HOKA vs Brooks Compared: Complete List & Buying Advice [Guide 2023]

In this post, we are going to compare HOKA vs Brooks and list the key differences between them. Since these two are really popular amongst the other running shoe companies, most probably you are asking which one is better HOKA or Brooks.

HOKA vs Brooks Key Differences Between

So, what is the key difference between them? Actually, considering the ride experience, the HOKA usually offers maximalist running shoes which are highly cushioned and provides lots of protection and shock absorption. On the other hand, Brooks designs its shoes exclusively and the design of Brooks running shoes are science-driven. So, you may assume that Brooks is more innovative in comparison to HOKA and it offers large variety of running shoes depending on what exactly you need. Therefore, you will find exclusive running shoes in Brooks such as the daily trainer, cushioned trainer, stability oriented, speed trainer, long distance and short distance running shoes and so on. On the other hand, HOKA offers huge amount of foot protection and cushioning on their running shoes which have larger sole compared to Brooks running shoes.

In addition, we have prepared Brooks vs Asics and Brooks vs Saucony comparisons, if you need more help on finding right running shoe.

So, what we are going to do next? In this post, we will compare the most popular models of these two running shoe brands. Then, we will list the key differences between HOKA and Brooks brands including durability, fit, cushion, stability, price. So, you will have a clear picture of which one is worth buying.

Here is the table of content of this post to ease your navigation:

Brooks Ghost vs HOKA Clifton Compared

HOKA Clifton 8 vs Brooks Ghost 14 Compared

Both Brooks Ghost and HOKA Clifton are the neutral cushioned running shoes. Based on tons of customer feedbacks and our own experience we compared Brooks Ghost 14 vs HOKA Clifton 8 side-by-side in the following table:

Comparison of #Brooks Ghost 14HOKA Clifton 8
Our Score92/10085/100
Our Selection forBest for Average RunnerLong Distance Slow Run
FeelBalanced Cushioning (2/3)Balanced Cushioning (2/3)
FlexibilityFlexible (4/5)Moderate (3/5)
Drop-mm (M/W)125
Weight-gr (M/W)280/255250/200
Width OptionsNarrow/Normal/Wide/XWideNormal/Wide
Our Full ReviewGhost 14 ReviewHOKA Clifton vs Bondi
Deals & DiscountsRates Men’s / Women’sRates Men’s / Women’s

We compared these two running shoes because both have balanced cushion. However, Brooks Ghost 14 outperformed the HOKA Clifton 8 by far. The first, HOKA Clifton 8 is not as breathable as the Brooks Ghost (no clamminess during summer run). So, we definitely do not recommend Clifton 8 during summer. The second, the midsole construction of the Clifton is made from EVA-Compression. This is an outdated approach for the midsole built. Instead, Brooks Ghost comes with its science-driven DNA-Loft foam which is a combination of EVA foam, rubber and air. So, the Brooks Ghost 14 offers more comfortable ride than the HOKA Clifton 8.

Although, HOKA claims that they offer maximalist running shoes, considering the heel to toe drop they are minimalist. In the HOKA Clifton line the heel to toe drop is 5 mm. On the other hand, the heel to toe drop of Brooks is 12 mm.  The most popular or the average heel to toe drop is 10 mm. So, it is up to you at the end, but what we will recommend check out the heel to toe drop of your current shoe. It is not always recommended to drastically change the heel to toe drop.

So, at the end both Brooks Ghost and HOKA Clifton are designed for long-distance slow-paced runs. They are not perfectly flexible or responsive. If you are looking for a speed trainer you may want to take a quick look at our Brooks Launch vs Ghost comparison.

Our verdict or Brooks Ghost vs HOKA Clifton; we would like to recommend the Brooks Ghost over HOKA Clifton since the Ghost is more breathable, has a better midsole. A final note, consider you heel to toe drop before making your decision.

Brooks Glycerin vs HOKA Bondi Compared

HOKA Bondi 7 vs Brooks Glycerin 19 Compared

If you are looking for plush cushioning, both Brooks Glycerin and HOKA Bondi can meet your needs. However, the HOKA Bondi 7 is a neutral trainer. But, Brooks offers its Glycerin line with both neutral support and stability oriented versions (GTS). You may want to check out our Brooks Glycerin vs Glycerin GTS post to get to know more about more supportive and stability version of Glycerin.

Here is the table we have put together to help you better understand Brooks Glycerin 20 vs HOKA Bondi 7 comparison:

Comparison of #Brooks Glycerin 20HOKA Bondi 7
Our Score87/10082/100
Our Selection forGreat ComfortMaximalist
FeelPlush Cushioning (3/3)Plush Cushioning (3/3)
FlexibilityFlexible (4/5)Moderate (3/5)
Drop-mm (M/W)104
Weight-gr (M/W)290/255300/250
Width OptionsNarrow/Normal/WideNarrow/Normal/Wide/XWide
Our Full ReviewGlycerin 20 ReviewHOKA Bondi Review
Deals & DiscountsRates Men’s Women’sRates Men’s / Women’s

Both running shoes are perfectly comfortable and great options for the Plantar Fasciitis. There are couple of reasons why Brooks Glycerin outperformed the HOKA Bondi. Those are the flexibility and the midsole structure. The HOKA Bondi runs stiffer than the Brooks Glycerin. Due to this condition, you may think that the HOKA Bondi has a better stable landing platform. But you should note that the Glycerin 20 also comes with its stable version Brooks Glycerin GTS 20, it is more stable and supportive in comparison to the HOKA Bondi 7.

The midsole design of Brooks Glycerin 20 is science-driven and offers slightly more comfortable ride than the HOKA Bondi 7.

HOKA vs Brooks: Key Differences

Simply saying, the main difference between HOKA and Brooks is their approach on the running shoes. Basically, HOKA makes maximalist running shoes which have lots of cushion and a larger sole for the stability. On the other hand, Brooks offers science driven running shoes which are basically focused on what exactly you need. So, Brooks designs its running shoes exclusively and focus on the purpose of use. Also, Brooks running shoes comes with wider Toe Box. But, HOKA running shoes usually fit narrow.

So, which one is better HOKA or Brooks? Let’s take a quick look at how they perform:

The Durability

The durability of any running shoe is subjective. Because it is totally depending on your weight, gait or where you run, on road or trail. However, we noticed less deformation and tear on the outsole of Brooks in comparison to HOKA running shoes.

There is also declared lifespan expectancy of the running shoes by these brands. The products of both brands can last up to 400 miles. Again, this number is debatable, and the life span of any running shoe is depending on how and where you wear it.

The Fit & HOKA Sizing vs Brooks

If you are going to go with the Brooks running shoes, then brand recommends sizing up a half size in comparison to your daily shoe. In general, Brooks running shoes are wider in Toe Box. This is great if you don’t have narrow feet. Brooks running shoes have plenty of room for the toe splay! Recently, Brooks offers sock-like on their running shoes. Basically, it can easily conform to any foot shape and offers a wider and custom fit. Yet, it feels so unstable especially on uneven surfaces.

On the other hand, HOKA running shoes are usually true to size. But, some of their running shoes runs narrow. So, if you especially don’t have narrow feet, we would recommend ordering wider option of the HOKA running shoes. Also, for the HOKA Bondi line, it would be better to size up since it runs narrow.

The Cushion

Starting with the Brooks, they have multiple cushion options which are basically changing depending on the purpose of use. So, they implement different midsole foam material for cushioned, energized/springy and speed trainers. Here is the full list of cushioning material developed and being used by Brooks:

  • DNA LOFT:  This is the softest midsole cushioning of the Brooks. It is a combination of EVA foam, rubber and air.
  • DNA AMP: This material offers highest energy return and it is super springy. It is being used in energize models of the Brooks, which are intended to propels you forward. The DNA AMP is stiffer than the DNA LOFT.
  • BioMoGo DNA: This material is in between the DNA Loft and DNA AMP. So, it is not as soft as DNA Loft but neither as stiff as the DNA AMP.
  • DNA Flash: You should not expect the plush feeling of the DNA Loft from DNA Flash but it gives the lightest cushioning out there. Brooks uses the DNA Flash (nitrogen-infused cushioning) in their fastest racing running shoes (Example: Hyperion Tempo Men’s & Women’s).

On the HOKA running shoes, the cushion is obtained by their PROFLY technology and compression molded EVA. Honestly, it is a soft material and offers a lot of cushions. It offers dual density which is firmer in the forefoot and softer in the heel. But we think that it makes HOKA shoes bulkier rather than being technically sufficient.

The Stability

Considering the stability, Brooks offers neutral and support models. Almost each product line of Brooks has a neutral and support/stability version. To distinguish which one is the support/stability shoe, Brooks uses “GTS” tag on their products which means “Go-To-Support”. So, how good is the Brooks in terms of stability oriented running shoes? They implement GuideRails Technology on their running shoes. This technology does not hinder your run and does not directly correct it. Instead, it supports and balances your gait with your natural stride. Here is the photo from Brooks that explains how exactly GuideRails works:

How does GuideRails work?

Credit for pic: Brooks Support

HOKA developed J-Frame technology for their stability shoe. The function of this feature is very similar to Brooks’ GuideRails technology. The J-Frame technology of HOKA provides an extended support with a firmer foam on the medial side where the foot typically rolls inward. So, it does not overcorrect the gait, but supports for natural stride. Here is the pic from HOKA that explains how the J-Frame technology works:

How does J-Frame work?

Credit for pic: HOKA Support

Comparing the Brands from The Price Point of Their Products

HOKA and Brooks are very competitive and comparable when it comes to the price point of their products. Generally speaking, HOKA running shoes are slightly more expensive than the Brooks Running shoes. But, if you are asking the pricing range, they both have running shoes in between $100 to $200. You can check out following links to see the latest rates on both brands:

Balanced Cushioned models:

Brooks Ghost LineHOKA Clifton Line
Latest Online Deals for
Men’s / Women’s
Latest Online Deals for
Men’s / Women’s

Plush Models:

Brooks Glycerin LineHOKA Bondi Line
Latest Online Deals for
Men’s Women’s
Latest Online Deals for
Men’s / Women’s

Stability Models:

Brooks Adrenaline GTS LineHOKA Arahi Line
Latest Online Deals for
Men’s Women’s
Latest Online Deals for
Men’s / Women’s

Bottom-life for HOKA vs Brooks Running Shoes

So, which one is better Brooks or HOKA? To sum up, HOKA offers maximalist running shoes. On the other hand, Brooks offers science-driven running shoes. We usually prefer Brooks over HOKA since Brooks running shoes meet our specific needs the most.

In the end, both Brooks and HOKA are APMA accepted running shoes companies which have been found beneficial to foot health and recommended.

You may want to check out our Best Running Shoes for Men & Women to see how the most popular running shoes performs against each other.