HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX - Women's Review
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HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX - Women's
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|Pros||Lightweight, significant comfort out of the box, waterproof, breathable mesh, great choice for narrow feet||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Spacious toe box, solid traction on technical terrain, ankle cuff offers stability without decreasing range of motion, ultralight||Waterproof, breathable, durable, relatively lightweight||Improved traction, great for a wide foot, inexpensive, well-padded ankle|
|Cons||Narrow base lacks stability, questionable durability||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||Expensive, water resistant design doesn't breathe well, 0mm drop requires time for body to adjust||Doesn't fit all foot shapes, bulky laces||Lacing system lacks durability, not enough ankle support for heavier loads, Achilles isn't well padded, heavy|
|Bottom Line||A sporty and lightweight hiking boot option that offers a ton of cushion and support for those with narrow feet||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||This boot is our favorite for those with wider feet, providing a spacious toe box without sacrificing stability underfoot||A boot that held its own in all metrics, this model offers good performance for a wide range of hiking utility at a reasonable price||These boots offer improved traction and comfort right out of the box, though they underperform in terms of durability and support for extended backpacking trips|
|Rating Categories||HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||1.74 lbs (size 8.5)||1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.48 lbs (size 8.5)||1.63 lbs (size 8.5)||2.06 lbs (size 8)|
|Upper||Waterproof nubuck leather||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Synthetic, textile, rubber toecap||Leather, mesh|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular, wide||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||GORE-TEX waterproof/breathable laminate||Gore-Tex||Water-resistant bootie||Gore-Tex||Waterproof membrane|
|Midsole||Compression-molded EVA||MEMlex||Altra Ego||Molded OrthoLite sockliner||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||Vibram Megagrip rubber||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||MaxTrac rubber||Contagrip rubber, chevron lugs||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hoka Anacapa 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 that hugs the ankle without introducing rigidity that could limit 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 wider base to more effectively support the 2+ inches of thick foam under foot and foam that would last longer when tackling more advanced and rocky terrain.
Hoka is a brand synonymous with maximum comfort in footwear, and the Anacapa 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 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 a narrow foot and a moderate arch; a wider foot may have a different experience.
Hoka put a ton of thought into the support of the Anacapa. They advertise this boot as having a neutral amount of support through design features like an extended heel and a symmetrical bed of cushion to increase overall stability. When considering the boot from the side, one can see the meta-rocker shape, which allows for 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 get over this hiking boot's long and narrow base. Though it never actually occurred, our lead tester had to remain mindful of potentially rolling an ankle due to the lack of complete stability from the narrow base. Ultimately, our testers prefer a wider base (even those with a narrow foot), especially while moving through variable terrain with 2.25" of springy foam underfoot.
The Anacapa 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. The lack of performance within this softer foam compromised the overall score of this agile hiking boot due to its minimal grip and lack of durability.
The waterproof capabilities of the Anacapa 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 did its job.
Weighing in at only 1.74 pounds for a pair of US women's size 8.5, the Anacapa 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.
While the Anacapa 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 appears to be the Vibram Megagrip rubber. Rocks deeply impacted the softer material, while the Megagrip offered sufficient traction, especially while moving over uneven terrain.
The nubuck leather and mesh combination that makes up the upper construction appears high quality and inspires confidence. Our only concern is where the metal hooks comprising the lacing system can rub and damage the nubuck leather on the opposing boot. This impact on the nubuck leather, in addition to the damage to the softer sole, prompted our testers to reduce the durability rating of the Anacapa.
Should You Buy the HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX?
The Anacapa Mid is for those hikers (and runners) with a narrow foot profile that 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.
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.
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