The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

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Most Comfortable Hiking Boot

  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Traction 60% 60%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Water Resistance 60% 60%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Price: $220

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.45lb (1.11kg)

Boot Type: Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot

Width Options: Regular

Waterproof Lining: Gore-Tex

Upper: Leather

Shank: None

Midsole: EVA

Sole: Vibram Megagrip

Warranty: 45 day

Sizes: 7-14 US

Color Options: 7

What We Like: Incredibly comfortable, high stability, and great waterproofing

What We Don’t: Traction and lace system could be slightly better

HOKA embraces the “maximalist” approach to footwear with the Kaha GTX (also called the Sky Kaha GTX), named for the Māori word for strength and support. This midweight hiker/backpacking boot packs in a plethora of comfort without going overboard on weight. For hikers with knee or hip problems, choosing the Kaha GTX is a no-brainer, and it’s an excellent choice for anyone who appreciates a comfy foot, whether you’re going on a short hike or a long one. For $220, they are a decent investment, but it’s a worthwhile one for those who will benefit from its unique design. There was simply no competition when it came to our choice for winner of Most Comfortable Hiking Boot.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

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  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Stability 90% 90%
  • Traction 80% 80%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Water Resistance 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Durable and comfortable with incredible grip

Cons

A bit heavy and overly stiff

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 3.3lb (1.5kg)

Boot Type: Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot

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  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Traction 80% 80%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Water Resistance 90% 90%
  • Durability 60% 60%

Pros

Out-of-the-box comfort, excellent traction, and several color options

Cons

Pricey, potential durability issues at the seams

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.9lb (1.31kg)

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  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Stability 50% 50%
  • Traction 60% 60%
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  • Water Resistance 90% 90%
  • Durability 60% 60%

Pros

Ultralight, well priced, excels at waterproofing and breathability

Cons

Lacing system could be more elegant, minimal ankle support, and questionable durability

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 1.77lb (0.8kg)

Boot Type: Lightweight/Day Hiker

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Traction 70% 70%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Water Resistance 60% 60%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Light, comfortable, and durable at a great price

Cons

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Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.38lb (1.08kg)

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The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

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  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Traction 60% 60%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Water Resistance 60% 60%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Incredibly comfortable, high stability, and great waterproofing

Cons

Traction and lace system could be slightly better

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.45lb (1.11kg)

Boot Type: Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot

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  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Traction 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Water Resistance 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Versatile and breathable with high stability

Cons

Pricey, not ideal for those with narrow feet

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.65lb (1.2kg)

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  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Traction 70% 70%
  • Weight 60% 60%
  • Water Resistance 90% 90%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Immediate comfort, lightweight, top-notch waterproofing and breathability

Cons

A bit pricey, could use a boost in durability and stability

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.48lb (1.12kg)

Boot Type: Lightweight/Day Hiker

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  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Traction 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Water Resistance 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Light and comfortable at a reasonable price point

Cons

Upper could be taller, more rigid, and more durable

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.28lb (1.03kg)

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  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Traction 80% 80%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Water Resistance 90% 90%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Nimble and durable with great traction

Cons

Lacks arch support and does not accommodate wider feet

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.1lb (0.95kg)

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Traction 60% 60%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Water Resistance 30% 30%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Excellent price, breathability, and comfort

Cons

No waterproofing, the durability and traction could be better

Weight Per Pair (Size 11): 2.41lb (1.09kg)

Boot Type: Midweight Hiker/Backpacking Boot

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Stability 60% 60%
  • Traction 70% 70%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Water Resistance 60% 60%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Good comfort-to-weight ratio, well-priced, superior toe protection

Cons

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Pros

Comfortable, economical, and lightweight

Cons

Could use improvements with durability, stability, and waterproofing

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  • Water Resistance 70% 70%
  • Durability 60% 60%

Pros

Very comfortable and light, with an impressive lacing system

Cons

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Traction 80% 80%
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  • Water Resistance 80% 80%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Stylish, comfortable, and incredibly tough

Cons

Heavy and expensive, the classic design could use some high-tech upgrades

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  • Comfort 60% 60%
  • Stability 80% 80%
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  • Water Resistance 60% 60%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Durable from top to bottom while still being light

Cons

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  • Water Resistance 90% 90%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Durable and waterproof with a unique comfort profile beloved by some hikers

Cons

Heavy and expensive with less than ideal ankle support and stiff midsole

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HOKA ONE ONE, often simply referred to as HOKA, was founded in 2009 in France by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard. The pair previously worked with outdoor brand Salomon, a serious name in the hiking-shoe and trail-running biz. The original target of their brand was ultramarathon runners. Over the past decade, HOKA has established a foothold in the market by embracing what is known as the “maximalist” approach to shoes. Sometimes called “fat” shoes, maximalist shoes and boots go above and beyond when it comes to cushioning to prioritize comfort, which is highly appreciated by those with chronic knee or hip issues.

