Hoka Cielo X1 VS Arahi 7: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka Cielo X1 and Arahi 7 are two of the latest running shoe models from Hoka. Both shoes provide high levels of cushioning but are designed for different types of runners. This comparison looks at the key features, performance, and ideal uses for each shoe to help you decide which Hoka model is the better choice for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Cielo X1 and Arahi 7:

FeatureCielo X1Arahi 7
Launched In20242024
StabilityNeutralStability
FlexibilityMediumMedium
SizingTrue to sizeRuns small, size up 0.5
Weight9.3 oz (men’s size 10)8.1 oz (women’s) 9.9 oz (men’s)
CushionHigh stack, carbon plateCompression molded EVA
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsoleRockered EVA foamJ-Frame technology
UpperLightweight meshFlat knit fabric
Retail Price$275$145

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Cielo X1 uses a lightweight mesh upper to keep the shoe breathable and flexible. The rockered EVA foam midsole and embedded carbon fiber plate provide a propulsive ride. The durable rubber outsole is designed for responsiveness and traction.

Hoka Cielo X1
CIELO X1

ARAHI 7
ARAHI 7

The Arahi 7 has a flat-knit fabric upper crafted for a secure and plush feel. The midsole utilizes Hoka’s signature compression-molded EVA foam with a J-Frame technology to provide structured support. The outsole is also made from durable rubber for traction and longevity.

Durability:

Both the Cielo X1 and Arahi 7 are built to be durable training shoes that can handle high mileage. The Cielo X1’s carbon plate adds stability to help the foam retain its shape, while the Arahi 7’s J-Frame technology reinforces the midsole to prevent it from compressing.

However, some testers found the Arahi 7’s thicker, softer upper leads to sooner breakdown compared to previous versions. The Cielo X1’s lightweight mesh upper may also be less durable than the Arahi’s knit fabric.

Ultimately, both shoes should provide hundreds of miles of use for most runners, with the Arahi 7 likely lasting slightly longer thanks to its well-supported midsole and sturdy upper.

Fit:

The Cielo X1 runs true to size for most but has a snug midfoot that may not work for some with wider feet. The integrated lacing system is difficult to adjust, making dialing in the ideal fit tricky. The mesh upper conforms closely to the foot for a sock-like fit.

Hoka Cielo X1 TOP VIEW
CIELO X1 TOP VIEW

ARAHI 7 TOP VIEW
ARAHI 7 TOP VIEW

The Arahi 7 runs about a half size small, so sizing up is recommended for the best fit. The knit upper material has less stretch than the 6th version, leading to some complaints that it fits too snugly around the midfoot, especially for higher volume feet. There is ample toe room.

For the most customized, secure fit, the Arahi 7 is likely the better choice, though sizing up correctly is key. The Cielo X1 can work well for normal to narrower feet seeking a compressed fit, if you don’t mind less adjustability.

Stability:

The Cielo X1 is a neutral shoe, so it does not provide inherent stability features. However, the carbon plate and rockered midsole do add rigidity to prevent excess motion.

The Arahi 7 is specifically designed as a stability shoe for pronators. The midsole’s J-Frame technology provides structured support along the inside edge to gently guide the foot through the gait cycle. This makes the Arahi an excellent choice for runners who need mild to moderate stability.

Those needing neutral cushioning would be better served by the Cielo X1, while severe overpronators may require even more correction than the Arahi 7 offers. For most moderate pronators though, the Arahi 7 will provide superior stability.

Cushioning:

Both Hoka models offer ultra-plush cushioning, but they differ in feel. The Cielo X1 uses a tall, 29mm stack height midsole to deliver soft yet energetic cushioning. The embedded carbon plate adds pop and protects from bottoming out. The result is a responsive, well-cushioned ride.

The Arahi 7 uses a broad 27mm stack height and Hoka’s signature compression molded midsole foam to provide a stable, resilient ride. Testers found the cushioning slightly firmer than previous models but still very shock-absorbing.

For those seeking the most responsive, bouncy cushioning, the Cielo X1 is the better pick. But runners looking for plush, supportive cushioning will appreciate the Arahi 7’s smoother compression and guidance.

Value:

At its $275 retail price, the Cielo X1 sits at the upper end of the premium running shoe category. The advanced carbon plate and well-implemented rocker technology help justify the price, providing a fun and energetic ride. However, competitors like the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 offer similar technologies at lower costs.

The Arahi 7 retails for $145, $5 more than the Arahi 6. For the stability and cushioning, it still represents a good value for severe overpronators. However, the upper is not as breathable or flexible as the 6th version, making the increased cost tough to swallow for some testers.

The Arahi 7 likely represents better value for pronators simply because comparable stability shoes are rare at its price point. Neutral runners can likely find similar cushioned, responsive rides to the Cielo X1 for less money.

Performance comparision:

For Walking:

The Cielo X1’s stiff carbon plate and rocker are not ideal for walking comfort. Testers found the snug upper also uncomfortable for walking. The Arahi 7 provides plush cushioning and support for low-impact walking, though some found the stability elements overly rigid. The structure of the Cielo X1 hinders natural foot flexion while walking, making the Arahi 7 the better choice for this activity.

For Running:

Optimized for forward propulsion, the Cielo X1 provides an energetic and fun running experience. The Arahi 7 also performs well for road running, providing cushioning and guidance with each step.

Its J-Frame technology gives pronators the structure they need to run comfortably for long distances. For neutral runners at faster speeds, the Cielo X1 is the clear winner. But the Arahi 7 is ideal for pronators logging easy miles.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

The thick cushioning of the Cielo X1 helps absorb shock that can aggravate plantar fasciitis. However, the snug upper may be causing pinching. The Arahi 7’s plush cushioning also effectively lessens impact but its stability elements provide extra support.

The broader, more customizable upper better accommodates orthotics too. Overall, the Arahi 7 is the safer pick for preventing pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

For Standing All Day:

The Arahi 7’s well-cushioned midsole and secure upper offer superior comfort for extended standing compared to the Cielo X1. The rigid carbon plate of the Cielo X1 can become uncomfortable over time when standing still versus running.

For those on their feet all day, the Arahi 7 provides welcome relief with its plush feel and structured arch support. The Cielo X1 is better reserved for running.

Final Verdict:

In the battle between two of Hoka’s most cushioned models, the Cielo X1 takes the crown for responsive, energetic rides at faster paces for neutral runners. Its carbon plate and rockered design provide a uniquely fun experience. But the snugger fit may hinder comfort for wider feet.


For those needing stability, cushioning, and versatility for varied training, the Arahi 7 is the superior choice. Moderate overpronators will appreciate the support for better form during runs, while the plush feel keeps feet fresh when walking or standing. Just be sure to size up for the best fit.

At the end of the day, neutral runners seeking a lively ride will gravitate to the Cielo X1, while pronators wanting guidance across activities should choose the Arahi 7. Consider your running style, fit needs, and primary uses before deciding which of these well-cushioned Hokas is best for you.

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