Hoka Arahi 4 VS Arahi 5: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka One One Arahi series has become a popular option for runners seeking a responsive and supportive daily trainer. The Arahi 4 and Arahi 5 models have key similarities, but also some important differences.

This in-depth comparison explores the key features, performance, and value of these two stability shoes to help you determine which Arahi version may be the better choice for your running needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Arahi 4 and Arahi 5:

ModelArahi 4Arahi 5
Launched In20202021
StabilityModerateModerate
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5-13Men’s 7-15, Women’s 5-13
Weight10.4 oz (M), 9.4 oz (W)9.7 oz (M), 8.7 oz (W)
CushionJ-Frame midsole, CMEVA foamJ-Frame midsole, CMEVA foam
Out SoleDurabrasion rubberDurabrasion rubber
Mid SoleJ-Frame, CMEVA foamJ-Frame, CMEVA foam
Upper SoleEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$254$295

Features Comparison

Materials

The Arahi 4 and Arahi 5 share many similarities when it comes to materials. Both feature a J-Frame midsole and CMEVA foam to provide responsive cushioning. The engineered mesh upper offers a secure and breathable fit.

ARAHI 4
ARAHI 4

HOKA ARAHI 5
ARAHI 5

The key difference is the Arahi 5 utilizes a lighter and more streamlined upper design, reducing the overall weight compared to the Arahi 4. The Arahi 5 trims some material and overlays to enhance breathability in the forefoot.

Both versions use durable Durabrasion rubber on the high-wear outsole zones for traction and longevity. While the materials are comparable, the Arahi 5’s updates result in an ounce of weight reduction.

Durability

These two stability trainers are quite evenly matched when examining durability. The sturdy Durabrasion rubber outsole and CMEVA foam midsole allow both models to maintain cushioning and structure for 300-500 miles.

The densely woven engineered mesh upper is also durable, resisting tears and abrasions over the lifespan of the shoe. The only durability advantage goes to the Arahi 4, which includes more protective overlays and an overall burlier upper construction.

However, both models should provide consistent stability and support over hundreds of miles. So while the Arahi 4 may have a slight edge in longevity, both deliver impressive durability for high-mileage runners.

Fit

The engineered mesh upper and moderate arch support result in a comparable fit for both versions of the Arahi. The shoes accommodate medium to wide foot shapes nicely in a secure midfoot wrap and roomy toe box.

ARAHI 4 TOP VIEW
ARAHI 4 TOP VIEW

HOKA ARAHI 5 TOP VIEW
ARAHI 5 TOP VIEW

The Arahi 5 does trim some overlays, allowing more forefoot flexibility for a smoother fit. The biggest distinction is the redesigned lacing system on the Arahi 5, which some found difficult to dial in the ideal midfoot lockdown. Both models only come in standard D/B widths.

The sizing is consistent for both versions, making it easy to select the same size as in previous Arahi models. Overall, the Arahi 4 and Arahi 5 offer a similar comfortable and breathable fit for midfoot strikers, with the Arahi 5 having a bit more customizable forefoot fit.

Stability

Moderate overpronators will experience a similar degree of pronation control and stability in Arahi 4 and Arahi 5. Both integrate a firmer J-Frame medial midsole post to prevent excessive inward foot rolling.

However, some testers noted the Arahi 5’s midsole foam feels slightly softer, reducing medial support versus the Arahi 4. The result is adequate – but not maximized – stability for moderate overpronators.

Neither shoe is ideal for mild or severe overpronators. The engineered mesh upper and padded heel collar also supply stability in each model.

In the end, the Arahi 4 appears to provide a bit more structured support, so severe overpronators may prefer that version over the Arahi 5. Both remain versatile options for runners needing moderate stability.

Cushioning

The cushioning profile of the two Arahi models is quite comparable. The signature lightweight and responsive J-Frame midsole foam delivers low-impact comfort ideal for longer distances. The energetic toe-off sensation also makes these shoes suitable for faster training paces and tempo runs.

