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January 2022 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Footwear / Three season boots

Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GTX

Price:

$399.95

Our Rating:

Best for use on formed tracks

At a glance
Plusses: Lightweight, stiff, comfortable, durable
Minuses: Narrow fit, fiddly to lace

906g (m), 768g (w)

Features: A mid-height boot with a pronounced rocker built into a distinctive ‘maximalist’ style midsole of thick EVA foam. Soles are wide, grippy Vibram; uppers are a combination of leather and recycled synthetics, with a Gore-Tex lining and the tongue is three-quarters gusseted with three pairs of hooks firmly securing the lacing. 

Fit: They’re an average-to-narrow width, with a secure heel cup. The size UK8 is a fraction longer than other footwear of that size I own, but this gives plenty of toe room for long descents, while still maintaining a precise fit. 

Comfort: Out of the box, they are extremely comfortable and have a short break-in time. That term is perhaps a misnomer, because about all the breaking in required is doing a walk or two to figure out exactly how you like the laces tensioned. The deep cutaway around the achilles and sock-like fit contributes to this immediate comfort.

In use: I used these boots day walking, but not on overnighters. The first thing I noticed was that walking uphill seemed easier. A big claim, I know, but the combination of relatively low forefoot, high heel (6mm heel toe drop) and active rocker means there appears to be a fraction less effort needed to step up on your toes. 

They are quite tall for a mid, but this, combined with firm lacing, provides excellent ankle support. While recommended for day tramps, I would also use them for overnighters if I was travelling light, and on good surfaces. That caveat is mostly due to the sole being very soft, therefore your foot is likely to be stressed walking on rough ground with a heavy pack. The soft EVA foam is completely exposed in places in the arch too, which has kept weight down but left the sole vulnerable to sharp rocks. 

The sole extends beyond the heel to enable the rocker, but a downside of this is that you can’t ‘plant’ your heels like you would in a traditional boot when walking down steep slippery slopes. They’re the sort of boot I’d consider for Te Araroa in the North Island but not the South. 

Value: For this price it’s possible to buy a boot that’s more versatile and durable, but the Anacapa is specialised footwear that performs extremely well at what it’s designed for.

Verdict: A comfortable boot, perfect for day walks or longer trips when carrying a light pack and walking on formed surfaces.