Hoka Gaviota 3
Although Hoka is known for lightweight stability shoes, the Gaviota 3s feel heavier than the 2s.
Their weight is probably due to the additional foam and padding. The upside is that the tons of foam, rubber, and thick layers of fabric add to the shoes’ durability.
The padding also made the 3s feel warmer than the 2s. It’s meant to offer a plush experience, but some people feel it’s too much.
Our testers were concerned that the shoes weren’t a good fit for people in hotter climates.
Hoka Gaviota 3 Pros and Cons
- Great for overpronators
- Plush removable insole
- Increased upper support
- Securely locks down the midfoot
- Thoughtful pull tab design
- Stiff ride compared to the G2s
- No reflective elements
- Heavy because of the excess padding
Hoka Gaviota 3 Review
The Gaviota 3s are premium, durable, stability shoes that provide a balanced ride over any distance.
Unlike traditional support shoes, they offer maximum plushness and more built-in stability features.
There are minor differences between the Gaviota 2 and 3, but they significantly impact the shoe’s fit and performance.
In this review, you’ll find out what makes the Gaviota 3 more attractive to overpronators compared to the previous versions of the shoe.
One of the noticeable things about the Gaviota 3s is the amount of padding on the upper. The cushioning offers a more comfortable plush experience compared to the Gaviota 2s.
This shoe version features a fully gusseted tongue and a H-frame system for improved support and midfoot lockdown.
Hoka made some small changes to the lace enclosure. The loops on the G2s are sewn into the midsole and wrapped over the outside of the upper material.
In this version, there are loops connected to the upper and loops of sturdy support material on the tongue. You have to alternate between the two sets of loops to tie the laces. This new enclosure system is what securely locks down the midfoot.
Although H-frame offers a locked-in fit, the shoes feel snugger around the midfoot area. That’s why some people think the Gaviota 3s run narrow. The fit made one reviewer think his shoes were a half size smaller. Our testers also noted the G3’s midsection felt slightly smaller.
There are mixed reactions to this new system. One tester said his feet felt more secure in the G3s than in the 2s. A few reviewers were also happy because it made it easy to customize their fit. On the other hand, some reviewers found it taxing. They had trouble adjusting the laces whenever they put on or took off the shoes.
The laces are also long. Some people find them inconvenient, but you can tuck them in to get them out of the way. You can also triple knot and see if it works for you.
Hoka still used J-Frame technology on the G3s.
You can look forward to non-intrusive overpronation control and an efficient gait cycle whenever you put on these shoes.
The J-Frame foam is durable and doesn’t compress easily, so your shoes will wear down uniformly.
The protective cushion also makes the Gaviota 3s more responsive than most stability shoes.
Hoka added two millimeters to the midsole. The difference in stack height wasn’t noticeable until we tried on the G2s and 3s simultaneously.
Some reviewers only noticed the difference when they ran more miles or increased the intensity of their workouts.
The shoes feature Hoka’s late-stage Meta-Rocker for added stability and forefoot support. The tech and extra cushioning around the heel make the G3s perfect for heel strikers.
However, midfoot strikers find them challenging because they don’t offer a smooth gait cycle.
Even though the Gaviota 2s have a durable outsole, the Eva foam at the center of the forefoot wears down after some time. Hoka corrected the issue by using more blown rubber on the outsole.
The extra rubber at the center of the forefoot provides some additional protection against wear, adding to the G3s longevity.
The Gaviota 2s have a semi-gusseted tongue, while the 3’s tongue is fully gusseted.
From experience, we’ve found that fully gusseted tongues often restrict the airflow around the midfoot. Reviewers also thought the difference in breathability was due to decreased perforations on the G3s toe box.
There were several complaints about the G3s tongue. Its thickness causes it to bulge in the lower area, and it’s hard to flatten because it’s fixed in place. Our testers also said it was difficult to position the tongue.
We expected a soft ride because of the extra cushioning, but the G3s were surprisingly denser than the 2s. A few reviewers also felt the ride was a bit too stiff.
For stability, the heel has plenty of structure. The wide base, heel counter, and external heel clutch ensure there’s no lateral movement in the back of the shoe.
Overpronated testers said the sneakers were very stable and kept their heel in place when they hit the ground. None of them experienced any slippage. Reviewers also said the 3s did a fantastic job when it came to reducing their pronation.
We really like the changes to the pull tab. The 2s have a small vertical loop, while this version has a wide horizontal loop. The new pull tab is easier to grip and put your finger through when putting on the shoes.
The plush removable insole creates a comfortable running experience. Reviewers with various foot issues also claim the G3s are comfortable, highly effective orthopedic shoes. One tester who struggles with foot problems confirmed the same after wearing them for several hours.
You can’t go wrong with shoes approved by The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). The organization’s seal of acceptance signifies that the G3s are beneficial to foot health.
The Gaviota 3s might not be the fastest or lightest shoes, but they offer premium comfort and stability. They are an excellent fit for overpronators who want to run safely without risk of injury.
Try them out if you need reliable corrective action to reduce your overpronation.