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The Hoka Gaviota 5 offers a highly cushioned running shoe with top notch stability thanks to Hoka's H-Frame technology. The Creel Jacquard mesh upper allows for plenty of toe wiggle room and excellent airflow. This shoe is a great option for anyone needing extra support whether it be while running, walking, or standing.
Weight: 10.9 oz / 309 g (men), 9.1 oz / 257 g (women)
Stack Height: 36 mm in the heel, 30 mm in the forefoot (men) / 34 mm in the heel, 28 mm in the forefoot (women)
Midsole Drop: 6 mm
Cushion Level: High
Karen: Running in this shoe was an ideal combination of comfort, smoothness, and security.
Blake: I loved running in the Gaviota 5. I was a little nervous to run in the Gaviota 5, just because of my prior experience of trying on the previous Gaviota models. At first but as I spent more time in the shoe I realized there was so much supination control with the addition of the H frame. I have been dealing with pain from just a little bit too much supination when I have been running. The Gaviota was the first shoe in weeks where I didn't feel worse after running in it. I love the stability system that the shoe provides as well as the transition with the meta rocker. It feels fluid, soft, and controlled when I am running in the Gaviota. I have taken this shoe out for countless runs and have felt nothing but comfort and the slight rocking effect the shoe has. I would say for its weight and cushioning the Gaviota feels weightless, but only if you were to compare it to most other options in its category. Everything was comfortable, despite my initial hesitancy to run in this shoe.
I would also like to note that the Gaviota is great for standing in and working as well. As the popularity of shoes such as the Gaviota and Bondi has risen and they have proven to be supportive shoes for every day. This Gaviota 5 is not only the best example of that but I find it to be the best model they have made yet.
Karen: I find the toe area of the shoe to have a higher volume, which makes for a much more comfortable shoe with a lot of wiggle room. Don't be scared when I say wiggle room, because the heel cup hugs so good. The heel cup ensures that there is no sliding around, keeping you secure. The length feels like the perfect compliment to the roomier toebox. Despite its soft and breathable upper, the shoe still manages to provide just the right amount of support and snugness. I like the lower wrap around the ankle area. There is a soft and cushioned tongue on the shoe, so you will feel secure and comfortable while wearing it.
Blake: The toebox of the Gaviota 5 is perfect. It is more than the typical Hoka model which I find to be slightly too condensing. This little bit of added space around the pinky toe makes the shoe ultra comfortable and forgiving in the best way. If you are super used to the fit of the Arahi 6 this may be much wider than that shoe, But still slightly wider than the fit of the Gaviota 4.
The heel of the shoe is very accommodating. Not too compressive while also not being super wide. A little bit of a cut-off feeling at the top of the arch, near the heel of the shoe. This is the active foot frame and I found this to adapt well the longer I had this shoe on foot. Every time I stepped into the shoe I noticed that feeling of the frame cutting off but as I spent more time in it, the feeling always went away.
The upper of the Gaviota 5 is breathable and the jacquard mesh upper is not too dense making the wrap around the foot to be very comfortable. The one thing I noticed when wearing the shoe all day is that the upper did feel like it was loosening. Other than that I loved the mesh upper! It’s comfortable and not too constrictive which will make the shoe great for everyday wear.
Karen: The cushion is soft, gentle, and smooth. Perfect for long lasting cushion for those longer runs, walks, and standing on your feet all day. This shoe earns its place in the stability category. It is amazingly sturdy and stable without any overcorrecting.
Blake: The cushioning is super soft and light. The dual-layered foam creates a pillow-like feel under the foot. As well as it being paired with the new H frame, this feels like running on a marshmallow. The new softer EVA foam that they added to this shoe is comfortable underfoot. Unlike how the run was before where it felt like you were running on a cement block that rolled you forward. This feels much lighter and there's a level of peppy-ness brought to this shoe that feels unparalleled compared to the previous model and other high-cushion stability shoes.
