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HOKA Arahi 7 Review | Running Shoes Guru



Hoka One One Arahi 7 Introduction

When I reviewed the first Hoka Arahi years ago it was a relatively unknown trainer from a smaller french brand (now currently based in California).

Fast forward to 2024 and you see Hoka seemingly everywhere. Not only have they become a popular running brand but also serve as a daily shoe for many more.

This year marks the 7th edition of the Arahi. It is Hoka’s moderate stability trainer. The Gaviota, the other Hoka stability trainer, is the max stability model.

The Arahi competes with the Saucony Guide, Brooks Adrenaline, and the ASICS GT-2000. It retails for 145 dollars.

Hoka One One Arahi 7 First Impressions

I tend to avoid white running trainers because of how easy they get dirty.

These feelings changed some when I laid my eyes on the Arahi. They popped when I opened the box, they looked so clean and fresh. The logos stood out against the white and you could instantly tell they were Hokas.

I was looking to take them out to see what they could do.

The maiden voyage of the Arahi was a 5k.

The responsive ride was a bit stiff out of the gate and lasted for the run. I needed to retie them while on the run to improve the fit.

They didn’t impress me on my first run. I was hoping it was an adjustment period along with needing to be broken in.

Hoka One One Arahi 7 Upper

The upper of the Hoka Arahi has a few changes for the 7th edition. The material for the upper is now an engineered flat knit. This material provides a medium amount of structure.

It is more breathable allowing air to easily flow in and out. Peering inside you will find a gusseted tongue which is new. The new upper material and gusseted tongue improved the fit and comfort of the Arahi.

One drawback is the length of the tongue and where the laces sit. They rest on the edge of the tongue and when tied pressure is felt on the tops of your feet. I had to tie them looser than what I’m used to. This was done to relieve the pressure.

The heel portion is the same as the Arahi 6. A flared heel collar along with an internal heel counter and medium amount of cushioning.

There was some heel slippage during my runs. It happened when I felt the pressure from the laces.

The same ortholite sockliner is found in the upper adding a whiff of bounce. There is enough room from heel to toe for your feet to stretch out naturally.

Hoka One One Arahi 7 Sole Unit

Let’s start from the ground up.

The outsole of the Hoka Arahi is a thin layer of durabrasion rubber placed in the areas of impact. After 50 miles it has shown some wear. It provides traction in both wet and dry conditions. The midsole is made from CMEVA foam.

This is the same as the previous version. It’s Hoka’s traditional responsive foam and it usually has a bounce to it. It lacked in this department compared to previous editions. This results in a firmer ride.

Hoka’s standard J-Frame provides stability in the Arahi. There is a dual density part of the midsole that runs from your forefoot on the medial side to the heel portion on the lateral side.

It is a nontraditional and dynamic stability system. It balances your feet and the impact of your stride. It is a natural stability system but it adds firmness to the midsole, because of this the Arahi struggled with energy return.

In every edition of the Arahi I’ve reviewed (4,5,6) there has been an issue with the right arch. It has rubbed and been uncomfortable. For that reason I got a wider option on the 7s. I still experienced discomfort but it was much less than in the past.

An early stage meta rocker is found in the Arahi. It’s a rocker shaped midsole to promote transitions and propulsion during runs.

This counteracted the stiffness and lack of energy return. It is a strength of the midsole along with the 4 mm drop. It propels you forward.

Hoka One One Arahi 7 Conclusions

The Arahi has become one of Hoka’s best selling trainers, and for good reason. It has things going for it, such as the J-Frame stability system and meta-rocker. It is an alternative to other traditional stability trainers. Unfortunately, the drawbacks overshadow those aspects.

The Arahi provides a firm and responsive ride. Many times it felt too firm on runs and this limited energy return and comfort. The J-frame continues to be effective providing stability when needed and does it without you noticing.

The 5 mm drop is positive as well, helping with propulsion. The midsole of the Arahi provided an inconsistent ride.

I needed to get the wide option to prevent the arch issues I have had in the past. If I were to get a medium width the arch issues would have been there.

The upper was also a mixed bag as well. The engineered flat knit used as the material excelled at breathability and adaptability. It provided a medium amount of structure and fit. Another strength of the upper is the gusseted tongue which helped with the fit.

The placement of laces on the short tongue caused pressure on the tops of my feet. This combined with some heel slippage made it tricky to get the right fit.

This is the fourth edition of Arahi I have reviewed.

My feelings haven’t changed much since the first one I reviewed. Overall, the Hoka Arahi is an average stability trainer. Don’t get me wrong, it has its strengths but the inconsistent and sometimes uncomfortable feel of them overshadowed any strengths.

Because Hoka is seen on more and more feet each year, Arahi works for many runners, but I’m not one of them.

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