Hoka Kawana VS Kawana 2: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for your next pair of comfortable, cushioned shoes for logging miles or cross-training at the gym, you may be deciding between the Hoka One One Kawana and the newly released Kawana 2. Both offer Hoka’s signature thick, plush cushioning but with some key updates and differences.

Read on for a detailed comparison of the specs, features, and performance of the Kawana versus the Kawana 2 to help you choose which model fits your needs best. We’ll compare everything from sizing and weight to stability, cushioning, price, and more.

Similarities And Differences Between Kawana And Kawana 2:

FeatureHoka KawanaHoka Kawana 2
Launch Date20222024
StabilityModerate stability featuresModerate stability features
FlexibilityNot the most flexibleFlexible
SizingRuns smallTrue to size
Weight320g (men’s), 270g (women’s)290g (men’s), 250g (women’s)
CushioningHighly cushioned EVA foamHighly cushioned, updated ProflyX foam
OutsoleDurable rubber with traction lugsLightweight, durable rubber in high-wear areas
MidsoleCMEVA foamProflyX foam
UpperEngineered mesh for breathabilityAir mesh for breathability
Retail Price$140$140

Features Comparison:

Material:

The Kawana uses a durable rubber outsole with strategically placed lugs for traction over varied terrain, a CMEVA foam midsole for responsive cushioning, and an engineered mesh upper for breathability and support.

HOKA KAWANA
KAWANA

HOKA KAWANA 2
KAWANA 2

The Kawana 2 also has a durable rubber outsole focused on high-wear areas but is slightly more lightweight. The midsole uses Hoka’s updated ProflyX foam for lively cushioning that maintains its plushness. The upper uses a highly breathable air mesh material.

Durability:

The Hoka Kawana and Kawana 2 both utilize quality materials in high-wear areas to promote durability for runners logging heavy miles. The thick rubber outsoles feature ample tread depths with strategically placed deeper lugs by the heel and forefoot to resist abrasion.

Both also incorporate EVA foam in the midsole which is proven to resist packing out and maintain cushion integrity through hundreds of miles. The Kawana 2 does shave a little weight by using a touchless rubber coverage and more breathable engineered mesh in the upper.

This may marginally impact the long-term durability compared to the original Kawana if used extensively. However, the focused rubber reinforcements in key high-impact zones still enable the Kawana 2 to deliver lasting cushion, traction, and support through demanding running and gym routines.

Fit:

The original Kawana runs at least a half size too small for most runners and fits narrow through the toe box and midfoot. Sizing up a half or full size can help achieve a secure but comfortable fit.

HOKA KAWANA TOP VIEW
KAWANA TOP VIEW

HOKA KAWANA 2 TOP VIEW
KAWANA 2 TOP VIEW

The Kawana 2 runs true to size for most per their standard shoe size. However, those with wider feet may still find the toe box too narrow. Trying the Kawana 2 on in-store first is recommended, especially for wide-footers, to ensure proper sizing for stability and cushioning performance.

Stability:

Both the Kawana and Kawana 2 provide moderate stability for runners who need some pronation control. Strategically placed midsole foam creates a guidance system for improved motion control without rigidity. The wider one-piece midsole base also enhances stability for multidirectional movements, allowing a smooth transition through each stride.

Additionally, the firm foam surrounding the heel secures the foot during runs over uneven terrain. The overall stability performance remains consistent between both Kawana models to support the need for mild overpronators for runs and cross-training.

Cushioning:

The original Kawana’s plush EVA foam midsole and insole provide exceptional shock absorption and comfort mile after mile without packing out over time. The Kawana 2 uses updated ProflyX foam which retains that beloved soft, marshmallow-like cushioning Hoka is renowned for, while also delivering lively energy return.

This makes the Kawana 2 feel slightly softer and bouncier during each foot strike yet still provides the necessary cushioning for heavy mileage. Both models enable running or training with protected joints, however the Kawana 2’s enhanced foam takes cushioning comfort up a notch.

Value:

With a $140 price tag, both the Kawana and Kawana 2 deliver excellent cushioning technology well-suited to high mileage, which helps justify costs over time. The ample shock-absorbing foam protects joints mile after mile, outlasting cheaper shoes.

The Kawana 2 makes small improvements in weight and versatility to become an even better value buy. However, the original Kawana still provides proven plush cushioning that stands the test of time, satisfying runners on a budget. Ultimately it comes down to priorities – the Kawana for affordability or the Kawana 2 if wanting those subtle upgrades.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

Both the Kawana and Kawana 2 provide exceptional cushioning for walking courtesy of their thick, shock-absorbing midsoles. The Kawana 2 feels slightly softer and bouncier thanks to the updated ProflyX foam. For leisurely walking, the Kawana is highly comfortable while the Kawana 2 takes that cushy feel up a level for those wanting extra responsiveness.

Running:

The Kawana’s plush EVA foam has proven itself to protect joints mile after mile while retaining cushion integrity over time. The Kawana 2 matches on cushioning but utilizes ProflyX foam to return more lively energy during foot strikes.

This gives it a responsive feel many runners will appreciate over high mileage. Serious runners will get both the cushy shock absorption and springy push-off they need for everything from short to long distances.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The thick cushioning and stability features in both the Kawana and Kawana 2 provide relief from plantar fasciitis pain during activity. The Kawana 2’s softer ProflyX foam molds closely to the foot contours, spreading pressure evenly across the entire sole for gentle support.

This advanced conformity and stability design make the Kawana 2 an excellent choice specifically for minimizing painful inflammation resulting from plantar fasciitis while walking, running or cross-training. Both cushy models can ease discomfort, but the Kawana 2’s pressure redistribution stands out.

Standing All Day:

The ultra-cushioned midsoles of both the Kawana and Kawana 2 permit standing comfortably for hours on end – a major perk for jobs requiring all-day standing.

However, the Kawana 2’s enhanced flexibility allows it to move more naturally with the foot during lengthy standing compared to the stiffer Kawana potentially fighting foot motion.

This flexibility gives the Kawana 2 an advantage for all-day wear, reducing fatigue. Plus its responsive cushioning adds a subtle spring to each step to refresh tired feet. For the longest-standing shifts, the Kawana 2 is the clear winner.

final Verdict:

For runners and gym enthusiasts who put plush cushioning first, both the Kawana and Kawana 2 deliver ample shock-absorbing comfort mile after mile.

The original Kawana provides exceptional support with its tried-and-true EVA foam that evenly absorbs impact while retaining cushion resiliency over hundreds of miles.


However, the Kawana 2 ultimately pulls ahead as the more well-rounded option, matching that beloved marshmallowy-soft Hoka cushioning while also improving on flexibility and energetic rebound thanks to the updated ProflyX foam.

Unless you strongly favor the broken-in feel of the Kawana or want to save on cost, the Kawana 2 takes gold as the more versatile pick for long distances, gym sessions, walking, or standing shifts with its blend of lush comfort and lively bounce.

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