Hoka Hopara Vs Keen: Trail Running Face-Off

Hoka Hopara and Keen are designed for outdoor activities, but which can withstand the ultimate pressure? The Keen sandals are great for more rugged and durable materials, while Hopara is so comfortable for long hikes and runs. So which one would be the best fit for outdoor enthusiasts? 

Hoka Hopara ( Best Hiking Sandal)

KEEN ( Best for Summer Outing)

After taking them both on several hikes, I clearly understand what each one offers. Let’s take a closer look and make a winner between Hoka Hopara vs Keen from my experience wearing them.

Hoka hopara vs keen

Hoka Hopara Vs Keen

Keen and Hoka Hopara are two of the leading brands of sandals on the market today. Both brands offer a wide selection of styles and designs to fit any need. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight, breathable sandal for everyday wear, or a more rugged, adventure-ready pair of sandals, these two brands have something to suit your needs.

Let’s explore the key differences between the two brands to help you decide which one is right for you. I’m excited to share my thoughts about these shoes on their overall features. 

Sole Unit 

The sole unit of the Hopara is made with a Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole, which provides excellent traction on various surfaces, including wet and rocky terrain. This is a huge plus for me, as I often encounter slippery rocks and uneven trails on my hikes. The midsole is made with Hoka’s signature EVA foam, which provides cushioning and support, making long hikes more comfortable.

The EVA foam midsole also provided excellent cushioning, which prevented my feet from getting sore or tired. Overall, I was very impressed with the Hoka Hopara’s sole unit and found it a great choice for any outdoor adventure.

The sole unit of the Keen is made with a non-marking rubber outsole that provides good traction on various surfaces. However, I found the traction less superior to the Vibram MegaGrip outsole of the Hoka Hopara. The midsole is made with EVA foam and has a metatomical footbed design, which provides arch support and cradles the foot’s natural contours.

Keen sandals were comfortable to me but not as supportive as the Hoka Hopara. While the metatomical footbed design provided some arch support, I found my feet would ache after a long hike. The traction felt less superior to the Vibram MegaGrip outsole of the Hoka Hopara.

Winner: Hoka Hopara

Upper Unit 

Moving on to the upper unit, both sandals offer different styles and features. The Hoka Hopara has a closed-toe design with a synthetic, breathable, durable upper. The upper unit is also water-resistant, which is a significant advantage for hiking in wet conditions. The sandals come with a bungee lacing system that makes it easy to adjust the fit and secure the sandals in place.

The Keen sandals, on the other hand, have an open-toe design with a waterproof leather upper. While the leather material looks stylish and is easy to clean, I’ve found that it doesn’t breathe as well as the synthetic material of the Hoka Hopara.

My feet tend to get sweaty and uncomfortable in the Keen sandals on hot days. The bungee lacing system is similar to that of the Hoka Hopara, but I’ve found that the elastic tends to stretch out over time, making it difficult to adjust the fit.

Winner: Hoka Hopara. 

Read More: Best Hoka Hiking Boots


Both sandals are well-made and can withstand the wear and tear of hiking. I’ve owned my Hoka Hopara sandals for over a year and have put them through rigorous tests, including a few rocky scrambles and river crossings. While there are a few scuffs and signs of wear on the outsole and upper, the sandals still hold up well and show no signs of falling apart.

The Keen sandals are also durable, but I’ve noticed that the leather upper tends to scuff and scratch more easily than the synthetic upper of the Hoka Hopara. Additionally, the elastic bungee lacing system also tends to wear out more quickly than the Hoka Hopara’s bungee laces. 

However, I must admit that the Keen sandals have held up well in wet conditions and shown no signs of water damage.

Winner: Keen 

Hoka Hopara Vs Keen Sandals

Overall Opinion 

While both are solid choices, the Hopara’s superior comfort and stability make it the clear winner in my book. The cushioning system and secure fit of the sole unit made my hikes more enjoyable and less strenuous on my feet.

In contrast, the durable upper unit provided reliable protection against the elements. Overall, the Hoka Hopara is a top-performing sandal that has earned its spot in my hiking gear collection. 

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