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Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX - Women's Review

A sporty and lightweight hiking boot option that offers a ton of cushion and support for those with narrow feet
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Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX - Women's Review (Springy cushion, flexible stability, solid traction, and waterproof performance make this boot an excellent choice for...)
Springy cushion, flexible stability, solid traction, and waterproof performance make this boot an excellent choice for the great outdoors.
Credit: Trish Matheny
Price:  $195 List
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Manufacturer:   Hoka
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 25, 2023
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 20
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Support - 25% 8.0
  • Traction - 15% 7.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9.0
  • Weight - 10% 6.8
  • Durability - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX is a good option for those interested in moving away from a traditional leather hiking boot and checking out Hoka's iconic maximum-cushioned soles within a lightweight and modern design. While the boot is more of a hybrid between a trail runner and a hiker, it still features durable and waterproof nubuck leather combined with a breathable polyester mesh. Our biggest complaint came from the softer foam found in the sole, which can be easily damaged when navigating more technical and rocky terrain such as scree and boulder fields. That being said, the Anacapa 2 Mid offers a competitive performance and will put a little extra spring in your step for every mile on the trails.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Significant comfort out of the box
Waterproof
Breathable mesh
Great choice for narrow feet
Well-priced
REASONS TO AVOID
Narrow outsole
Questionable durability in the outsole
Editor's Note: The second iteration of this hiking boot was added to our lineup on October 25, 2023, complete with new testing information and updated photos.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line A lightweight and well-cushioned sporty hiking boot that offers excellent traction but with questionable durability in the outsoleWhile less supportive than a traditional leather hiker, these boots excel in comfort and agility while saving weightA solid choice for any aggressive terrain thanks to superior comfort, abundant support, and a durable leather upperA great choice for day hikes and moderate backpacking trips, these boots lack support and padding for shouldering heavier loads on extended tripsThis hiking boot offers impressive performance in exchange for a modest price tag
Rating Categories Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid... La Sportiva Ultra R... Hoka Kaha 2 GTX - W... Merrell Moab 3 Mid... Columbia Crestwood...
Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Support (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.5
7.5
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.5
8.0
Weight (10%)
6.8
7.8
6.0
5.6
7.1
Durability (10%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid... La Sportiva Ultra R... Hoka Kaha 2 GTX - W... Merrell Moab 3 Mid... Columbia Crestwood...
Measured Weight (per pair) 1.86 lbs (size 8) 1.68 lbs (size EU 40) 2.00 lbs (size 8) 2.06 lbs (size 8) 1.80 lbs (size 8.5)
Upper Waterproof nubuck leather AirMesh, microfiber, TPU Waterproof nubuck leather Leather, mesh Leather, mesh and webbing
Width Options Regular Regular, wide Regular Regular, wide Regular, wide
Waterproof Lining Gore-Tex laminate Gore-Tex Gore-Tex waterproof booties, waterproof leather Waterproof membrane Omni-Tech
Heel Height 2.0" 1.8" 2.0" 2.0" 1.5"
Shaft Height 6.25" 5.0" 7.0" 4.9" 5.0"
Midsole compression molded EVA MEMlex Rubberized EVA Super Rebound Compound TechLite
Sole Vibram Megagrip FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber Vibram Megagrip rubber Vibram TC5+ Omni-Grip

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hoka Anacapa 2 Mid GTX is a good choice for those seeking a lightweight crossover between a trail running shoe and a traditional hiker. In addition to its springy and responsive base, the design also features a supportive and flexible ankle cuff complete with three metal lacing hooks that hug your ankle without introducing rigidity that could limit your range of motion or encourage blisters. The waterproof design remains breathable, whether moving through saturated snow or swollen creeks during spring runoff. While our testers were impressed with this boot, we ultimately hoped for a more durable outsole to withstand more mileage when tackling advanced, rocky terrain.

Performance Comparison


hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - a great modern hiking boot that's perfect for those looking to...
A great modern hiking boot that's perfect for those looking to maximize comfort and stability on the trails.
Credit: Trish Matheny


Comfort


Hoka is a brand synonymous with maximum comfort in footwear, and the Anacapa 2 Mid is no exception. These hiking boots were comfortable (for a narrow foot) directly out of the box, offering enough protective, responsive, and “springy” cushion that our lead tester couldn't resist picking up the pace on the trails during the second day of testing. The thickly cushioned and squishy sole offers excellent shock absorption when moving through rocky and rough terrain, preventing you from feeling the impacts of rocks or stumps underfoot.

In addition to the comfort of the sole, the ankle cuff is constructed out of a mesh material that allows the ankle to flex even when the lacing system is fully engaged. This flex is built into the design and prevents any of the rubbing, blistering, or discomfort one might encounter with a more rigid cuff. We found the cuff to offer just the right amount of padding so as to maximize comfort on all sides of the ankle without adding unnecessary bulk. That being said, this hiking boot caters to those with narrow feet; wider feet may have a different experience. This also might be a boot worth trying on before you purchase, as our lead tester ultimately decided to go down a half size for a better fit.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - a well-padded ankle cuff, heel pad, and substantial cushioning make...
A well-padded ankle cuff, heel pad, and substantial cushioning make this boot one of the most comfortable that we tested.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Support


Hoka put a ton of thought into the support of the Anacapa 2 Mid. They advertise this boot as having a neutral amount of support through design features like an extended heel and a symmetrical cushion bed to increase overall stability. When considering the boot from the side, one can see the rocker shape, allowing smoother transitions and efficient movement through uneven terrain.

