Hoka Kawana 2 VS Arahi 7: What Should I Buy?

The running shoe market continues to expand with new models focusing on everything from cushioning to stability. Hoka One One has refreshed two of its most popular shoes – the Kawana 2 and the Arahi 7.

Both maximize comfort, but use different technologies to give runners what they need. We put these two Hoka models head-to-head to help you decide which is best for your next long run or race day.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Kawana 2 And Arahi 7:

FeatureKawana 2Arahi 7
Launched In20242024
StabilityNeutralOverpronation Stability
FlexibilityFlexibleModerate Flexibility
SizingStandardStandard
Weight9.8 oz (M), 8.8 oz (W)9.9 oz (M), 8.1 oz (W)
CushionHigh CushioningHigh Cushioning
OutsoleHigh Abrasion RubberRubber Contagrip
MidsoleCompression Molded EVA FoamCompression Molded EVA Foam
UpperEngineered MeshJacquard Mesh
Retail Price$140$145

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Kawana 2 has an engineered mesh upper with synthetic overlays for structure and breathability. It combines an Ortholite foam insole atop a compression EVA foam midsole for cushioning and rebound. The high-abrasion rubber outsole enhances durability.

HOKA KAWANA 2
KAWANA 2

ARAHI 7
ARAHI 7

The Arahi 7 fuses an open jacquard mesh upper with thermoplastic polyurethane through the midfoot and a no-sew overlay for comfort. Its foam insole inserts into a strobel board for smooth transitions. The segmented Vibram rubber outsole also incorporates a guidance frame for pronation control.

Durability:

Testers found the durability of the Arahi 7 and Kawana 2 to be excellent, with signs of midsole compression only after over 250 miles of wear for most runners. The high abrasion rubber on the Kawana 2 provides a slightly better lifespan for the most high-impact areas of the outsole.

The Arahi 7 may show an earlier breakdown of some stabilizing elements like the midfoot saddle structure. For both shoes, the upper mesh stands up well to abrasion from pavement with only typical cosmetic wear on high friction areas.

Fit:

The engineered mesh upper of the Kawana 2 provides a flexible and breathable fit for most neutral foot shapes, while its roomy toe box allows toes to splay comfortably on descents.

HOKA KAWANA 2 TOP VIEW
KAWANA 2 TOP VIEW

ARAHI 7 TOP VIEW
ARAHI 7 TOP VIEW

The Arahi 7’s jacquard mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane midfoot saddle offer structure and stability better suiting medium to high arches needing pronation support. However, both models feature secure heel counters that hold the foot in place.

Testers noted that half-sizes help achieve an ideal dialed-in volume and lockdown in both shoes. Overall, the Kawana 2 accommodates more foot varieties, while the Arahi 7 excels for specific arch types needing correction.

Stability:

Runners needing pronation support will get the most out of technologies like the dual-density midsole and guidance frame on the Arahi 7. This prevents excess rolling on impact.

Comparatively, the Kawana 2 offers a neutral platform. Besides a beveled heel, it lacks structural stability components, yet still provides a supportive base for natural runners without over- or underpronation.

Cushioning:

Both models incorporate a full-compression molded EVA foam midsole for resilient cushioning from touchdown to toe-off. Testers found it absorbs shock comfortably without feeling too mushy or unstable. The results are similar to plushness for most running gaits and distances.

Despite similarities in foam, the Arahi 7 may suit heavier runners requiring more softness while the Kawana 2 delivers for those needing road feel and transition quickness over pure cushion.

Value:

At just $5 more expensive, the Kawana 2 provides strong overall value through its combination of flexible engineered mesh upper, ample cushioning via compression-molded midsole, and high abrasion rubber outsole bringing comfort, responsiveness, and durability.

Meanwhile, the Arahi 7 costs only $145 yet packs stability technologies like a pronation-correcting guidance frame and dual-density midsole catering to overpronators, making it ideal for those needing support for this common gait issue. Both deliver cushioning but if you don’t need correction, the Kawana 2 gives more versatile neutral performance per dollar spent.

Performance Comparision:

Running:

When used for higher tempo miles and longer distance training, testers found the Arahi 7’s stability frame kept runners aligned and supported while the cushioning remained comfortable across changing surfaces.

Meanwhile, the neutral Kawana 2 felt lighter and faster at quicker paces but its soft midsole caused some instability and slipping when pushing below 5-minute miles.

For most typical daily training between 7-9 minutes per mile, both shoes provide a well-cushioned, smooth ride. However, wet traction and pronation control favor the Arahi 7 with its structure-focused design.

Walking:

The Kawana 2 is preferred for all-day walking comfort thanks to its flexible engineered mesh upper and neutral cushioning that keeps feet feeling fresh across long distances.

Conversely, the added stability elements of the Arahi 7, like its midfoot saddle and guidance frame, felt excessive for casual wear resulting in stiffness and pressure points when walking for an hour.

The smooth transitions of the Kawana 2 are better suited for walking mile after mile. So while both shoes provide cushioning, the structured Arahi 7 is better for running versus unrestricted walking comfort idealized by the Kawana 2.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The ample cushioning and smooth interior fabric of the Kawana 2 help take pressure off inflamed plantar fascia tissue and arches, making it a great PF shoe option.

Meanwhile, the rigid midfoot saddle and structure of the Arahi 7 may initially cause discomfort requiring a break-in period for some plantar fasciitis sufferers. However, the stability features of the Arahi 7 could provide relief by correcting associated overpronation.

So those with neutral gaits may find the Kawana 2 more instantly wearable, while support needs could benefit from the Arahi 7 despite its need for adaptation time.

Standing All Day:

Between the two models, testers preferred the Hoka Kawana 2 for all-day standing across work shifts. The plush EVA underfoot remained comfortable even after 12+ hours upright without packing down significantly.

The arch support and roomy toe box also minimized pain. While not unsuitable, the structured midfoot of the Arahi 7 felt overly snug and inflexible for extended stationary periods.

final Verdict:

For neutral runners seeking a lightweight, flexible shoe that cushions across training paces, the Kawana 2 is an excellent choice at just $140. The engineered mesh and neutral platform keep feet feeling fresh for daily mileage.


Meanwhile, runners requiring stability for moderate overpronation should consider the Arahi 7 for only $5 more. Though narrower fitting, technologies like its guidance frame and dual-density midsole provide pronation correction many need without sacrificing signature Hoka cushioning.

Ultimately, pick the Kawana 2 if you want versatile comfort or the Arahi 7 if you require guidance and support. Both deliver responsive softness in a smooth ride.

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