With every release, the Hoka lineup is getting a little more diverse and a little crazier aesthetically. The Arahi is no exception as this new support road shoe features a new outsole design and a whole new profile. It’s got a lot going for it and like all Hoka shoes it still attempts to deliver on the promise of more cushion, better response, and lighter weight.
The Arahi upper is all mesh with a significant number of welded overlays giving you increased support up top. You actually can’t even see the mesh due to the number of overlays, but they really do serve a purpose. The lacing system is typical Hoka, so it tends not to expand in run. The toe box is slightly narrower than others, but still solid.
The mid on the Arahi is just crazy looking. It uses Hoka’s new J-Frame technology which is designed to give you more structure and provide guidance during run. It doesn’t feel rigid however, more like a roll cafe made out of soft foam (EVA). Hoka calls it Dynamic Stability and while it’s weird looking from the side, it works well.
The outsole on the Arahi is similar to all other Hoka One One shoes. It features some exposed EVA, but then has targeted reinforced contact points made from rubber giving you less wear on specific points.
Style & Aesthetics
The Arahi now has 7 color options, so plenty of variety to choose from, but the visual of the J-Frame is just nutty looking. I do like the upper pattern and I like that this is establishing the Arahi as its own entity in the Hoka lineup.
Out of the box, the first thought was “what on earth”, but the Arahi grew on me. I definitely don’t need a support shoe, but with the Arahi it isn’t entirely noticeable. It’s just there and it does its thing without you being aware of it. I actually let others test it as well and they had the same reaction. Clifton and Bondi loyalists like the extra support and were willing to give their extra ounce or so. They all commented on the look, especially that mid, but they saw what I saw.
At distance and even on recovery days, the Arahi performed very well. They give you just enough support and stability to get you through, the extra stack height provides that layer of cushion your legs need giving you a chance to relax them a bit more. I welcomed my time in the Arahi as it was really easy to chase a speed day with these and still get an extra amount of distance. Note, they are not quick shoes and totally unnecessary for performance runners, but there is a large group of people who will love these.
I have been quite happy with the Arahi and I actually don’t really need a support shoe. The additional structure however really helped on recovery days, slow days, and long days. Aesthetically, the profile is a little weird to say the least, but looking at performance alone the Arahi really does well. If you’re in need of a support shoe and have been debating checking out Hoka, then this is probably the shoe to try.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 9.3oz (size 9)
- Drop: 5mm heel/toe
- Stack Height: 29mm
- MSRP: $130.00
- Available: Now