If you’re at all familiar with HOKA’s claim to fame, you know it’s all in the sole. They have perfected the depth and responsiveness of their cushioned midsole to cater to the adventurous and casual alike.
Now with a battle-tested formula in hand, HOKA has been in the lab crafting the perfect hiking boot. After a few iterations with the Toa, Kaha, and the recent TenNine, the brand’s next official boot has hit the horizon.
Launching in June, the HOKA Anacapa will target a more versatile audience that gets after various distance hikes in all weather. The Anacapa will also hit a sustainability mark for HOKA, with Leather Working Group-certified leather, recycled polyester, and 50% soy-based sock liner.
In short: I received a pair of the low version to put to the test and instantly fell in love with all the checkboxes that this all-in-one boot ticked off. The Anacapa offers up a stout, form-fitting hiker that fits the bill as both a weekend hiker and even an all-out backpacking boot if you so wish.
HOKA ONE ONE Anacapa Review
Fit and Feel
Pulling on the Anacapas, I have to say these fit like a glove — or a sock, to be more precise. I have to give a huge nod to the Achilles-cradling pull-tab integrated into the sock liner — it really works! Having this one feature gives you an almost custom fit and allows the boot to move with you.
This gave me extra assurance when maneuvering through soft terrain, rocks, and anything slippery. That level of ankle support and confidence in a pair of low-cut boots is amazing.
My partner had a pair of the women’s mid version and said she never felt more locked into a boot before, especially one this light. My low versions came in at 14 ounces and her mids came in at 13.5 ounces.
The midsole on these is definitely a bit more firm, more what you’d expect from a traditional hiking boot. Unlike the uber cushiness of the Kaha or even the Speedgoat (the less official “hiker” of the bunch), this midsole felt a lot like the Toa.
While still very responsive and springy, I felt like I could stomp through the ground rather than bounce away from it. It was actually a very reassuring feeling, especially when doing anything more than trail running. Hauling a pack over longer distances definitely benefits from the extra rigidity the Anacapa provides.
Being a HOKA product first and a hiking boot second, the responsiveness of the boot really shines in comparison to other heavier, stiffer options. I felt comfortable going all day and night in these bad boys and didn’t get the “take these off!” notice from my feet after my hike.
It feels like a perfect balance of ruggedness and usability, even though I felt the weight of these boots more than with the more plush offerings. Although still super comfortable, the absence of the more plushy bounce is definitely absorbed by your legs doing some of that rebound work.
The sticky Vibram sole and thoughtfully placed tread helps tremendously with the compromises HOKA made to form the Anacapa into a more traditional hiker. And the extended heel, taken in part from the TenNine, furthers this.
Combined, these features noticeably assist in relieving some foot fatigue through incredible weight distribution, balance, and stability.
As I was hiking, I couldn’t help but think this was the best of all the things that make HOKA work: light weight, comfort, function, and assist. The extended heel that always urges your gait forward, in conjunction with the slightly stiffer but still malleable midsole, almost makes it feel like there’s a motor down there somewhere.
With the more aggressive use that these will undoubtedly warrant, you can rest assured the leather and mesh outer will hold their own against rock rash and brush. If you ask me, this is the official hiking boot we’ve been waiting for HOKA to create.
HOKA ONE ONE Anacapa: Specs
- Best use: Weekender hiking, backpacking
- Bootie: GORE-TEX
- Outsole: Vibram Megagrip
- Drop: 6 mm
- Stack: 28-22 mm women’s/ 30-24 mm men’s
HOKA ONE ONE Anacapa: Materials
- PFC-free DWR treatment leather; mesh and leather upper (certified by the Leather Working Group)
- Midsole: Compression-molded EVA with extended heel geometry
- Molded 50% soy-based sock liner
- Outsole: Meta-Rocker and Vibram Megagrip lugs