Friday, January 27, 2023

Hoka Transport Multi Tester Review: My favorite (non) running shoe ever!

Article by Peter Stuart, Dominique Winebaum, and Allison Valliere

Hoka Transport ($140)


Peter: The Hoka Transport is an all new daily wear,  lifestyle and light hiking shoe from Hoka. On their spec sheet Hoka says “A crossover shoe with everyday appeal , the Transport is geared to propel runners through daily life.” That pretty much sums it up. It also seems to be a way to get the same Hoka comfort that people have come to love in their running shoes into a less “running” focused package. For all the other Hoka dads who don’t want to look like you’re wearing your running shoes with your jeans or Rhones–this is the shoe for you. 


Insanely comfortable  Peter

Not too soft–doesn’t sap energy after a full day of standing on your feet. Peter/Allison

Durable rip-stop Cordura material, built to last  Peter/Dominique/Allison

Great, low profile grippy Vibram outsole. Peter / Dominique/Allison

Elastic laces (mine came with regular laces too) plus pull tab =never having to tie your shoes! Peter/Allison

Highly protective toe guard - Dominique/Allison

Strong sustainability focus: 30% sugarcane EVA midsole, a Vibram® N-OIL outsole that uses 90% petrol-free components, and Cordura® upper with 100% rPET: Dominique / Peter/Allison

True to size unlike some Hoka for me: Dominique

360- degree reflective details: Dominique


Breathability may be an issue. Hard to say b/c it’s winter here  Peter / Ryan/Dominique/Allison

Not the lightest shoe  Peter /Allison

Midsole too harsh for any kind of running mileage Allison


Sample Weights: men's 12.5 oz  /  g US11, women's oz / g

Stack Height: men’s mm heel / mm forefoot :: women’s  mm heel / mm forefoot

Available $140

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Peter: I was hoping for the very cool looking green color, but wound up with the somewhat bland, but still highly reflective gray. 

They say Hoka on them, but they are far cry from what we would have thought a Hoka would look like even a year or two ago. They look…normal. 

The Hoka Transport  comes with elastic laces installed and a backup pair of normal laces if you want to switch them out. There’s a nice, subtle looped pull tab on the back–so between that and the elastic laces, these are a lazy person’s dream. The tongue is nicely padded and is gusseted, so there’s no slipping around. Fit is true to size and, from step in, is extremely comfortable. It will be interesting to see how these feel day in and day out.

Dominique: The Transport is in a new line of HOKA shoes and apparel, one that defies established categories, even as a high-performance walking shoe, for it is “city-savvy and commuter-friendly.”  

Beautifully crafted with a streamlined and polished look fitting for city walking - it's a smart shoe that will take you places - along with being extremely comfortable and with an impressively sustainable platform with a 30% sugarcane EVA midsole, a Vibram® N-OIL outsole that uses 90% petrol-free components, and Cordura® upper with 100% rPET  

My Transport are true to size fitting perfectly and I personally find the toebox to be quite roomy.

The recycled materials Cordura rPet upper is very protective and resilient though perhaps at the expense of breathability.  

Yet this is winter, and on a four-mile walk in 16ºF temperature with a 6ºF feel, my feet remained  toasty and dry as I hopped from snow packed sidewalks to dry pavement.  Both the collar and the tongue are generously padded for a comfortable and secure fit. 

I get great satisfaction from the quick-toggle lace as one pull suffice to securely tie the lace in place though it does take a few wraps around to keep the lace from hanging loose. Regular laces are also included.

360˚reflective details are strategically placed to enhance your visibility in low light conditions and includeHoka branding, the laces eyestay and at the heel. 

The women’s version of the Transport comes in 4 different colorways – Eggnog/Eggnog, Raisin/Wistful Mauve, Trellis/Mercury, and Black/Black. 

Allison:  Peter and Dominique sum up the upper well.  It is roomy, comfortable and easy to slide on with the quicklace.  The upper is well built and substantially protective (from what though?  I am not sure, but the protection is there).  As Dominique said, they are warm in cold temperatures, so I doubt they will be cool in warm temperatures.  Fit is true to size and the upper is secure enough for casual use, though the laces have enough stretch for them to not be secure secure.  With a normal lace, I suspect they would be more secure, but then that would undermine the ease of sliding them on/off without much effort (which for me, is a key part of the appeal here).  


Peter: Walking, light jog, quick sprint after your kid running towards traffic? Check, check, check. Works like a charm. Feels comfortable. While I wouldn’t really think of this as a running shoe (for me), it’s certainly a shoe that  you’ll enjoy running in if you have to run unexpectedly. I don’t know if that makes sense, but in comparison I usually wear Adidas Stan Smiths as my casual day-to-day shoe. If I suddenly have to run after a kid or play some quick pickup football my shoes feel flat. In the Hoka Transport I’ve had to sprint here or there and have felt like I’m wearing running shoes. 

