Brooks Beast 20 VS Hoka Gaviota 5: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for a stability shoe that can go the distance, the Brooks Beast 20 and Hoka Gaviota 5 should be on your radar. Both shoes offer plush cushioning and support for overpronators, but they have key differences that may make one a better choice for your needs. Read on as we compare the specs, features, and performance of these stability stalwarts.

Similarities And Differences Between Brooks Beast 20 And Hoka Gaviota 5:

FeatureBrooks Beast 20Hoka Gaviota 5
Launched In2020 2023
StabilityMediumModerate
FlexibilityModerateLess flexible than Gaviota 4
Sizing7-18 (M), 5-13 (W)7-15 (M), 5-12 (W)
Weight11.2 oz (M), 10.2 oz (W)10.9 oz (M), 9.2 oz (W)
CushionPlush and softPlush and soft
OutsoleSegmented rubberRubber with extended durability zones
MidsoleDNA Loft v3CMEVA foam with H-Frame design
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$160$175

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Beast 20 uses a segmented rubber outsole, DNA Loft cushioning in the midsole, and an engineered mesh upper. The Gaviota 5 has a rubber outsole with durability zones, CMEVA foam an H-Frame in the midsole, and an engineered mesh upper.

Brooks Beast 20
BEAST 20

Hoka Gaviota 5
GAVIOTA 5

The key differences are the outsole rubber durability zones on the Gaviota 5 versus the flex grooves on the Beast 20, and the DNA Loft versus CMEVA foam midsoles. The Gaviota’s outsole rubber aims for greater durability while the DNA Loft foam aims for maximum softness.

Durability:

Testers found the Beast 20’s outsole rubber and DNA Loft midsole foam started breaking down around 300 miles. Comparatively, the Gaviota 5’s redesigned outsole rubber and CMEVA foam package maintained integrity for over 500 miles.

The tread retention and lively cushioning lasted significantly longer before deteriorating. For runners seeking to maximize mileage before replacement, the Gaviota 5 is the clear winner for durability, providing hundreds more miles of use.

Fit:

The Beast 20 runs quite narrow, especially in the toe box, catering to runners with low/average foot volumes. The Gaviota 5 has noticeably more interior space with a wide, accommodating toe box and decent midfoot wrap. For narrow feet, the Beast 20’s tight fit works better.

Brooks Beast 20 Top View
BEAST 20 TOP VIEW

Hoka Gaviota 5 Top View
GAVIOTA 5 TOP VIEW

However, most will prefer the generous, foot-shaped space of the Gaviota 5. Ultimately, narrow feet should opt for the Beast 20’s snug platform, while average to wide feet are better served by the Gaviota 5’s roomier interior.

Stability:

The Beast 20 uses a firmer medial post for excellent stability that satisfies severe overpronators. The Gaviota 5 relies more on the structure of its midsole framing for moderate stability.

While most felt supported in the Gaviota 5, some reported the Beast 20 controlled excessive motion better. For maximum overpronation correction, the Beast 20’s medial post provides superior control. However, the Gaviota 5 supplies enough stability for mild/moderate overpronators over long miles.

Cushioning:

The Beast 20 provides an extremely soft, pillowy ride that absorbs impact smoothly. However, some found it mushy with inadequate responsiveness.

The Gaviota 5 is also very cushioned but slightly firmer with better energy return for push-off. For recovery days, the Beast 20’s soft cushioning excels, but for faster paces, the Gaviota 5 feels more lively and responsive underfoot.

Value:

The Beast 20 costs $160 but lasts only 300 miles, making the price-per-mile ratio just average. The Gaviota 5 costs $175 but delivers 500+ miles, paying dividends with its improved durability and responsive cushioning.

For the extra $15, the Gaviota 5 provides superior value with hundreds more miles of comfortable stability training. Unless budget-limited, the better mileage justification makes the Gaviota 5 a better value pick.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

The Beast 20’s soft DNA Loft foam absorbs shock nicely for walking. However, some may find it too unresponsive to maintain a natural stride. The plush cushioning attenuates impact but lacks energy return to propel foot motion.

The Gaviota 5 offers well-cushioned walking with better bounce back to keep your stride lively all day long. The midsole foam is both soft for comfort and responsive to provide that extra spring to your step.

For versatile wear across walking for fitness or all-day use, the Gaviota 5 is the top choice to put a pep in your step.

Running:

The Beast 20 is only suitable for recovery jogs and long slow runs at easy paces. The thick, mushy cushioning doesn’t provide any pop or responsiveness at faster speeds.

However, the Gaviota 5 can handle easy miles while also providing a responsive ride for tempo runs and speedwork up to 10K race pace. The foam delivers a smooth transition while maintaining energy return for pushing off.

This blend of cushioned comfort and lively feel makes the Gaviota 5 the better choice for runners training for a race with speedwork on the schedule.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The ultra-plush cushioning of the Beast 20 does an excellent job absorbing shock and reducing pressure on feet afflicted with plantar fasciitis. By dampening each footstrike, it mitigates pain with its soft sink-in feel from heel to toe.

While the Gaviota 5 is also well-cushioned, it has a slightly firmer durometer that may not relieve discomfort quite as effectively. For runners specifically seeking a shoe to provide relief from plantar fasciitis pain, the Beast 20’s cloud-like DNA Loft foam is the ideal choice to cushion each step.

Standing All Day:

The Beast 20’s soft cushioning starts to feel too mushy and unstable for long periods of standing still. However, the Gaviota 5 maintains plush cushioning underfoot while providing better support by resisting compression to hold you steady.

With responsive foam that retains its shape and structured guidance, the Gaviota 5 keeps feet happily cushioned without tiring as quickly. Overall, the Gaviota 5 has the ideal blend of comfort, support, and stability for those who spend much of their day staying on their feet.

Final Verdict:

For runners who severely overpronate and require maximum motion control, along with ultra-soft cushioning to relieve plantar fasciitis pain, the Brooks Beast 20 is a clear choice.


Its medial post and DNA Loft foam provide specialized support and comfort for these needs. However, for most overpronators seeking a well-rounded everyday trainer with versatile cushioning, excellent durability, and a comfortable fit, the Hoka Gaviota 5 is a better pick.

The Gaviota 5 offers hundreds more miles of use courtesy of its redesigned outsole and responsive foam package. Unless you have narrow feet that demand the Beast 20’s contoured fit and do not require plush cushioning underfoot, the Hoka Gaviota 5 is the best overall stability shoe combining improved stability, cushioning, and longevity.

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