Hoka Arahi 7 VS Gaviota 5: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for a supportive, cushioned shoe, the Hoka Arahi 7 and Hoka Gaviota 5 are two great options to consider.

Both shoes provide exceptional comfort and stability, using signature Hoka technologies like a rockered sole and ample cushioning. However, there are some key differences between these two models when it comes to weight, design, and ideal uses.

This comparison breaks down the specs, features, and performance of the Arahi 7 and Gaviota 5 to help you decide which is the better choice for your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Gaviota 5 And Arahi 7:

FeatureHoka Arahi 7Hoka Gaviota 5
Launched In20242023
StabilityJ-frame technology provides stabilityWide platform and high stack height for stability
FlexibilitySome flexibilitySmooth, rockered transition
Weight8.1 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)8.8 oz (W), 10.9 oz (M)
CushionFirm EVA foamHighly cushioned CMEVA foam
OutsoleDurable rubberDurabrasion rubber
MidsoleCompression molded EVA, J-frame technologyCMEVA foam, early stage Meta-Rocker
UpperFlat-knit meshCreel Jacquard mesh
Retail Price$145$175

Features Comparison


The Arahi 7 uses a flat-knit mesh material on the upper, while the Gaviota 5 uses a Creel Jacquard mesh upper. Both uppers provide good breathability, but the Jacquard mesh on the Gaviota 5 has a softer, plusher feel.

On the outsole, the Arahi 7 uses durable rubber while the Gaviota 5 uses Durabrasion rubber, which is designed to better withstand wear and tear from the road.


Hoka Gaviota 5

The midsoles also differ, with the Arahi 7 using compression molded EVA foam along with the J-frame technology in the midfoot for stability. The Gaviota 5 uses CMEVA foam which provides soft, responsive cushioning and includes an early stage Meta-Rocker design for a smooth transition.

Both shoes have cushioning that attenuates shock, but the Gaviota 5’s is softer and higher off the ground.


The Arahi 7 and Gaviota 5 both use solid shoe construction and materials to promote durability.

The Arahi 7’s durable rubber outsole holds up well to moderate mileage, and the compression molded midsole maintains its cushioning properties longer than standard EVA foam. The Creel Jacquard mesh upper is also durable and resistant to tearing. However, some testers have reported premature outsole wear on the toes.

The Gaviota 5 uses the Durabrasion rubber outsole for enhanced durability, especially in high-wear areas like the heel. The CMEVA midsole foam is also long-lasting and maintains its plushness for hundreds of miles. The reinforced Jacquard mesh upper is more robust than the standard mesh.

Overall, the Gaviota 5 wins for long-term durability, especially in the outsole rubber which withstands abrasive road surfaces without much breakdown. The Arahi 7 is fairly durable too but not quite as resistant to high mileage.


The Arahi 7 fits true to size for most runners, with a roomy toe box and secure midfoot lockdown from the flat-knit upper and integrated arch support. It works well for medium to wide feet needing stability. The plush ankle collar and tongue add comfort.


Hoka Gaviota 5 Top View

The Gaviota 5 also fits true to size and accommodates wider feet comfortably in the toe box. It has a wider platform and more volume overall, making it preferable for runners requiring a lot of stability. The Jacquard mesh upper adapts well to different foot shapes.

Both models use standard lacing systems. For very narrow feet, the Arahi 7 may fit slightly better due to its more streamlined shape. But the Gaviota 5 will work better for wide feet needing motion control, thanks to its generously sized upper and midsole platform.


Stability is a key highlight of both the Arahi 7 and Gaviota 5. The Arahi 7 uses the J-frame technology in the midsole, which is a firmer, high-density foam placed on the medial side to prevent overpronation. It provides good midsole support without adding stiffness or reducing cushioning. The flat-knit upper also locks down the midfoot well for security.

Meanwhile, the Gaviota 5 promotes stability through its wide, balanced platform and ample foam cushioning. This high-stack design minimizes wobbling while smoothing out the foot strike. The early-stage Meta-Rocker also encourages a stable, guided foot motion through the gait cycle.

Overall, the Arahi 7 will work best for mild to moderate overpronators who want targeted midsole support, while the Gaviota 5 is ideal for severe overpronators needing maximum motion control from the sole’s high, wide platform.


Cushioning is another strength of these two models. The Arahi 7 uses a firm, compression-molded EVA foam in the midsole to deliver a responsive ride with good shock absorption. Though dense, the midsole still attenuates impact well and provides continuous comfort over miles.

