A lightweight, low to the ground shoe with a stylish knit upper, the Hupana doesn’t fit the mold for your traditional HOKA ONE ONE shoe. While typically known for a maximally cushioned midsole and a prevalent rocker design, the Hupana strips down these key philosophies to create a more performance oriented shoe. With such a unique design, I was quick to get my hands on a pair to see for myself what it was all about.
Immediately upon seeing the Hupana, I was drawn to the full RMAT midsole/outsole design. We’ve seen RMAT in other Hoka shoes, and the responsive and resilient nature of the material makes it a great choice in a performance shoe. Quickly after logging miles on the shoe, I found the use of the material to be a great option for not only uptempo efforts but also slower daily training efforts. When I picked up the pace, I experienced an energy efficient ride that felt smooth stride after stride. The lightweight design is in line with other performance trainers, but surprisingly, the smooth yet cushioned ride felt good while cruising during a recovery run. I was expecting the Hupana to be strictly a workout specific shoe but the versatility of the cushioning makes it a suitable option for a variety of training needs.
While I had high expectations for the RMAT midsole, I was little more skeptical about the fully exposed RMAT outsole. With no rubber placements anywhere, I not only worried about durability but also traction. After logging a fair amount of miles on the shoe, I can say durability has not proven to be an issue. I have not experienced any excessive wear and the external appearance of the RMAT seems to be in very good shape. Initial running on the roads proved traction was also not a concern. I had no problems gripping on turns and even with rainy road conditions, I felt confident running at a variety of paces.
Right out of the box, the only issues I had with the Hupana was the upper. The structured knit material initially felt slightly stiff and I noticed a specific area right below the tongue didn’t offer fantastic flex. But after only a couple of runs this problem seemed to disappear. The knit material broke in well and while still feeling dense and supportive, the upper was far more flexible and natural feeling on my feet.
While the Hupana has proven to be a versatile shoe during the miles I’ve put in, I would still consider it a performance shoe that I would bring out more often for my longer workout days. From tempo runs to fartlecks, this shoe offers a light and responsive design that provides a smooth and effortless feel when the pace picks up. I will continue to sprinkle the Hupana into my daily training cycle on days when I want something a little lighter, though the Clifton 3 will continue to be my first choice when I’m looking for reliable daily training option.
Connor, aka The Face of Running Warehouse, is our resident footwear guru and helps us keep a finger on the pulse of running trends and current events. A member of the local HOKA Aggies running team, Connor walks the walk, or should we say, runs the run.