Running is fun and a great way to exercise if you don’t have access to a gym. The best part about running is that it is very accessible and anyone can do it provided they have a good set of running shoes.
However, just because a particular brand of running shoe works for one athlete, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. There are many different types of feet, and some will require a more stable shoe than others.
The Gaviota 3 shoes made by Hoka are designed for stability and comfort. This helps those with weak ankles or minor injuries to keep training.
In this review, we will take a look at the Gaviota 3s to see what they have to offer and how they stack up against the competition.
Hoka was originally a French company that now operates out of a headquarters located in Goleta California. The company was founded by two former Salomon employees named Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard.
Their name comes from a Maori phrase that translates to ‘fly over earth’. Hoka are well known for making shoes that make it much easier to run downhill.
The Hoka Gaviota 3 Overview
Unlike other running shoes that are built to maximize speed, the Gaviota 3s are built for comfort and stability.
This is especially useful for people who have minor injuries that they are still recovering from, or long distance runners. Both will find that these shoes are incredibly soft and easy to run in.
Hoka have built these shoes for comfort, so it should come as no surprise that they excel in this area. These shoes are very well padded, especially in the midsole, which is made from EVA foam.
While they are incredibly well cushioned, the midsole is not super soft, since Hoka have gone for a stiffer shoe that is well suited for lighter runners.
This makes the midsole plush, but also responsive, which helps it to propel you forward without your feet getting too tired.
Honestly, in some respects this shoe is almost too cushioned with a few hot spots around the ankles and near the forefoot. If you are worried about your feet overheating during your run, then this may not be the shoe for you.
On the other hand, if what you need is stability for dealing with overpronated feet, then these Gaviota 3s are the perfect choice for you.
Speed & Responsiveness
Due to all the padding in the upper and midsole, these shoes are significantly heavier than normal racing shoes. As such, they aren’t the best piece of kit for helping you keep up a high pace, but they are very responsive.
Thanks to the firmness of the EVA foam used in the Midsole, these shoes provide a gentle rocking chair-like transition while you are running.
The outsole extends outwards slightly at the back, which can help to offer greater stability when running downhill.
Overall, these are far from the fastest pair of shoes, and are more designed for long distance running where comfort will take priority over speed.
Traction & Stability
The outsole on the Gaviota 3s is very wide at the base, which is to help provide better stability for runners with severe overpronation. They also have a very resilient rubber tread that offers great traction in a variety of conditions.
These shoes will perform well on both concrete and some dirt tracks, although they aren’t built for going fully off-road.
Even if it rains, they will still have a good grip on the road. This will minimize the risk of you falling and potentially hurting yourself. This shoe works best for runners who hit their ground with the middle of their foot first.
The rockered design will encourage a natural gait and help you to keep proper form when running, so your feet don’t unnecessarily suffer.
With such a thick midsole, these shoes provide great protection from any jagged rocks or sharp pebbles under foot. There is also a toe guard that helps to protect the top of your feet as well as the bottom.
As such, these shoes are a great all-purpose sneaker that can be used on both dirt tracks and concrete roads.
Who Are The Gaviota 3s For?
These shoes are for runners who have broad feet and who struggle with overpronation. They also make a great recovery shoe for those with minor injuries who don’t want to stop their training routine.
The cushioned upper and midsole provides all the support and stability you could need for running longer distances without hurting your feet.
If you have very narrow feet, then you may find these shoes don’t offer the kind of fit you are looking for.
Furthermore, if you want a shoe that will help you to run faster, then you will want something much lighter than the Gaviota 3s.
In the following sections, we will compare these shoes to other similar products from other brands, so you can see how they hold up against the competition.
Hoka One One Gaviota 3 vs Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
Brooks offer their own stability trainer called the Adrenaline GTS 22. Much like the Gaviotas this trainer has a wide tread with a thick midsole made from DNA loft.
They aren’t as plush and comfortable as the Gaviota 3s, but this does make them more breathable.
The outsole on these shoes is similar to that found on the Gaviotas in that it can handle most types of terrain and weather conditions with ease.
It is designed with flex grooves which help the shoe to bend and provide a smooth transition when running. There are also crash pads on the tread, which help to soak up impacts to keep your feet comfortable during long runs.
The Adrenaline 22s have guide rails located along both sides of your heels, which take some getting used to at first. Once you are used to them, these foam rails help to keep your feet stable and minimize the risk of twisting or spraining your ankle.
Unlike the Gaviotas, these trainers don’t have a gusseted tongue. This means that the tongue won’t bunch up like it does on the Hokas.
Generally, the upper on these shoes is much easier to run in, with very few hotspots. They also provide a good heel lockdown that will, again, aid with stability.
If you are looking for a super plush shoe, then the Gaviota 3s are still the best option, but if you want something more balanced you should consider the Adrenaline GTS 22s instead.
Hoka One One Gaviota 3 vs ASICS Kayano 28
ASICS is another popular brand that provides great stability shoes for people with overpronation, or exceptionally broad feet. The Kayano 28s have a midsole made from two layers of Flytefoam with a pocket of gel sandwiched between.
As you would expect, this creates a very bouncy shoe that provides lots of shock absorption to prevent your feet getting tired during long runs.
The upper is made from two layers of mesh, which makes it padded but also quite breathable, which is a large bonus.
Unfortunately, the mid-foot portion of this upper is quite narrow, which means these shoes won’t be as suitable for runners with wide feet as other ASICS products.
There is a tread made from ASICS own hardened rubber on the sole of the shoe. This makes the Kayanos much more durable than the Gaviotas. They are perfect for long distance running over almost any kind of terrain.
However, they won’t lock down your heel as effectively as the Gaviota 3s do. This is because the mesh upper is slightly stretchier and may become looser with repeated use.
Overall, if you have narrow feet, then the ASICS Kayanos are a much better choice of stability shoe for you. Those with broader feet will still prefer the Gaviota 3s for their better lockdown and wider outsole.
Overall, the Hoka Gaviota 3s aren’t the best stability shoes available on the market. However, they do offer superb comfort that is unlike anything else we have seen.
These shoes have all the cushioning you could possibly want, and for some runners they may even be over-padded.
Make sure to wear thin socks with these trainers to prevent your feet from overheating while you run.
Thanks to their softness, and the support they provide for your feet, these shoes are great for long distance runners.
They are also a very good choice for those with broad feet, or overpronation, that causes them discomfort when running.
Provided you look after them, they will last you for many miles of happy running.
- Thick EVA foam midsole provides a soft ride and great stability.
- The tread is designed to let the foot naturally bend for a smooth transition.
- Padded upper protects your feet and locks down your heel.
- Durable tread that can withstand lots of wear and tear.
- Great for running downhill.
- Crash pads on the tread soak up impacts to further protect your feet.
- Tongue bunches up sometimes.
- Shoes run hot due to the amount of padding.
- Not great for those with narrow feet.