Altra VS Hoka: Which Is Better?

If you want cushioning and zero drop effect then two brands must be your choice, Altra and Hoka.

Both are famous footwear brands with different types of running shoes that best fit under all categories.

Though the shoes of both brands look similar but there are some differences between the two which make one brand a perfect choice. Before making a purchase, you must know the comparison and differences of both brands and determine your needs. So, Let’s get in.

Comparison Table Between Altra and Hoka

Founded in 2009Founded in 2009
Made of mesh upper, synthetic overlays, foot shape toe box, EVA and propriety foam and rubber outsoleMade of lightweight rubber, Vibram, leather, mesh and Gore-Tex membrane
Athletic shoesBoots, sneakers, shoes and sandals
Good for hiking, backpacking, trail running, road running, cross-training and casual wearGood for running, hiking, racing, backpacking and climbing
Less breathableMore breathable
Less costlyMore costly
1-year warranty1-year warranty

Overview of Altra

Altra Running or Altra is a famous American footwear and apparel company founded by Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead or VF Corporation in 2009 which aimed to manufacture shoes to promote a natural running experience. 

Altra Founders

The engaging designs, marketing and sales of athletic shoes for trail and road running to get comfortable and memorable experiences make Altra more famous among all outdoor activists and runners. 

Besides running shoes, this brand also has developed jackets, shorts, shirts, socks and other apparel. Altra is among the top 10 “Run specialty” brands and number 4 in trail running shoes. 

Harper altered shoes of different brands and made a new shoe called Zero Drop because of less space between shoe heel and toe area and this feature promotes natural foot position and reduces stress on lower limbs. 

The foot-shaped toe box of Altra shoes provides enough space to foot, promotes stability, comfort, smoothness, cushioning and decreases the risk of foot-related issues. Plus, the minimalist and functional design of Altra shoes makes them more performing rather than just style.

Altra shoes are manufactured in the following countries:

  • Chine
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Taiwan
  • Cambodia

As Altra has introduced a wide line of footwear products but the best seller product is Torin 7 because it is a lightweight, flexible, protective, breathable and cushioned shoe that offers a smooth and reliable ride that makes it suitable for all runners and walkers.

The neutral spring midsole absorbs shock while the plushy heel and wide base offer a comfortable and stable feel. 

Overview of Hoka

Hoka also called Hoka One One is a famous footwear brand established in 2009 by two French tycoons, Nicolas Mermoud and Luc Diard.

Luc Diard
Nicolas Mermoud

At first, Hoka got famous in the footwear and running industry because of its innovative and unique boots, shoes and runners.

Later on, this company introduced many other products and accessories for all outdoor activists such as trail running, hiking and walking. The origin of Hoka One One is Maori language which means “fly over the earth.” 

Hoka boots are well known because of their use of cushioning technologies, premium quality material, better designs, stability, support, oversize midsoles, improved shock absorption technology, and minimized impact on joints and smoother ride for long distances.

The most famous technology used in Hoka boots is Meta Rocker with a slight curve midsole in the shape of a rocking chair which is more famous among all athletes, outdoor activists and casual runners.

Also, Hoka gained fame because of many sustainable and eco-friendly products using recycled materials for environment-conscious consumers.

Hoka also collaborated many times with athletes, designers and other famous brands to manufacture high-quality shoes and other special collections to enhance the appealing look of sneakers and footwear. 

The following are some countries where Hoka boots are manufactured:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • Philippines
  • Cambodia
  • Dominican Republic

As Hoka has introduced many boots and shoes but the best seller product is the Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Hiking Shoe which is the perfect option for running, hiking and climbing and muddy, rocky, sandy and wet trails because of its cushioning, supportive and utmost comfortable effect.

Also these shoes are the right fit for wide feet and don’t cause blisters even if you go for hiking without wearing socks. Extra cushioning and thick soles make them the perfect choice for all long-distance trails.

Major Differences Between The Brands

When it comes to choosing between two brands, you should consider their major differences to make your decision easy. 

1) Comfort

Altra shoes offer extra cushioning with zero drop feature but users need to take some time to get used to these shoes because these are different from common shoes and take time to adjust.

The bad thing is that if users do not get used to the zero drop effect then they may be prone to injuries. Overall, Altra shoes are good for those with wide feet because many other wide shoes don’t fit better. 

On the other hand, Hoka shoes come with fit and extra cushioning and comfort with a rocker bottom that helps to absorb shock and is the better option to use during running, walking and hiking.

Also, these shoes offer a smooth ride, reduce fatigue and improve comfort. 

2) Popularity

Altra shoes are popular among outdoor activists and runners because of their unique design and latest features such as toe box, zero drops and foot shape.

These shoes are the perfect choice for those who want a natural running experience and improved foot posture to reduce the risk of injuries and are also a good option for those who have wide feet.

On the other hand, Hoka shoes are also famous among the running community because of their unique design and extra cushioning which help to absorb shock and provide comfort.

Besides runners, these shoes are also famous among non-runners and some famous celebs because of the speed and comfort they provide. 

3) Target market

Altra commonly targets neutral runners who don’t need much stability in footwear, runners who want zero drop and cushioning effect, trail runners who want durable and protective shoes and those runners who want comfort and style at once. 

On the other hand, Hoka targets long-distance runners who want cushioning and shock-absorbing shoes, ultra runners and athletes who want extra protection on challenging trails and lightweight performance seekers who want more speed and comfort. 

4) Price 

The Altra shoes are not so expensive with the price range of $100-$120 for most models.

While Hoka shoes are much more expensive with a price range of $130 to $200 while some special models cost up to $300. 

5) Design

Altra shoes are designed with a foot-shaped toe box that offers natural space for foot movement, a zero drop feature that enhances natural foot position, balanced cushioning for a comfortable ride and a minimalist and functional appearance. 

Hoka is a well-designed, sleek, comfortable and stylish boot with Vibram outsole, Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, Energy cell midsole, leather, rubber and mesh to give a comfortable, supportive yet stylish feel. 

Conclusion: Which Is Better?

It is concluded that both brands are unique in some features and according to your preferences but some factors make them different from each other. 

If you want a natural foot position with zero drop effect and a wide toe box then Altra must be your choice. While if you want a rocker bottom with extra cushioning and vibrant colors then Hoka must be your choice

In the end, I always suggest you to choose a pair of shoes that best fit your needs. Happy searching for the right brand. 

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