Oh, the Gaviota 5 is such a stable shoe. The introduction of the H frame is such a vast improvement for Hoka and its stability support. Being added with the Meta rocker, this new stability system has allowed the shoe to feel balanced while also being not too controlling. A major plus has to go to the supination control of the shoe, the frame is a great brace for the lateral foot strike and will keep runners feeling engaged and comfortable with every step. With the deep heel cup fit, it will correct a large amount of overpronation for an array of runners and walkers.
Karen: This shoe, in my opinion feels like an old Bondi, maybe version 6 or 7. It could also be compared to a New Balance 840v1 or the new Brooks Ghost Max.
The previous Gaviota versions had a J frame and was a bit heavier with a 1mm lower offset. The new version with the new H frame technology, softer ride, lighter weight is a great upgrade.
Blake: There are not a ton of shoes on the market that give as much support while still being soft and light as the Gaviota 5. The two I would have to say would feel most comparable to this shoe would be the Saucony Tempus, and the Diadoa Vigore 2. The stability support of both of those models is more adaptable to overpronation and supination at the same time still feeling light and responsive. While the Tempus will be more nimble and responsive, it will not last as long as the Gaviota. And as the Vigore and Gaviota are closer to one another in weight and support. I would have to give a leg up in comfortability to the Gaviota due to the lightness and larger fitting toebox.
Karen: This was a shoe that I really did not want to like. When Hoka released the Bondi 8, I wasn't a big fan of the wider platform which was part of the new design. So when I saw the Gaviota 5 had the same platform design, I was hesitant. But the new H frame more than made up for it. I gave this shoe a run for its money. Short runs, long runs, short walks, long walks, pavement, dirt, you name it. I even wore it many times for every day life, and work. Everything I did in this shoe I felt comfortable and secure. Like the shoe was part of me. I did get some rubbing from the wider platform on the medial side of opposite foot. But It doesn't make me like the shoe any less. I would recommend this shoe for anyone looking for all day comfort. Whether it be for running or lifestyle. For over pronation, or even supination. I immediately think of including this shoe along side others in the motion control category, not just stability.
Blake: The Gavitota 5 has such a fluid and light feel compared to the previous model. I believe this is mostly coming from the addition of the H frame instead of the J frame. In comparison, I find the J frame to be extremely overaggressive and the new H frame to blend much better with the ankle's movement. Whether it is walking or running the shoe does a great job at balancing a stable base with a springy feel. There is one section that I would like to highlight when it comes to this newest upgrade. I would say in the past I have experienced a large amount of Hoka shoes with a tight toe box and the Gaviota 5 is not a part of that usual feel for the brand. This toebox is roomy but still forming to the shape of the foot. If that feeling is something that you are very accustomed to then I would say this would not be the shoe for you and recommend something more like the Arahi. Overall after looking at all of the updates done to this shoe, I would say this update is a much-needed upgrade for the Gaviota line.
I would also like to mention that the shoe has received a large update in the visual department as well. While taking a lot of aspects from the Bondi 8 it looks much more streamlined and stylish. The Gaviota 5 became less bulky physically, it also slimmed down visually. Making this shoe much more in line with the rest of Hoka’s models and a sleek-looking pair of stability shoes. At the end of the day, this is a stability shoe and for the most part, they have not had the best track record of looking snazzy, but the Gaviota 5 pulls it off.
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Karen is not your ordinary Karen. She's a trail loving, sassy, bundle of joy always looking to help. Her spunky attitude and selflessness makes her a great friend and helpful worker. We don't know what we would do without our Karen.
Favorite shoe: Saucony Endorphin Shift 3
You can find Blake scurrying about Running Lab, man-bun bouncing around. He is intrigued with shoe technology and loves using his knowledge to help people find the best shoe for them. He has worked at Running Lab for 2 years and is an asset to the team.
Favorite shoe: Brooks Glycerin 21