HOKA races to become a bestseller

HOKA blazes a new trail

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The Future. HOKA, the bright, bold, and performance-focused running shoe brand, has become a hit. People just can’t get over how comfortable they are to walk in. That level of functionality at the expense of traditional aesthetics may inspire other brands to copy HOKA’s feel in a better-looking pair of sneakers. But the bar is set pretty high.

Cultural support
If you’ve been outside lately, you’ve likely encountered a HOKA sneaker and wondered, “Where on Earth did they come from?”

Sprezza writer Clayton Chambers has a great breakdown:

  • Developed by French trail runners and former Salomon employees, Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, the shoe was meant to be a modern take on the wooden clogs worn by European farmers — with a very cushy midsole.
  • The  “oversize concept” became a hit with runners and within fashion trends like “maximalism” and “gorpcore.”
  • That’s turned HOKA into something of a tastemaker in outdoor wear, having collaborated with brands like Moncler and Engineered Garments.

All of that has added up to HOKA hitting $1 billion in revenue this year — 10 years after selling for $1 million to Deckers Brands (owner of UGG and Teva). 

It looks like we’re about to see a lot more of these somewhat out-there but insanely comfortable sneakers.


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