HOKA ONE ONE ARAHI : REVIEW
HOKA ONE ONE Arahi Review
The kings of cushioning, Hoka One One have recently added the first out and out “support” shoes into their line in the Arahi and Gaviota. This has been long awaited foray for individuals like myself that love the soft feel of shoes like the Clifton but like the security of a shoe like the Ravenna from Brooks or the Supernova ST from Adidas; the all new Arahi certainly fits the bill!
In terms of initial fit, the Arahi is very like the Clifton and the trail based Challenger, it is certainly a snug fit but the light weight engineered upper certainly gives some breathing room. If all else fails, and the Arahi is coming up a little narrow, it is also available in a wide fit (1D for women/2E for men).
The reason it has taken a number of years for Hoka to develop and release a dedicated stable shoe is simply down to logistics; as Hoka’s have SO much cushioning, it is very hard to put a traditional post into a shoe of this sort along with keeping the running mechanics throughout the gait. Hoka have worked their way around this by implementing what they are calling J-Frame technology. The “J” of firmer-density EVA foam (ARMAT) wraps around the heel and extends medially, keeping the shoe lightweight while allowing it to withstand both repeated pounding and increased medial pressure from overpronation along the rear two thirds of the midsole. The other great point of the J-Frame is that the denser ARMAT also wraps around the heel on the lateral side meaning you do not NEED to be a support shoe wearer to benefit from is rear foot stability, its design means it seemingly adapts its level of stability depending on how much you need it. The more you pronate, the more ARMAT you will encounter, thus increasing support. CLEVER EH?!
I believe the Arahi to be a quite brilliant shoe, sure it has only been on the market a month or two but I don’t think it’ll be long until this becomes one of Hoka’s best-selling flagship models. It sits very nicely next to the much-loved Clifton in terms of cushioning, feel, fit and price point yet its key difference in being much more supportive, opens it up to a whole new market; that coupled with the availability of a wide fit opens Hoka up to a much wider variety of runners.
To check out the Arahi in all its glory, follow this link or pop into the shop and give them a whirl!