Like its predecessor, the Hoka Arahi 6 is a fantastic stability running shoe that offers overpronators a supportive run without feeling too overbearing. Tweaks to these shoes include an even lighter upper and a more rounded secure fit with adequate cushioning, which Hoka is famous for.
The Arahi 6 features a J-shaped stability platform that envelopes the foot encouraging runners to keep the foot straight. Meanwhile, the midsole, made of a softer CMEVA foam, offers a secure, comfortable underfoot for that smooth ride. The Arahi 6 slots nicely into those daily miles, longer easy runs and recovery runs when you need the comfort of high-level cushioning to level out the impact.
Hoka Arahi 6 review: Price and availability
Hoka Arahi 6 review: Tech
The Hoka Arahi 6 is designed for running on tarmac, so not the best suited for off-road running. However, this model does offer versatility as it caters more for easy training, general jogging, and running. The Arahi 6 offers excellent stability and support, good news for overpronators like me.
It’s also an excellent shoe for those who have flat feet as the model has a slightly stiffer sole but still has the required cushioning without it being overbearing. The Arahi is super lightweight for the amount of cushioning it offers. It weighs in at 221 grams for women while it’s around 50 grams higher at 275 grams for men,
This latest version of the Hoka Arahi still features the brand’s signature J-Frame technology offering plenty of support and protection to the entire foot. The J-shaped hook of foam, which is a different shade from the rest of the foam, wraps around the heel, helping guide the foot without the stiffness or rigidness that some materials have.
Furthermore, Hoka uses their signature Meta-Rocker midsole, whose purpose is to make landing and toe-offs fast and efficient. The EVA foam cushioned midsole offers a smooth ride assisting in a softer transition from heel-to-toe.
Hoka Arahi 6 review: Ergonomics
Striking a sweet spot between stability and lightweight cushioning is not always easy, but Hoka seems to have managed to do this seamlessly with the Arahi 6. As soon as I pulled on the footwear, I felt a decent amount of cushioning without it feeling like it had extra weight weighing me down or tightening my foot, especially around the toe area. There was no stiffness or rigidity, which can be the case depending on the material used for such a shoe. The lightweight mesh uppers give them a snug, comfortable fit, as does the additional padding on the tongue on this model. Meanwhile, the reinforced pull tab at the heel made them easier to pull on and off.
The different colour foam in the J-Frame on the sole is noticeably firmer than the rest of the foam. They certainly had a bounce to them underfoot yet remained firm. I was particularly keen to see if the Arahi 6 did give support for runners like myself who overpronate. Thankfully, it guided my foot instead of correcting it, which was very much welcome.
Hoka’s use of their signature Meta-Rocker midsole is intended to make landings and toe-offs gentle; I had to applaud the brand’s ability to deliver on this front. The heel-to-toe transition created a springboard effect to drive forward momentum.
Given the heel height of 29mm and the forefoot height of around 24 mm, the Arahi 6 is not the most flexible stability shoe. But the toe-box is roomy enough for a nice bit of flex, making the toe-offs feel natural. There are standard, narrow, and wide-width options available similar to the Arahi 5 model.
The shoes felt smooth during a longish run of eight miles and a shorter, slightly fast-paced one at three. The Arahi 6 didn’t feel heavy, and I thought it had a rounded fit to support my foot. The breathable mesh upper moved well with my feet during the run. The cushioning was the right amount, and at no point did my feet feel like they were pounded on the tarmac or gravel. More usage will tell if the zonal rubber placement found on the outsole gives the shoe increased durability and reduced wear and tear.
Although the Arahi 6 offers a smooth ride, don’t expect to get much energy return from this shoe. Granted, they have some responsiveness to propel you down the road but not enough if you’re looking to do speed or tempo runs in them. Having said that, this stability shoe is not designed for this purpose and is best-suited to those longer easy run days.
Hoka Arahi 6 review: Verdict
To sum it up, this is what you can expect from Hoka Arahi 6: natural-feeling support from the J-Frame technology, cushioning from the EVA foam midsole and a smooth heel-to-toe transition from the Meta-Rocker. For a lightweight stability shoe, that’s not to be sniffed at.
While there were only a few minor tweaks from its Arahi 5 predecessor, the changes made, including the lightweight upper, plush padded tongue, and the overall fit, make this new model that much more comfortable to wear for an easy and smooth ride. It may not be the shoe for speed or tempo running workouts due to its low energy return, but it’s a reliable one that provides just enough comfort and support one can expect from a trusted stability shoe.