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Hoka Kaha 2 GTX - All Gender Review

Plush cushion, waterproof durability, and a stable design make these hikers a great choice for extended backcountry missions
hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review
Credit: HOKA ONE ONE
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $240 List
Manufacturer:   HOKA ONE ONE
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 28, 2022
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 18
  • Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Support - 25% 9.0
  • Traction - 15% 8.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 4.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Hoka Kaha 2 GTX All Gender is hands down one of the most comfortable and supportive hiking boots we've ever tested. The stable, cushioned base and swallowtail design inspire confidence when moving through even the most technical terrain. This boot also features a high-quality and durable design constructed from leather and Gore-Tex materials, so they will protect you from inclement weather for many adventures to come. Just be aware that the Kaha 2 doesn't breathe as well as other hikers due to their waterproof technology. Overall, this is a great choice for those looking to keep their feet dry, comfortable, and supported while they pursue extended periods in the backcountry.
REASONS TO BUY
Supreme comfort
High quality design
Waterproof
Excellent traction
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Gore-Tex does not breathe well in hot conditions
Thicker sole takes some adjustment

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $240 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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69
Star Rating
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Pros Supreme comfort, high quality design, waterproof, excellent tractionLightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable priceWide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, excellent tractionLightweight, stylish, supportive, comfortableImproved traction, great for a wide foot, inexpensive, well-padded ankle
Cons Expensive, Gore-Tex does not breathe well in hot conditions, thicker sole takes some adjustmentNot as supportive as a traditional leather hiking bootPricier, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment timeLacks ankle support for extended backcountry travelLacing system lacks durability, not enough ankle support for heavier loads, Achilles isn't well padded, heavy
Bottom Line Plush cushion, waterproof durability, and a stable design make these hikers a great choice for extended backcountry missionsA lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrainThese hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe boxA sleek, stylish, and lightweight hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice backcountry performance, though is better for shorter tripsThese 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 Kaha 2 GTX - A... La Sportiva Ultra R... Altra Lone Peak ALL... Teva Grandview GTX Mid Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP
Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Support (25%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (10%)
4.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Hoka Kaha 2 GTX - A... La Sportiva Ultra R... Altra Lone Peak ALL... Teva Grandview GTX Mid Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP
Weight (per pair) 2.20 lbs (size 8) 1.68 lbs (size EU 40) 1.60 lbs (size 8.5) 1.86 lbs (size 8.5) 2.06 lbs (size 8)
Upper Nubuck leather AirMesh, microfiber, TPU eVent fabric Leather, synthetic, textile Leather, mesh
Width Options Regular Regular, Wide Regular Regular Regular, Wide
Water Resistant Membrane Gore-Tex Gore-Tex eVent Gore-Tex Waterproof membrane
Heel Height 2.5" 1.8" 1" 1.5" 2"
Shaft Height 5" 5" 5.5" 4 4.9"
Midsole Rubberized EVA MEMlex Altra EGO EVA Super Rebound Compound
Sole Vibram Megagrip rubber FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber DuraTread Rubber Vibram Megagrip rubber Vibram TC5+

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hoka Kaha 2 GTX All Gender is an excellent choice for those serious hikers who prioritize support, comfort, and durability in their hiking boots. With over two inches of plush cushion underfoot, a stable and supportive base, as well as killer traction through various terrain, these boots inspired more confidence with every mile. A durable and completely waterproof design make it easy for our testing team to recommend the Kaha 2 for the most aggressive terrain and weather conditions.

Performance Comparison


hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - the hoka kaha 2 gtx all gender is a top-of-the-line contemporary...
The Hoka Kaha 2 GTX All Gender is a top-of-the-line contemporary hiking boot that has it all: comfort, stability, and a waterproof design.
Credit: Trinity Robinson

Comfort


The designers of the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX All Gender clearly prioritized comfort above all other metrics. The symmetrical and plush cushioned footbed is one of the thickest models that we tested, with over two inches of foam under each foot. Our testers found the foam protection to be a double-edged sword, while the thick foam prevents any discomfort while inevitably encountering rocks, stumps, or roots on the trail, it also takes some getting used to. We found it necessary to lift our foot a little higher so as to prevent tripping over the rocks and stumps that the cushion conceals.


Another caveat to the supreme foam comfort of the Kaha 2 was the stiffer construction, which we attribute to the leather upper in addition to the Gore-tex and water repellency treatment. This resulted in a longer break in period than say a boot that offers a little more flex right out of the box. That being said, after just a couple day hikes, we were experiencing full range of motion and appreciating the soft and anatomical cushioning underfoot.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - the kaha 2 is one of the most comfortable hiking boots we've tested...
The Kaha 2 is one of the most comfortable hiking boots we've tested, thanks in part to the extra inches of cushion underfoot.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Support


Perhaps one of the most supportive and stable hiking boots that we've tested, the Kaha 2 showed its superiority over the competition. Features like the CMEVA midsole and Hubble heel with swallowtail design create a new level of stability underfoot but also create a futuristic look. While some boots that we tested were designed with a softer ankle cushion, the ankle protection of the Kaha is rigid, preventing our ankle from rolling on the trail.


