Hoka Arahi 4
The shoes felt tall because of their stack height, but their wide base makes them stable.
We were expecting a soft plush ride because of the thick cushioning. But the 4s turned out to be firmer than other Hoka shoes we’d tried. Our testers thought it was probably due to the J-Frame technology embedded in the midsole.
Despite their firmness, they didn’t feel hard. They felt quicker and more responsive compared to most stability shoes.
All in all, we didn’t experience the usual challenges that come with support shoes. The 4s weren’t heavy, and although they’re firm, they feel soft in the right places.
Hoka Arahi 4 Pros and Cons
- Spacious toe box
- Thoughtful heel loop design
- Great breathability
- Excellent support
- Fit varies
- Might need to be broken in
- Limited weather protection
Hoka Arahi 4 Review
The Arahi 4s are part of Hoka’s groundbreaking lightweight stability shoes. They offer a smooth, supportive ride no matter the pace.
Fans of the Arahi 3s appreciate the familiarity that comes with this version. They feature the same midsole, outsole, and cushioning. The differences between the two versions are pretty subtle.
Let’s find out what makes these affordable stability shoes more comfortable and secure than expensive alternatives.
The Arahi 4s feature an all-new upper. It offers enhanced comfort, breathability, and excellent structural support.
Hoka used a lighter mesh to boost the upper’s ventilation. One of our testers mentioned his feet felt cooler in the 4s than in the 3s. The lightweight mesh also reduces the overall weight of the shoes.
The downside to the improved upper is that it provides little weather protection.
We advise that you avoid wearing these trainers in the rain because water easily passes through them. Luckily they dry up quickly thanks to their exceptional ventilation.
The toe box is spacious, with plenty of wiggle room for the toes. It will accommodate various foot types because it’s wide.
We found the shoes comfortable on the inside, thanks to a smooth fabric covering the heel cup. Our testers also mentioned their feet felt secure without restrictions.
Other features that caught our attention were the padded tongue and the reflective logo at the bottom of the laces.
The shoes feature Hoka’s early-stage Meta-Rocker.
This tech is responsible for the trainers’ soft ride and fast transitions. It’s defined by the low heel-to-toe drop and rounded sole that propels runners forward.
For the midsole, Hoka used J-Frame technology. The J-Frame name comes from the foam’s J-shape, which forms a high angle lift at the heel.
It’s quite firm and doesn’t compress easily under a person’s weight. The foam helps the shoes wear down uniformly and ensures your foot rolls smoothly from heel to toe.
Unlike other stability tech, J-Frame isn’t intrusive. It blends in seamlessly without adding excessive weight to the shoes. That’s why runners enjoy lightweight support.
The tech essentially prevents overpronation without overcorrecting one’s gait. Neutral runners barely notice the overpronation control, but overpronators can immediately feel the difference in support.
Overall, the cushioned midsole is comfortable and absorbs enough shock to protect your joints. We found the Arahi 4s surprisingly responsive for stability shoes.
Hoka used zonal rubber placement to enhance the shoes’ durability. This means they added rubber to the outsole’s high wear areas. Most people who reviewed the shoes agreed that they hardly noticed any durability issues at 40 to 50 miles.
While testing the shoes in different types of weather, we didn’t experience any slippage. The grip seemed to get better after several miles. One reviewer said they confidently wear the shoes in the rain and snow.
We still came across a reviewer who said they didn’t feel secure even though they didn’t actually slip on the road.
Our testers confirmed that the shoes are great for all paces.
They felt comfortable on slow runs and fast speeds. The 4s are also great for running short and long distances.
Some testers found the sneakers true to size, while others found them wide. A few reviewers claimed their trainers felt tight and didn’t feel like a true wide. As you can see, there are several contradicting opinions about the fit.
Runners with narrow feet said the toe box was too spacious. A few complained of rubbing along the midfoot or the Achilles tendon. The width might be why one tester experienced heel friction resulting in blisters on his big toes.
You can try heel lock lacing or wearing socks with heel tabs to prevent such issues. The socks have additional fabric to keep your shoes from rubbing the back of your heel. Our testers also tried using different types of insoles and different levels of tightness for the laces.
We agree with a reviewer who suggested that more padding around the stiff heel cuff could improve the fit.
Compared to Arahi 3
The pull tab on the heel of the 4s was different from that of the Arahi 3s. This version has a horizontal loop, while the 3s have a vertical loop. It might seem like a small change, but the new pull tab makes it easier to tug the shoe on. It’s great if you want to avoid undoing your shoes once you’ve found the right fit.
The Arahi 4 trainers have the same heel-to-toe drop as the 3s. It took some getting used to since most running shoes have an 8-10mm drop. But they feel pretty comfortable once your calves adjust to it.
We like that the sneakers have the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association award. This award signifies that the Arahi 4s are quality, safe, and effective shoes that promote good foot health. That’s why podiatrists frequently recommend them and other Hoka shoes.
We’re confident you’ll like the Hoka Arahi 4s if you need daily trainers, easy days shoes, or lightweight stability shoes.
They are great for all kinds of runners because of their ability to adapt to different paces. Best of all, they still hold their shape and comfort after several hundred miles.
Consider getting yourself a pair if you need reliable support or affordable recovery shoes.