/ 21 min

KURU vs. HOKA: Which Is Right for You?

logo kuru author2
By: KURU Footwear

Key Takeaways

  • Your shoes can make or break your day when you suffer from foot pain. Choose a shoe with support, cushion, flexibility and a wide toe box for optimal comfort.
  • KURU has stylish everyday footwear that uses innovative technology to reduce and alleviate pain and promote healthier foot and walking habits.
  • HOKA shoes are made with runners, hikers and ultramarathoners in mind. HOKA sneakers are sporty, comfortable shoes for athletes.

Your shoes take you everywhere. So when it comes time to invest in a new pair, you need comfortable, durable shoes that you want to wear daily.

If you’re dealing with daily foot pain, there are two brands you’ve probably heard about—KURU and HOKA. Both brands come highly recommended by podiatrists, and they’re known for their extra support and all-day comfort that you might not find from other brands. But how do the two brands compare? And which option is better for you?

We’re comparing and contrasting these two popular brands to see which one comes out on top for your next shoe purchase.

Our methodology: We’ve gone through hundreds of customer reviews and pulled information directly from KURU and HOKA’s websites for this comparison based on the categories we’ve listed below. The article’s statistics and study findings come from the respective brand’s website.

KURU vs. HOKA Comparison Chart

Comfort, support, durability, weight and fit are just a few of the many considerations you should consider when picking out a pair of shoes. Let’s quickly look at the similarities and differences between KURU and HOKA and how they meet these conditions.

Which Shoe Is Right for You?
Comfort and supportTriple-layer patented technology works to promote healthy foot biomechanics and alignmentRocker soles provide an ultra-cushioned experience to promote comfort in high-impact activities
DesignAthletic, stylish, workAthletic
FitTrue to sizeTrue to size
WeightSlightly heavierSlightly lighter
Free shipping and returns
Recommended by podiatrists
Helps plantar fasciitis symptoms
Best ForWalking, workingRunning, hiking

What is the KURU brand all about?

KURU started as a fifth-grade dream for its founder, Bret Rasmussen, who set his sights on creating the most comfortable shoe in the world. Since KURU’s beginnings in 2008, they prioritized two factors: innovation and comfort.

With the invention of the KURUSOLE, every KURU shoe adapts to your footstep and offers superior support for healthier, happier feet.

With a mission to combat foot pain, KURU offers dozens of shoe designs suitable for work and play. From sneakers and hiking shoes to sandals, KURU shoes are perfect for your everyday life.


What is the HOKA brand all about?

Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud founded HOKA ONE ONE (often known as just HOKA) in 2009 to create shoes that provide enhanced cushioning and support for long-distance runners.

HOKA is known for its distinctive oversized midsole design, which features maximal cushioning and a unique rocking motion for a smooth and efficient running experience. The extra cushioning helps to reduce the impact on joints and muscles while running and performing other high-impact workouts.

HOKA’s “Fly human fly” tagline is particularly popular among trail runners, ultramarathoners and individuals seeking comfort during long-distance runs. Over the years, HOKA expanded its product line beyond running shoes to include hiking shoes, walking shoes and other athletic footwear.

Comfort and Support


KURU and HOKA shoes are known for their support and extreme comfort, so it’s no wonder both brands are held in high regard by foot health experts. But how do they compare? Let’s break it down.

KURU makes shoes that allow those with plantar fasciitis and other foot problems to move comfortably. Their KURUSOLE technology cups your heel, molds to your foot and remains supportive in all the right places to improve your foot’s biomechanics and alignment for reduced joint stress. KURU’s shoes are the ideal blend of heel, ankle and arch support to create the healthiest stride.

In addition to their revolutionary insole midsole technology, every shoe uses KURUCLOUD, a lightweight EVA foam that absorbs shock with every step. Lastly, their ULTIMATE INSOLE uses contoured dual-density foam that provides comfortable arch support and stability.

Find relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms with our curated list of the top 10 best shoes for plantar fasciitis, engineered to provide exceptional comfort and support.

Discover relief with our comprehensive guide to plantar fasciitis pain relief.

“The ATOM is an answer to my prayers; it’s like walking on clouds that have support.” 

KURU Customer Review

HOKA shoes have three priorities: propulsion, support and stability. HOKA is a running brand, so it only makes sense that they make a shoe that propels your stride forward. Their meta-rocker is a sole technology that keeps your feet from landing flat and rolls the foot forward like a wheel.

As for HOKA’s support, their shoes have a plush, balanced and responsive midsole for effective shock absorption. The added stability comes from a foot frame that cradles the foot so your heel stays in place while the shoe hugs your foot.

“First Hoka purchase, and I am very pleased. [It] provides strong support but cushioning at the same time. [It] actually helped me pick up my pace on my 5-mile walks.”

HOKA Customer Review

When comparing the two brands, we can agree that both will add comfort when staying active. However, KURU’s shoes are more geared toward creating healthy foot habits, whereas HOKA shoes are targeted more toward runners looking for comfortable shoes.


