Hoka Gaviota 3 vs 4: Update is Better?

Balance and stability may not matter for a casual shoe. But when it comes to running shoes- they are the most important factors.

Amazingly, this is where the Hoka Gaviota lineup excels. The Hoka Gaviota 4 is an updated version of the Gaviota 3, with a redesigned upper that is lighter and more supportive than the previous version. Also, the Gaviota 4’s midsole has a more elevated energy return than the Gaviota 3.

Today in this article, we are going to compare them with each other and will try to figure out which is better at what. 

Hoka Gaviota 3 Vs 4 Comparison Chart

Take a brief look at the specifics before we dive in into the details.

WeightHoka Gaviota 4 is lighter
Sole UnitBoth features J-frame System
MidsoleHoka Gaviota 4 has better midsole foam
Sole Drop5 mm both
Upper UnitHoka Gaviota 4 features Engineered Mesh
DesignHoka Gaviota 4 is better
ComfortabilityHoka Gaviota 4 is slightly better
PriceHoka Gaviota 3 comes cheaper

Sole Design

A running shoe has a lot to do with its sole design. This is the aspect that puts things like- comfort, balance, and durability into perspective. 

In this case, series 4 has inherited a lot from its ancestor. But still, we must admit, it’s the better version of series 3 in some cases. 

There have been almost no changes in the lower sole unit throughout- design-wise. It still features the same J-Frame system, both in series 3 and 4. Both soles have a drop of 5mm.

However, the foam in the midsole felt much softer in series 4 than in series 3. This is because Hoka has installed a new foam called Elevon.  It is designed to provide better shock absorption and a more cushioned feel underfoot.

This is a great improvement, as it’s the middle area of your feet that requires the most balancing. The edges are still stiffer, which means- you will have a firm landing and the mid area will have less pressure.

Upper Unit

Now, let’s talk about the upper unit. This is where the Hoka has done an excellent job in the Gaviota 4. 

While the Gaviota 3 had a lot of issues regarding being too tight, less breathable, and inefficient mesh.

So, they redesigned the upper made with a lighter, more breathable material, which Hoka calls the Engineered Mesh. 

This new mesh is designed to provide better ventilation and a more comfortable fit, which makes the hot burning sensation go away to an easily noticeable level.

Fit and Comfort

One of the most critical distinctions of a running shoe depends on its fit and comfort. 

Both the Hoka One Gaviota 3 and Gaviota 4 are designed to ensure comfort and balance.

Regarding comfort, the previous segment has already covered almost all of it. But again, the Gaviota 4 has a padded tongue and collar for added comfort. While the Gaviota 3 has a slightly stiffer tongue and collar. 

So, counting on all of these, including the engineered Mesh and the Evelon foam- the Gaviota 4 is undoubtedly the winner of comfortability.

In terms of fit, both the Gaviota 3 and Gaviota 4 offer a similar fit. Both of them feature a roomy toe box and a snug midfoot and heel. 

However, the Gaviota 3 has a more traditional lacing system. Which some of you may prefer over the Gaviota 4’s more streamlined lacing system. As this one features fewer eyelets. 


When it comes to performance- there is no other way, but to announce the Gaviota 4 as our winner.

However, this doesn’t mean that Hoka Gaviota 3 is not good. It’s just that, it lags behind the Gaviota 4.

The new Elevon foam and the engineered upper unit make the Gaviota 4 way better for comfort, balance, and breathability. Also, the Gaviota 4 is slightly lighter than the Gaviota 3. Which may make it easier to carry for your feet.

So, combining all these features naturally improves the performance scale of the Gaviota 4.

The point to remember here, the J-Frame technology and 5mm drop are the same on both shoes. This means that series 3 may lose in our comparison, but will not upset you on the track.


Now let’s talk about the price. Sometimes it solely plays the defining role when making buying choices.

If the lesser price wins the race, then the Gaviota 3 is our winner here.

A Gaviota 3 may cost you somewhere between $120 to $150, sometimes even less found on sale.

On the other hand, a unit of Gaviota 4 will come at $170, according to the Hoka’s official site.

Final Words

The Hoka Gaviota 3 and Hoka Gaviota 4- shoes are excellent, without any question.

However, this comparison brings us to only one end, and that is Hoka Gaviota 4 is the better version of Gaviota 3. 

So, if you want the better one- you know what to go for. But the other one is no less either. 

So choose whatever fits your specific preference and have a good run!

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