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Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX Review

These stable and supportive mid-cut boots are very capable at handling all kinds of conditions, both on and off trail
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Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX Review
Credit: Ryan Huetter
Price:  $195 List
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Manufacturer:   Hoka
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 25, 2023
74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 17
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Support - 25% 7.0
  • Traction - 15% 8.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX is a top-tier hiking boot that excels in many of our review metrics. With a balanced midsole that provides comfortable cushioning without feeling too springy and a wide platform that gives them above-average stability, we love these boots for off-trail adventures. They are super durable with nubuck leather construction and waterproof thanks to a GTX liner, making them even more capable. The lacing system is a bit awkward, and the Swallowtail heel design takes some getting used to, but overall, we really like this boot and plan to continue wearing it long-term.
REASONS TO BUY
Great durability
Solid waterproofing
Very supportive
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacing system is not user-friendly
Swallowtail heel may take some getting used to
Expensive

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Bottom Line Waterproof and durable, with a very stable base, these are great hiking books ready for anything you can throw at themThis high-top boot is one of the most stable we tested, and with plush cushioning is perfect for big backcountry missionsThis flagship hiking boot is our first recommendation for a hiking and backpacking boot, achieving remarkable performance in all terrain types and conditionsThis inexpensive boot is super comfortable and is a great all-around optionThis heavy leather hiking boot is a budget friendly and offers great atability
Rating Categories Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX Hoka Kaha 2 GTX Salomon Quest 4 Gor... Merrell Moab 3 Mid... Timberland Mt. Madd...
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
Support (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Traction (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (10%)
7.0
6.0
4.5
6.8
7.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Specs Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX Hoka Kaha 2 GTX Salomon Quest 4 Gor... Merrell Moab 3 Mid... Timberland Mt. Madd...
Measured Weight (per pair, size 11) 2.30 lbs 2.54 lbs 2.90 lbs 2.36 lbs 2.31 lbs
Upper Waterproof nubuck leather Waterproof nubuck leather Leather and nylon Pigskin leather, mesh Full-grain leather
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular, wide Regular, wide
Waterproof Lining Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Waterproof membrane TimberDry
Boot Type Lightweight hiker/day hiker Midweight hiker/backpacking boot Midweight hiker/backpacking boot Midweight hiker/backpacking boot Midweight hiker/backpacking boot
Last Board/Shank Not specified Not specified 4D Chassis Molded nylon TPU shank
Midsole EVA (30% sugarcane) 2-density CMEVA (rubberized EVA) EnergyCell Super Rebound Compound EVA
Sole Vibram Megagrip rubber Vibram Megagrip rubber Contagrip TD Vibram TC5+ Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Anacapa 2 Mid GTX employs some pretty cool and novel new materials and designs, such as the heel tab to provide Achilles support, a Swallowtail heel that gives more cushion for those that heel strike when walking, and a plush dual-density foam midsole made out of 30% recycled sugarcane. We loved almost everything about these boots, although a couple of things could be improved upon.

Performance Comparison


hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx - a steep 2 hour hike with loose trail, mud, talus and scree was a...
A steep 2 hour hike with loose trail, mud, talus and scree was a great place to take the Anacapa 2 Mid boots for their ultimate test.
Credit: Ryan Huetter


Comfort


Hoka has long been the brand where comfort is king. Known for their ultra-plush midsoles that soak up jarring impacts, the Anacapa 2 is no exception and is a welcome comfort to tired feet when on long hikes or traveling over hard surfaces. The nubuck leather on the upper is less pliable right out of the box than many of their other models that use synthetic materials, though we only found that it took a few hikes before it began breaking in.

The fit of the Anacapa is generous but not wide; we found a lightly cushioned sock to be a great fit for a medium-volume foot, leaving plenty of room for feet to swell on warm hikes. These boots don't dump heat as easily as models made with lighter materials or with more mesh, so they may not be the best choice for desert walks. Our biggest comfort complaint was the positioning of the lacing hooks. It is tough to get a good angle on the laces to get them to stay in the locking cleats.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx - running the laces through the loop on the tongue makes them very...
Running the laces through the loop on the tongue makes them very awkward to fit into the locking cleats. By pulling them out of this loop they are still kind of a pain.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Support


We found the compression-molded EVA (CMEVA) midsole featured in the Anacapa 2 to offer great foot protection and support. The Swallowtail heel, a rockered extension off the heel, allows for a more stable stride with more consistent surface contact for those who heel strike. That said, this unique design takes a bit to get used to, especially in uneven terrain, as the boot is taller and longer in the back than normal boot designs.

Lacing these boots up securely gives decent ankle support for carrying heavier loads, though as a mid-top boot, they do not provide the same full security as an over-the-ankle boot. There is a good bit of midfoot flex, though overall, the torsional rigidity of these boots is greater than many of the lighter mid-top models we have reviewed, and the overall width feels stable and secure.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx - stable in some of the hardest terrain to feel comfortable in, large...
Stable in some of the hardest terrain to feel comfortable in, large talus, the Anacapa 2 Mid boots still let our ankle flex to adapt to changes.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Traction


The Anacapa 2 Mid uses the Vibram MegaGrip rubber compound for the outsole of the boot, a product that we have long appreciated having on many pairs of different hiking footwear. Sticky enough to smear on smooth slabs and featuring deep multidirectional lugs, this boot offers good bite in loose terrain.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx - we love having the sticky vibram rubber on our feet when the trails...
We love having the sticky Vibram rubber on our feet when the trails are rocky and loose like this.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Water Resistance


Now using a Gore-Tex waterproof-breathable membrane to ensure waterproofness, the Anacapa 2 has a reasonably tall 4-inch flood height. The 2-inch plush sole gives them an added height advantage as you can slosh through some pretty deep puddles before even making the Gore-Tex liner do its job. We did not find this boot to leak, and it passed our submersion test with flying colors. Once saturated, the Anacapa does take longer to dry out than other boots with synthetic uppers.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx - the anacapa 2 mid keeps water out thanks to a gtx liner, but the...
The Anacapa 2 Mid keeps water out thanks to a GTX liner, but the overall height of the boots does a great job at keeping you well above the water.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Weight


At 2.3 pounds for a pair of Anacapa boots in size 11 US, this boot isn't light — but it provides a lot of comfort and support in exchange for the weight. The cushioned sole, durable leather upper, and dependable support are worth an extra half a pound.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx - a long day on the feet means that less weight to carry around is...
A long day on the feet means that less weight to carry around is best, but we are happy to pay a higher weight penalty for a little added comfort and support when we need it.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Durability


Made up of several panels of waterproof nubuck leather, the Anacapa 2 Mid GTX will last longer than many other boots that employ lighter and less robust materials. We took these boots into talus gardens and scree fields (i.e., lots and lots of rocks) and were surprised at how little wear we found after all our testing. Of course, there are a lot of seams on the upper, and the leather is not as thick as found on some of the really burly boots we have reviewed, but for the weight of the Anacapa and the high-tech nature of some of its construction, the durability is notably above average.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx - thrashing these boots through varied rough terrain gave us a pretty...
Thrashing these boots through varied rough terrain gave us a pretty good feeling about the longer term durability they'll offer.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Should You Buy the Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX?


This is not an inexpensive boot, but it does offer some excellent performance for its price, and we would argue that it is a good value. We recommend it for those who want a stable and comfortable hiking boot that feels more like a shoe and will likely last a good long while.

What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?


For those who want a similar level of comfort but desire a taller ankle for enhanced support, the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX is hard to beat. If you think that you might be going into more technical terrain and want something quicker and more nimble, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is very capable and a lot narrower.

Ryan Huetter