The Hoka One One Tor Summit WP has a nubuck and suede leather upper with an eVent waterproof liner. It has a unique over-sized EVA midsole and a Vibram rubber sole.
Whether you're going for a quick hike with a day pack or a long excursion with a lot of gear, these shoes provide great cushion and a comfortable mile after mile.
We've counted the comfort score of each pair in our hiking shoe review as 25% of the overall score. Sure, we need good traction and stability, weather resistance and so on, but if your shoes aren't comfortable to wear, then that will immediately impact your experience on the trail. The Hoka One One Tor Summit WP delivers all the comfort you could ask for and then some, without being too soft or lacking structure. The Ahnu Sugarpine II WP has a softer midsole than the Tor, but it's almost too soft when wearing a pack. The North Face Endurus GTX is a close second and almost as comfortable, but it too is a little on the soft side.
What the Tor Summit provides is a well-cushioned ride that is neither too soft nor too firm. We hiked both with and without a pack with this shoe, and even with 25-30 pounds on our back we didn't feel like the midsole was overly compressed. Shoes can be a little like beds, so if you prefer your sole to be rock hard, then check out something like the Lowa Renegade GTX Lo. It uses a stiff polyurethane midsole instead of a softer EVA one like the Tor Summit.
The oversized midsole gives these shoes a distinct look and provide a lot of cushioning for feet and joints.
We initially worried that the thicker sole on these shoes would make them unstable on rough terrain. While they don't have the best lateral stability, there is sufficient arch support, and your foot actually sits down in the midsole (like a bucket seat) which helps in that area.
If you're looking for a stiffer shoe for traversing granite slabs or other rough terrain, then the Lowa Renegade GTX Lo or Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry are good options.
Rock hopping in the Hokas. While not as stable as a stiffer and thinner soled shoe, we were still able to scramble around on uneven terrain without worrying about twisting an ankle.
The traction on these shoes wasn't our favorite. While there are some multi-directional lugs around the outside, the inner strip is mostly comprised of thin flat lugs that don't provide much grip on slippery surfaces. Combined with the lack of responsiveness underfoot due to the thick sole, we felt a little insecure taking on slabs and steep terrain in this pair.
The traction on the Hoka One One Tor Summit WP did leave a little to be desired. While the 5 mm multi-directional lugs on the Vibram sole seem comparable to some other shoes, we didn't feel as secure scrambling on rock slabs in them.
It might help if there were more directional lugs in the middle of the foot, but even if we put the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator's sole on this shoe (which was really sticky) it might not perform as well, as we often felt like the thickness of the sole interfered with the flexion needed for scrambling. However, for regular and even loose dirt trails we have no issues with this pair slipping out from under us.
These shoes can flex a bit to help create friction, but not as much as some other shoes, and the thick sole made it difficult to feel the terrain and ascertain whether our footing was secure.
For such a thick shoe this pair is actually lightweight and won't weigh you down.
We worried that such a thick shoe would be heavy, but it rings in at only 1 lb 12 oz for a women's size 10, which is only 3 ounces heavier overall than the Ahnu Sugarpine II WP.
The thick soles help bring the ankle opening up to 4 inches off the ground, increasing your clearance when crossing streams.
The Tor Summit WP (as in "waterproof), really is that. The nubuck/suede upper and eVent bootie liner keeps the water out, and the taller height of the ankle (4 inches), also aids in its waterproofness. You have a little more clearance in this shoe when crossing a stream as you do in the Ahnu Montara III, which could mean the difference between topping your shoes, or not.
The upper didn't seem to absorb much water either during our bucket test, unlike the Vasque Talus Trek Low UltraDry, which makes the shoe heavier and more likely to soak through quicker.
Water testing the Hokas. We had no leaks through the upper or the tongue, and the suede leather was slow to saturate, making this a highly water resistant pair.
While we didn't experience any durability issues during our testing period, we know from experience that the first places to wear out on a pair of hiking shoe are the toe box and the sides. The Hoka One One Tor Summit WP doesn't have much protection in either area. Check out something like the Keen Targhee III Low, with its rubber toe guard.
This pair has the largest amount of exposed, softer EVA midsole than any other model in this review. If you're constantly scrambling, scrapping, and scootching your way around the backcountry, you might be better off with a more protective pair like the Adidas Outdoor Terrex R2 GTX. But for soft forest trails and wide-open spaces these will probably hold up well to several seasons of use.
There were a few areas on this shoe that gave us some concerns for its long-term durability, such as the lightly protected toe cap and the exposed soft midsole.
brand gets recommended all the time to people with plantar fasciitis, knee issues, or those on their feet for long periods of time, and we can see why. The thicker midsole provides more cushion and support than any other model out there, as long as it fits your foot. If you have very narrow feet, this model might not work for you, and you might experience some heel lift or forefoot movement. But if it fits and you're looking for something that is plush and comfortable for miles and miles of hiking (and don't mind the look), then these shoes are a great choice.
If you've been hiking for years and your joints are starting to protest (like us), or you just prefer to be comfortable no matter what, then these are the shoes for you.
This pair retails for $160. That's certainly more than the $100 Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator, our Best Buy winner, but still $50 less than the exorbitantly priced Lowa Renegade GTX Lo
If you're looking for maximum comfort in your hiking shoes, the Hoka One One Tor Summit WP are hard to beat. The extra thick mid-sole provides exceptional comfort without being too squishy, making them a great choice for people with foot and knee issues, or for anyone who logs a lot of miles on the trail and wants to do it in comfort.