HOKA and ASICS running shoes are among the most popular running shoe brands. Both companies offer a variety of styles of running shoes, yet there are some pretty notable differences between HOKA vs ASICS running shoes.
As such, determining whether it is better to get ASICS vs HOKA running shoes is often an easier decision than when comparing two running shoe brands that are more similar.
In this article, we will point out the notable differences between HOKA vs ASICS running shoes to help you determine whether HOKA or ASICS running shoes are a better fit for your personal needs.
We will cover:
- Which Is Better, HOKA Or ASICS Running Shoes?
- HOKA Vs ASICS: Main Differences
Let’s dive in!
Which Is Better, HOKA Or ASICS Running Shoes?
Overall, both HOKA and ASICS running shoes can be a great fit for runners with a variety of different training goals, experience levels, and shoe needs.
However, there are some pretty significant differences between HOKA versus ASICS running shoes.
If you are looking for maximalist running shoes with a lot of cushioning, you will be better served with HOKA vs ASICS, and if you are looking for more traditional running shoes with different options for the amount of stability and cushioning provided, you will probably prefer ASICS vs HOKA running shoes.
ASICS running shoes are often chosen by runners looking to take advantage of the GEL Technology, which is a type of cushioning found in many ASICS running shoes that provides a plasma-like consistency to help spread out impact forces to reduce shock.
HOKA shoes were originally designed primarily for trail runners and ultramarathon runners looking for maximal cushioning and a more stable platform for long miles on uneven surfaces.
However, the brand also has become very popular amongst masters runners looking for more cushioning for achy joints as well as everyday runners who like the fit and the wider base of support, higher stack height, and “marshmallow softness“ in the cushioning.
HOKA vs ASICS: Main Differences
HOKA vs ASICS Running Shoes: Cushioning
The main differences between HOKA vs ASICS running shoes are in the types of cushioning technology and the resultant feel of the cushioning in the shoes.
Even though there are actually three different levels of cushioning in HOKA running shoes, pretty much all of the models are maximalist running shoes.
This means the shoes have a very thick midsole to be maximally plush to “marshmallow softness.” The cushioning is super lightweight and provided by PROFLY technology and molded EVA foam.
ASICS uses plasma-like GEL and Flytefoam technology for cushioning. The GEL improves shock absorption, while the lightweight Flytefoam improves energy return and responsiveness relative to EVA foam.
ASICS vs HOKA Running Shoes: Stability
Neither ASICS nor HOKA running shoes are necessarily ideal for severe overpronators, as neither running shoes are designed to provide a significant amount of pronation control.
Stability in ASICS shoes is provided through the external heel clutch, which helps control pronation at landing, as well as a Duomax midsole, which is a dual-density material that provides lateral support and helps prevent an inward collapsing of the arch and excessive pronation.
HOKA doesn’t offer a lot of stability running shoes, but there are a few models that are designed to provide additional support and pronation control.
All of the HOKA running shoes are designed to be quite stable. The wide base acts like a bucket seat to keep your foot firmly planted when you land, which improves stability and pronation control.
Stability running shoes add additional features for support, such as J-Frame technology for lateral stability and a firmer foam on the medial side of the foot to prevent excessive pronation (rolling inward).
ASICS vs HOKA Running Shoes: Durability
The durability of any running shoes depends on factors inherent to the shoes themselves as well as factors related to your body, training, and biomechanics as a runner.
In terms of the shoes themselves, the materials used and the quality of construction primarily determine how long the shoes will last before they break down.
Factors related to your own body and training include body weight and size, specific gait and foot strike, how often you run, whether you rotate your shoes (doing so gives the material more time to rebound between uses), how many miles you run at a time, the terrain you run on, and the climate and weather in which you run.
The durability of ASICS vs HOKA running shoes is similar, and both brands actually tend to suggest replacing their running shoes later than most competitors. Running shoes typically are said to last about 300 to 500 miles (500-800 km) of use, or every 3-6 months, depending largely on the training and body factors mentioned.
However, HOKA running shoes usually last closer to 400 to 500 miles for road running shoes and 500 miles for trail running shoes. ASICS running shoes are said to last about 450 to 500 miles.
Therefore, although there isn’t much difference in the durability of HOKA vs ASICS running shoes, comparing the durability of these brands to others suggests that both HOKA and ASICS running shoes might give you a few more miles before you need to replace your shoes.
HOKA vs ASICS Running Shoes: Fit and Feel
Both ASICS running shoes and HOKA running shoes tend to run narrow compared to brands like Brooks and New Balance.
However, there is some variability in the fit of the different models. HOKA seems to be transitioning into a general shoe shape that is slightly wider in the forefoot than seen in earlier models.
In general, HOKA running shoes run on the narrow side, although certain models are available in wide widths. With that said, the standard width (B for women and D for men) is usually snugger in width than size- and width-matched running shoes from brands like New Balance and Brooks.
Resultantly, the shape of the standard-width HOKA shoes can be ideal for runners with narrower feet, but if you have a “normal” foot, the standard width on some of the models might feel a bit snug, especially in the midfoot. As mentioned, HOKA does seem to be transitioning to a slightly wider toe box region.
Even if you don’t have a traditionally “wide“ foot, you might prefer the fit of a HOKA model that comes in a wide-width option, such as the Bondi models.
ASICS running shoes are also notorious for running on the narrow side, especially through the heel and midfoot, but even the toe box region is more tapered rather than squared off and wide, as you might find in a Brooks running shoe.
The primary difference between ASICS vs HOKA shoes is the feel of the shoes themselves.
Because HOKA shoes have thick soles, they feel quite plush, soft, and forgiving, whereas ASICS running shoes have more of a traditional feel even with cushioned models.
HOKA soles also have a meta rocker or hubble heel, which is designed to help guide the heel-to-toe transition (impact to push off) when you run.
There is also a difference in the heel drop between HOKA vs ASICS shoes.
Even though neither brand is a zero drop running shoe like Altra running shoes, HOKA running shoes have a low heel-to-toe drop of around 6 to 8 mm, whereas ASICS running shoes have a standard he’ll drop, usually in the range of 8 to 13 mm depending on the model.
HOKA vs ASICS Running Shoes: Price
Both HOKA and ASICS running shoes are competitively priced in the running shoe market for premium running shoes. ASICS running shoes tend to be slightly less expensive than HOKAs.
The average price of HOKA running shoes is about $150-180, whereas ASIC shoes are closer to $110-160.
Overall, both ASICS and HOKA make great running shoes for runners of different levels and needs. Whether you should choose HOKA vs ASICS mainly depends on the amount of cushioning versus responsiveness you want in your running shoe and the amount of heel drop you seek.
Here are a few HOKA running shoes to consider:
HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8 Women’s Shoes
HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Clifton 8 Running Shoes
HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 8 Mens Shoes
HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 8 Women’s Shoes
Here are a few ASICS running shoes to check out:
ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 29 Running Shoes
ASICS Men’s Gel-Cumulus 23 Running Shoes
ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus 24 Running Shoes
ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes