Altra vs Hoka Compared: Selection Guide for Trail Running Shoes [2023]

Today, we would like to compare Altra vs Hoka companies and their trail running shoes side-by-side and share the key differences between them. If you are looking for a long story short answer for Altra or Hoka question, the key difference between them is the comfort/foot protection against stability/responsiveness.

Altra or Hoka - Main Differences Between Them

Running shoe brands Altra and Hoka One One are experiencing a spike in popularity. Both were formerly small companies, catering to certain types of runners who avoided the big brands in favor of a unique design feature. Because all of Altra’s shoes are zero-drop, the company has earned a lot of appeal among minimalist runners. Hoka has a cult following thanks to its maximalist cushioning and super-thick midsoles. If you’re looking for a cushioned or zero-drop shoe, you’ve probably come across these two popular brands: Altra and Hoka One One.

These shoes are significantly distinct, despite the fact that they are both niche shoe labels that fall into the same broad category. As a result, it’s critical to understand the fundamental distinctions in order to determine which one is right for you: Altra or Hoka? This post will go over all you need to know about Altra vs Hoka trail running shoes.

If you are more interested in product wise comparison, you can jump right into the related section via Altra Olympus vs Hoka Speedgoat and Altra Lone Peak vs Hoka Speedgoat.

Similar Article: Hoka vs Brooks Compared

Main Differences between Altra and Hoka:

Here is the list of main differences between Altra and Hoka:

  • Hoka One One is a performance-oriented range of running shoes, whereas Altra One One is primarily focused on fit.
  • Altra focuses on comfort, whereas Hoka is more focused on customized performance benefits.
  • Altra’s Zero Drop technology keeps your heel and forefoot at the same distance from the ground, whereas Hoka’s drop designs fluctuate.
  • Altra offers more gender-specific midsole alternatives, whereas Hoka focuses on performance.


The Hoka One One is renowned for having a narrower toe box. However, recent revisions have enlarged the toe box to make it more comfortable for a wider range of runners.

Altra, on the other hand, is noted for its unique Foot-Shape toe box. This toe box is a lot bigger than a conventional toe box. Although it resembles a clown shoe, an Altra toe box is recognized for being more comfortable due to its ability to allow your feet and toes to splay.

Bunions and hammertoes are less irritated as a result. They’re particularly well-suited to runners with these issues or who have broader feet. It also aids in the prevention of Morton’s Neuroma, a disorder that is frequent in women who wear shoes with narrow toe boxes.


Altra also makes women’s shoes with a narrower heel and midfoot, as well as a higher instep and longer arch, to account for variances in men’s and women’s feet. In other words, Altra shoes have a midsole, cushioning, metatarsal location, top, form, and outsoles that are designed specifically for women.

The high arches of Hoka One One shoes are a common complaint. If this does not fit your feet, replace it with a low-arched insole. In fact, if you require orthotics, Hoka Shoes are known for being able to accommodate them.

If you prefer a more cushioned midsole, Hoka One One Shoes are the way to go. Because your foot is tucked in the shoes without any pillars or guide rails, the business dubbed their midsoles the “bucket seat”. The midsoles are the focal point of Hoka’s “max cushion” design.


Because Hoka One One running shoes are recognized for being foamy and cushioned, they have rubberized foam outsoles. Hoka shoes have bigger outsoles thanks to the rocker bottom. Some people may find it difficult to adjust to these.

Altra is best recognized for two types of outsoles. The TrailClaw outsole is one of them. This shoe features lug traction as well as additional “claws” around the toe, making it excellent for slick, snowy trail running. On the other hand, the FootPod outsole is noted for its responsiveness and flexibility. It’s a fantastic general-purpose, all-surface outsole.

Altra vs Hoka Sizing Fit & Comfort

For many runners, Hoka One One is a better option than Altra since it has a more traditional fit and drop. Master’s runners prefer Hoka because of the increased cushioning and rocker bottom.

Altra trail running shoes can take some getting accustomed to because they are zero-drop with increased padding. If you don’t take things slowly when utilizing them, you can injure yourself. Zero-drop shoes are different from traditional running shoes, and it takes time for your body to acclimate.

Some runners report that zero-drop shoes help them avoid overuse issues. Other runners, on the other hand, appear to be more prone to injury when wearing zero-drop shoes like Altra. Calf strains are the most prevalent injury associated with zero-drop shoes.

Anyone suffering from bunions will appreciate the spacious toe box of Altra Shoes.

Similar Article: Brooks vs Asics Sizing


Both Altra and Hoka One One are recognized for their cushioning, but Hoka’s trail running shoes have a lot more of it. To be precise, it has twice the cushioning of ordinary running shoes. As a result, they’re popular among master’s runners and anyone searching for a more comfortable ride.

Altra shoes are likewise well-cushioned, but they have a more typical running shoe feel to them. They don’t have the same level of cushioning as the Hoka One One.

Altra vs Hoka: Pros & Cons

When first looking at Hoka shoes, people may believe that the high heel and huge cushion may cause stability concerns. The form of the shoes gives stability, something most people are unaware of. Furthermore, the foot is cradled by the foam and sits inside the midsole. The maximal cushion relieves a significant amount of pressure from the forefoot. One disadvantage of Hoka trail running shoes is the foam. Rugged terrain, such as rocks and tree roots, will cause the foam to deform over time. Many people have also complained that the new models appear to be narrower, causing foot injuries.

The cushioning and zero drop are two of Altra’s key advantages, according to users. Many consumers praise the comfortability of the shoes, although they are more minimalist and feature a zero drop. Running in more minimalist shoes allows the heel to sit further off the ground, avoiding heel striking, which can put a lot of strain on the body. Many people who have previously suffered from injuries have found benefit in switching to a shoe with a zero drop and a broad toe box. The one big disadvantage of these shoes is that runners must also work on their form. Although the shoes urge runners to strike in the mid-foot, it’s critical to develop the proper running form to avoid injuries. Buying Altra involves some knowledge and experience if you are a runner that heel strikes. Even while it may take some time to improve your form, the entire process can be beneficial. Because of the low impact landing, athletes with better form lower their risk of injury.

Altra Lone Peak vs Hoka Speedgoat Side-by-Side Compared

Altra Lone Peak vs Hoka Speedgoat side-by-side compared

Here is the table we have put together to help you better understand Altra Lone Peak vs Hoka Speedgoat comparison:

Comparison of# Altra Lone Peak 6.0Hoka Speedgoat 5
Expert Score89/10084/100
Our Selection forLong Distance Trail RunningBoth Comfortable and Protective
Price TagCheck Price on Amazon
 Men’s / Women’s
Check Price on REI
 Men’s Women’s
Foot Protection4.54.5
Water Protection4.54.0
WeightMen’s 10.6 oz or 300 g
Women’s 8.7 oz or 248 g
Men’s 10.3 oz or 292 g
Women’s 8.5 oz or 240 g

You may also want to take a quick look at our Altra Lone Peak vs Superior comparison.

Bottom-line for Altra Lone Peak 6.0 vs Hoka Speedgoat 5

Hoka Speed Goat 5 is extremely comfortable and protective compared to the Altra Lone Peak 6. On the other hand, the Altra Lone Peak 6 is more responsive and stable. If you are looking for a long-distance trail running shoe the Altra Lone Peak 6 is better than the Hoka Speedgoat 5. However, if you expect from a trail runner to be protective and comfortable than the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is the winner by far.

Altra Olympus vs Hoka Speedgoat Side-by-Side Compared

Altra Olympus vs Hoka Speedgoat side-by-side compared

Here is the table we have put together to help you better understand Altra Olympus vs Hoka Speedgoat comparison:

Comparison of#Altra Olympus 4Hoka Speedgoat 5
Expert Score87/10084/100
Our Selection forTraction WinnerBoth Comfortable and Protective
Price TagCheck Price on Amazon
 Men’s / Women’s
Check Price on REI
 Men’s Women’s
Foot Protection4.34.5
Water Protection44.0
WeightMen’s 11.6 oz or 329 g
Women’s 9.6 oz or 272 g
Men’s 10.3 oz or 292 g
Women’s 8.5 oz or 240 g

Bottom-line for Altra Olympus 4 vs Hoka Speedgoat 5

The Olympus 4 is great at traction and it beats the Hoka Speedgoat 5 in this aspect. It is more stable as well. However, considering the comfort and the foot protection the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is superior to the Altra Olympus 4.

Altra vs Hoka for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that affects runners and occurs when a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. People have discomfort in their heels as a result of this.

Shoes with a wide toe box, such as Altra, can assist strengthen the foot. Wearing a pair of Altra shoes can help avoid plantar fasciitis by allowing them to function naturally. You can avoid the problem by correcting your form and strengthening your feet.

Here is a photo that describes the Plantar Fasciitis from

How does Plantar Fasciitis look like?

Credits for pic:

A cushioned sole can assist relieve pain and injury in athletes who suffer plantar fasciitis. The Ortholite molded footbeds in Hoka’s maximum cushioned shoes can provide relief. The thick sole also absorbs shock, reducing the amount of stress on the body. As a result, if the runner has plantar fasciitis, Hoka’s maximal cushioning is preferable.

Story of Altra Running Shoes

Story of Altra Shoes

Brian Beckstead and Golden Harper, high school buddies who had been running together on their school’s track team since the day they met, established Altra in 1998. Running and athletics have always been a big part of their life, and the two men still share a love for manufacturing high-quality running shoes that runners of all types can enjoy and rely on.

 Surprisingly, one of the primary technologies used in the company’s shoes in 2009 was the product of a Golden at-home research project, which yielded thousands of positive evaluations from customers who had noticed the difference the upgrade made. Golden used a toaster oven to heat existing models of the shoes, but first chopped off the midsole and leveled the cushioning pattern so that they were all the same, resulting in a zero drop from heel to toe. This is what is now known as the Zero Drop technology, which can be found in a variety of the brand’s running shoe models.

Brian, the company’s co-founder, broke his previous year’s record for the mile run in the prototype shoes, confirming his belief that the company would be a huge success. The CORE 3 debuted in 2011 with the company’s hallmark running shoe technologies, including FootShape technology, Zero Drop technology, and Fit4Her technology. All of these various performance advancements spoke volumes about the brand’s commitment and readiness to produce top-of-the-line items that customers can rely on for a long time.

Story of Hoka One One Running Shoes

Story of Hoka Shoes

Former Salomon workers Jean-Luc Diard and Nicolas Mermoud launched Hoka in 2009 with the idea of creating a running shoe that would allow them to sprint downhill at a considerably faster pace. They followed their enthusiasm and created a running shoe with a bigger outsole and additional cushioning to provide the runner with extra comfort and support during longer runs.

The word “Hoka” comes from the Maori language and means “fly over the earth,” implying that the runner will be able to “fly” over the pavement as their speed increases.

When the brand originally debuted its line of shoes, they were a hit with ultramarathon runners due to the improved cushioning that provided maximum support while minimizing the overall weight that the shoes added to the runner.

Deckers Brands, the parent company of UGG and other well-known footwear brands, obtained the brand in 2013.

The brand has a long-standing reputation and numerous long-term connections with top runners and running groups across the industry, which is why runners of all types trust them.

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