HOKA vs Brooks

Are you in the market for a new pair of running shoes? With so many brands, deciding which one to try can be hard. 

Hoka and Brooks are two of the most popular running shoe brands, each offering unique benefits and features. These shoe brands are known for their high-performance running shoes, designed to provide maximum cushioning and comfort for runners of all abilities.

But which of the brands’ shoes is right for you?

In this blog, we’ll look at the key differences between Hoka and Brooks running shoes. We will compare various factors like cushioning, fit, durability, and more. 

Whether you’re a beginner runner looking to try something new or an avid runner looking to switch up your go-to brand, this post will help you make an informed decision about your next pair of running shoes. 

Overview of Hoka’s Footwear

Hoka One One (stylized as HOKA) is an athletic shoe brand based out of Annecy, France, specializing in designing and marketing running shoes. The name Hoka One One derives from a Māori phrase meaning “fly over the earth.”

The company was founded in 2009 by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, who wanted to create a shoe to help runners go downhill faster. The founders innovated a model with an oversized outsole for greater cushioning than what was available at the time.

Hoka first caught the attention of the running world when the brand was launched amidst a trend of minimalist shoes. Initially beginning with mainly running shoes, Hoka has since expanded its collection to include a variety of footwear. 

They now produce a wide range of shoes for various activities such as walking, orthopedic wearing, lifestyle, trail running, sandals, spikes, fitness, and training.

Overview of Brooks’s Footwear

Brooks Sports, Inc., also referred to as Brooks Running, is an American sports equipment company. The company designs and produces high-performance footwear, apparel, and accessories.

Founded by John Brooks Goldenberg in 1914, the company began in a small factory located in Philadelphia, producing ballet slippers and bathing shoes. In 1975, Brooks teamed up with prominent runners, including former Olympian Marty Liquori, to create their first running shoe – the Villanova. 

This collaboration set the benchmark for future Brooks running shoes. The release of the Vantage in 1977 marked a significant milestone by hitting #1 in the annual Runner’s World running guide.

In 2001, Brooks shifted their focus away from all other types of athletic shoes to solely running shoes. Since then, they have invested highly in their research and development of materials and shoe designs.

Hoka Running Shoes vs. Brooks Running Shoes Key Differences

The key difference between Hoka and Brooks running shoes is their design and material. Hoka running shoes are well-known for their rocker bottom, extra cushioning, and reliable support. This makes them a popular choice amongst runners who suffer from regular foot pain and other related issues.

On the other hand, Brooks is a common go-to choice amongst athletes due to its wide toe box and midsole support that provide comfort and stability.

ShoeHoka Running ShoesBrooks Running Shoes
StyleMaximalist Traditional 
Toe BoxNarrowWide
Stack Height (Heel)High Moderate 
AppearanceOften Bright ColouredOften Neutral colored


The upper material of Hoka Running Shoes is made from high-quality leather, sourced exclusively from Leather Working Group (LWG) – certified tanneries. These tanneries adhere to stringent protocols to ensure that leather production is conducted responsibly and sustainably.

The most common materials used in Brooks running shoes are polyester and EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate). They can also be made using recycled polyester and recycled nylon yarns.  

All Brooks shoes use vegan-friendly materials (including glues and dyes) except the Addiction Walker 2 shoe, which is constructed of full-grain leather.


Hoka Running shoes have a soft, plushy feel because of the PROFLY technology and molded EVA foam. It’s important to note that HOKA offers three levels of cushioning, from maximalist to neutral and light, providing an option for trail runners. 

Despite having abundant cushioning, these shoes remain lightweight, making them comfortable and easy to run in. 

Brooks utilizes various different foam materials within their midsoles, depending on the purpose of the running shoe. The most cushioned and plush material used is called DNA LOFT, a blend of EVA foam, rubber, and air. This provides superior shock absorption, protecting the foot from hard surfaces.

DNA AMP is designed to give the high energy return possible due to its springy and much stiffer composition than DNA LOFT. This makes it perfect for speed shoes that require more bounce and propulsion with every stride. 

BioMoGo DNA is also employed within specific models, offering a springy effect for an efficient movement forward. Additionally, DNA Flash has minimal cushioning specifically tailored toward racing shoes.


The Hoka running shoe range features a soft and cushy design, yet its bulkiness makes them surprisingly rigid. This can inhibit the feet’s natural flexing ability and concentrate stress on specific foot sections. 

Brooks’ running shoes, like the Adrenaline GTS 22, feature a unique and innovative design that is both stable and flexible. These shoes also feature flex grooves that allow for natural flexibility and movement with each step. 


The durability of any running shoe is influenced by the factors like the shoe’s construction, body weight, biomechanics of the runner, running trails, weather conditions, storage, and maintenance habits.

