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Our verdict

A support shoe that feels like your armchair; it is almost too much for your average tester to take in and certainly something Hoka has been working on. Great for runners needing some comfort, stability and a touch of performance.

  • Positive
  • Stability
  • Fit
  • Weight
  • Negative
  • Can be half a size too small
  • What we thought
  • Technical info
  • Runner reviews (0)

First impressions

It does feel a little clunky when you pick it up in the shop, and that’s something you need to wrestle with because in fact, it’s lighter than its rivals and it certainly ranks up there in cushioning.


Hoka is venturing into the support market so for new to the brand new runners it’s worth reminding everyone about the cushioning. Fans know they are buying into Hoka’s point of difference which are the huge oversized midsoles. In short, they have a reputation for well cushioned pillow-like shoes good for slowly cruising about it Another point of difference between the Hoka’s and ‘normal’ shoes is the way the midsole is sculpted. Your foot sits inside the midsole rather than on top of it. This is known as Hoka’s ‘Active Foot Frame’ AKA ‘the bucket seat’! Another Hoka design feature is the curve of the shoe, known as the Meta Rocker. Designed to encourage your natural running gait, they actually look like they feel, you really do experience a very smooth flowing motion from impact through to take off again and it’s a good experience.


The Hoka uses the same last as the Clifton 3 so fit is good and can accommodate a number of different foot shapes. It does feel supportive and not unduly loose or come to that, inflexible so no real complaints or issues in this instance. Of course, you’ll be on a 5mm heel to toe drop which, despite the fit and cushioning, can take some time to get used to.



For a new to the range shoe, this comes in with a great support system. Yes, it will take getting used to and yes, it is marginally heavier than other Hoka shoes, but it’s a great everyday shoe for runners needing more stability.

How was the Hoka Gaviota for you? Let us know, we’d love to report your findings. 

Technical info

Arch-Lock Wings for Superior Mid-Foot Support

Molded Ortholite Sockliner

Late Stage Meta-Rocker

RMAT J-Frame for Support, Rebound and Durability

Moderate Heel Bevel Provides Smooth Heel Transition 

Flat-Waisted Geometry Provides Inherent Stability 

Zonal Rubber Placement for Durability

3D Puff Print Frame for Additional Lightweight, Detailed Support

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