Our footwear carries our bodies everywhere we go. So when it comes time to buy shoes, durability and longevity are extremely important. We know that the last thing you want is to invest in a nice pair of sneakers just to replace them in a few months. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how KURU and HOKA shoes measure up.

KURU footwear uses high-quality materials that hold up with consistent wear. In addition to their strong materials, KURU shoes feature Goodyear welt construction. This stitching process uses a leather strip to ensure the upper layers won’t separate from the sole, as you might find with other sneakers. KURU also uses a vulcanized construction process that enhances natural rubber for durability.

“I’ve dealt with foot pains since college after breaking my foot playing football. KURU fixed all of it. I never want to take them off. They are durable, supportive pillows for your feet.”

KURU Customer Review

HOKA’s shoes also consist of high-quality materials that are built to last. Reviewers mention that HOKA running shoes have an average lifespan of 400 to 500 miles before replacement is necessary.

HOKA’s website does not share the details of their manufacturing process in terms of durability. Still, many reviewers agree that their HOKA shoes last about as long as a typical running shoe should, but not far past.


Review of the @HOKA Bondi 8’s (4e width). Can’t beat em for long, slow miles if you have truly wide feet 🤡👟 #hoka #runningshoes #shoereview #bondi8 #hokaoneone #ultramarathon

♬ Vlog – Soft boy



Whether you need everyday shoes for work or new workout shoes, breathability is an essential aspect of any shoe. Breathability ensures that your feet are kept cool and reduces sweat production. This is especially important since the temperature of your feet regulates your body temperature.

Both brands have a range of shoes made with various materials—some  more breathable than others. So for the sake of comparison, we’ll focus on the two brand’s sneakers.

“They are so breathable and comfortable. The arch support is impeccable, and my feet have never felt better. My back doesn’t hurt them or my knees. I have no complaints. I am a nurse and on my feet for at least 10 hours a day, if not more, total. I also have plantar fasciitis, so not having pain is saying a lot for me.”

KURU Customer Review

KURU’s sneakers are made with a mesh upper, a ventilated sole and a breathable liner to ensure your feet stay cool, dry and comfortable. On the other hand, HOKA uses an engineered mesh construction and an OrthoLite® liner that allows for breathable comfort that reduces and dries sweat. Reviewers across both brands agree their shoes live up to their promise of breathability.

“I have several friends who wear these for running, but I wanted to try them for walking to and wearing at work. I’ve worn them for 10-12 hours at a time and still found them to be comfortable and breathable throughout.” 

HOKA Customer Review


When comparing the two brands, you might find that their styles are more different than they are similar.

Since KURU’s main focus is creating shoes that are good for your feet, they make various styles. With KURU, you’ll always have a pair of comfortable shoes, no matter where you go. From athletic sneakers and work shoes to fashionable sandals and house slippers, KURU has a pair of shoes for every occasion.

As for overall aesthetics, KURU shoes offer a combination of neutral and monochromatic color palettes with a few fun splashes of color here and there.

“At 40-something, I didn’t want “old person shoes” no matter what. These alleviate pain and look great, which makes me feel amazing. It doesn’t get much better than that!” 

KURU Customer Review

As a running and athletic brand, HOKA knows how to stick to its roots. HOKA is best known for its running and athletic sneaker design, which features a mesh upper and a thick rocker sole. In recent years, HOKA has also introduced slides, sandals and recovery shoes to their product offering, all of which offer their signature rocker sole. While there are a few neutral color options, people recognize HOKA for brightly colored designs that stand out among the crowd.

“I’m on my feet all day working with dogs, and was really starting to feel the burn—since getting my Hokas, I’m coming home without pain! Genuinely so comfortable and helpful—if you have plantar fasciitis, I’d strongly recommend the Bondis! I used to just buy cheap orthopedic shoes and they really didn’t do enough. Also, the designs/colors are so cute! I’ll definitely be buying more!!!”

HOKA Customer Review


How Do KURU and HOKA Shoes Fit?
True to size
Requires breaking in
Extra wide toe box
Wide fit options

When comparing fit, both brands run true to size. KURU directly warns its consumers that they may require a break-in period to ensure maximum comfort. While HOKA doesn’t explicitly say this on their website, many HOKA customers report that a small break-in period was necessary.

Since KURU is all about creating the world’s most comfortable shoe, their shoes have a wide toe box which allows for natural toe splay, enhances circulation and reduces your risk of developing bunions and hammertoes. Another great perk of KURU sneakers is the many wide-fit offerings.

“I am SOLD! SO very comfortable. Support is amazing!! Hugs the heel. Roomy toe box. Stability is really felt. LOVE!!!”

KURU Customer Review

There have been reports that the toe box in some HOKA sneakers may be too narrow and cause blisters. Although, this seems to vary by model. If you need a wide toe box, many styles may offer it.  HOKA offers wide sizing in many of their best sellers, which may also remedy this issue.

“The size and fit is nice and accurate, but I can tell that I will be getting a bunion or callus as it rubs the inside of my foot, and after working a 9-hour day, my feet start burning in that area as well as a few other small spots on my right foot.”

