Hoka Kawana VS Hoka Rincon 3: What Should I Buy?

Are you looking for a versatile running shoe that can go the distance? The Hoka Kawana and Rincon 3 are two great options to consider. Both shoes offer responsive cushioning and lightweight support to keep your feet feeling great mile after mile. But they have key differences in their construction, performance and ideal uses.

Read on as we compare the Rincon 3 vs Kawana in depth so you can decide which Hoka shoe is the better match for your needs. By the end, you’ll know exactly which model to lace up for your next run.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Kawana and Hoka Rincon 3:

SpecsHoka KawanaHoka Rincon 3
Launched In20222021
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateHigh
SizingRuns SmallTrue to Size
Weight10.2 oz (men’s), 8.7 oz (women’s)7.1 oz (men’s), 5.5 oz (women’s)
CushioningHighMedium
OutsoleDurable Vibram rubberLightweight compressed EVA
MidsoleProFly dual-density foamProflyX foam
UpperEngineered meshLightweight breathable mesh
Retail Price$140$125

Features Comparison

Materials

The Kawana features durable Vibram MegaGrip rubber on the outsole to stand up to miles of use. The midsole uses ProFly dual-density foam for responsive cushioning and rebound. An engineered mesh upper offers breathability.

HOKA KAWANA
KAWANA

rincon 3
RINCON 3

The Rincon 3 utilizes a full-compression molded EVA foam midsole for a plush feel underfoot without added weight, while strategically placed rubber pads on the outsole enhance durability. A seamless engineered mesh upper provides a secure fit.

Durability

The Kawana’s Vibram MegaGrip outsole rubber makes it highly durable for the long haul. Runners report logging over 500 miles while the shoe retains its structure and spring.

The lightweight Rincon 3 sacrifices some durability in exchange for a speedy ride. The outsole rubber wears quickly in high-impact zones. Most runners get 300-400 miles out of the shoe before replacing it.

Fit

The Kawana runs small lengthwise but fits snugly in the heel and midfoot out of the box. The roomy toe box allows your feet to relax and swell.

HOKA KAWANA TOP VIEW
KAWANA TOP VIEW

rincon 3 top view
RINCON 3 TOP VIEW

True to size across the board, the Rincon 3 hugs your arches comfortably while great forefoot volume prevents cramping during faster paces.

Stability

With its supportive dual-density ProFly foam and stabilizing midsole geometry, the Kawana provides a notably stable neutral running platform. Moderate flexibility helps guide foot motion as well.

The springy full-length Rincon foam sinks and compresses more under load for a natural running feel. Despite the flexible upper, the lower drop and early-stage Meta-Rocker geometry still rein in excess motion.

Cushioning

Runners laud the Kawana’s plush cushioning that softens impact beautifully over any distance. Less responsive than the Rincon but with more shock absorption, it really shines keeping joints happy on longer runs.

The Rincon 3 hits a sweet spot delivering cushy, energetic rebound through its full-compression ProFly foam stack. With less underfoot padding than the Kawana, you’ll feel the ground yet remain comfortable up to marathon distances.

Value
$140 nets runners incredible cushioning tech and quality construction in the Kawana. Packed with value initially but a shorter lifespan than the Rincon brings costs closer over time.

Starting at $125, the Rincon 3 packs a solid foam stack height, grippy traction, and a durable upper at a weight below 8 oz. – all impressive specs for the reasonable price tag. Lighter runners can still rack up nearly 500 miles improving its value even more.

Performance Comparison

Walking

The Kawana’s ample cushioning absorbs shock beautifully during walking and standing all day, keeping joints comfortable. Occasional walkers will love the supportive luxury underfoot. However, heavier athletes may find it too hefty for brisk walking.

Surprisingly smooth and responsive for a running shoe outsole, the Rincon 3 also performs admirably during walking sessions, providing bounce in your step. The curved sole encourages a natural gait and faster turnover as well.

Running

Best suited for easy runs up to half marathon distance, the Kawana has plush cushioning and mild stability to keep runners feeling fresh when racking up daily mileage. The weight hinders quickness but it still transitions smoothly enough for tempo runs.

Skewing towards nimble performance over padding, the Rincon 3 absolutely excels at uptempo running, tempo runs, and racing the 10K to marathon distance. Light on its feet but still protective, it begs to go fast whenever you lace them up.

Plantar Fasciitis

Runners praise the Kawana’s superior shock absorption and arch support that prevent overpronation and reduce plantar fascia and heel inflammation on contact. It’s one of the top-rated Hoka running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis relief.

While cushioned, the Rincon 3 is too narrow and flexible to provide the proper arch support that Plantar Fasciitis sufferers need. Most runners with PF will do better in maximally cushioned stability shoes like the Kawana.

Standing All Day

Nurses, teachers, and retail workers unite – the Kawana gets high marks as a comfortable lifestyle shoe for standing all day. There’s ample cushioning and support built to handle long hours on your feet, though the weight takes some getting used to.

The Rincon 3 performs admirably for short standing shifts or walking rounds thanks to the cushioned foam base. However, those logging 8+ hours upright will appreciate a shoe with more stability and arch support like the Kawana.

Final Verdict

If you want an ultra-cushioned shoe ideal for recovery runs, longer distances, walking, and standing all day, choose the Kawana. Stability seekers needing lots of shock absorption will be best served by the Kawana’s comfortable dual-density foam and structured midsole too.


Opt for the Rincon 3 if you desire a flexible, nimble feel for faster running and racing. Performance junkies that rack up their weekly mileage at quicker paces will love how light and responsive the Rincon feels through strides and tempo efforts.

Overall, it depends most on your foot type, mileage, and intended uses when choosing between these premium Hokas. Just know whichever model you pick, you’ll be treated to plenty of rebound, comfort, and versatility hitting the road or trail.

Leave a comment