Another notable feature is the meta-rocker technology which contributes to the stable base of this thicker shoe. Our testers found that between the extended swallowtail design (which extends the length of the shoe and a little further beyond the heel), the wide base, the rocker design of the sole, and the rigid ankle shaft, we were confident to take on the burliest of backcountry missions.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - the hubble heel and swalltail design extend beyond the foot to...
The Hubble Heel and Swalltail design extend beyond the foot to increase stability and control on technical terrain.
Credit: Trinity Robinson

Traction


Thanks to the integration of a Vibram Megagrip rubber on the sole with a significant 5mm lug and tread pattern, these boots performed well on every type of terrain, whether we were moving through polished boulders or switching it up to desert sandstone.


The Kaha 2 inspired confidence even when already slick boulders and decomposing granite became wet after a significant rain storm in the Eastern Sierra. The thick and aggressive lugs provide solid traction with every step.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - the vibram megagrip rubber with 5mm lugs on the kaha 2 inspire...
The Vibram Megagrip rubber with 5mm lugs on the Kaha 2 inspire confidence underfoot whether moving over loose gravel or polished granite.
Credit: Trinity Robinson

Water Resistance


It was not surprising that the Kaha 2 performed well in this metric. The height of the boot measures over 5 inches and prevents water from entering through the top. Plus, the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and a waterproof leather upper sealed these boots off during our water resistance tests. Keep in mind that the trade-off for this high level of water resistance is a reduction in breathability.


The Kaha 2 has a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane rather than an eVent waterproof liner, as in previous Hoka models that we tested. The updated membrane performed well, and our feet remained warm and dry throughout our tests. We suspect that this updated membrane will offer more long-term waterproof qualities, but time will tell. We found that the high shaft height and the seal created by tightening the laces down kept water out effectively, even when submerged for up to one minute.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - waterproof nubuck leather and a gore-tex membrane bootie keep water...
Waterproof nubuck leather and a Gore-Tex membrane bootie keep water out, however, this design doesn't breathe as well in hot conditions.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Weight


Sometimes there is a caveat to a high-performing and feature-rich product, and here is where we find it. Unfortunately, the Kaha 2 is one of the heavier hiking boots we tested. Weighing in at 2.2 pounds per pair of women's size 8 US, this boot is not considered lightweight. That said, other boots in this review within a similar weight range did not offer anywhere close to the same amount of comfort and support.


While this is the only metric where the Kaha 2 didn't shine, our testers never felt weighed down, even when moving in these boots for the length of an entire day. The excellent features and support balance out the slight increase in weight.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - the caveat to all the features of the hoka kaha 2 gtx all gender is...
The caveat to all the features of the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX All Gender is unfortunately the weight, it is one of the heaviest hiking boots that we tested.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Durability


The Kaha 2 received high marks in this metric, thanks to its all-leather upper, reinforced steel eyelets, and firmly-cushioned sole. The waterproof fabric, in addition to the DWR water-repellency treatment, also helps to increase the durability of this boot.


While not a traditional leather hiker, this boot is perhaps the burliest of all the contemporary hiking boots we tested. The leather upper is subject to some scuffs and micro tears after encountering rocks and stumps on the trail, but we consider this normal for boots with similar construction. Other than a few cosmetic abrasions, we are happy to report that the Kaha experienced no durability issues during our testing period. We would gladly choose these boots for even the most intense backcountry excursions.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - the quick-lace metal top hooks and polyester laces in addition to...
The quick-lace metal top hooks and polyester laces in addition to the reinforced toe caps enhance overall durability.
Credit: Trinity Robinson

Should You Buy the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX All Gender?


The Kaha 2 GTX is incredibly comfortable and supportive around the ankle. The aggressive 5mm lug pattern and the swallowtail design provide confidence on the trails thanks to a stable base you can count on. The all-leather, waterproof uppers make them durable and water-resistant. These are a great pick for extended backpacking trips or day hikes if you're looking for all-day comfort and top-of-the-line support.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - an anatomical achilles with a heel pull tab are just some of the...
An anatomical Achilles with a heel pull tab are just some of the top-of-the-line features of the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX.
Credit: Trinity Robinson

While we very much enjoyed the All Gender version of this boot, Hoka also offers the Kaha 2 GTX in both a men's and women's specific version.

What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?


These boots are an investment; however, if you want to prioritize comfort, support, and stability, all in a waterproof design, the Kaha 2 GTX boots live up to the hype. If you are after something a little more affordable while still offering comfort and support, check out the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. For those interested in all-day comfort with a lot less foam underfoot and a zero-drop design, check out the Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid.

hoka kaha 2 gtx - all gender hiking boots women review - while an investment, our testers believe these high quality hiking...
While an investment, our testers believe these high quality hiking boots will not disappoint.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Trish Matheny
 
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