Hoka Cielo X1 VS Gaviota 5: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for your next pair of shoes, you may be trying to decide between the Hoka Cielo X1 and the Hoka Gaviota 5. Both shoes come from Hoka One One, a brand known for its maximalist cushioning and thick midsoles.

However, the Cielo X1 and Gaviota 5 have key differences that may make one better suited for your needs and running style. This in-depth comparison highlights the specs, features, and overall performance of each shoe to help you determine which is the better option for you. Read on to learn which Hoka shoe reigns supreme!

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Cielo X1 And Gaviota 5:

FeatureHoka Cielo X1Hoka Gaviota 5
Launched In20242023
StabilityNeutralModerate stability
FlexibilityFlexibleLess flexible
SizingRuns smallTrue to size
Weight9.3 oz10.9 oz (M) / 9.2 oz (W)
CushionPlushVery plush
OutsoleRubberRMAT rubber
MidsoleCarbon fiber plate, rockered EVA foamCMEVA foam, H-Frame design
UpperMesh and 3D printed overlayEngineered mesh
Retail Price$275$175

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Hoka Cielo X1 uses a combination of mesh and 3D-printed overlays in the upper, providing a secure and breathable fit. The midsole utilizes a curved carbon fiber plate and soft EVA foam to deliver a propulsive toe-off. The outsole is made of durable rubber.

Hoka Cielo X1
CIELO X1

Hoka Gaviota 5
GIVIOTA 5

The Hoka Gaviota 5 features an engineered mesh upper for increased breathability from the previous version. The plush midsole uses CMEVA foam and a stability-enhancing H-Frame design. The high-abrasion outsole uses RMAT rubber with enhanced durability zones for longevity.

Durability:

The carbon plate and EVA foam midsole of the Cielo X1 provide a responsive and energetic feel but may break down faster than the sturdier Gaviota 5. However, the rubber outsole of the Cielo X1 should hold up well to mileage.

The Gaviota 5’s RMAT outsole rubber and CMEVA midsole foam is built to go the distance, providing extended durability over high-mileage training. This makes the Gaviota a better choice for runners looking for a high-mileage workhorse.

Fit:

The Cielo X1 runs slightly small and has a snugger fit through the midfoot and heel. The lacing system is difficult to adjust and the upper can be hard to get your foot into.

Hoka Cielo X1 TOP VIEW
CIELO X1 TOP VIEW

Hoka Gaviota 5 Top View
GIVIOTA 5 TOP VIEW

The Gaviota 5 fits true to size for most runners. The engineered mesh upper provides a dialed-in fit while allowing more room than the Cielo X1. This gives it better accommodations for wider feet or swelling that occurs on longer runs.

Stability:

The Cielo X1 is a neutral shoe, best for runners with a neutral gait who don’t need stability features.

The Gaviota 5 is a stability shoe, making it better for overpronators who need pronation control. Key stability features include its wider platform and the H-Frame design in the midsole.

Cushioning:

The Cielo X1 offers plush cushioning from its high-stacked curved EVA foam midsole, providing softness without feeling overly mushy.

The Gaviota 5 provides even plusher cushioning with its soft CMEVA foam midsole. This makes it better for runners who want maximum cushioning for easier long runs.

Value:

With a $275 price tag, the Cielo X1 costs quite a bit more than the $175 Gaviota 5. For runners looking for an affordable max-cushioned shoe from Hoka One One, the Gaviota 5 is the better value pick.

Performance Comparison:

Walking:

The Cielo X1’s thick cushioning and rockered profile make it a comfortable option for walking. However, the snugger fit may cause some discomfort when worn for prolonged walking.

The Gaviota 5 is an excellent walking shoe with its plush cushioning and roomier fit. The stability features also help control overpronation, which can be beneficial for walking. Overall, the Gaviota 5 is better for extended walks.

Running:

The Cielo X1’s energetic carbon plate and curved midsole geometry make it best suited for faster paces, from tempo runs to racing. The shoe encourages smooth transitions and a snappy toe-off.

The Gaviota 5 is not ideal for faster running due to its weight and lesser flexibility. However, it shines for recovery runs, long runs, and easy miles where its stability and plush cushioning are appreciated.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The Cielo X1’s snug heel fit and lower drop may cause discomfort for runners with plantar fasciitis. The less plush foam is also less shock-absorbing.

The Gaviota 5 is a great choice for plantar fasciitis thanks to its soft cushioning, higher drop, and roomier fit that accommodates orthotics well. The stability features also help control overpronation that can aggravate plantar fasciitis.

Standing All Day:

The Cielo X1’s firmer cushioning breaks down more quickly with prolonged standing compared to the Gaviota 5. The tight fit can also become uncomfortable when standing for long periods.

With its plush cushioning that maintains its softness, the Gaviota 5 is the better pick for standing all day. The roomier fit also allows feet to swell without feeling constrained.

Final Verdict:

For runners seeking a responsive, race-ready shoe from Hoka One One, the Cielo X1 is the clear winner. Its unique plate and curved midsole geometry deliver a propulsive, smooth ride that excels at faster paces.


However, the Gaviota 5 takes the cake for runners looking for maximum cushioning and support in an everyday trainer. With its softer ride, stability features, and roomier fit, the Gaviota 5 is better suited for recovery runs, long distances, walking, plantar fasciitis, and being on your feet all day.

So choose the snappy, racing-focused Cielo X1 or the plush, supportive Gaviota 5 based on your running needs – either way, you’ll enjoy the standout cushioning Hoka is famous for!

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