£160 and £180 www.hokaoneone.eu
Well known for their running shoes, French footwear brand HOKA ONE ONE has just released its very first hiking boot range. The Sky Series consists of three different types of boots, all available in men’s and women’s: Sky Kaha, Sky Arkali and Sky Toa.
I was luckily enough to be whisked off to Iceland for the range’s launch and to put two of the boots through their paces, and I can happily say that I was not left disappointed. I first tried the Sky Toa, the lowest priced shoe in the range (£160), which is a lightweight waterproof hiking boot made for ‘fast hiking’. Made with a breathable synthetic upper and cushioned midsole, I was pretty impressed with how comfortable the boots were on first try. I was pretty sceptical about wearing a brand new pair of boots for an all-day hike in the mountains and across glaciers, but these boots offered all day comfort and by the end of the day my feet were completely blister free.
My favourite of the pair were the second boots I tested, the highest priced in the range (£180), the Sky Kaha. The boots come equipped with a super springy, marshmallowy thick midsole and a Vibram Megagrip outsole with 5mm lugs. The upper felt more supportive compared to the Toa, and I felt more reassured about the boot’s waterproof abilities. I wore these for an all-day hike in the Valley of Thor, and these boots were ideal for the mountainous terrain and foot of snow we had to trudge through. Considering they were deep in snow for at least five hours, I was impressed that my feet stayed warm and dry. The outsole proved to be super grippy too.
VERDICT: Both offer straight-out-of-the-box comfort, no breaking in needed. The Toa and Kaha are well-fitting boots, with a chunky springy midsole, which helps to minimise the impact on muscles and joints, plus both come equipped with a curved sole to support the foot’s natural movement and a deep insole, which hugs the foot for extra stability.
BEST FOR: The Toa is ideal for shorter day hikes and casual walks. The Kaha are my new favourite pair of hiking boots, offering exceptional waterproof protection, ankle support, stability and cushioning – making them perfect for long-distance hiking.
Review by Chantelle Kelly. Photos by Elli Thor Magnusson, taken on behalf of Hoka One One.