 

HOKA epitomizes this concept with the Kaha GTX (also called the Sky Kaha GTX), named for the Māori word for strength and support. This midweight hiker/backpacking boot, which comes in at around $220, packs in a plethora of comfort without going overboard on weight. There was simply no competition when it came to our choice for winner of Most Comfortable Hiking Boot.

The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

Comfort & Weight

As previously mentioned, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hiking boot that optimizes comfort as much as the HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GTX. They utilize proprietary EVA foams for the midsole that make it feel like you’re walking on a cloud. After a long day on the trail, you’ll be pleased to find your feet are not as fatigued as they might with similar boots.

The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker
The lacing system starts with leather cutout eyelets at the bottom of the laces, then four metal eyelets above—the top set has two width options—and then two sets of eyelet hooks at the top. The variable-width metal eyelets and multiple eyelet hooks assist in dialing down your fit’s tightness and ensure you can customize your snugness. However, the lack of a lace-locking system is noticeable and fails to provide that the laces don’t come undone if they happen to snag on a bush.   A pair of size 11 Kaha GTXs weighs in at 2.45 lbs (1.11 kg), which, although heavier than some of our other featured boots, is still surprisingly light for a pair that packs in this much comfort. It’s an impressive balance and comfort-to-weight ratio that hikers will come to appreciate several miles into a long trek.
The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

Traction & Stability

The Kaha GTX’s Vibram® Megagrip high-traction outsoles feature 5mm multidirectional lugs that will provide excellent traction on wet or uneven terrain. Although the lugs are relatively shallow, the tread pattern is very effective at gripping terrain, however it may fall a bit short on loose sand.

The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

This traction is reinforced by the incredible stability of these boots, including a 4.75-inch forefoot width that makes it feel like you’re riding a fat-tire bike. Collar height is 6.2 inches, so it should be no problem to lace these well above the ankle. Despite lacking a shank, the Kaha GTXs boast a decent amount of torsional rigidity by using a more sturdy material around the ankles.

The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

Water Resistance & Durability

As implied in the name (GTX), the Kaha GTX features a Gore-Tex membrane that is both waterproof and breathable, although not quite as breathable as other waterproof membranes like eVent, which was utilized for earlier versions of this boot. Flood height is 5.5 inches, so you should feel comfortable splashing through creeks without too much risk of water sloshing over the top.

The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

The Kaha GTX has beefed this up with a full-grain waterproof leather upper that should stand up to regular usage in terms of durability. At the same time, the sole is reinforced with a rubberized foam to extend its longevity without skimping on cushioning. There’s also a toe bumper on the front that should save your feet from taking a beating if you happen upon any hidden rocks.

The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

Styles & Sizes

If you’re a fan of the comfort of the Kaha GTX, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no shortage of style either. There are 7 different color schemes to choose from, which include:

    • Charcoal Gray / Green Sheen
    • Dune / Oxford Tan
    • Black Olive / Green
    • Charcoal Grey / Blue
    • Patriot Blue / Mandarin Red
    • Black/Phantom
    • Black/Grey
The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

For a more understated look, the Black/Phantom or Dune / Oxford Tan are sure to fit the bill. However, if you really want to stand out, Patriot Blue / Mandarin Red will definitely turn some heads. Available sizes run from 7-14 US, but there are no narrow- or wide-width options. Additionally, the Kaha GTX comes with a 45-day warranty, a tad short-lived compared to some of the other boots in our review.

The Best Hiking Boots: HOKA ONE ONE Kaha GORE-TEX - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

If cozy feet is your top priority, you really need to look no further than the Kaha GTX. HOKA has built their brand around the concept of comfort, and you won’t find a better example than these boots. For hikers with knee or hip problems, choosing the Kaha GTX is a no-brainer, and it’s an excellent choice for anyone who appreciates a comfy foot, whether you’re going on a short hike or a long one. For $220, they are a decent investment, but it’s a definitely worthwhile one for those who will benefit from its unique design.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!