Altra Vs Hoka: How They Perform As A Trail Running Shoe For Walking & Plantar Fasciitis

Altra and Hoka are both well-known brands of running shoes, but they have some distinct differences.

Altra shoes typically feature a wider toe box design to allow for more natural foot movement, while Hoka shoes are designed with a supportive cushioning system to provide extra shock absorption.

In terms of weight, Altra shoes weigh an average of 9 ounces per shoe size compared to Hoka’s 11 ounces. In addition, Altra offers more colors and sizes than the limited selection available from Hoka.

Altra shoes are designed with wide “foot-shape” toe boxes and zero-drop constructions, while Hoka shoes are more conventionally fitted.

Moreover, Altra provides narrower heels, higher insteps, and longer arches to accommodate the differences between the feet of women.

For those who prefer more aggressive rockers and maximum cushioning, Hoka features a more aggressive rocker and max cushion.

Both brands offer a variety of cushioning and support levels.

Although Altra offers fewer options at the lower end of the scale, prices between the two brands are generally comparable. However, your personal foot shape may be more appropriate for either brand.

3 Major Differences Between Hoka and Altra

I recently purchased a pair of running shoes from each of the big two brands in the business, Altra and Hoka. Having worn them both for some time now, I can say that there are three major differences between them.

Cushioning: While both brands offer excellent cushioning, Hoka offers maximum cushioning because of its maximalist design while Altra provides moderate cushion through its Zero Drop platform.

Fit & Design: With a more traditional fit, Hokas have much deeper heel cups than Altra’s more roomy toe box design that allows you to splay your toes out naturally when running or walking.

Weight: Hoka’s tend to be heavier due to their extra cushioning whereas Altra’s are lightweight with minimal upper materials used for construction purposes only.

5 Pros and Cons of Altra Shoes

Altra shoes offer a unique design and style that many runners have come to love. But like any running shoe, there are pros and cons to consider when deciding if Altra is the best choice for you. Here are 5 pros and cons of Altra shoes:


Zero Drop – the sole of the shoe has no incline or built-in arch support which allows your foot to sit naturally in its natural position with each strike on the ground.

Wide Toe Box – provides more room for toes to spread out comfortably as you run which can help prevent blisters and reduce fatigue in long runs.

Cushioning – some models provide cushy cushioning while still maintaining an overall lightweight construction so you don’t sacrifice speed for comfort.

Durability – their rugged soles make them suitable for any terrain, even rough trails.

Price Point – they tend to be more affordable than other popular brands of running shoes given the quality materials used in manufacturing them.


Weight – some models tend to be heavier than other types making it hard on your legs over long distances or difficult terrain courses.

Support Level – due to no incline or built-in arch support, some runners may find that these shoes do not provide enough support during runs.

Traction & Grip – because of their flat construction, these shoes lack traction compared to ones with a deeper tread pattern.

Lack Of Styles & Colors Available – Depending on where you shop, you may have limited options when it comes to styles and colors available from this brand.

Poor Breathability & Ventilation– Many reports suggest that feet can feel hot after extended periods of wear due to too little ventilation along the upper parts of the shoe.

5 Pros and Cons of Hoka Shoes

Here is a breakdown of 5 Pros & Cons of Hoka Shoes:


Maximum Cushioning – Ideal for long-distance runs or high-impact activities as it offers superior shock absorption;

Lightweight – Despite their maximum cushioning, they remain lightweight for easy maneuverability;

Enhanced Stability– Specialty-designed midsoles offer enhanced stability on uneven terrain;

Breathable Mesh Upper – Allows air circulation keeping your feet cool & comfortable;

Wide Toe Box Design – Offers toe splay allowing you to stay balanced while running/walking long distances with greater comfort & support.


Limited Durability – Due to increased cushioning results in quicker wear and tear over time.

Poor Traction In Wet Conditions– Due to the design not offering sufficient grip on slippery surfaces.

Costly – Higher price tag than many competing brands due to its unique construction style.

Not Suitable For Short Distances Runs– Could lead feeling like your foot is “floating” due to its plush midsole design.

No Customization Options– Many other competitors’ shoes come with custom orthotics insoles which Hoka doesn’t offer.

Altra vs Hoka Shoes: Feature Comparison

Here is an overview of the feature comparison between the two:

Cushioning: Altra shoes offer cushioning with a Zero Drop platform, while Hoka shoes provide maximum cushioning and shock absorption that helps reduce the impact on feet.

Fit & Comfort: Altra provides an accommodating fit with its “foot-shape” toe box, while Hoka One One emphasizes a snugger design by fitting securely around your foot thanks to its engineered mesh upper.

Weight & Durability: The lightweight build of both shoes makes them ideal for long-distance runs; however, Altra uses more durable materials and has better outsole durability when compared to Hoka’s lightweight foam midsoles.

Price Point: Both brands come in slightly different price points – Altar averages around $130-$150 depending on the model whereas Hoka ranges from $110-$160+.

Durability: Altra vs Hoka

Hoka and Altra shoes are both well-designed with high-quality materials that are expected to last for many years. The most significant difference between the two is their upper construction method. A mono-mesh upper provides support without sacrificing breathability in Altra shoes.

The material is designed to be lightweight, yet durable enough to withstand long-term use in rugged environments. In contrast, Hoka’s engineered mesh fabric is reinforced with welded overlays to provide additional protection and stability around the foot’s frame and still allow your feet to breathe during running.

No matter how many miles you’re going, you will be able to enjoy ample comfort with both designs as they offer excellent cushioning and impact absorption.

Stability: Altra vs Hoka

Altra and Hoka are two well-known brands that have established reputations for excellent support and stability when it comes to selecting a running shoe.

The unique FootShape design of Alta shoes enables your foot to move naturally as you run without compromising on support, making them a smart choice for providing maximum stability.

In addition to providing a low-impact surface for your feet, the Zero Drop platform distributes weight evenly across the footbed, minimizing the strain on your muscles and joints.

The InnerFlex midsole technology, another Altra signature stabilizing feature, offers superior flexibility while also providing sufficient cushioning to enhance stability.

Due to their oversized midsoles, Hoka One One shoes provide exceptional stability, which absorbs shock much better than traditional running shoes.

Meta-Rocker geometry ensures that runners maintain an efficient stride pattern with minimal effort expended in every step by enabling a smooth transition from heel strike to toe-off.

With Hoka’s plush cushioning, the shoes provide bounce and energy return, making them ideal for runners who require extra protection against all types of terrain and surfaces.

Shoe Fit: Altra vs Hoka

Both Altra and Hoka shoes offer a wide range of sizes and widths, allowing customers to find the right fit for their feet.

Designed with a foot-shaped toe box, Altra shoes offer ample forefoot space for your toes to spread out naturally.

Altra footwear’s upper materials provide additional cushioning and support in the heel and midfoot. With Altra’s FootPod technology, you can keep your feet accurate during every step of running or walking.

To ensure a proper fit, Hoka One One offers a variety of sizing options. By strategically placing cushioned foam layers throughout the sole unit, their shoes offer a wider platform that balances weight placement during movement.

Cushioning: Altra vs Hoka

As you may already know, cushioning is an extremely significant factor to consider when choosing between Altra and Hoka shoes. Both shoes feature a plush ride, but the way they provide cushioning is not the same.

Using Zero Drop technology, Ultra shoes feature flat soles without heel-toe drops or arch support. Runners are encouraged to land on their midfoot instead of their heels because these shoes provide even cushioning throughout the entire shoe and feel natural underfoot.

EVA Max, Hoka’s proprietary foam midsole material, provides plenty of cushioning. The thick midsole protects your feet from impact while returning more energy with each stride – ideal for long-distance runs!

Hoka has some arch support built into the design and more heel-toe drop than Altras, so it’s perfect for those who need extra foot stability but don’t like the flat feeling of Zero Drop Technology.

Affordability: Altra vs Hoka

Compared to Hoka shoes, Altra shoes typically sell for a higher price than Hoka shoes, with prices ranging from mid-range to high-end.

Despite this disadvantage to some shoppers on a budget, the higher price point also indicates that these products are of high quality and use high-quality materials.

Hoka shoes are often much more affordable than typical running shoe brands, with prices generally falling into the mid-to-lower range of the market.

As a result of the lightweight foam constructions, the production process requires fewer parts and materials, thus reducing the costs of production. The majority of these styles can also be worn for both activewear and casual footwear, making them a great value-for-money choice.

While both Hoka and Altra offer affordable running shoes, the choice depends on the features and design elements you’re looking for. These are, for example, cushioning or durability that will determine which brand is best for you.

Comparing Altra Vs Hoka For Walking & Plantar Fasciitis


If it’s about comfort, both Altra and Hoka trail running shoes are known for their plush cushioning and wide toe boxes. However, Altra shoes tend to have a more minimalist feel while still providing adequate support.

On the other hand, Hoka shoes offer a maximalist approach to cushioning with their thick midsoles that absorb shock exceptionally well. Both brands offer models that cater to those with plantar fasciitis, but you may find one brand more comfortable than the other based on personal preference.


Support is crucial for individuals with plantar fasciitis, and both brands do not disappoint in this department. Altra has a unique foot-shaped design that allows for natural foot movement while providing ample arch support.

Meanwhile, Hoka has incorporated technologies such as the J-Frame system that gives additional stability without adding too much weight. Comparing the two brands’ levels of support would highly depend on your specific needs.


Trail running can be tough on footwear, which is why durability should be a consideration when choosing between Altra and Hoka. Both brands use high-quality materials that can withstand rough terrain and frequent use.

