Review of Hoka Gaviota 3: How is it Constantly Beating the Competition

I recently got my hands on the Hoka Gaviota 3 and have been putting it through its paces. As a fan of maximal midsoles, I was excited to try out this stability version of the Bondi.

The Gaviota 3 comes with a higher price tag than last year’s model, but that extra cost seems justified with the added cushioning and redesigned upper. The shoe weighs in at 11.3 oz for men and 9.3 oz for women, making it slightly heavier than the previous model.

Stability is provided by the wide platform and straight-cut midfoot, along with Hoka’s J-Frame technology. The late-stage rocker also helps provide a smooth transition closer to the toe of the shoe.

Compared to other low-drop stability options like New Balance’s Vongo or Saucony Hurricane 22, the Gaviota 3 has a wider base and more pronounced midsole. It competes well with popular models like ASICS Gel-Kayano and New Balance 860.

Hoka Gaviota 3

Who Should Buy Hoka Gaviota 3?

The Hoka Gaviota 3 is a running shoe designed for severe overpronators who need maximum stability and cushioning for their daily miles. It is a good choice for runners who need a lot of support and comfort in their shoes. The shoe is also durable and long-lasting. If you are looking for a running shoe with these features, the Hoka Gaviota 3 may be a good option for you.

Who Should Not Buy Hoka Gaviota 3?

The Hoka Gaviota 3 is a max stability shoe that delivers corrective action to bring stability to the foot. Therefore, people who do not require a max stability shoe may not find the Hoka Gaviota 3 suitable for their needs.

Rating Breakdown

Comfort – 8.0

Build quality – 7.0

Upper – 7.0

Sole unit – 8.0

Landing – 8.0

Transition – 8.0

Toe-off – 8.0

Traction – 8.0

Durability – 8.0

Value / Price – 6.0


  • Brand – Hoka
  • Model – Gaviota
  • Previous Model – Gaviota 2
  • Type – Stability Road Shoe
  • MSRP – $160
  • Heel Drop – 5mm
  • Carbon Plate – No


  • Sizing – Both Men and Women
  • Heel Fit – Silky Comfortness
  • Midfoot Fit – Smooth Riding
  • Toebox Fit – Wiggle

Cushioning & Ride

  • Types of cushioning – Balanced Cushioned
  • Amount of cushioning –  2mm More Foam than Gaviota 2
  • Stability – Inherently Stable
  • Flexibility – Not that Flexible


  • Racing
  • Speedwork
  • Road Running
  • Daily Training
  • Long distance racing

First Impression

I was so excited to unbox the Hoka Gaviota 3. The shoe looked amazing with a subtle sparkly upper that caught my eye. I was worried about pinch points, but thankfully this shoe fit like a glove without any discomfort.

I’ve been using it for five days now and have noticed some benefits from the late-stage rocker that rolls me forward toward the toe. However, I was hoping for more of an effect, similar to what I experienced with other Hoka models. I think the high weight may be contributing to this.

The cushioning is superb and provides a stable platform for easy runs up to medium distances. It’s definitely not the fastest or most agile shoe out there, but the wide base makes every step pleasant. Overall, my first impression of the Gaviota 3 is positive and I’m looking forward to putting in more miles with it.

Upper Mesh

I was pleasantly surprised by its redesigned upper mesh. The shoe features a firm internal heel counter and an attached tongue, but what really stood out to me was the plastic cap behind the heel that reinforces the counter and the easy-to-use heel loop for pulling the shoe on.

The material around the heel collar and tongue is medium-plush and comfortable, while the lacing system and midfoot upper are super interesting! The laces alternate between wide loops connected to the visible upper and sturdy support material that runs below the top layer from the laces down to the midsole. This allows for a customizable fit that I absolutely loved.

Overall, the Gaviota 3 provides medium breathability and fits true-to-size (but on the long side of that), with the width being right next to “narrow” without yet making “medium,” though there are wide options available. If you’re in the market for a new running shoe, I highly recommend checking out the Hoka Gaviota 3.

Sole Unit

This shoe is all about maximal cushioning and support, thanks to its dual-density RMAT midsole. The EVA foam feels super plush underfoot while still being responsive, and there are rubber pods covering the heel and outer forefoot for added durability. Plus, the J-frame design provides stability without feeling clunky.

The midsole has a 5 mm drop and a late-stage Meta-Rocker that rolls your foot forward into toe-off. It takes a bit of getting used to if you’re coming from traditional stability shoes, but it’s worth it for the more natural feel and mid-foot strike facilitation.

The outsole offers great traction in any condition with segmented pods and high-wear rubber coverage. And can we talk about how cool the connected-star print looks on top? Overall, the Gaviota 3’s sole unit strikes the perfect balance between comfort and responsiveness.

Complete lab-specs overview

Hoka Gaviota 3
Weight (g)310
Drop (mm)5
Flexibility of the shoe (N)N/A
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N)N/A
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change)N/A
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)3
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)3
Thickness – Tongue (mm)N/A
Width Upper – Forefoot (mm)N/A
Width Upper – Heel (mm)N/A
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)4
Tongue: gusset typeN/A
Heel: pull tabYes
Width Midsole – Forefoot (mm)N/A
Width Midsole – Heel (mm)N/A
Stack – Forefoot with insole (mm)26
Stack – Heel with insole (mm)31
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA)N/A
Durometer Midsole – Heel (Freezer 20 minutes)N/A
Durometer Midsole – Heel (% of change) (TEST)N/A
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm)N/A
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC)N/A
Insole Heel Thickness (mm)N/A
Insole: removableYes


Overall, I was really impressed with the Hoka Gaviota 3. It’s a shoe that delivers on its promise of stability and comfort. The platform is incredibly solid and provides great cushioning underfoot. Plus, the upper looks sleek and modern while still offering plenty of support.

That being said, it is a bit heavy and bulky, which could be a turnoff for runners who prioritize speed over everything else. But if you’re looking for a shoe that will keep your feet feeling good even on longer runs, the Gaviota 3 is definitely worth considering.

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