm
. This will keep your foot safe, but it won't help much in situations beyond the typical. Because of this it might be a good idea to keep this shoe on flat roads. Another issue that the thick firm outsole causes is that some users complained of pain in their lower calf. Because of the downward sloping foot and the rigidity of the outsole, the impact of the road can sometimes be transferred to this part of your leg. This is another uncommon problem, but also something to be aware of the first few times wearing the shoes.
The Arahi succeeds in another important aspect of support shoes, the stability. There are multiple pieces of technology at work to keep your foot firmly in place. Firstly, the flat waisted geometry of the midsole rests snugly against the arch of your foot
, which helps keep you in control of the shoe. Then there's the J-Frame technology in the outsole. This will help guide your stride into bearing your weight evenly across the whole foot.
The Arahi has a unique heel to toe drop ratio. The heel is 29mm from the ground, while the forefoot is 24mm from the ground. This 5 mm offset leans the runner's foot forward and will compel you to run forward. While confusing in the beginning, being propelled forward by the shoe will help you keep a full gait
-J-Frame outsole helps support overpornation
-Meta Rocker in the midsole that propels you forward
-3D Puff Print Frame adds extra support in the upper
The Arahi is the perfect shoe for someone who suffers from issues of overpronation, but sometimes it can do its job too well for those who don't need support shoes. There's a firmness and sturdiness to the Arahi that can take getting used to
, as well as the slightly strange offset to its heel to toe differential, but if you accept that the Arahi is doing these things to help you, then you may just become a better runner for it. If it works for you, it will work very well.