However, some models from each brand may perform better in terms of durability than others. Always check reviews or user feedback before purchasing to ensure you’re getting a durable pair of shoes.

Addressing Specific Needs for Plantar Fasciitis

Altra takes an anatomical approach by designing shoes that mimic the natural shape of feet and promote proper biomechanics to alleviate stress on the plantar fascia ligament.

They also have models equipped with unique features like metatarsal pads or removable insoles designed explicitly for people with plantar fasciitis. Meanwhile, Hoka utilizes technologies that provide ample cushioning and support to reduce the impact of each stride.

They also have models with rocker soles that help reduce pressure on the forefoot. Both brands have made specific efforts to address the needs of those with plantar fasciitis, so it’s up to you to find the one that works best for your foot condition.

Choosing between Altra and Hoka for trail running shoes boils down to personal preferences. These two brands have unique features that cater to different needs, whether it be minimalism or maximal cushioning for comfort or anatomical designs or stabilizing technologies for support.

Plantar fasciitis sufferers would benefit from either brand depending on their specific needs in terms of cushioning and stability. Ultimately, going through reviews from other users and trying out both brands’ shoes would be the best way to make an informed purchasing decision.

Benefits of Wearing Hoka Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The first benefit of Hoka shoes for people suffering from plantar fasciitis is their soft cushioning provided by the midsole, which absorbs shock and distributes pressure more evenly. As a result, you are less likely to experience heel pain and foot movement during walking or running. The rocker sole on Hoka shoes reduces foot, ankle, and calves strain as you move throughout the day, as well.

Hoka shoes have a low profile design that gives people with plantar fasciitis more stability while walking or running. That means less stress on the plantar fascia. Moreover, most Hokas have a wide toe box that lets your toes spread out naturally without putting strain on them during activities like walking or running, helping relieve plantar fasciitis pain.

Lastly, Hoka include additional features such as adjustable lacing systems or full-length shanks that provide additional support in key areas of the shoe where extra arch support may be needed further to combat symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. Getting all these benefits in a single pair of shoes is no wonder why so many people with Plantar Fasciitis choose Hoka.

Benefits of Wearing Altra Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

There are many benefits to wearing Altra shoes for plantar fasciitis. First of all, they’re made with cushioning that relieves pain and discomfort. Besides having an anatomically-shaped foot bed, they’re also designed to help reduce friction on your skin while providing support during motion.

They also keep your feet in a neutral position while walking or running, keeping pressure off of your heels.

The outsoles on Alta shoes are also made from a stronger material that’s proven to be tougher than old-fashioned ones. As a result, you don’t have to worry about them breaking down or wearing out too quickly from overuse or constant exposure to bad weather.

Designed with traction patterns for increased grip, you’ll be able to walk confidently at all times, even when it’s wet or slippery outside.

Lastly, Altra shoes come in a variety of styles and colors so you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for functionality if you’re looking for something stylish but still effective enough at relieving plantar fasciitis pain symptoms such as heel spurs and inflammation caused by prolonged standing/walking activities throughout the day.

Altra vs Hoka Cushioning Technology: Which Shoe is Perfect?

Both Altra and Hoka have exceptional cushioning technologies. However, there are some key differences between them that make one more suitable than the other.

With Zero Drop technology, Ultra keeps your feet flat on the ground while running or walking, improving comfort and stability. Due to its natural gait cycle support system, which encourages a more balanced stride pattern, it reduces fatigue while running.

During your run or walk, Hoka’s signature Meta-Rocker technology provides a unique combination of support and responsiveness. As opposed to Altra’s zero drop shoes, these shoes offer more stability in the midsole, as well as a higher level of shock absorption compared to traditional EVA midsoles. During extended runs or walks, you will be able to push harder without feeling fatigued early on.

The Zero Drop Technology from Altra and the Meta-Rocker from Hoka provide excellent cushioning and stability for those suffering from plantar fasciitis pain on a daily basis – however, ultimately, the choice will be entirely yours.

Is Altra or Hoka more effective for relieving plantar fasciitis pain?

The choice really depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. In addition to offering a cushioned midsole, breathable uppers, and adjustable lacing systems, both shoes are helpful in reducing pain caused by plantar fasciitis. It is recommended to try both options before deciding which works best for you.

Overall Opinion

In conclusion, the face-off between Altra and HOKA running shoes demonstrates that both brands bring unique offerings to the table, catering to various preferences and needs among runners.

Altra’s innovative zero-drop design and foot-shaped toe box provide a natural running experience that encourages proper form, while HOKA’s maximalist cushioning and smooth ride offer unparalleled comfort and shock absorption.

In my opinion, I would prefer Hoka for their utmost comfort and best sole unit. Altra is also good but they won the bet in terms of design and almost got the negative score for durability.

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