HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 Review: When It Comes to Comfort and Support, the Gaviota Hits a Home Run

HOKA ONE ONE knocks the latest Gaviota 2 right out of the park, making impressive improvements on last year’s well-loved edition.


If you were pumped on the first Gaviota by HOKA ONE ONE, get ready to delight in its latest iteration. The new Gaviota 2 delivers all the same stability features you loved so much in the first model while improving on the overall fit, feel, and look of the shoe. This is a Level 5 daily trainer that serves up a ridiculously plush ride while also helping your gait achieve its most natural form.


The Arahi was the first stability shoe introduced by HOKA ONE ONE, and while this lightweight-yet-supportive model definitely helped runners score a more stable ride, some found that they could still use a little more motion control… and thus the Gaviota was born.

When the original HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota dropped in January of 2017, runners thought, “Finally! A shoe that offers motion control, but lacks all the stiff constrictions of traditional running shoes!”—and they were very right. HOKA ONE ONE scored a 10/10 with the dynamic stability provided by the first Gaviota, but they outdo themselves once again in the Gaviota 2.


So how did HOKA ONE ONE make the Gaviota 2 even better than its predecessor? Well, they kept the same midsole and outsole, so you can count on the flat-waisted geometry of the Meta-Rocker to continue to deliver inherent stability—even if your ankles are a little wobbly—and the strategic zonal rubber placement is still top-notch in terms of durability.

Men’s HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 in Black Iris/Seaport

They improved the Gaviota 2 by fine-tuning the signature HOKA ONE ONE J-Frame technology, which ditches those rigid, unforgiving materials, but still follows through with top-notch protection and gently-guiding support. Now you’ll score a more consistently cushioned ride you can count on for miles on end.

Where you’ll see the real changes in the Gaviota 2 is in the shoe’s upper, which has been completely redesigned with an open, engineered mesh. It’s super lightweight and boasts superior breathability than its predecessor could offer. With an optimized fit and ventilation to the max, you can focus more on perfecting your form—and less over hot, sweaty feet.


Let’s take a moment to discuss overpronation, shall we? Neutral pronators enjoy an effortlessly natural stride, with shock absorption splayed evenly across the foot upon impact. However, if you have flat feet or hyper-flexible arches, chances are you overpronate—meaning you roll your foot a little too far down and inward with each landing, using mainly your big toe and inner foot to absorb shock and push your weight off the ground. Your ankle rolls in, your knee extends out, the pressure is unbalanced, and it causes all sorts of alignment problems radiating up to your hips, back, and beyond.

The HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 is a stability shoe designed to keep excessive ankle rotation in check. The Meta-Rocker midsole has a very low heel-toe offset, which is sculpted sort of like a rocking chair. It gently guides your gait to promote smooth rolling—from the initial impact to the final toe-off—for a more naturally-efficient motion. You’ll score buttery transitions while also reducing the force of impact on your joints and bones. Why place unnecessary stress on your body when it goes through enough wear and tear pounding pavement on repeat? The HOKA ONE ONE alleviates pain from pronation problems, plus the maxed-out cushioning system makes this shoe a standout choice for all runners suffering from plantar fasciitis or foot pain when running.

So the HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 performs fabulously on overpronators with flat feet who need a little pick-me-up beneath the arches (and as an added bonus, it comes available in both standard and wide widths!), but the beauty of this shoe is that you don’t have to have pronation problems to enjoy these trainers. Say your gait’s just fine, but you love the smooth heel-to-toe movements the late-stage Meta-Rocker delivers? No problem, as the stability features on the HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 only kick in when your feet get tired and you need a little extra help.

Thanks to the ultra-plush ride this Level 5 cushioned shoe serves up, you’ll want to wear your Gaviotas for miles on end… and that, of course, is when fatigue starts to set in and your form starts to suffer. Fall back on the HOKA ONE ONE J-Frame technology to keep you in place; firmer foam is shaped like a “J”, starting beneath the upper medial region of your foot, dropping down the inner frame, and rolling up and outwards around your feet. It doesn’t constrict or encumber you in any way; it’s just there to protect against the times your feet get a little tired and tend to collapse too far inward, ready to boost them back up using denser foam for proper alignment.

The HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 is a shoe designed as a daily trainer for road runners crushing miles on the pavement, track, or treadmill. However, some testers report that this shoe is versatile enough to sneak in a couple trail runs, as well. While we wouldn’t recommend going off-road in these guys all the time, you’ll find plenty of traction and durability to withstand some casual hiking and occasional trail running.


If you weren’t sold on the dynamic stability and new breezy upper delivered by the latest HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2, it packs a few more bells and whistles that might change your mind. My favorite feature, in particular, is the Arch-lock wings that fold up and in at the midfoot, cradling the region with a soft but firm hug for a supportive, locked-in feel. I’m also a huge fan of the Ortholite sockliner on the inside of the Gaviota 2. It molds to the unique shape of every foot and personally, it makes my step-in experience feel so soft and luxurious, I can’t imagine much irritation – whether I’m on mile 1 or mile 500.

Long story short: the HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 does everything you could ask it to. It delivers a super plush and comfy ride that promotes your foot’s natural movement and shock dispersion; it’s soft, lightweight, and breathable, boasting plenty of ventilation; it fits securely and performs awesomely; oh, and it’s pretty easy on the eyes, too.


Curious about the specs on the latest HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 release? Here ya go!


The Gaviota 2 is a Level 5 running shoe, meaning it delivers top-of-the-line comfort, forgiving landings, and a ridiculously soft underfoot sensation.


Men’s 10.6 oz | Women’s 8.8 oz


The HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 has a minimal 5mm drop, meaning there’s not a lot of height difference between the rear and forefront of the shoe. These areas are kept closer together to promote smooth, rocking transitions that take stress off your Achilles tendon.


The new Gaviotas are street-stylish with a streamlined look, and they are currently available in one color option.

Men’s HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2: Grey/Blue

Women’s HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2:  Indigo

Want to know for sure if the HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 is right for you? Take 2-3 minutes to run through our online SHOE FIT FINDER. You can also call 800.551.5558 or drop by your hometown store and we’ll guide you through your personal fitting. See more of our favorites on Pinterest!

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