I Was Prescribed These Hoka Shoes for Overpronation — and I've Walked 3 Million Pain-Free Steps in the Past Year

The relief was immediate It’s a running joke among friends and family that, despite my age of 28, my feet seem to think they belong to an 80-year-old

Published Time: 06.06.2024 - 06:31:13 Modified Time: 06.06.2024 - 06:31:13

The relief was immediate

It’s a running joke among friends and family that, despite my age of 28, my feet seem to think they belong to an 80-year-old.

For years, I’ve run the gamut of foot problems, dealing with foot pain from improper shoes for flat feet, a touch of plantar fasciitis, and most recently, discovering that I walk with overpronation — a condition where your foot rolls inward when you walk, causing further flatness and pain along the outer tendons of your foot. A good indicator of this is excess wear on the inner soles of your shoes and foot pain adjacent to your ankle.

I spent the better part of two years walking around New York City with this unexplained pain, and it took a visit to a podiatrist and a very unique prescription to set me back on track. What was prescribed? Hoka sneakers.

Hoka is a brand you see everywhere in Hollywood, but most often these sneakers are spotted on celebrities such as Blake Lively, Jennifer Garner, Cameron Diaz, and Brie Larson.

While Hoka is a widely popular shoe brand for runners, it also has orthopedic shoes specifically designed for various conditions. I was introduced to the Hoka Arahi shoe, which is designed to correct overpronation, and after a year’s worth of use, I can confirm that they do, in fact, work.

Size Range: Women’s 5–12, Men’s 7–15 | Width: Regular, wide | Colors: 9 (W), 10 (M) | Construction: Supportive flat knit upper, plush tongue, dual gusset, J-Frame midsole support,  compression-molded EVA foam midsole, durabrasion rubber, and extended heel pull

Hoka is constantly improving its shoe technology, so while I own and tested the Arahi 6, the latest iteration (which is more widely available to buy) is the Arahi 7. The only real difference between these models is that the 7 has a more supportive knit upper, which just adds comfort. So, the rest of my review applies to features that are included with both versions of this shoe.

In terms of design, the shoe is highly functional yet aesthetically pleasing. I wore these shoes throughout a trip to Greece last year, and they worked just as well paired with stylish travel clothes as they did with more active clothing, such as the tennis dress I wore while hiking up the Acropolis.

Last summer, after my podiatrist visit (and subsequent doctor-recommended shoe “prescription”), I reached out to Hoka about various shoes for overpronation, and they sent me the Arahi 6. 

I have now worn these shoes for over a year and for -

various activities like walking my dog, running through airports, working out in fitness classes, commuting around New York, traversing Europe, and so much more. Here are some testing insights I’ve gathered:

Listen, if I had time for a TED Talk, I would give one about the Hoka Arahi shoes. Alas, here is the SparkNotes version. 

I have spent years dealing with various foot pains, from plantar fasciitis in the base of my foot after elliptical use to constant aches in the outer tendons of my foot due to walking in an overpronated position. When I put on these shoes, the corrective effect was immediate.

When you slide your foot into the Hoka Arahi shoe, you’ll feel an incredibly supportive structure against the inner sole of your foot, and that prevents that inward rolling movement with each step. It was a little stiff at first but grew super comfortable as it molded around my foot over time. 

The rest of your foot also has significant cushioning. This provides shock absorption and good traction, which creates steadiness on uneven terrain. (Circling back to the 200 uneven steps and rocky path hiking up the Acropolis: These shoes were my savior.) 

Just to compare, I used to experience foot pain after an hour or so of walking in past iterations of tennis shoes and required ice or ankle wraps to deal with chronic aches. Now I can spend all day on my feet and not have pain. It’s honestly incredible. 

And the effects haven’t gone away. Despite a year of wear and constant use, the shoes continue to support me and keep my foot in check. I will definitely be a lifelong Hoka wearer. 

As someone who has suffered various unexplained foot pain for upwards of 10 years and who saw immediate results from this shoe, yes, it is absolutely worth it. When you walk with overpronation, it’s easy to forget how much strain you’re putting on your feet (the vessels that carry us all day, every day). 

The Hoka Arahi shoes are designed to position your foot in a way that removes that strain, so you don’t have to think about adjusting your gait while you walk. It’s an instant fix, and after a year of ownership, I can vouch that these shoes really work. 

Throughout boxing classes, long dog walks, commuting through New York, and lots of travel across the country and abroad, these shoes have changed the way I walk, reducing foot pain and hugely impacting my day-to-day life.

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