On average, the standard durability of a Hoka running shoe is between 400-500 miles. Although it is possible to get more miles out of them if taken proper care of. However, they do lose their plush after the 400-mile mark for most. 

The durability isn’t higher because these shoes often expose much of their midsole on the bottom. This can result in quicker wear and tear of the shoes. 

On the other hand, Brooks running shoes provide high durability of 300 to 500 miles, making them a good option for trail running. This is largely due to the use of rubber outsole in their shoe construction, which results in higher durability and a longer lifespan. 

This makes Brooks shoes an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable pair of running shoes that will last long.

Fit and Sizing

When it comes to fit and size, there is a notable difference between Brooks and Hoka models. Hoka running shoes are generally considered to run true to size. In contrast, Brooks running shoes are recommended to be sized up a half size from what one might typically wear as street shoes.

Hoka Shoes tend to have a slightly smaller toe box than those offered by Brooks. This feature makes them better suited for people with narrow feet. 

On the other hand, Brooks running shoes offer a wider toe box. This benefits runners by providing more space for the toes and forefoot to spread out on the landing.

It’s important to note that this comparison refers explicitly only to standard-width shoes (B for women, D for men).


In terms of stability, Brooks running shoes offer more support than Hoka running shoes. The GuideRails technology allows the hips, knees, and joints of a runner’s body to move naturally and provide support when required. 

This two-category approach of neutral and supportive options helps ensure that runners get the support they need.

HOKA has developed an innovative J-Frame technology that offers enhanced stability. The shoes also include a firmer foam on the medial side of the foot to prevent pronation or rolling inward.


When it comes to prices, Brooks and HOKA offer competitive rates. Brooks models range from $100 to $160, while HOKA items can be found starting at a slightly higher price point of $120 and going up to $250. 

However, regarding the most popular models, both brands stay around the same price point of around $150. The design features and construction techniques also contribute to the cost difference and the materials used.

Popular Models Of Hoka Running Shoes

HOKA offer a wide range of running shoe models, each designed to suit different needs. Some popular models of Hoka running shoes are:

HOKA Clifton 8

HOKA Clifton 6 running shoe

The HOKA Clifton 8 has cemented its place as one of the top shoes for everyday running. The mesh upper on these shoes adds exceptional breathability, ensuring your feet stay cool during those long runs.

This material also reduces the risk of irritation or discomfort on your skin.

The Meta-Rocker sole optimizes your stride, making it smoother and more natural. The shoes’ midsole comprises a lightweight EVA compound that enhances energy return, providing cushioning and support. Additionally, the heel has been extended to reduce impact forces from hitting the ground.

HOKA Bondi 8

HOKA Bondi 8 running shoe

The Bondi 8 is Hoka’s most cushioned shoe, designed to provide maximum comfort for long-distance runners. Their upper is constructed from an open mesh fabric which enhances breathability. 

Furthermore, a memory foam collar has been added to create a more secure fit and feel around the ankle. 

The Bondi 8 shoes have a stack height of ultralight and resilient foam designed to create an optimal cushioning experience for each step. Finally, with its extended heel geometry, the early-stage Meta-Rocker shape ensures that both landings and transitions are smoother and quicker. 

This shoe is ideal for long-distance runs due to its sheer comfort.

Popular Models of Brooks Running Shoes

Brooks also has a vast collection of running shoe models. Some of the popular models of Brooks running shoes are:

Brooks Ghost 15

Brooks Ghost 15 running shoe

The Brooks Ghost 15 is perfect for everyday runs. The upper is crafted from an engineered air mesh material that gives the user a secure fit while allowing air to circulate within the shoes.

The Brooks Ghost 15 has recently been updated with an improved midsole foam. DNA Loft v2 is softer and lighter than the foam used in previous versions. These shoes are perfect for utilizing surfaces like roads and tracks.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Brooks Adrenaline GST 22 running shoe

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is renowned for its impressive stability, making it an ideal choice for runners of all levels. Its breathable mesh upper features a snug fit with comfort. These shoes were built using the GuideRails support system.

The midsole of Adrenaline GTS 22 was created using 100% DNA Loft foam for a super soft, buttery smooth ride. This stability running shoe was also updated with 3D print technology, providing an extra layer of comfort and stability.

Whether you’re out for an easy mile or looking to up your tempo slightly, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 can help you get there with maximum comfort. 


So, what’s the verdict? 

Both brands have strong suits in our Hoka vs. Brooks running shoe comparison guide. If you’re looking for a supportive and stability-driven shoe, Brooks shoe is likely your best bet. However, if you’re in the market for an ultra-light and cushioned pair of shoes, the Hoka shoe might be a better option. 

Whatever shoe brand you choose, consider your needs and preferences to get the most out of your running shoes.

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