The HOKA Arahi 7 stability running shoes feature an updated upper. However, there are no changes to the midsole. If you’re already a fan of the HOKA Arahi, this article explains the exact differences to the previous model. If you’ve not run in the HOKA Arahi, the following information should let you know what to expect from them and who they’re for.
As mentioned, the changes in the HOKA Arahi 7 versus the Arahi 6 are all in the upper. While the Arahi 6 upper offered great comfort and support, the updated design should feel more comfortable, plusher, and very breathable.
They now feature a flat knit design that helps improve midfoot lockdown. The fabric also feels soft and breathable. To improve comfort, there’s a plusher tongue. A dual gusset design (bands attached to the tongue on each side), stops the tongue from moving. Ensuring a more consistent fit throughout your run.
What’s not changed?
The HOKA Arahi 7 have the same cushioning and support as before. A compression molded EVA foam offers great protection, in a lightweight design. The midsole doesn’t necessarily feel overly soft - and offers a balanced feel between protection and energy return. This is mainly down to the J-Frame support. To explain further, a denser section foam (shaped like the letter J), extends from the heel area up the medial portion of the midsole. This firmer compound helps reduce excess pronation. It also offers greater levels of arch support.
Given there’s no changes to the midsole, it’s still curved from heel to toe. HOKA’s MetaRocker technology helps smooth out transitions from landings to take-off. It might also help lower the workload on your lower leg area. Such as the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
Please note the Men's Virtual Blue/Cerise colourway (featured in the video) was used for testing purposes only. The Men's Outer Space/White colourway are ranged at Run4It for Spring/Summer 24.
How do they feel to run in?
The HOKA Arahi 7 cushioning feels exceptionally balanced. By this, we mean the midsole feels very protective and comfortable, but responsive at the same time. Even though the cushioning isn’t overly soft, it performs best at slow and steady paces.
Building on this point, one of the stand out features of the Arahi is how stable the midsole feels. While soft midsoles suit a lot of runners, they don't work for everyone. If you like a supportive and stable feel, the Arahi midsole should work very well for you.
How do they fit?
The new upper design feels very comfortable. Not only does the material feel soft, it feels really light and breathable. We’d be surprised if you noticed significant differences in the fit between the Arahi 7 and the 6. However, the new midfoot straps feel more supportive and offer great lockdown in that area.
From a shape perspective, the Arahi 7 feels relatively spacious in the toe box and offers a secure ankle fit. However, if you have broad feet, you may wish to opt for the wide-fit version.
How can the HOKA Arahi 7 improve your run?
The HOKA Arahi 7 are one of the few stability running shoes that features a dual density midsole. Granted, there’s never a best type of support. However, holistic support structures often work well for problems higher up the kinetic chain. For example, the knee and hip area. Whereas, medial posted running shoes tend to work well for instability lower down the kinetic chain. More specifically, unstable feet and ankles.
Of course, this is a generalisation. The Arahi 7 could still help reduce excessive internal knee rotation, and associated issues as a result. We’re just trying to highlight that there are differences in how support systems work. This hopefully helps you make a decision on whether or not the Arahi support is right for you. The HOKA Arahi 7 are likely to work best for runners with particularly unstable feet and ankles.
From a cushioning perspective, the Arahi 7 are best suited to daily miles at slower to steady paces. We find ourselves writing this type of sentence a lot at Run4It. But, most of your runs should be easy, or performed at lower intensity efforts. It’s therefore appropriate that there’s an abundance of choice within this category. We call this category the Float Experience.
The midsole is well suited to longer distance runs. This is down to the protective cushioning and Meta-Rocker geometry. Not only does the cushioning feel very comfortable, the curved geometry helps take the stress off the lower leg area. However, if you are looking for even more protection, you could opt for the HOKA Gaviota 5. The Gaviota 5 have a thicker midsole and provide more protection and cushioning. They are one of the best stability running shoes for long distance runs. At the same time, the Arahi 7 are considerably lighter than the Gaviota 5. This means there’s a tradeoff between the two options. If you prefer lighter feeling running shoes, the Arahi are likely to perform better for you than the Gaviota.