- Weight: 222g (women’s), 275g (men’s)
- Heel-toe drop: 5mm
- Type: Stability cushioned, road
Stability shoes have come a long way in recent years and the Arahi 6 is a prime example. At 222g, it’s surprisingly light for a cushioned shoe yet provides just enough rigidity to keep the foot in position, without feeling uncomfortable or unnatural. It remains a solid all-rounder for distance runners, who are regularly clocking upwards of 10km during their training sessions, however, die-hard Arahi fans may be disappointed with the updated fit. Here’s what Deputy Digital Editor Jenny Bozon had to say about the shoe…
How much stability does the Hoka Arahi 6 provide?
The latest Arahi 6 applies Hoka’s signature J-frame stability to combat overpronation. This is essentially a firmer piece of foam positioned in the shape of a J: it runs from the medial side and hooks around the heel to the lateral side (and is a different colour from the rest of the shoe). As someone who overpronates, I found this to be a boon, particularly during long runs of 12km upwards, where my form naturally becomes sloppier, as it provided a noticeable feeling of support without feeling rigid or intrusive. I also have flat feet and tend to suffer from foot niggles if I don’t run in shoes that are supportive enough for me, but I can gladly say I didn’t have any problems while testing these shoes.
What is the cushioning like in the Hoka Arahi 6?
With a midsole constructed from a thick chunk of CMEVA foam, the Arahi 6 offers superb cushioning, making it a good choice for those clocking big miles. I found they provided excellent shock absorption during my long weekend runs and noticed that I didn’t experience any soreness in my lower limbs in the days after, either. The cushioning does feel a little firm though and I would have liked for them to be a tad more responsive. While the shoe does deliver a degree of bounce, it doesn’t have the noticeable ‘pop’ you get from a racier shoe, such as Saucony’s Endorphin Speed 3, so isn’t suited really suited to racing or covering shorter distances at speed, for example a PB-effort parkrun.
How much does the Hoka Arahi 6 weigh?
That said, when I tried the Ariah 6s out during faster sessions, I was surprised by how well the shoe stood up to the task – at no point did it feel sluggish or cumbersome. This is likely due to a combination of its light weight and its ‘Meta-Rocker’ geometry, which describes the shoe’s slightly curved sole. Designed to tip runners forward, it encourages faster heel-to-toe transitions, to deliver a smooth and up-tempo ride. During efforts at half marathon race pace midway through long runs, I was pleasantly surprised by how snappy they felt.
The Arahi 6 is 11g lighter than its predecessor, thanks to an updated upper: the new model has arrow-shaped panels in the upper which cuts down the weight while improving breathability, while the tongue has become slightly thicker for a more comfortable fit. There’s also a pull tab which makes getting the shoe on easier and provides added protection around the achilles. Having ran in the Arahi 4s for many years, I noticed an all-together more plush feeling shoe by comparison, thanks to both the comfy padded tongue and more cushioned heel collar.
How does the Hoka Arahi 6 fit?
I was, however, very disappointed with the updated sizing and fit which compromised the overall comfort of the shoe. My Arahi 4s in a size UK 6.5 fit me perfectly but I found that the same size in the Arahi 6s too small with my toes bashing against the edge of the shoe, while the UK 7 felt too big and clumsy on my feet. I also experienced blisters on the base of my big toe while trialling both sizes. Granted, I do suffer from bunions, so I’m not overly surprised, but having never had this problem with the Ariah 4s, I can’t help but feel disappointed, as I absolutely loved that model.
The Arahi 6 is definitely worth a shot if you’re a distance runner who over-pronates. While they might not be best suited to racing, if you’re training for a half marathon or marathon and are looking for one reliable pair of cushioned, structured shoes to do all your sessions in – from long, slow runs to tempo sessions – these will serve you well (provided you can find a pair that fit you well). And if they’re anything like the Arahi 4s, they will last you for years.
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