Just like your adventures, shoes come in various personalities that make it difficult to settle on a single pair. Enter the Hoka Arkali.
Guest Post by Brian Murphy
When it comes to outdoor gear, there is isn’t a piece of equipment that is as important and difficult to choose than the shoes you put on your feet.
Known for the marshmallow-soft soles and the Meta-Rocker technology in their running shoes, Hoka’s reputation in the running world is solidified as being one of the best. So how would a running-inspired hiking shoe perform in the great outdoors? Well, I was skeptical…
At $200, the Arkali, which is Polynesian for mountain goat, comes with a higher price tag than most. However, upon opening the box, it’s instantly apparent these shoes are something special. Rather than being a boring hiking boot, these shoes have style, flair, and athletic appeal.
While the cyan & citrus version look extremely appealing, I went with the black and reflective pair (as darker colors typically require less maintenance). The upper is made of a MATRYX kevlar weave which is strong, lightweight, and does not deform with moisture. This results in a perfect fit in all weather conditions.
Any hiker will be instantly drawn to the Vibram Megagrip outsole with multi-directional 5mm lugs and the high-abrasion toe cap which provides incredible protection in the most aggressive terrain.
After 10 miles of trail running to break them in, the benefits of the Hoka way are felt immediately. The One One line is created with one thing in mind, to make moving easier. The Meta-Rocker technology delivers optimal support for a natural gate and a smooth roll-off from impact to toe-off.
This results in an efficient stride unmatched by any other company in the industry. The ankle and heel straps create a perfect fit and provide outstanding support. The combination of the two makes the Arkali feel like a shoe that is completely custom-built for each wearer.
The shoes were put to the ultimate test when I took them on North Carolina’s Art Loeb Trail. The legendary 30.1-mile trail requires traversing a large elevation change and over treacherous terrain in just two and a half days. From start to finish, the Arkali performed flawlessly. Whether steep grades or the strenuous rocky sections, even with a 40-pound pack, my feet were ready to continue far after the rest of my body wasn’t.
The fantastic build quality and durability of the Arkali is also easily apparent after the Art Loeb beat down. Surprisingly, the entire shoe didn’t show any sign of wear or failure. With no broken stitching or delamination, the Arkali appears to be a shoe that will not only perform in any condition but do so time and time again.
The Arkali is the complete mountain adventuring shoe. It combines a trail runner, a hiking boot, and specialty climbing footwear to give the complete outdoor package. Although the price of Arkali may seem high, Hoka’s version of outdoor footwear performs exceptionally in every aspect, whether it’s speed, comfort, traction, or stability, more than justifying the cost.
- -MATRYX® upper featuring high-tensile synthetic fiber strands across the midfoot for unparalleled strength and durability at minimal weight.
- -High-abrasion rubber toe cap extends to the midfoot for increased protection.
- -Ankle and heel straps offer structural and proprioceptive support on uneven terrain.
- -PROFLY™ midsole for a cushioned landing and propulsive toe-off.
- -A total weight of 2lbs for the pair.
- Check Prices at REI.com
- Check Prices at Backcountry.com
Ladies and gentlemen, the Arkali, the “Greatest Of All Time” of outdoor footwear.
About Brian Murphy:
Twitter – @Brian_Murphy_
IG – _Brian_Murphy_
Living in Charlotte, North Carolina has allowed me to pursue my passions of motorsports and the great outdoors. Although most of my time is dedicated to my aerodynamic fabrication job at Stewart-Haas Racing, I’m very fortunate to work in an industry where I’m able to travel across the country and see all the great things it has to offer. When I’m not on the road with the team, I spend my spare time hiking and exploring the beautiful Appalachian Mountain Range. From the top of Mount Rainier to the heat of Death Valley and everything in between, I look forward to sharing my experiences and gear with you!
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