The Gaviota 5 features softer CMEVA foam for even more plush, pillowy cushioning underfoot, without compromising smooth transitions. This makes the Gaviota 5 preferable for longer distances and recovery days when extra softness is desired.

The Meta-Rocker design also maintains cushioning through more of the gait cycle, whereas the J-frame technology in the Arahi 7 focuses more on stabilizing than continuous softness.

However, some runners may find the Arahi 7’s firmer density more propulsive and energizing for faster paces compared to the Gaviota 5’s plusher ride, which excels more at daily training comfort over miles.


At $145, the Arahi 7 costs $30 less than the $175 Gaviota 5. Considering its supportive cushioning, breathable upper, and versatility for different types of training runs, the Arahi 7 is a great value for stability seekers. Though not as plush or cushioned as the Gaviota 5, it still provides responsive comfort at an accessible price point.

The Gaviota 5 is pricier but does offer excellent stability, long-lasting construction, and ultra-soft cushioning that keeps legs fresher over hundreds of miles.

So for runners focused on maximizing comfort and softness for recovery days or long mileage, the Gaviota 5 warrants its higher price tag and is still a good value given its exceptional features. But for those wanting reliable stability at a more budget-friendly cost, the Arahi 7 hits all the key needs while keeping the price down.

Performance Testing


For walking, the Arahi 7 and Gaviota 5 both perform well thanks to their stable platforms and well-cushioned midsoles that provide comfortable strides.

The Gaviota 5 may have a slight edge for all-day wear due to its softer foam that offers more continuous comfort mile after mile. Its roomy toe box also allows a natural walking motion.

However, the Arahi 7 is no slouch for walking either, with its smooth transitions and secure upper keeping the foot aligned in a controlled motion. Those needing more arch support may appreciate the extra midsole rigidity of the Arahi 7 while walking.


For running, the Arahi 7 will suit runners looking for a balanced, moderately cushioned trainer that can pick up the pace when needed. The firm, responsive midsole delivers a propulsive toe-off while still absorbing shocks.

The integrated J-frame technology also allows for controlled stability when fatigue sets in. Meanwhile, the Gaviota 5 is better suited to recovery days, long runs, and easy paces thanks to its softer cushioning and rockered design that maintains comfort over more miles. The broad platform adds steadiness for weary legs late in a run.

However, the Gaviota 5 lacks the snappier, livelier ride of the Arahi 7 that can better adapt to tempo runs and faster training. Ultimately, the Arahi 7 is the more versatile stability running shoe suitable for a wider range of speeds and distances, whereas the Gaviota 5 prioritizes plushness and shock absorption better suited to slower paces.

Plantar Fasciitis

For runners with plantar fasciitis, the substantial cushioning of the Gaviota 5 helps absorb heel and arch impact to reduce pain and inflammation. The soft CMEVA foam protects sensitive feet without feeling too mushy or unstable.

The Meta-Rocker sole also promotes a smooth transition to gently roll off the foot rather than jolt. While the Arahi 7 isn’t unworkable for plantar fasciitis, its firmer density doesn’t attenuate shocks as well. Its snugger fit may also cause some rubbing on inflamed areas.

Overall, the plush Gaviota 5 is the safer choice for plantar fasciitis and other sensitive foot conditions requiring well-cushioned comfort.

All Day Standing

For all-day standing, such as for work, both models provide comfort and support but the Gaviota 5 has the advantage. The soft CMEVA foam retains its cushioning properties longer when stationary, absorbing discomfort in the heels and arches.

The roomy toe box also allows feet to splay naturally when stationary without restriction. While the Arahi 7 has merit for active jobs with more movement, the Gaviota 5’s high level of shock attenuation makes it ideal for minimizing fatigue on the feet during long hours of standing. Its cushioning helps preserve joint and muscle health better than the denser Arahi 7.

Final Verdict:

In the end, the Hoka Gaviota 5 just barely edges out the Hoka Arahi 7 as the better stability shoe for most runners.

The Gaviota 5’s generous cushioning, durable construction, and smooth ride make it ideal for high-mileage training and recovery days. The ample stability also helps severe overpronators stay comfortable and supported when fatigue sets in. Though a bit heavy, the plushness of the Gaviota 5 prevents leg muscle soreness and impact injuries over the long haul.

However, the Arahi 7 is a strong option in its own right, with a responsive and moderately cushioned profile perfect for tempo runs and faster workouts in addition to daily training. It’s also a better value at $30 less than the Gaviota 5.

So runners looking for versatile performance and targeted stability at an accessible price may be happiest with the well-rounded Arahi 7 instead.

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