What Run Oregon is Wearing: Hoka Hupana


For better or worse, I travel Oregon a fair amount for work. While his has allowed me to take in some fun and unique running routes on my off hours, continuous packing and unpacking can definitely get old. As most of my trips are 2-3 days in length, I really try to limit what I bring with me and aim to keep everything in one small bag (aside from my dress shirts and pants). I’m already lugging around clothes on hangars, a computer, and a work bag – I don’t need or want any more stuff with me.

One travel “life hack” has been securing a “crossover” pair of shoes that can double as a casual pair AND still be viable for running. This makes it so I only have to bring 2 pairs – dress shoes and these crossovers. Considering that I’m already filling half (or more) of my bag with running gear, the less shoes the better. Crossover running shoes have even come on handy on longer vacations, where I can wear these to the airport and look fine and still have them be useful during my morning runs.

The Hoka Hupana is a fantastic foray into the “everyday running shoe” and I have really enjoyed pretty much everything about them.



While the Hupanas come in varying color schemes (some more flashy than others), the simple black and white coloring in the sample pair was perfect for me. This neutrality makes pairing them with shorts or jeans a simple task. It’s a perfect shoe to wear to happy hour and then head straight from there to an evening group run (assuming you change your clothes). They truly crossover and look great in casual and running settings. Even with the Hoka logo clearly on side heels, it doesn’t feel out of place or awkward. The knit upper, while functional by being lightweight and breathable, also gives a more casual look to the shoe as well.

As weird as it sounds, I don’t feel that the Hupanas look like Hokas, if that makes sense. If I asked 100 runners to say the first thing that came to their minds when given that brand, I would venture that the majority would reference the thickness of the soles or the “bulky” visual appearance. The Hupanas are lower profile, sleek, straightforward, and light (8.2 oz in size 9 men’s).



Hupana is named for the Maori word for “spring back,” and it’s the aim of Hoka to provide a balanced cushion that wants to give a little ‘oomph” off the ground without feeling too plush or soft. I definitely agree that these have some springy goodness to them. They are extremely soft on the feet (but no so soft that you can’t feel the road), which is helpful if you use these in running AND casual settings. There’s nothing worse than being cramped in an airplane or car for hours on and, made even worse if your footwear isn’t up to the task. I have put multiple runs in these – both long and short, and though they may be “crossover” in nature, they absolutely are built with running in the forefront, as they are both stable and comfortable, with all the technology you expect and need in a straight-forward running unit.


As my firsty foray into Hoka’s shoe line-up, the Hupana makes me want to go even further. I am thorougly impressed (though not exactly surprised) in these and would recommend as consideration for your everyday running or as a combo pair in your closet.

Details/Specs (taken from website):

  • Offset 5 mm
  • Forefoot 20 mm
  • Heel 25 mm
  • 8.20 oz (US size 9)
  • Open knit pattern for maximum breathability
  • Seamless construction to minimize hotspots and irritation
  • Molded Ortholite sockliner
  • Full RMAT midsole for a responsive, dynamic ride
  • Full RMAT Outsole for high-rebound cushioning and traction
  • Outsole siping for improved traction and precise flexibility


Thank you to Hoka for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.


About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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