The Arahi 5 does trend slightly softer in the midsole, which some runners enjoyed, while others found unstable. The moderate 5mm drop promotes an efficient and natural foot strike. The cushioning level allows a ground feel but still manages high-mileage durability.

The Arahi 4 offers a slightly firmer and more responsive cushioning platform. However, both models should please neutral runners and mild overpronators seeking a well-cushioned daily trainer with versatility. The Arahi 5 targets runners who prefer more responsive softness, while the Arahi 4 leans stable and firm.

Value

With retail prices of $254 for the Arahi 4 and $295 for the Arahi 5, these stability trainers fall on the more expensive end of running shoes. The use of Hoka’s proprietary midsole foam and extensive durability testing during development contribute to the premium pricing.

The construction quality and proven longevity of 300-500 miles justify the investment for runners logging daily training miles. The Arahi 4 launched first, so discounts can sometimes be found on the remaining stock as the Arahi 5 replaces it.

Some runners may still prefer the Arahi 4 at a lower clearance price vs paying the full MSRP for the Arahi 5. When bought at the same price, the Arahi 5 gets a slight edge for value thanks to its lower weight and smoother fit.

While not inexpensive, both versions deliver excellent value given their impressive cushioning, stability, and mileage return over hundreds of training miles.

Performance Comparison

For Walking

The plush cushioning and stability of the Arahi models make them a comfortable choice for long walks. The breathable upper keeps feet cooler when walking for exercise. The firm midsole and arch support provide needed motion control for low-arched walkers.

The durable outsole grips well on paved roads and trails. The Arahi 5 gets a slight edge for walking comfort thanks to more forefoot flexibility to allow a natural walking gait. Overall, both Arahi versions are cushioned and supportive walking shoes.

For Running

As daily stability trainers, the Arahi 4 and Arahi 5 are well-suited to moderate running paces between easy jogs and tempo efforts. The energetic J-Frame midsole and rockered geometry make them responsive at faster paces. The Arahi 5 feels lighter and faster, making it the better choice for tempo runs and racing.

The Arahi 4’s additional structure gives it an advantage for sustaining pace through long runs without feeling unstable. Both absorb shock effectively even during longer distances. The moderate stability limits their versatility for milder neutral runners during fast training and racing.

The extra medical support makes them less suitable for track workouts too. For logging daily miles, recovery runs, and long weekend runs, both Aharis are excellent choices. The Arahi 5 prioritizes nimble speed, while the Arahi 4 emphasizes structured mileage stability.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The cushioned and supportive Arahi models can aid runners with plantar fasciitis. The soft CMEVA foam cushions each step to reduce pain and inflammation. The stability elements provide motion control to limit strain on the plantar fascia ligament.

The roomy toe box allows natural toe splay. Compared side-by-side, the Arahi 5’s greater forefoot flex may distribute pressure points better for some runners. Either choice will help absorb shock and decrease symptoms while providing arch support and stability.

For Standing All Day

Nurses, teachers, and service industry workers who stand all day will appreciate Arahi’s comfort and support. The responsive foam and arch support decrease fatigue in the lower legs and feet. The upper remains breathable during long shifts.

Compared to the Arahi 4, the Arahi 5’s softer foam and forefoot flex relieve pressure points for longer-standing comfort. While not work-specific shoes, the Arahi models provide excellent cushion and stability for employees needing all-day comfort.

Final Verdict

For runners needing a responsive, cushioned stability trainer, both the Hoka Arahi 4 and Arahi 5 are excellent options. The Arahi 5 targets runners looking for nimble speed in a moderate support shoe. Its lighter-weight design and softer foam come at the cost of some structure.


The Arahi 4 prioritizes consistent stability mile after mile in a slightly heavier package. Both models deliver the signature Hoka cushioned ride and are impressively durable over hundreds of miles.

Choose the Arahi 5 for lightweight speed or the Arahi 4 for steadfast stability mile after mile.

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