Home »Shoes» The HOKA Walker You’ve Been Waiting For: Anacapa Review
If you’re even familiar with HOKA’s claim to fame, you know it’s all in the sole. They’ve perfected the depth and responsiveness of their cushioned midsole to suit both the adventurous and the casual.
Now with a battle-tested formula in hand, HOKA was in the lab Making the perfect hiking shoe. After a few iterations with the To a, Kahaand the youngest Ten ninethe brand’s next official shoe has hit the horizon.
The HOKA Anacapa starts in June and is aimed at a more diverse audience looking for various long-distance hikes in any weather. The Anacapa will also set a sustainability symbol for HOKA: leather, certified leather, recycled polyester and 50% soy-based sock lining.
In summary: I received a pair of the low version to test out and immediately fell in love with all of the check boxes this all-in-one boat had ticked off. The Anacapa offers a robust, figure-hugging hiker who is just the thing for you as a weekend hiker and as an all-out backpack boot if you wish.
HOKA ONE ONE Anacapa review
Fit and feel
When I pull on the anacapas, I have to say that they fit like a glove – or more precisely like a sock. I have to give the Achilles cradle pull tab built into the sock cover a big nod – it really works! With this one function you have an almost individual fit and can move around with the shoe.
This gave me extra security when maneuvering through soft terrain, rocks and anything that is slippery. The level of ankle support and confidence in a pair of low cut boots is amazing.
My partner had a mid-version pair for women and said she had never felt so trapped in a boot, especially one that was light. My base versions came at 14 ounces and their mids came at 13.5 ounces.
The midsole is definitely a little firmer than you would expect from a traditional hiking shoe. In contrast to the cuddlyness of the Kaha or even that Speedgoat (the group’s less official “hiker”), this midsole felt a lot like the Toa.
Although I was still very responsive and bouncy, I felt like I could stomp through the ground instead of jumping off it. It was actually a very reassuring feeling, especially when doing more than just trail running. Pulling a backpack over longer distances definitely benefits from the added rigidity that the Anacapa offers.
Since this is a HOKA product first and then a hiking shoe, the responsiveness of the shoe is really great when compared to other heavier and stiffer options. I felt comfortable spending all day and night inside these bad guys and didn’t get the “take these off!” notice of my feet after my hike.
It feels like a perfect balance between ruggedness and ease of use, although I felt the weight of these boots more than the plush offerings. While it’s still super comfy, the lack of the plushier jump is definitely absorbed by your legs, which do some of that rebound work.
The sticky Vibram sole and carefully placed tread help immensely in the compromises HOKA made to make the Anacapa a more traditional hiker. And the extended heel, partly from the Ten ninepromotes this.
When combined, these functions noticeably help alleviate foot fatigue through incredible weight distribution, balance and stability.
As I hiked, I couldn’t help but believe that this is the best of everything that makes HOKA work: light weight, comfort, function, and support. The elongated heel, which always propels your gait forward, in conjunction with the slightly stiffer, yet malleable midsole, almost gives the feeling that there is an engine down there somewhere.
With the more aggressive uses these undoubtedly justify, you can be sure that the leather and mesh on the outside will hold up against rash and brushing. If you ask me, this is the official walking shoe HOKA has been waiting for.
HOKA ONE ONE Anacapa: Technical Specifications
Best use: Weekender hiking, backpacking
Outsole: Vibram Megagrip
Fall: 6 mm
Stack: 28-22 mm women / 30-24 mm men
- Middle: 16 oz. (Men) / 13.5 oz. (Women)
- Low: 14 oz. (Men) / 11.8 oz. (Women)
Price: $ 170 mid / $ 155 low
HOKA ONE ONE Anacapa: materials
- Upper, higher: PFC-free DWR treated leather; Mesh and leather (certified by the leather working group)
- Midsole: Compression molded EVA with extended heel geometry
- Liner: Molded 50% soy based sock
- Outsole: Meta-Rocker and Vibram Megagrip studs