Hoka Arahi 6 Review | Running Shoes Guru

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Hoka has been a brand on the rise over the last few years. Go to any race and you are going to see more and more of them on peoples’ feet. They are a unique brand that offers a different approach to both stability and neutral daily trainers.

Their most popular trainer, the Clifton, has a stability brother in the Arahi. This year marks the 6th edition of the Arahi. This version has undergone some small changes since last year.

Hoka offers two stability trainers, the Arahi and Gaviota.

The Arahi provides moderate stability and cushioning while the Gaviota offers the max.

Its competitors include the New Balance 860, ASICS GT-2000 and Brooks Adrenaline.

It is priced at 140 dollars,an increase of 10 dollars from the last edition.

Hoka Arahi 6 First Impressions

I ran in and reviewed the 3rd and 4th editions of the Arahis.

Since then they have made noticeable changes to the upper part of the trainer. I was curious to see how they felt different. I was excited to open the box and see the plein air and blue fog colorway.

I nicknamed them blue ice because they looked ice cold. My favorite aspect was the bright orange J-Frame in the midsole, more of it would have added more visual pop to the shoe. Like other Hoka trainers, the Arahis were light in my hands.

When I put them on for the first time I found a balanced feeling, not too plush, not too firm.

There was a noticeable lower drop in these than the past few trainers I’ve run in. There was an area of tightness in my right arch. It was like my arch sat on top of the insole slightly. I was hoping this would only need an adjustment period since they were new.

Other than that the fit was wide enough for my feet to splay out. They felt light on my feet and I was excited to take them for a run.

A 10k was the Arahi’s maiden voyage. The drop and firmness felt during the run made it difficult to enjoy.

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The cushioning balanced this somewhat because of the amount of cushioning there is. From past Hoka experience I knew there was going to be an adjustment period, I was looking forward to seeing how long that period would be.

Hoka Arahi 6 Sole Unit

Let’s start from the ground up. The outsole has a thin layer of high abrasion lightweight rubber. The bulk of the blown rubber is strategically placed in the forefoot and heel portions of the trainer.

The J-Frame has a blown rubber layer that is the same color as the J-Frame. The outsole was able to handle wet and dry conditions equally well.

The Arahi’s thick midsole is made of CMEVA foam. This is a traditional EVA foam used in most of Hoka’s traditional offerings. It is balanced foam that provides a firm ride with a hint of bounce to it.

The stability of the Arahi comes from their J-Frame technology. This is a dual density part of the midsole that runs from your forefoot on the medial side to the heel portion of the lateral side (forming a J around your foot). You can tell where it is because it is a different color than the rest of the midsole.

This is a nontraditional way to provide stability. It is dynamic which means you feel it engage only when you need it to. It levels your feet and ankles during foot strikes. On the downside it adds to the firmness felt from the midsole. I found the stability was at a minimal to moderate level depending on your stride.

The Hoka Arahi is equipped with an early stage meta-rocker geometry. This is a standard for most Hoka trainers. It is a rocker shaped midsole to promote smooth transitions and propulsion during runs. They were one of the first brands using this technology and still one of the best. This along with the standard 5 mm drop propels you forward on your stride. The meta rocker geometry also shortens the adjustment period to these trainers.

Hoka Arahi 6 Upper Unit

Let’s start from the ground up. The outsole has a thin layer of high abrasion lightweight rubber. The bulk of the blown rubber is strategically placed in the forefoot and heel portions of the trainer. The J-Frame has a blown rubber layer that is the same color as the J-Frame. The outsole was able to handle wet and dry conditions equally well.

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The Arahi’s thick midsole is made of CMEVA foam. This is a traditional EVA foam used in most of Hoka’s traditional offerings. It is balanced foam that provides a firm ride with a hint of bounce to it. The stability of the Arahi comes from their J-Frame technology. This is a dual density part of the midsole that runs from your forefoot on the medial side to the heel portion of the lateral side (forming a J around your foot). You can tell where it is because it is a different color than the rest of the midsole.

This is a nontraditional way to provide stability. It is dynamic which means you feel it engage only when you need it to. It levels your feet and ankles during foot strikes.

On the downside, it adds to the firmness felt from the midsole. I found the stability was at a minimal to moderate level depending on your stride.

The Hoka Arahi is equipped with an early stage meta-rocker geometry. This is a standard for most Hoka trainers. It is a rocker shaped midsole to promote smooth transitions and propulsion during runs.

They were one of the first brands using this technology and still one of the best. This along with the standard 5 mm drop propels you forward on your stride. The meta rocker geometry also shortens the adjustment period to these trainers.

Hoka Arahi 6 Conclusion

The Hoka Arahi 6 continues to serve as an alternative to those runners who want something different from their stability trainer. The blend of the J-Frame along with the high stack low drop height and it being lightweight make the Arahi a responsive trainer ready for the miles at various paces.

Sometimes the responsiveness can feel a bit stiff during the ride. This provided an inconsistent ride for me.

Some runs were smooth and effortless while others were stiff and uncomfortable. Stability is there; the J-frame engages when you need it. On the right arch I had some fit issues.

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It seemed like my arch rubbed against the top of the insole when I first put them on. This was the same issue I had with the Arahi 2 and 3. It never caused a blister but I was aware of it during many runs.

The upper underwent a major update for the last edition (5). The improvements have carried over into the 6. The upper is a highlight of the trainer for me. Its elf ear flared heel provides more comfort along with the amount of cushioning found in the heel counter. The material is flexible while also giving the upper a medium amount of structure.

Overall, the Hoka Arahi 6 was a middle of the road trainer for me.

The dynamic stability, a staple from previous models, is still great. It allows for more comfort and confidence on my run. However, the ride is inconsistent due to the stiffness of the midsole.

On the grand scale, this shoe just hasn’t been updated enough to warrant a new model number. This Arahi 6 is equal to what you find in sports video games sometimes, where all that is updated is the roster of players.

Yes, it is nice to have an updated roster but I want improved game play. This is the same for my running trainers, it is nice to have a slightly updated upper material but I would like more noticeable improvements throughout the shoe.

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Hoka Arahi 6 at Running Warehouse with our own money.

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