HOKA Customer Review


When comparing KURU to HOKA, you’d likely find that HOKA sneakers are slightly more lightweight, but not so much that you’d notice a difference while walking. Avid runners and hikers may opt for lightweight shoes, leaving them more inclined to opt for HOKAs.

“Lightweight, very attractive color combination. Great fit and is true to size.” 

KURU Customer Review

However, both brands make their shoes with lightweight materials to reduce fatigue and keep wearers comfortable all day.

“My new daily walking shoes fit perfectly from day one, and I love how they’re secure at the ankle yet [have] room in the toe. Lightweight and stable. I was holding out for white ones but went with the gray, and couldn’t be happier.”

HOKA Customer Review


Can anyone really put a price on comfort? In all seriousness, price can be a major factor when buying new shoes. KURU and HOKA have similarly priced shoes, with most prices coming in around the mid-100s. It’s worth noting that both brands use high-quality and sustainable materials, so you may notice their prices are on their own side of the industry standard.

“I really haven’t found a better shoe. I live in my atoms and quests. Truly my quality of life has improved since finding these shoes – the pain from plantar fasciitis almost feels like a thing of the past. Worth every cent.”

KURU Customer Review

Let’s do a side-by-side comparison of their best-selling shoes so you can get a more accurate idea of pricing.

KURU’s top three best sellers with prices:

  • ATOM ($160.00)
  • QUANTUM ($160.00)
  • ROAM ($125.00-135.00)

HOKA’s top three best sellers with prices:

  • Bondi 8 ($165.00)
  • Clifton 9 ($145.00)
  • Arahi 6 ($140.00)
Browse KURU Shoes

Please note: the above prices are reflective of the time this article was written in June 2023.

No matter what shoes you choose, you’re paying for your comfort. Choosing the shoe that fits best and reduces foot pain effectively is always best.

“The shoes are extremely comfortable. The price is a bit high but worth it once you feel the support.” 

HOKA Customer Review

Foot Pain


KURU and HOKA both come highly recommended by podiatrists and medical professionals thanks to the elevated cushion and support that you don’t find in many shoes. But which one is right for you?

When it comes to alleviating foot pain, KURU is the obvious choice. KURU specifically designed their footwear to provide prolonged comfort for individuals with foot pain, including those with plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and flat feet. The revolutionary KURUSOLE is featured in every shoe, provides targeted support, and will never flatten your feet.

Additionally, all KURU footwear features a contoured heel cup that stabilizes the foot for better alignment for maximized comfort, whether standing at work or hitting the gym. If you struggle with severe foot pain and other orthopedic shoes have yet to fix the problem, KURU might be your answer.


Thank you so much to Kuru for sending me a pair to try! They will definitely be one of my go to shoes for the parks! #kurufootwear #footpain #disneyshoes #magickingdomday #disneyshoecheck

♬ Walk – Saucy Santana

While HOKAs are also highly recommended by doctors, it’s important to remember that they are an athletic brand first and foremost. This means that not all of their shoe styles will treat and reduce foot pain. Finding the right pair of HOKAs for your foot pain may take trial and error.

“I used this for the treadmill at first, but [now] it is my everyday walking shoe. My feet, ankles and knees feel no pain or impact at all! Definitely am only buying HOKA shoes from now on!”

HOKA Customer Review

If you’re experiencing foot pain or a common foot condition, we encourage you to consult a podiatrist to create an individualized treatment plan.

Shipping and Returns

Last but not least, you want to make sure you buy shoes from a company that will accommodate your shipping and return needs. Both brands offer free shipping and no-hassle returns within the dedicated window. KURU’s return window is 45 days, whereas HOKA’s is 30 days.

Please note both brands may not offer free international shipping and returns.

KURU vs. HOKA: Which Shoe is Best for You?

Ultimately, choosing KURU and HOKA shoes depends on your needs and preferences. KURU is known for day-to-day comfort that fights foot pain while offering various stylish options. KURU sneakers are great for those who stand on their feet all day or for athletic uses like running, hiking and gym workouts. When looking for an everyday shoe, you can’t go wrong with KURU.

On the other hand, HOKA is a comfortable option for high-impact activities like running and hiking—athletes and ultra-marathoners wear their shoes. If you’re looking for comfortable athletic shoes, HOKA is a favorite for many.

For comfort that lasts, KURU is the optimal choice. From sneakers and sandals to work shoes and slippers, you can use KURU shoes for every occasion. Say farewell to everyday foot pain and get back on your feet with a pair of KURU shoes.

Shop women's shoes from KURU!

Shop All


Shop men's shoes from KURU!

Shop All



  • Customer reviews and shoe features: KURU | HOKA

About Us

For all media inquiries, please contact us at pr@kurufootwear.com.

Sign up for our newsletter
Stay informed on the latest in foot health and wellness. Gain access to advanced foot care knowledge and receive tips for healthy feet from our team of experts.
You’re Subscribed