The midsole is compression-molded and offers both comfort and support, while the ankle cuff provides sufficient stability without limiting range of motion or feeling rigid. While these thoughtful features provide great support, we just couldn't help but notice this hiking boot's long and narrow base. Ultimately, our testers prefer a wider base of support (even those with narrow feet), especially while moving through variable terrain with 2.25" of springy foam underfoot.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - triple hooks that surround the ankle from bottom to top really...
Triple hooks that surround the ankle from bottom to top really increase the overall support while offering a ton of stability on uneven terrain.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Traction


The Anacapa 2 Mid features a Vibram Megagrip rubber with 5mm lugs that performed well in all of our traction tests, whether moving over slippery boulders, sand, or the decomposing granite surrounding the trails of the Eastern Sierra. It is important to note that the sole is constructed out of two separate materials: a softer foam that rests beneath the arch of the foot and the more durable, firm, and burly Vibram Megagrip rubber that offers exceptional grip and traction. Though we found the foam featured in this updated version of the Anacapa 2 to be more durable than the original, the lack of performance within this softer foam compromised the overall score due to its minimal grip and lack of durability. For this reason, we believe this boot is best suited for well-maintained trails rather than cross-country terrain.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - the vibram megagrip outsoles performed well on a variety of terrain...
The Vibram Megagrip outsoles performed well on a variety of terrain, perhaps best on uniform surfaces such as granite slabs.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Water Resistance


The waterproof capabilities of the Anacapa 2 Mid did not disappoint our testing team when crossing swollen creeks or moving through spring snowmelt. We love the thoughtful design that includes a ton of recycled and PFC-free materials. The waterproof nubuck leather is gold-rated and certified by the Leather Working Group, a group that promotes excellence in leather products through a rigorous auditing system, thereby setting the standard for the industry.

We appreciated details like the combination of the Gore-Tex mesh fabric, the gusseted tongue, and the PFC-free water-repellency treatment, especially when it started to rain. We also observed that our feet remained warm and dry, even when submerging the boot in a stream for several minutes. Whether splashing through puddles in the spring, moving over a saturated snowpack, or trudging through thick mud, the Anacapa 2 Mid did its job.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - the gore-tex laminate membrane on the anacapa 2 performed well...
The Gore-Tex laminate membrane on the Anacapa 2 performed well during our submersion test in the Tuolumne river.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Weight


Weighing in at only 1.86 pounds for a pair of US women's size 8, the Anacapa 2 Mid remains competitive with other boots in this review, especially when considering the amount of cushion underfoot. Perhaps more importantly, this boot feels significantly lighter than its competitors, especially when worn for a long hike with a heavy pack.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - at 1.86 pounds for a us women's size 8, these boots fall somewhere...
At 1.86 pounds for a US women's size 8, these boots fall somewhere near the middle of the testing group when measuring overall weight.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Durability


While the Anacapa 2 Mid has a durable lacing system with metal eyelets, we couldn't help but notice that the substantial cushion underfoot is easily compromised by rocky and technical terrain. There are two colors on the bottom of the model that we tested: a softer and lighter material that makes up the construction of the sole and another color that is the Vibram Megagrip rubber. Rocks deeply impacted the softer material, while the Megagrip offered significant traction.

The nubuck leather and mesh on the upper appears high quality and inspires confidence. Our only concern is regarding the metal hooks of the lacing system, which can rub and damage the nubuck leather on the opposing boot. This impact on the leather, in addition to the damage to the softer sole, prompted our testers to reduce the durability rating of the Anacapa.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - these boots feature a solid toe cap and a high quality design...
These boots feature a solid toe cap and a high quality design, however, we have some durability concerns with the softer blue rubber on the outsole that is easily damaged on technical terrain.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Should You Buy the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX?


The Anacapa 2 is for those hikers (and runners) with narrow feet who are interested in checking out the classic Hoka cushion within a lightweight and sporty design. If you're looking for an entirely waterproof hiking boot that also allows you to pick up the pace, this hybrid boot is well-priced and one to consider.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - a great athletically-designed boot for those looking for stability...
A great athletically-designed boot for those looking for stability and comfort when hitting the trails.
Credit: Trish Matheny

What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?


If you love the extreme cushion and comfort that is synonymous with the Hoka brand but want a wider and more stable base, check out the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX. Or if you like the idea of a lightweight trail running shoe and hiking boot hybrid but prefer a little less cushion underfoot, have a look at the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II.

hoka anacapa 2 mid gtx for women - the anacapa combines the stability and waterproof performance of a...
The Anacapa combines the stability and waterproof performance of a hiking boot with the agility and breathability of a trail running shoe, making it a great choice for day hikes or extended backpacking trips.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Trish Matheny