Dominique: The Transport are walking shoes with an edge fulfilling many functions, and are not intended for running in my opinion .  The CMEVA (compression molded EVA) midsole with 30% sugarcane in the mix is very protective and comfortable, but not overly plush.  If I compare the Transport with its “cousin” the Deckers X Lab X-Scape NBK Low (RTR Review), the latter had a plushier midsole, however the toe box and the fit were tighter.  I prefer the Transport for its superior comfort zone given the perfect fit and roomy toe box.  

Allison:  I agree with Dominique here, definitely not overly plush, or even plush for that matter and I find the midsole to be a bit firm for any substantial time on my feet or getting any miles in.  They feel very flat underfoot and not all that pleasing, but maybe would be better with an orthotic.  I find the sweet spot for the Transport is being able to quickly slide them on to go out to the mailbox, run an errand, pick up the kids at school and other short tasks.  For anything longer, I will go through the effort to put on real running shoes.


Peter: The outsole is about 75-80% covered in a low profile and very nicely gripping Vibram rubber. There are v shaped cutouts in the heel and the forefoot that allow the shoe to have some flex and there’s a bit of exposed EVA under the arch. All of this results in a stable and solidly gripping outsole. 

Dominique:  The Vibram rubber outsole has 3 mm multi-directional lugs providing some grip on a variety of surfaces.  I tested them on snow packed sidewalks and the grip was good, though I much prefer walking at a brisker speed on dry pavement.  Very stable and well designed outsole with exposed EVA under the arch helping reduce the weight.  As noted above the  Vibram® N-OIL outsole is sustainable as it that uses 90% petrol-free components.

Allison:  Peter and Dominique sum the outsole well.  Grip is good for their intended purpose and there is enough tread to briefly navigate snowy sidewalks and parking lots.  The Vibram rubber is high quality and should last a long time.


Peter: So, as I’m not seeing this as a running shoe, I’m thinking about the ride differently. For me the Hoka Transport is all about all day, every day comfort and being able to have one shoe effectively handling walking around town, going on a hike, and yes, even going for a run. The Hoka Transport  may be the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn. One of my first outings was to a football game. We parked about 1.5 miles from the stadium and I walked all the way there and back with a 5 -year-old on my shoulders. Once in the stadium, we had many, many flights of stairs to ascend and descend and there were occasional moments when I had to motor it to catch up with a couple of 10 year olds who were sprinting through the stadium. The Hoka handled all of this and left me feeling completely fresh. It was about as good a test as I could have had and they passed with flying colors. 

Dominique:  I like having a pair of shoes specifically designed for walking.  I tend to go for 4 to 5 mile walks and could definitely extend my mileage wearing my Transport as they are so comfortable and protective.   To Peter’s point, you would be well equipped hiking in them on gentle trails, especially when transitioning from road to trails.  

Allison:  I think I am the lone dissenter here.  Keeping in mind that this is a walking/casual shoe, that said, I find the midsole to feel not particularly soft or comfortable enough for any substantial walking or time on my feet.  I think this may just be that I need a bit more cushion and support underfoot, especially since I spend long days on my feet as a nurse which can tire my feet out. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Peter: The Hoka Transport is a perfect daily wear shoe. It’s durable, comfortable, doesn’t scream “RUNNING SHOE” and will work for a ton of people. If you want Hoka comfort without looking like you forgot to pack your work shoes in your gym bag these are the shoes for you. They can go for a run in a pinch, but I’d save them for everyday use and light hikes. They have the comfort of a running shoe in a durable and subtly stylish package. Hoka may have just created their own little niche. I think these could be a huge hit for them.

There’s really nothing not to like about the Hoka Transport –except maybe get the green or white one instead of the grayish color of mine.

Score 10/10. I really love them for what they are. 

😊😊😊😊😊 For everyday use and comfort, smiles all day long. 

Allison: I appreciate the quality of the Transport, the outsole, the upper and the ease of sliding them on and off, but I have trouble with how flat they feel underfoot to me, particularly under the arch. Combined with the firm midsole, I feel as though I am limited to just short jaunts and errands and not any substantial walks or time standing.

Score: 7/10


Dominique: I feel there is a market for walking shoes like the Transport given their enhanced comfort and performance while they blend in and serve well as footwear whether you are brisk walking in lululemon tights, commuting to work wearing black slacks, or pedaling your e-bike.  

I agree with Peter, but with a twist, they don’t scream “sneakers” in a derogatory kind of way.   They are reasonably priced at $140 for a well crafted shoe with a strong sustainable platform.  My prior experience with Transport’s “cousin,” the X-Scape from Deckers X-Lab, makes me value a specifically oriented walking shoe, especially one that doubles as a lifestyle shoe.  I plan on doing plenty of walking in my Transport – I just got started! 

Score: 9.7/10


The Hoka Transport is available at Hoka HERE

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Brock said...

Thank you so much for the write up! I spotted these a few weeks back when I was researching the Clifton 9. They seem to be the perfect shoe for me. Mine will be here in a couple days!

Platypus said...

My pair just landed, and -- on first step-in -- I find them just slightly narrow in the forefoot. Any idea if the material will stretch a bit over time?

Anonymous said...

Stack height???